Sam's Club Transforms Ad Business, Rolls Out Self-Service Search Platform

Sam’s Club is building out its advertising business -- launching an ad experience and self-service ad platform that features sponsored product search ads and partnerships with analytics and data companies, as well as programmatic media-buying platforms.

The company on Wednesday announced a new name for its ad business, structure and focus for the organization, leadership team, products, and platforms.

The name, Member Access Platform (MAP), aims to reintroduce the company with a focus on improving the Sam's Club membership experience.

“We know our members want a shopping experience that is easy, convenient, and personalized,” Lex Josephs, Sam’s Club vice president and general merchandise manager of MAP, wrote in a blog post. “And we know our agencies, ad tech platforms, suppliers, and marketers want to reach our members efficiently and effectively.”

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The journey through MAP begins with Sam’s Club members, but brand partners also will gain the experiences, tools, and opportunities to consumers discover new products.

The overall goal is to provide a better ad experience for companies that sell through Sam’s Club and for consumers who buy their products through the big box retailer.  

“Not only do we have 100% visibility into [member] purchases, but we also know their search behaviors,” Josephs wrote in a blog post. “We know our members incredibly well."

The advertising products and initiatives will allow brands to automate the search ad media-buying process across the company’s owned and operated properties, as well as the open web.

Consumers search and browse many other places for products, so a partnership with LiveRamp, IRi, and ad-tech company The Trade Desk will support the strategy to bring members from the open web back to the Sam’s Club website and the mobile app.  

Suppliers, brands and marketers have been testing the self-service platform during the past month. On July 1, the platform and sponsored product offering will become available to all suppliers and marketers.

MAP is part of Sam’s Club’s newly formed growth organization led by Kieran Shanahan, chief growth officer at Sam’s Club, including product, strategy, marketing and membership. 

Sam’s Club sales rose 10.2% and membership income rose 10.5%, compared with the year-ago quarter, the company reported in its Q1 2022 earnings release. It also reported that the global advertising business for the corporation grew more than 30%.

It’s not clear if Sam’s Club will use Walmart Connect’s demand side platform (DSP) to support its new ad business.

Walmart's media management arm, Walmart Connect, in August 2021 announced the launch of a demand-side platform, Walmart DSP, built in partnership with The Trade Desk. The Walmart DSP offers granular targeting, reporting and insights from multiple media channels. 

2 comments about "Sam's Club Transforms Ad Business, Rolls Out Self-Service Search Platform".
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  2. Doc Searls from Customer Commons, June 20, 2022 at 11:26 a.m.

    As a Sam's Club member, I can't think of anything I want less than to have my experience personalized by hustlers. Oh, excuse me, agencies, ad tech platforms, suppliers, and marketers who want to reach me efficiently and effectively. Just tell me where in the vastness of the store I can find the Member’s Mark Ultimate Clean Dishwasher Pacs (which Consumer Reports rates best of all). Or the Off the Eaten Path Chickpea Veggie Crisps (which are outstanding and Sam's Club has in jumbo size bags). Or why suddenly the food counter is closed. (Other employees tell me it's a staffing issue: they can't find enough people to run it.)


    In other words, give me a hand. Don't sell me to hustlers.

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