Business Insider reports that Amazon and Walmart "are gunning to build big ad businesses — putting them in direct competition with other tech and ad companies for talent. These retailers need people with deep experience working with advertisers, and are finding them by raiding tech as well as traditional media and advertising companies."
According to the story, at both Walmart and Amazon "advertising headcount has grown roughly fourfold in the past two years."
Another e-commerce company where the ad headcount has grown roughly as much, according to the story - Instacart.
Business Insider writes that "Walmart started building an ads business, Walmart Connect, in earnest in 2019 and has turned it into a $2 billion-plus revenue stream … Amazon started ramping up its advertising arm in a big way in 2017, and the business, at $31 billion and growing, is the third biggest behind Google and Facebook … Also on a growth tear is Instacart, led by Facebook alum Fidji Simo, which has built an estimated $300 million ad business from scratch in two years."
- KC's View:
I'm less worried about the fact that traditional media and advertising companies are being raided for their advertising personnel than I am fascinated by the idea that companies like Amazon, Walmart and Instacart are opening up significant new revenue streams that will allow them to be more competitive in other areas. That's an important shift, and retailers need to pay attention as they go up against bigger retailers with even greater resources than ever.