Target, the retailer, is using media insight and strategy as a means of achieving brand differentiation among consumers, an effort driven in large part by Roundel, the company’s in-house media unit.

Kristi Argyilan, president of Roundel, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2019 Digital and Social Media Conference.

“There are lots of reasons why brands fail. No two stories are exactly alike, but what every failure has in common is that it was proceeded by a loss of relevance,” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth Event Report: Target adds external focus for in-house media-buying agency.)

“This is something we think about every day at Target, because, back in 2016 … we had a lot of brand love, but we didn’t have the business results to match it. So, our entire strategy today is built around relevance through differentiation.”

That focus, she continued, extends to Target’s media business. When it was founded in 2016, the Target Media Network – Roundel’s predecessor – offered services to companies selling products at Target, then expanded to partners that don’t.

In that capacity, it has worked with nearly 1,000 different firms, including Coca-Cola, Disney, Unilever and Mastercard. And, more to the bottom-line point, the retailer reports that Roundel has been a growing source of revenue.

As a “fully-fledged media business”, Argyilan reported, Roundel can draw on information from almost 1,900 stores, and from its e-commerce platform, in shaping campaigns.

“That’s a lot of information flowing into our database every day. And that’s spread over nearly 150 million guests who have shopped [at] Target,” she said.

Extensive social-media listening, she added, allows for adjusting campaigns quickly, as shown by Target’s “All the Ways” holiday-season television campaign from 2018, which initially looked at different ways consumers can shop at the retailer.

“Not too long ago, we would have told that story from the beginning of November all the way up until Thanksgiving Day,” Argyilan said. “But if we had taken that approach in 2018, we would have wasted a big hunk of the holiday season and our holiday spend.

“Our data told us within days that guests were thinking, ‘It’s easy to shop at Target. Got it. Just help me find some great gifts.’ So we were able to pull ‘All the Ways’ and tell some more stories.”

Sourced from WARC