Teradata’s Bob Fair offers retail, CPG marketing tips

BY Mike Troy

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Aside from some massively complex challenges, retailer and consumer packaged goods marketers have never had it so good, according to Bob Fair, president of marketing applications at Teradata.

“It is a great time to be a marketer,” Fair told a group of nearly 100 analysts and international media gathered here at the Anaheim Convention Center for the big data analytics and marketing applications company’s annual users conference. “There is an explosion of digital channels so companies no longer dictate how to interact with customers, the customers dictate how to interact with companies.”

Meanwhile, Fair noted that marketing budgets are not keeping pace with the rate of growth in the channels available to connect with consumers who expect individualized marketing.

“The customer doesn’t care how challenging individualized marketing is, they expect you to know who they are and what they have just done,” Fair said regarding consumers’ behavior at different touch point on the path to purchase.

Between the increased complexity and resource constraints, the scenario outlined by Fair sounded more like a nightmare than “a great time to be a marketer.” However, his enthusiasm about marketing stems from the fact that technological solutions now exists that help markets cost effectively solve huge challenges to create business value.

Most notably, marketers today have access to more customer data and more digital and offline channels for brand engagement than ever before. As a result, both the process and technology of modern marketing have advanced  from an advertising-driven mix of TV, print, radio, direct mail, and programmatic marketing  to today’s data-driven environment with the Internet of Things, new devices, and new channels including search, social media, email, mobile, web and more.  According to Teradata, the added complexity puts marketers in critical need of a Data Management Platform (DMP) to collect and integrate all of the data for use in real time across all channel opportunities.

How to address those critical needs amid the big data explosion is one of the reasons why Teradata’s 30th annual Partners conference attracted roughly 6,000 attendees. It’s also why Fair is excited by what Teradata has done with a major upgrade to the Teradata’s Integrated Marketing Cloud and one of the company’s recent acquisitions.

Teradata acquired the Netherlands-based DMP provider FLXone on Sept. 30 to serve as the foundation for Teradata’s Integrated Marketing Cloud. As a result, Teradata contends it is the first company to bring online advertising and customer marketing data together to drive real-time interactions across all channels and provide integrated, individualized insights directly to marketing.  FLXone also brings an extensive partner ecosystem with more than 40 leading advertisers, publishers, agencies, and media trading desks, including AppNexus, Google DoubleClick and MediaMath, according to Teradata.

“These partnerships will enable customers to quickly integrate their data and applications with the Teradata Integrated Marketing Cloud, so they can leverage data in real-time, across all channels, to provide a consistent customer-engagement experience,” the company said in a statement.


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Survey: Most U.S. shoppers hate Black Friday

BY Gina Acosta

Most U.S. shoppers dislike Black Friday, but a third of them say they're planning to spend more than $500 that weekend anyway, according to a new survey., a deal tracking website focused on analyzing holiday sales, has released its annual survey made up of 1,140 participants who plan on shopping this year. While 47% of participants believe that stores should be closed on Thanksgiving, 33% will still shop in-stores or online.

Here are a few key points from the survey:

Estimated Black Friday Spending:
• 32% plan on spending $501 or more (53% men, 47% women)
• 38% plan on spending $1-$250 (45% men, 55% women)
• The 35+ group will spend more than the 18-24 group

• Of the 34% who believe stores should open on Thanksgiving, 57% are men and 53% are in the 18-24 group
• 68% of participants will begin their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving
• Only 16% believe Thanksgiving has better deals than Black Friday or Cyber Monday

Black Friday:
• Only 29% believe Black Friday has the best deals of the season
• 79% dislike the Black Friday research and shopping process
• 81% believe that Black Friday deals are not improving from year-to-year

Items by Interest:
• 43% said Electronics
• 26% said Apparel
• 17% said Toys/Games
• 6% said Appliances
• 8% said Other

Holiday Season:
• 94% believe they will make at least one in-store purchase this holiday season
• 35% will use cash for in-store purchases. 39% will use debit cards and 23% credit cards.


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Target opens start-up accelerator applications

BY Dan Berthiaume

MINNEAPOLIS — Start-ups looking to revolutionize retail have a significant new opportunity for support.

Target is officially kicking off the application process for a new retail accelerator it is launching in 2016 in partnership with Boulder, Colorado-based start-up accelerator Techstars. Target and Techstars will accept applications for the accelerator, which will be based here in Target’s headquarters city through March 2016. Selections are expected to be complete by April or May, with the accelerator lasting from June to September.

Target has signed a three-year agreement with Techstars which will include three rounds of start-up development and funding. In an interview with Chain Store Age, Target spokesperson Jenna Reck said the program sprung from efforts initiated by Target chief strategy and innovation office Casey Carl.

“We’ve had a dedicated innovation team for a couple of years,” said Reck. “Last year, Carl accelerated the work of the team and this spring hired three entrepreneurs-in-residence (EIR) who are experts in areas such as digital and brand-building. They were charged to create business and drive new growth for Target.”

West Stringfellow, digital EIR for Target, recommended that Target launch an accelerator program and partner with TechStars based on its 90% success rate. Goals of the program include creating a new community of innovators in Target’s backyard.

“We want to help build a start-up and tech community in the Twin Cities,” said Reck. “After participating in an accelerator, at least half of start-ups usually plant some type of permanent roots in the city where the program took place.”

In addition, Reck said the accelerator project fits into Target’s larger turnaround initiative.
“We’re on a path to transformation,” she said. “By brining start-ups into our headquarters we can learn from them and see how they work. Start-ups are quick, scrappy and resourceful.”

The accelerator will initially select 10 startups, as well as a team from Target. Selected startups will receive financing, mentoring and business development tools. 

Specifically, this will include an offer of $20,000 from Techstars for 6% equity in the company, with the option to take up to another $100,000. Target may also offer to invest in or purchase start-ups, but that is not guaranteed. At the end of the program, media and investors will be able to see public demos of the start-ups.

“We don’t know what we don’t know,” said Reck. “We want to leave things open-ended.”

Target says it will consider all types of startups, including those that provide behind-the-scenes software as well as customer-facing systems or products. Start-ups will be allowed to work with other retailers besides Target.

Mentors will include Carl and Stringfellow, as well as Target executives Jamil Ghani, VP of enterprise strategy, and Jason Goldberger, president of and mobile.

Stringfellow previously served as chief product officer of Bigcommerce, and has also held  several senior director- and director-level positions for PayPal and several product manager roles at In a Target blog posting, Stringfellow said the most important start-up aspect Target and Techstars will look for is team. Other factors for consideration include the market being targeted, progress that has been made, and strength of idea.

“A great team can change an idea and still succeed, but a mediocre team will struggle to execute on even a great idea,” said Stringfellow. “We look for people who can execute quickly, are coachable and listen well, are thoughtful but make fast decisions, are intellectually honest, are persistent, follow through and are insanely passionate about what they do. We’re looking for rock stars.”

Target has operated its own innovation center in San Francisco since 2013, and many other large retailers also have their own dedicated internal innovation programs. Reck said Target has about 50 total members of its innovation team, based both in San Francisco and Minneapolis.

“The accelerator will be complementary to the innovation team,” said Reck.

When asked if Target’s inclusion of an in-house team is a sign the retailer might be considering launching its own technology companies or products, Reck said there are currently no plans to do so. However, she clarified that at this stage, Target primarily seeks to discover more about how start-ups create and drive innovation.

“The goal is to have the in-house team work hand-in-hand with the start-ups and learn from them,” said Reck.

Target is upping the innovation ante by looking outside the company to help develop start-ups it will not directly control. By focusing on the best ideas it can find anywhere, rather than on the best ideas it can internally generate, Target is poised to help advance retail innovation both inside and outside the company.

Apply to the Target-Techstars retail accelerator here.


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Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?