Growing a CPG Brand at Walmart

The Backstory

As one of the nation’s largest grocery retailers, Walmart is a key account for brands looking to reach consumers, grow their reputation and ultimately drive sales. However, the advantages of Walmart’s massive 4,700+ store footprint, also make it inherently challenging and expensive for brands to support growth within the retailer.

So, how do you cost-effectively reach Walmart shoppers at scale with a retail marketing strategy that increases unit volume and velocity? Country Bob’s, a midwest maker of sauces and seasonings, needed their flagship product, the All Purpose Sauce, to do just that.

The Sticky Challenge Facing Country Bob’s

Having experienced success with Cliffedge Marketing in the past, Country Bob’s brought this challenge back to our team to build a strategy around their Walmart presence. We knew the trick would be navigating the advantage of Walmart’s brand power with a cost-effective, results-driven approach that made the investment worth it.

Cliffedge Marketing identified our client’s three key needs:

  • Build brand visibility to establish a strong footing in new markets
  • Boost sales in stores where the brand under-performed its baseline averages
  • Effectively measure and track ROI of marketing spend throughout their target market during campaigns

With the goalline set, we began mapping out a comprehensive strategy for our partner.

The Secret Sauce for Success

Following our proven process for generating successful campaigns for our partners, we began by collaborating with Country Bob’s to create a marketing playbook that would be the guide for implementing a new shopper marketing strategy. 

The resulting playbook outlined four key areas of focus: 

  • Updating the brand
  • Redesigning the website
  • Investing in paid media
  • Engaging with data analytics 

A Sauce-some Brand Refresh

The condiment aisle is one of the most competitive spaces in the grocery store and improving velocity means standing apart from a myriad of other options on the shelf. We knew this should start with a brand refresh to boost consumer brand recall at the store level and grab and hold attention across touchpoints. 

With target shopper data in-hand, we refined the brand image and pivoted towards a simpler, cleaner and more consistent message. By updating the look and feel of the brand with bolder visuals and brighter colors, we made every bottle more distinct. Then, we added a new tagline (“It’s Mighty Fine”) and began developing “punny” marketing assets across all channels. We re-envisioned the entire product lineup as a “Family of Sauces” with related animated characters for retail media, giving a “personality” to each product.

A Friendly Website Redesign 

Next, we turned our attention to the brand’s web presence and began tearing down user experience barriers that made it harder to locate products and make purchases online. As a priority of the redesign, we developed a mobile-friendly system since consumer data showed majority access to the website via smartphones and key sales opportunities were being stifled.

This revamped site provided a template for grabbing seasonal traffic and capitalizing on shifting trends via dynamic “living landing pages.” As seasons changed and shopping habits adjusted alongside them, we deployed easily updated, agile landing pages to quickly meet these needs.

Multi-Channel Paid Media Strategies

Getting the word out required a multichannel approach to reach disparate audiences. We identified retail media and geo-targeted social media marketing to stay within the brand’s areas of strength and started connecting with micro-influencers to promote the brand.

Influencer Program

After an interview process to find the right influencers, we outlined what content these influencers would need to produce and handled the support and communication across four influencer campaigns throughout 2022. Our influencer partners engaged shoppers with high-value content including innovative recipe videos highlighting the many uses of Country Bob’s products, earning nearly 450,000 views on Instagram reels and almost 2,000 comments.

Geo-Targeted Social Ads 

Our geo-targeting social media ads focused on Country Bob’s target shoppers and specific Walmart stores to improve brand recall in underperforming markets. Using a control group to measure progress, we deployed 25 ad campaigns at Walmart stores and quickly found that the targeted advertising did produce a positive sales improvement compared to the control. 

ibotta Campaign

In addition to these efforts, we built a partnership with ibotta to provide users with a rebate upon purchasing any Country Bob’s product. We later syndicated this offer on which accelerate redemptions and improved overall campaign performance. This effort, combined with contests, boosted sales growth and improved customer acquisition. 

In-Depth Data Collection

Throughout these efforts, we kept a constant eye on data across the board, including sales metrics at the store level and marketing KPIs. We provided a monthly analysis of how store-level sales improved based on our efforts with reports that included a control group and helped measure incremental lift alongside average unit velocity and volume. Monitoring this trendline, we optimized campaign performance for continuous positive outcomes.

Stirring Up ROI and Dipping Into the Results

With a refreshed and retargeted brand, Cliffedge Marketing successfully achieved Country Bob’s goal in producing a measurable impact at targeted Walmart stores, including:

Sales Impact:

  • Throughout the 5-month campaign, we maintained an increase in average unit velocity by nearly 92% per store compared to just 0.53% in the control group.
  • Targeted stores increased average unit volume by 194.44% per store.
  • Increased average incremental units by 1.38 per store vs. 0.05 units in the control.
  • Year-to-date Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce has outperformed the category by +6.30%.

Marketing Impact: 

  • Our influencer strategy achieved 4.9 million impressions with a reach of 2.7 million for an average CTR of 1.6%
  • Our partnership campaign with Ibotta yielded 7 million impressions with a 5.1% coupon redemption rate, revealing how simple digital incentives can drive big real-world sales. 
  • The redesigned website captured more than 80,000 visitors and achieved a robust 7% retention rate, too.

In just five months, Cliffedge Marketing produced measurable success for Country Bob’s while gathering a wealth of high-value marketing and sales metrics. Using this data, we’ve now engineered a model to assist with engineering future successful campaigns while also gathering key benchmarks. Together, this formula enables smarter forecasting for better planning to continue optimizing Country Bob’s ROI.

The Key Ingredient in Shopper Marketing Success 

For over 20 years, we’ve seen that the right data-driven approach informed by the latest trends can make a big difference for CPG brands. Leverage our deep experience to reach and connect with consumers more effectively across a more optimized path to purchase. 

Approach shoppers differently with a Strategic Playbook to power your next shopper marketing campaign.