Target might be the sixth biggest retailer behind goliaths like Walmart, Costco, and Home Depot, according to a 2015 ranking by the National Retail Federation, but it is the big-box winner when it comes to delivering big ideas.

When Target introduced affordable products from top fashion, beauty, and home-decor designers, it was effectively modernizing mass market. But the company didn’t stop there. It decided to go even bigger with its #moremusic partnerships to make the world’s biggest artists more accessible to the public.

During the 2015 Grammy Awards, Target traded in its eight 30-second ad spots for a consolidated four-minute live concert, essentially making the first live commercial in the history of the Grammys. This was no easy feat. The crew had to assemble a stage, sound system, cameras, and rabid fans (called Firebreathers) for a live event that had to go off flawlessly in front of a potential 24.8 million Grammy Awards viewers.

In November 2015, Target released three exclusive tracks on a special edition of Adele’s highly-anticipated album “25.”  When the album hit stores, Target reported that it sold 1 million copies of the album in the first 10 days.

These programs have made Target the darling of influencers and customers alike because the ideas appeal to people’s hearts as well as their wallets. And the amplification of these programs using omnichannel marketing and programmatic advertising always maintains this balance of head vs. heart..

The mastermind behind this omnichannel balancing act is Target’s senior vice president of marketing, Kristi Argyilan. Argyilan joined Target in 2014 from IPG Mediabrands to lead the integration of paid, earned, owned, and shared media initiatives.

You can hear Argyilan speak at the upcoming February 22 Marketing.FWD Summit. She will address this fusion of head and heart in her session The Math and the Magic – How Melding Analytics and Creativity Will Drive the Future of Marketing.

Technology and data are core to Argyilan’s work. She leans into Target’s first-party data to understand the right way to engage with the company’s “guests,” as Target calls them. She is also making Target’s martech more efficient. Target has built its own in-house programmatic ad exchange, rather than leaning on agencies, as brands have traditionally done, so it can connect data with advertising across multiple channels, including TV and video.

Hear from Kristi at Marketing.FWD Summit on February 22 in New York. Register now!

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