Walmart marks Eid with Facebook recipe ad

Using digital and social to reach multicultural consumers

Walmart Canada is in the midst of a Facebook campaign timed to coincide with the Muslim holiday Eid. It’s part of an ongoing effort to position itself as a one-stop shop among multicultural consumers.

Walmart's Eid Facebook ad

Walmart’s Eid Facebook ad

On July 18, the national discount retailer posted a recipe for Chicken Biryani on Facebook and asked followers if they were getting ready for Eid, traditionally a feast day marking the end of Ramadan and a month of fasting.

A second post focusing on an entire meal and product assortment available at Walmart Canada, as opposed to a single dish, will start running later this week. The posts direct users to a recipe hub at Walmart.ca.

Walmart Canada has acknowledged cultural holidays on Facebook such as Chinese New Year and Passover before, but usually with celebratory messages. This is the first time the retailer has posted a recipe.

Chrissy Gauld, manager of local and ethnic marketing for Walmart Canada, told Marketing that rooting the campaign in a recipe demonstrates the breadth of products it offers ethnic consumers.

To date, the Chicken Biryani recipe post has been seen four times more than the industry average, been shared more than 1,000 times with “thousands” of click-throughs to the retailer’s recipe centre, said Gauld.

“We’ve seen really great results from this post, which was exciting and reinforcing to us that putting relevant content out there is about creating solutions and giving our customer more value,” she said.

Walmart Canada will take the learnings from this effort and apply it to other occasions later in the year, with the exception of a campaign set to launch next month around Caribbean celebrations. For that, the retailer “has a few other things up our sleeves,” said Gauld.

Moving forward, Walmart Canada will be looking at social media and digital “as a growing channel for all marketing and understanding the consumption habits of our multicultural customer,” said Gauld.

Right now the retailer is only using Facebook for its Eid-focused messaging, but as the company starts to increase its social and digital marketing it will look at ways to leverage this kind of content through email and other channels, she said.

Although Gauld wouldn’t say what percentage of the retailer’s ad spend is geared towards multicultural customers, she did say there has been a year-over-year increase to promote “all the benefits of Walmart to our diverse group of customers.”

For insight into the ethnic consumer, Walmart Canada leans on internal teams, vendors and sales associate listening groups held quarterly in-store, said Guy Gordon, director of store community and store clustering for Walmart Canada.

“The people who are interacting with the customer every day giving direct feedback, and more often than not the associates in-stores are representative of the community, so they have fantastic feedback and information for us,” he said.

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