Wal-Mart Subsidiary Deploys Behavioral Targeting Technology

Wal-Mart typically leads the retail industry when it comes to implementing innovative technologies. Its IT department has been known to experiment with bleeding edge technology such as radio frequency identification (RFID).

In the early 2000s, the big box retailer spearheaded a project with several hundred consumer package goods companies like Procter & Gamble and Kimberly Clark. The CPG companies affixed RFID tag on cases and pallets of specific products, so Wal-Mart could monitor the flow of products from the CPG manufacturing facilities through distribution centers, warehouses and on to the store floors. It appears Wal-Mart has done it again by testing a technology on the edge. Only this time it doesn't need CPG companies to participate.

Asda Stores, a British supermarket chain for food, clothing, toys and general merchandise owned by Wal-Mart, has begun to implement universal ad tag technology from TagMan. It took months to create and sign the deal, but TagMan CEO Jon Baron says the technology aims to solve a few serious challenges.

Wal-Mart is known for a successful line of white-label products, everything from consumables to paper. Asda offers a similar product line, along with a full suite of financial services. About a dozen third-party companies support the line of services such as loans, credit cards and insurance. Each supporting company has its own IT tracking system, which makes it difficult for Asda to gain insight on the data.

TagMan's universal tag technology aims to support up-selling and cross-selling financial services. Asda's marketers wanted a greater understanding about the consumer's journey through the Web site, aggregating data from display ads; search engine marketing, both paid and organic; email marketing, and affiliates. Joanne Donoghue, Asda's head of marketing for financial services, spearheads the project to implement TagMan's solution.

Baron says the project goes live Monday. About 14 companies support Asda Financial Services, so each one needed to implement the technology. Consumers applying for a credit card, for example, would go to the Asda Financial Services Web site, click on a link to apply for a credit card and drop down into one of the 14 third-party companies supporting the service.

Asda Financial Services is looking for clarity on the types of services consumers want. If it works at Asda, perhaps the technology will move to Wal-Mart.com. Wal-Mart Stores drove adoption of RFID technology. Could it happen again with technology based on behavior?

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2 comments about "Wal-Mart Subsidiary Deploys Behavioral Targeting Technology".
  1. Autom Tagsa from Canadian Consulting Firm , September 8, 2010 at 5:39 p.m.

    BT not to confused with British Telecom of course but meant to stand for 'behavioural targeting'

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited , September 8, 2010 at 11:12 p.m.

    A fool and his money are soon parted. Anyone who applies for a credit card on line is a fool. If I were to apply for a new credit card it would go sign receipt to the CFO.