Stop, collaborate and listen: Winning the Target guest in health care

CHICAGO — When collaborating with Target to develop a unique, behavior-changing program, keep one thing in mind — there’s no “silver bullet.”

That was a key takeaway for attendees of Wednesday morning’s seminar, “Inspiring and Winning the Target Guest in Healthcare — A Differentiated Approach,” a key part of the educational lineup here at the Shopper Marketing Expo at Navy Pier.

“As someone who has worked with Target for almost 20 years, I can tell you that there is no silver bullet,” Heidi Froseth, SVP Target team leader at Catapult, explained. “It is really so much more of an art than a science, and it is really a process of being tirelessly passionate about how to win the guest. You have to bring innovative, thought-leading ideas everyday to Target. It is really how you earn your keep with them.”

Heidi Froseth

Froseth, along with Heather Campain, director of category insights and shopper marketing for the Target team at Johnson & Johnson, co-hosted the morning session. Campain provided a behind-the-scenes look at J&J’s “Build Your Own First Aid Kit” campaign, affectionately referred to by the company as “BYOFAK,” she said.
In 2009, J&J partnered with Target to create the promotion. The goal: To build the basket in the retailer’s first-aid category. The program proved successful. So successful that brand rivals eventually jumped aboard the bandwagon and began developing similar programs for competing retailers, she noted.

To make sure the Target program remained differentiated and was a truly Target-specific program, Campain’s team reconvened to revise the program in 2013. Enter: “Be prepared everywhere.”

While the revised promotion proved hugely successful, that’s not to say that the marketing team didn’t encounter some significant challenges along the way. “Many of you with annualized plans can understand the difficulty of being tasked every year to meet increasing goals, new objectives, increasing competition and innovation,” Froseth said. “It is an ever-turning wheel of better, bigger, stronger, faster.”

To help attendees understand the brand team’s process for creating the campaign and how it overcame those challenges, Froseth and Campain outlined six tips:

  • Pause and plan: Assess those intriguing problems and find captivating solutions.
  • Bring in the best perspective: Analyze what you need and who’s best suited to deliver it. Prioritize, emphasize and de-emphasize — rather than compromise — to move the best ideas forward.
  • Understand success: Think fluidly — retailer to guest to brand. Solve programs in a linear fashion.
  • Gain alignment early and often: Involve all key players early on. Solidify a team to keep the conversation going.
  • Own it: Divide and conquer with task teams. Build trust and respect in each other’s expertise to bring the campaign to life.
  • Enjoy the challenge: Connect over a shared drive for excellence. Nurture the team and have fun.

“The research, the insights and the thinking … resulted in a really robust, 360 [degree] surround-sound campaign that we entitled ‘Be Prepared Everywhere,’” Froseth said. “We positioned Target as a retailer that helps make your summer a little easier by helping you prepare the perfect first-aid kit for every occasion. So, whether it’s a high school or family reunion, a really big wedding or every day activities … Target was really about creating the perfect [first-aid checklist] for every single one of those events, plus the perfect-sized bag.”

A cornerstone of the campaign was a chic, exclusive first-aid bag with a complimentary mini travel case inside, so consumers could, as the campaign urged, “be prepared everywhere.” The in-store display, which carried an assortment of more than a dozen J&J first-aid-related items and the exclusive bag, also featured special QR codes, enabling shoppers to scan and access an ideal first-aid checklist for any occasion via their mobile devices.

“One of the important things to keep in mind is, whether it is health care or any other thing that you’re doing, it is just important to keep that Target experience in mind and what she expects Target to deliver,” said Campain. “Health care [is] sometimes not readily associated with Target, … but finding a way to deliver that experience through the Target lens is possible and really important.”

Campain noted that the revamped program resulted in a 47% boost in endcap sales at Target compared with the prior year — the most successful BYOFAK promotion in its five-year history.

“We know that we delivered for Target. We know we delivered for [the Target guest]. And we know we delivered for the brand. We also celebrated the entire village that it took to create this because it certainly wasn’t just a shopper marketing initiative — everybody at all of the companies were involved and all in,” said Campain. “Now, we’re at that time once again where we are ready to stop, collaborate and listen, and we are beginning our journey for 2014.”

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