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Industry Contributor 9 May 2019 -

Target's customer ad network takes on Amazon

By Paul McIntyre - Executive Editor

Retailer Target has rebranded its ad business and is more aggressively pushing media and creative services backed by shopper data to brands – even those that do not sell products in its stores (AdWeek).

Key points:

  • Target Media Network rebranded to Roundel
  • Touting data-backed media and creative across 150 ‘brand safe’ sites, including Pinterest, PopSugar and NBC Universal
  • Push comes as Walmart and Amazon ad businesses ramp up
  • Roundel works with 1,000 brands, including Coke, Disney, Dyson, Mastercard, Mondelez and Unilever
  • Also works with agencies, customising campaigns based on data
  • Uses shopper data to prove sales uplift
  • It’s about display, it’s about social, it’s about video, it’s going to be about linear TV, too. We want people to understand, in this context, the breadth and the scope of what this business is about.” - Kristi Argyilan, Roundel president

First party sales data is something Google and Facebook – and ad agencies - do not have. Target does. It also has strong relationships with brands whose products it sells. Now it is wooing others, acting as a full service agency with a media network as well as its own platform. Target can also physically shift the goods – same day if required - after acquiring Shipt for $550m in 2017. Earlier this year it started bringing third party sellers onto target.com

Whether it can catch Amazon is another matter. But retailers are capitalising on the fact that they have the data every brand wants, and every agency needs to stay relevant. And as Amazon continues to put the bite on its competitors, retailers are biting back. But the lunches they are most likely to eat are those of agencies, publishers and big ad platforms without purchase data.

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Paul McIntyre

Executive Editor

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