• By Nicole Norfleet Star Tribune

GroupM launches local agency Team Arrow Partners for Target account.

JUNE 8, 2016 — 9:25PM

"Team Arrow" will assist retailer in media buying and planning.

Ad-buying giant GroupM has introduced a new Minneapolis agency specially formed to assist Target in its media buying and planning, as the retailer moves to better utilize its customer data to drive its marketing decisions.

Team Arrow Partners says it’s “a new generation agency where technology, strategy and creativity drive market-changing ideas and results,” according to an announcement Wednesday.

The news comes a couple of months after Target Corp. decided to end its relationship with Minneapolis-based agency Haworth Marketing and Media and consolidate its media buying and planning business under GroupM.

“For Target, we are building something totally custom,” said Team Arrow CEO Jason Harrison in an interview. “It is a very unique, special thing for us to do.”

Harrison said that, among projects, the agency is currently looking at back-to-school, holidays and style campaigns.

Team Arrow will employ more than 30 people locally in areas including analytics, digital, media buying and planning and multicultural strategy.

It also will work with other GroupM agencies, including out-of-home advertising planner Kinetic, shopper marketing agency Geometry and data analytics firm Gain Theory.

Some of its communications planning will be aided by local agency Seward/Sheil LLC and a multicultural agency.

Team Arrow is working out of temporary space at the Fifth Street Towers while it waits for its permanent offices on the building’s 10th floor to be completed.

“With roots in Minneapolis and the impressive resources of GroupM, the formation of Team Arrow brings together the incredible expertise needed to fuse analytics, insights and creativity to drive Target’s business forward,” said Kristi Argyilan, senior vice president of media and guest engagement at Target, in a statement.

It was important for the group to be based in Minneapolis because of the nature of how Target works, Harrison said. The company likes to work face-to-face with clients and prides itself on being adaptive and agile, which will be easier with Team Arrow being local.

Target is committed to being “on the edge of marketing” and tries to be a first adopter of new technology, Harrison said. Target already prioritizes data and maintains a rigorous guest database that Team Arrow wants to help the company better leverage.

“Retail kind of demands that because the nature of how people shop is changing,” he said.

Harrison, who was most recently the founding CEO of GroupM’s Gain Theory, which launched last year, will be joined by Chief Client Officer Nicole Pomerleau, who had been media director at Colle & McVoy.

Target spent $686.3 million on measured media in 2014, according to Ad Age’s Datacenter.

Twitter: @nicolenorfleet

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