Earlier this year, WMG expanded its buy-side operations by in-housing the media planning capabilities and agency services previously managed by Triad, the retail agency owned by GroupM’s Xaxis.
WMG still has a few key ad tech partners in place. Experian Marketing Services provides the onboarding and matching from a brand’s CRM to Walmart’s first-party database, Jay said. And AppNexus is the partner for programmatic audience extension.
Most of WMG’s inventory comes from its owned-and-operated properties – Walmart’s sites and apps and those of ecommerce marketplaces it’s acquired. But it also buys on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, with AppNexus covering the open web.
Polymorph’s tech is also critical for WMG’s ad platform road map, Jay said. For instance, the company supports cost per click and cost per impression metrics, as well as cost per conversion for some ecommerce campaigns, or when people order grocery pickups. With the ad server and header bidding tech, WMG can evaluate real-time bids from each of its buying models.
WMG’s ad tech advancements are part of a much larger commitment from Walmart to own its customer experience and foster direct engagements between brands and shoppers, Jay said. “We’re evolving as a retailer and advertising is an important part of that.”