Target turns to advertising opportunities as its core retail business thrives
Move over Amazon.com and Walmart — Target wants a bigger piece of the retail advertising pie.
In early May, Target rebranded its in-house media agency, formerly known as Target Media Network, as Roundel — a play on its bullseye icon — to signify that the retailer’s advertising solutions extend well beyond the target.com platform to include traditional television and magazines.
“Roundel, for us, marks this conscious pivot from what we were known as before, which was really more in the shopper marketing space, to now pivoting to being one of the more innovative media solutions for the marketplace in an era where customers [and] clients believe there has got to be a better way to show proof of business performance from the different media partners that they’re working with,” said Kristi Argyilan, president of Roundel, at NewFronts, the digital ad buying event, according to Adweek.
Target’s in-house media company, launched in 2016, has already worked with nearly 1,000 partners including CPG brands as well as Allstate, Disney and Mastercard.
Tapping Target’s own first-party data and other sources, Roundel will develop ads for clients and place them on the retailer’s websites, social channels and video channels as well as third-party sites from companies including Hearst, Meredith, NBC Universal and Pop Sugar.
Roundel partnered last year with MarsWrigley on holiday-themed creative covering various occasions, including gifting, dish candy and stocking stuffers. Ms. Argyilan wrote in a blog entry, “We pinpointed the best channels — in this case, online, mobile and social — and delivered the ads to relevant Target guests. We followed with robust reporting that measured the campaign’s success — including thousands of dollars in savings for our guests and an impressive double-digit sales lift.”
Last week, reports arrived that Target was in preliminary talks to acquire WPP’s Triad Retail Media, a digital agency.
Walmart brought its ad sales force in-house earlier this year and acquired digital advertising start-up Polymorph Labs to jumpstart its ad business. Both Target and Walmart are trying to catch up to Amazon, the third biggest seller of online ad space behind Google and Facebook. Kroger and other grocers are also investing in sell-side advertising.
- Meet Roundel, Target’s Reimagined Media Company – Target
- Target Looks to Acquire WPP’s Retail Ad Firm Triad – The Wall Street Journal
- Target Media Network Rebrands As Roundel – Media Post
- Exclusive: Target’s In-House Agency Roundel Will Create Campaigns for Other Companies – Adweek
- Can Walmart beat Amazon, Facebook and Google at the online ad game? – RetailWire
- Amazon Has a Big Advertising Business. Walmart Wants One Too – Bloomberg
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will owning advertising businesses become a major competitive advantage for large retailers such as Amazon, Target and Walmart? Comparatively, how appealing will grocers, dollar stores and retailers in other channels be to advertisers?