Target Case study Three Seconds That Revolutionised Retail by SapientNitro Melbourne

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Three Seconds That Revolutionised Retail

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Industry Department Stores & Shopping Malls
Media Case study
Market Australia
Agency SapientNitro Melbourne
Executive Creative Director Andy Greenaway
Creative Director Chris Shoolman
Released April 2016


Spikes ASIA 2016
Media Digital & Social: Use of Social Platforms Bronze Spike

Credits & Description

Client: Target Australia
Product: Target Australia
Entrant: Sapientnitro Southbank, Vic, Australia
Idea: Sapientnitro Southbank, Vic, Australia
Editor: Aug 24 2015 12:00am
APAC Executive Creative Director: Andy Greenaway (SapientNitro)
Creative Director: Chris Shoolman (SapientNitro)
National Strategy Director: Phil Phelan (SapientNitro)
Client Services Director: Aaron Tobin (SapientNitro)
Account Director: Thomas Francis (SapientNitro)
Project Manager: Jon Chin (SapientNitro)
Senior Art Director: Derek Van den Hogen (SapientNitro)
Senior Copywriter: Phon Vongdara (SapientNitro)
Designer: Luis Lee (SapientNitro)
Head of Loyality & Online: Peter Mitchely-Hughes (Target)
Head of Digital Marketing: Mat Medcalf (Target)
Social Media Manager: Anna Curtin (Target)
Digital Campaigns Manager: Richard Dalke (SapientNitro)
Partner: Phil Otley (PwC)
Associate Director: Tim Lovitt (Target)
Manager: Rob Chan (PwC)
Associate: Briony Oayda (PwC)
Social Media URL:
Describe the campaign/entry:
With this Facebook-first use of data, we could target with immense precision. We prepared Facebook ads for a range of products in a series based on each stage of the purchasing journey. We then partnered with Facebook to determine how interested any particular customer was by measuring their interaction with our ads and storing that information in cookies and tags. If we found a customer had liked, commented or even paused to look at for a mere three seconds, they were recorded as elevating their level of interest and served the next stage of ads. Once the process had repeated and elevated a number of times, we finally served them with a strong call to action to clinch the sale.
Creative Execution:
There were three stages of messaging corresponding to the awareness, consideration, and decision stages of the purchase process. While advertising messaging might often attempt to achieve all three things at once, knowing where the customer was in the path to purchase allowed us to focus our creative on each stage separately.
Additionally, the opt-in nature of the method allowed us to exclude those who definitely were not interested and were never going to be. This meant we could reduce clutter on our customers’ social feeds and use the data to only speak to those who were interested.
Target sales reached for the sky with a 1200% return on investment. And we can prove it.
Since the ads were served on Facebook, we had access to the names of people who interacted with our ads. These were then cross-checked against purchases of those products with the Target loyalty program. From that, we found a staggering 82% correlation between seeing the ads and buying the product. That means that out of five people who saw multiple ads, at least four went on to buy the product! Furthermore, not everyone uses loyalty cards and not everyone uses their real name on Facebook, making these results only the most conservative estimate we can directly prove.
Our work pioneered a brand new way of targeting customers and taking them along the purchase journey via social media. By partnering with Facebook, we were able to implement a world first method of checking for interaction and we could determine how interested customers were in our products. We could then serve more relevant content and evolve the creative. This method allows us to target and then separate messaging across stages, providing a new level of creative freedom. It can be scaled up or down across any industry and is sure to change how Target—and everyone else—targets customers with social.
Insights, Strategy and the Idea:
The strategy hinged on being able to use data to highly target consumers and push them towards a purchase decision. First we defined six different ‘personas’ based on age, demographics, interests as well as a whole range of other data. We then served these personas specifically targeted advertising. If we noted any kind of interaction, those users would be served the next stage of advertising tailored to their level. We continued to serve them ads, pushing them along the purchase funnel. We then served them a piece of communications with a strong call to action to deliver the sale.
The process is called ‘Repetition Priming’, meaning that the more a person sees and becomes familiar with an object, the more likely they are to feel positive feelings towards it. Here, it meant they would be exposed to the same product more often, and more likely to notice it since