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Albertsons LLC creates social and digital marketing team

BY CSA STAFF

BOISE, Idaho — Albertsons LLC is sharpening its focus on social media and digital marketing with the creation of a new social and digital marketing team that will be led by technology and social marketing expert Karl Meinhardt.

Meinhardt’s history in the technology side of grocery retail extends back to the first launch of Albertsons.com in 1998, where he was responsible for developing a first-ever Fortune 50 grocery e-commerce solution for Albertsons Inc. Meinhardt went on to found several startup companies in the foodservice and social gaming markets after leaving that role.

“As a founder of several start-up companies, Karl has a comprehensive understanding of information as a powerful source of service,” said Mike Massimino, Albertsons LLC’s VP center store. “Karl’s expertise of turning knowledge into a strategic advantage has assisted many organizations in their long term product and service goals, and his efforts to date with our social media endeavors have already established a firm foundation on which the rest of our social and digital marketing strategies will be built.”

The social and digital marketing team includes Jana Jeffery, digital community manager, with more than 18 years of experience as a marketing and technology professional for Fortune 100 companies and several emerging startups, and Elizabeth Perryman, digital content manager, who brings experience in public and media relations, having worked with companies throughout the Northwest. Combined, they bring 26 years of social, digital and marketing experience to the newly created team. They join Dan Mackay, director of web services, to form the company’s digital marketing team.

“Every company knows that they ‘should’ be using social channels to connect with customers, but only those with an acute understanding of their customer, and how to relate to and connect with those customers will be successful in engaging those customers in the social conversation,” Meinhardt said. “It’s an exciting segment of grocery retail marketing because the space is constantly evolving. Awareness, agility, and brand personality are the key factors of success in the ever-changing digital/social frontier. This team has the skill to deliver those and more.”
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Quicksilver names new CFO

BY CSA STAFF

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — Quiksilver, the manufacturer of outdoor sports apparel, has appointed Richard Shields as CFO, effective May 11. Shields will be responsible for all areas of the company’s finance and accounting on a global basis.

Robert McKnight, Jr., chairman of the board, CEO and president of Quiksilver Inc., commented, “We’re really pleased to welcome Rich into the Quiksilver family. His extensive corporate financial experience and proven track record in international operations, retail and manufacturing make him an ideal fit for our growing global business. Rich is an accomplished executive who we expect will make an immediate contribution to our pursuit of substantially improved financial performance, especially through our long-term growth initiatives and globalization efforts.”

Prior to beginning his tenure as chief financial officer of Oakley in 2005, Shields served as chief financial officer of Southwest Water Company, and served previously as chief financial officer at Day Software Corporation, Winfire Corporation and Frame-N-Lens Optical, Inc. Shields also served as international controller and finance director for the Americas for AST Research. Earlier he worked in corporate finance with Taco Bell Corporation after beginning his career at the public accounting firm Price Waterhouse.

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Rebate Programs: 10 Best Practices

BY CSA STAFF

By Juli Spottiswood, [email protected]

For the past 40 years, rebates have proven to be effective consumer promotions that drive sell-through of specific products while providing savings to price-conscious shoppers. Rebates have evolved from a simple “sales lift” strategy to a marketing tactic designed to generate long-term consumer loyalty and brand affiliation.

As the leading provider of rebate programs in the United States, Parago promotes the following best practices to ensure consumer fairness and satisfaction with the rebate experience along with the best outcome for the rebate sponsor:

1. Provide a consumer-centric approach to offering, claiming, tracking and administering rebates. Rebate offers should convey a clear value for the customers and the customer should be treated fairly and honestly. The process of acting on the offer should not result in undue burden on the customer.

2. Rebate offers must comply with all applicable state and federal promotional and advertising laws and regulations and take reasonable steps to avoid fraud. As with most promotions, these laws and regulations are subject to ongoing changes and the parties involved must stay abreast of, and comply with, these events.

3. Rebate offers must be constructed so that customers can easily follow the promotional rules and redeem their rebate with reasonable effort.

  • A rebate should be directly associated with the desired purchase behavior and not serve any other purpose.
  • The effort to redeem should not discourage redemption.
  • Proof of purchase requirements should be minimal, such as a copy of the store receipt and UPC symbol from the product packaging.
  • The postmark due date should be based on the end of the promotion, not the purchase date, and should allow the customer a minimum of 14 and a maximum of 30 days from the end of the promotion to mail in the claim.

4. Offer the consumer choice in rewards. Checks were eschewed by many for the prepaid card, which is ready for immediate use, loved by consumers for convenience and enjoyed by corporations for the branding power. Technology has now given rebate sponsors the ability to provide customers with the reward of their choice, including check, prepaid card, PayPal payout, or even merchandise. With choice comes satisfaction, enriched brand experience, increased customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.

5. Allow the rebate to be redeemed at least partially, if not entirely, online. This provides the rebate sponsor with valuable added marketing opportunities, it can present reward options to participants and can provide real-time tracking information. Additionally, in today’s digital world, most consumers prefer online rebate redemption to mail-in. The latest rebate redemption technology even allows consumers to submit via their smart phones.

6. Ensure that all rebate offer terms and conditions are presented clearly to the customer at the appropriate time and through the appropriate vehicles prior to the purchase, eliminating any surprises or misinterpretation. The language used should be clear, unambiguous and easy for the customer to understand and follow. Key items should be clearly communicated and separated from the detailed legal terms and conditions required. Material terms and conditions must be disclosed prior to the time of purchase.

7. When advertising rebates, marketers must present the costs the customer must incur in the initial purchase and subsequent rebate claim process. For example, if advertising the net, after-rebate price of a product or service, the marketer must also include the pre-rebate price and the amount of the rebate that results in the net price. In addition, individual states have very specific advertising laws regulating the way that various price points must be presented to the customer.

8. The rebate should be processed quickly and accurately and paid without delay. It is the responsibility of both the marketer and the rebate processor to forecast the expected redemption volume to ensure appropriate funds are available to facilitate the payments quickly while also ensuring staffing levels are in place to avoid a backlog. The more quickly a rebate is paid out, the more positive the experience will be for your consumers.

9. During the processing of a rebate claim the rebate processor should deliver a number of proactive communications alerting your customers to the status of their rebate claim via email, direct mail, IVR and other convenient communication methods, catering to your customers’ preference. A toll-free number and website should be provided and customers should be given a reasonable expectation of when they will receive their rebates.

10. The customer and purchase data collected during rebate processing should be maintained in compliance with the marketer’s privacy policy and not immediately used for efforts outside of processing the rebate.

Rebates implemented with a customer-centric approach can continue to be effective promotional vehicles and yield great results for marketers, while leaving behind both positive and memorable customer experiences.

Juli Spottiswood is president & CEO of Parago, a leader in rewards-based incentive solutions. She can be contacted at [email protected].


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