Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

Target takes weekly newspaper ad mobile

Aimed at Target’s most digitally-savvy customers, the ads can be personalized based on preference. The effort seeks to also reach consumers who do not have access to freestanding inserts and circulars in weekend newspapers.

“At Target, we strive to connect with all of our guests in a way that’s reflective of their wants and needs,” said Jessica Carlson, spokeswoman at Target, Minneapolis.

“My TargetWeekly is especially helpful to guests who may not receive a Sunday paper with our printed ad or who primarily rely on online sources for news and information,” she said.

Target has 1,743 stores in 49 states that sell everything from toothbrushes to apparel and furniture. It is the nation’s second largest mass merchandiser, after Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

My TargetWeekly combines elements of customization, social conversation, entertainment and mobility into consumers’ experiences with rich media integration.

Mobile consumers also can opt-in to have deals alerts and shopping lists sent to their phones via text message.

By viewing the ad, consumers can see coupons and Target’s top 10 deals and share their finds via Facebook and Twitter.

Target has created a smart recommendation engine for its My TargetWeekly ad from combining efforts with Facebook. The consumer can “love” an item to enable a smarter search engine.

“We are using a multichannel approach for promotion of the program, including and a mix of online and mobile media,” Ms. Carlson said. “We will post messages on Twitter and Facebook where we’ve seen high engagement from past programs.”

The feature-friendly ad is not Target’s first mobile effort.

In February Target allowed consumers to use their mobile devices as on-the-go gift-cards (see story).

The retailer was also the launch sponsor for television network The CW’s iPhone application, CW City Wize, that showed Target locations using the device’s GPS (see story).

Target’s iPhone application last year was No. 1 in the free lifestyle application download category during the holiday season (see story).

The retail giant in 2008 launched its iPhone application and mobile Web site, which support both its marketing and service channels. Target has used text messaging since 2005 to support its advertising campaigns.

“As our guests continue to evolve the way they receive information, we strive to stay ahead and evolve our marketing efforts to meet their changing needs,” Ms. Carlson said.

“We know that, increasingly, our guests are looking to integrate online and mobile options into their weekly shopping trips, and the My TargetWeekly ad features customization and mobile capabilities relevant to our guests,” she said.

“Although I can’t provide any specifics on what’s coming next, we are continuously working with our guests to find new ways to bring them information to help them make the most of their dollar.”