Today at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Target is announcing a new initiative for its newly relaunched in-house media company, Roundel: a partnership with the ad exchange Index Exchange to up its programming offerings.
By partnering with Index Exchange, Roundel—which was rebranded from Target Media Network earlier this year, with an announcement at the Newfronts—has created a way for advertisers and media buyers to access Target’s data and inventory while still using their own platforms. The hope is that this innovation will make for an easier programmatic process, with fewer platforms necessary for use.
“We really felt like there was a better way to enter the automated part of programmatic that didn’t require us building our own platform that programmatic buyers had to come to,” said Kristi Argyilan, Roundel’s president. “As programmatic buyers ourselves, we kept running into the complexity that has been introduced in the marketplace with multiple media companies requiring that you work off of multiple different platforms. This just felt like philosophically it was more in keeping with how we wanted to be as a partner and to be able to select a company like Index Exchange who could help us do that just seemed like the absolute right solution.”
This means that media buyers will be able to use the DSPs they already have in place when they want to work with Roundel, and in particular, access its wealth of consumer data about a variety of shopper audience segments, such as “men’s apparel purchasers” or “electronics purchasers,” among a number of other categories.
“It’s bringing in incredibly rich, desirable data source to the marketplace in a way that is very appropriate and privacy compliant,” added Argyilan. “It is about building audiences and allowing people to do that based on what their marketing challenge is.”
Roundel, and previously, the Target Media Network, has offered programmatic for several years now, but the Index Exchange partnership will be the first major initiative in this space under the Roundel name. Argyilan said Target sees this as a way to continue to fuel Roundel’s growth, particularly as it’s becoming an increasingly important part of the retailer’s overall business.
Said Argyilan: “It’s almost an egalitarianism approach to programmatic in a way that really isn’t in the marketplace at this point.”
Just like how Target announced the rebranding of Target Media Network to Roundel, Argyilan said they decided to make the Index Exchange partnership public at Cannes because “it’s an environment where people are inspired and thinking about the near term, but also the future of where the industry is going.”
The capabilities of the Index Exchange partnership are currently still in a test phase with a few partners, but will roll out in full in July.