130: Kristi Argyilan of Target zeroes in on Gen Z

Kristi Argyilan at Target

Marketing Today with Alan Hart” once again comes to you from Brooklyn, where it was recorded during the Incite Group’s Brand Marketing Summit, which took place in October of 2018. This week’s episode features a conversation with Kristi Argyilan, who is a senior VP with Target, where she is in charge of media, guest relations, and measurement. She also leads strategic partnerships with media companies like Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and NBCUniversal as well as with Target’s agency partners Mother, Deutsch LA, GroupM’s Essence, among others.

During the course of the podcast, Argyilan kept returning to the importance of the relationship Target is fostering with Gen Z, which includes partnerships with influencers, the creation and use of video in social media, and members of Gen Z pitching business ideas to Target through its incubator program. 

“We’re really leaning in on this idea of marketing becoming commerce,” says Argyilan. And we’re pushing that technology in whatever way we can.” She goes on to add: “This blurring of marketing and commerce, I think, is super interesting.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

  • Argyilan on Target’s massive presence in American shopping and the ways the company relates to different generations of shoppers. ([1:29])
  • The new rules of marketing engagement: Target pulls in Gen Z influencers using its creation of Crush Con. ([3:01])
  • Argyilan identifies how Gen Z is different across the board: culturally, geographically, economically, and technologically. ([5:20])
  • Heyday, Original Use, and Wild Fable: Target is launching brands with and for Gen Z. ([6:16])
  • Target and @targettag: Using influencer-created video content to connect with Gen Z. ([8:18])
  • Balancing Target’s traditional advertising with video content for a younger generation: The “Tar-zhay” moniker lives on. ([10:32])
  • The idea of marketing becoming commerce. — Target’s incubator program invites Gen Z to pitch business ideas. ([13:28])
  • “We do us.” — Argyilan on how Target competes with the online onslaught of Amazon. ([14:49])
  • Target’s ethos of inclusivity has helped them appeal to different generations without alienating any of them. ([20:33])
  • Target’s Math & Magic: “We’re constantly having to make sure that our machines don’t take over where the humans need to be.” 

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