Target SVP Marketing Talks Digital/In-Store Convergence

More than a Store—It's a Medium

By Marc Dresner, IIR, FUSE Radio

Permit me, please, to begin by editorializing a tiny bit…

I’ve come to believe that the term “consumer” is generally unhelpful.

Our efforts might instead be better spent focusing on “customers”—and I believe that by and large they’re still surprisingly misunderstood in marketing circles.

This is in part due to the fact that, until recently, branding has primarily belonged to CPGs and manufacturers who do not typically sell directly to the people who consume their products.

But retail (private) labels have become powerful brands, and retailers have always specialized in customers.

At the same time, the advent of the Internet and the proliferation of communication channels and devices have posed unique challenges and opportunities for retailers.

Shawn Gensch
Shawn Gensch understands that the customer today is a moving target and he’s capitalizing on the convergence of digital channels and the brick-and-mortar environment to connect with the customer in ways that amplify the discount giant’s brand and shopping experience.

“We’ve been a brand that has always delivered an amazing social experience in our stores,” Target’s SVP of Marketing told FUSE Radio. "Our stores are a great catalyst for that continuity of the digital experience."

The possibility for retailers to interact with and engage customers is unprecedented, Gensch noted.

“This gives us that opportunity on a whole new level…The convergence of media—whether it’s purchase channel or messaging channel—can actually come alive in the store,” he said.

In this special podcast interview with FUSE Radio, Gensch discusses:

• How Target is tackling media convergence

• What new data streams add to the equation

• The future of retail: what it may look like a few years out

And much more…  

Editor’s note: Shawn Gensch will deliver “The Target Point of View” at FUSE 2013 taking place April 15-17 in Chicago.

For more information or to register, please visit

Marc Dresner is IIR USA's senior editor and special communication projects lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for marketing, media and consumer research and insights professionals. He may be reached at Follow him @mdrezz.



Most Popular