Roundel president Kristi Argyilan wants the industry to see her company as more than just Target’s shopper marketing arm. To prove it, Roundel signed a deal with Disney, which it announced this week, to provide the company with data that would help brands plan their inventory buys for linear TV around a more targeted customer base.

“You can plan your television inventory by using real people audiences, and then use this great inventory that Disney has, to optimize it based on what we’re seeing as performance, and then prove in the end that it actually drove sales,” says Argyilan.

Roundel was born out of the realization that Target’s advertising capabilities were more powerful than its typical circulars, in-store signage and native buys would suggest. Once digital and programmatic advertising took off, Target’s team recognized its ability to spin its shopper marketing data into a real media agency. In May, Target Media Network rebranded as Roundel.

“Roundel is media reimagined by Target,” says Argyilan. Roundel’s capabilities are not reserved for Target’s carried products – they work with media companies, financial services, auto dealers, and entertainment companies, which led to the deal with Disney.

According to Argyilan, Roundel’s strength is its ability to draw data trends from real customers. “When we started to apply our data to the programs we were doing, we started to see significant improvement in the results we were generating. Instead of pixelated people its real people,” she says.

Target isn’t the only retailer to tap into its vast shopper marketing data pool in order to increase advertising revenue and position its customer insight as a service to buyers. Amazon wrote the playbook, while Walmart and Kroger have also built in-house media companies. Unlocking shopper marketing data is a competitive necessity for retailers today. According to Argyilan, attribution is a strength of Roundel’s, but linear TV is still a tricky spot. That’s where Disney comes in. Going forward, Roundel plans to make its services even more advanced.

“Today we can do attribution across digital channels. The tricky piece is linear TV so the announcement of the partnership with Disney is the first step is pulling linear TV into that same measurement capability,” she says. “We know that longer term what we need to plug into is multi-touch attribution and mixed modeling.”

This video is part of a series of interviews conducted during Advertising Week New York, 2019.  This series is co-production of Beet.TV and Advertising Week.   The series is sponsored by Roundel, a Target company.  Please see more videos from Advertising Week right here