SAN JUAN– When Target began using its own first-party data – comprised of information culled from 100 million guests – in its own marketing strategy, it saw a better performance than the past third-party data it had been using from partners. That data included online search, transaction and offline data, a key differentiator.

“When you ask about the difference between us and Amazon, we’re the other 90% of retail sales that happen,” Kristi Argyilan, president of Target’s media group Roundel, told Forrester’s Joanna O’Connell in conversation at the Beet Retreat in February.

Now, retail media is a sector growing in popularity.

“What’s happening right now is shopper marketing is the new black. Here’s a group held to driving sales for a long time, how are they doing that? Let’s bring that to the brand marketing side so they can cross-pollinate,” she says.

As Roundel, Target is formalizing its shopper marketing to provide a better experience to partners who want to advertise with the retailer. Argyilan breaks down Roundel’s value proposition into three sections:

Data privacy: “Marketers are lifting the hood on data and realizing it’s flawed,” says Argyilan of the rise in awareness of data privacy laws. “I’ve sat in client councils and they’re like, it’s a cesspool. Why did nobody tell us.” Roundel asks the same questions as marketers would about the content of the data they transact off of.

Brand safety: Argyilan says Roundel is a “stickler” for brand safety and that was a big feature of the group, making sure brand partners don’t appear in the wrong place.

Accountability: Argyilan says Roundel can show the sales lift in its metrics, which is more advanced than traditional media relationships that only shares media savings. “We can show top-line growth, which is amazing for any CMO that has to prove marketing is a growth driver and not a cost center,” she says.

Overall, Roundel wants to be more open than past media partners.

“We don’t state it as anti-walled garden but we’re able in this new world order to just take a different approach to it,” she says.

This video was produced  at the Beet Retreat San Juan 2020 sponsored by 605, DISH Media, NBCU, Roundel & Tubi.   For more videos from the series, please visit this landing page