Jeffrey Jones hit the marketing world’s equivalent of the lottery by landing the top marketing job at Target, a company with a well deserved reputation for clever campaigns and innovative brand activation strategies that will spend an estimated $1.4 billion on advertising this year. What more could a marketer ask for?
Jones arrives at Target after following a comprehensive search that began last October when former CMO Michael Francis left to become president of JCPenney. Jones, 44, most recently served as partner and president of McKinney, an advertising agency based in Durham, N.C. Prior to that he was held several leadership positions at Gap Inc. including serving as CMO where he was responsible for leading marketing strategy, retail store design, store experience and all consumer communication. He also managed Gap Inc.’s gift card subsidiary, Direct Consumer Services LLC serving as president of the division. In addition, Jones previously held leadership positions at marchFIRST Inc., Coca-Cola Company, Leo Burnett Worldwide, and served as president and CEO of LB Works, a Chicago-based advertising agency associated with Leo Burnett.
“Target is a brand I've studied and admired as a marketer for more than a decade, and one my family shops almost daily. I am ecstatic to lead the marketing team and help shape the future of one of the world's most loved and iconic brands,” Jones said. “There has never been a more dynamic time in retailing and the possibilities for where the guest experience, technology and Target's positioning converge are boundless.”
Truer words have never been spoken, especially the part about this being a dynamic time of boundless possibilities. In Target’s case it is also a time when major shifts in the product mix will require the company to rethink some of its marketing approaches. For example, such categories as household essentials, food and pet supplies, last year accounted for 44%, or roughly $30.7 billion, of Target’s total sales of $69.9 billion and that percentage is headed higher in the coming years. Two years ago, about the time the PFresh store transformation initiative was really beginning to gain traction, food and consumables accounted for 39%, or roughly $24.7 billion, of Target’s annual sales of $63.4 billion.
That is a $6 billion swing, and as Target be