LOS ANGELES: Target, the retailer, has yielded multiple benefits from working with GroupM to build an agency tailored around its specific needs as a client.

Kristi Argyilan, Target's SVP/Media and Guest Engagement, discussed this topic at the 4A's (American Association of Advertising Agencies) 2017 Transformation conference.

And she reported that the new agency – called Team Arrow Partners – was structured around Target's unique requirements in a rapidly evolving marketing ecosystem.

"We literally got together and handpicked capabilities that an agency wouldn't typically bring together," she said. (For more details, read WARC's exclusive report: Target and GroupM build a bespoke media agency with Team Arrow.)

"And not only did we handpick the talent, but we also had no preconceived notions of who was in what lead roles. So, we cast the roles that the different talent was playing in a way that I don't think would necessarily be expected."

Drilling down into this subject, Argyilan explained that skillsets in analytics and technology have assumed an important status throughout the ranks at Team Arrow Partners.

"We start with a capability that we call a 'green line'. And the 'green line' is a high-level analytics practice where we understand what our spend needs to be in order to hit the sales goal we have for that timeframe," she said.

"So, we start there, and then we populate it with the different products and the stories that we want to tell to key segments of our guests."

"Suddenly, we went from categories driving our marketing activities to sales that we want to drive, and the groups of our guests that are going to be interested in the stories that we're telling."

In elaborating on how this approach compares with past practice for Target, she suggested the change is observable in some very clear ways.

"Everything we [used to do] started from, 'We've got this product or this category that we need to sell in this timeframe,' and then we would kind of build the media activities through the accumulation of all these different categories that we needed to support over a given timeframe," she said.

Data sourced from WARC