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Survey: Retail marketers bullish on retail marketing

BY Dan Berthiaume

Austin, Texas – Three-quarters (75%) of retail marketers believe that digital advertising delivers a higher ROI than offline advertising, including circulars and direct mail. A survey of 200 retail marketing decision-makers and influencers commissioned by RetailMeNot Inc. and conducted by Kelton, shows that despite this belief, 51% of respondents said digital marketing spend in retail compared to offline marketing spend is still about 50/50.

More than four-in-five retailers surveyed (82%) believe that their digital marketing budget will increase in the next three-to-five years. In contrast, almost four-in-10 respondents (39%) think that their offline marketing budget will stay the same or decrease in the next three-to-five years. Just more than a quarter of retail executives surveyed (27%) said they were advanced in digital marketing and less than one-in-five (19%) said their current omnichannel strategy was extremely effective.

When it comes to mobile, nearly two-thirds (65%) believe that branded mobile platforms like apps are effective at driving in-store sales. However, only 19% of respondents said they were advanced in native mobile applications.

Retailers believe the top four opportunities to drive sales as they shift from printed circulars to digital formats are their own websites (23%), deal or promotion websites (23%), deal or promotion apps (22%), and e-tailers’ own apps (15%).

"Today, consumers are more connected and informed than ever, so reaching the right customer with the right message at the right time requires a consumer first, data-driven approach," said Jill Balis, senior VP marketing, RetailMeNot Inc. "With the reach and precision that digital and mobile affords, marketers are embracing these channels to efficiently engage the always-connected consumer. The most forward-looking retail marketers today are breaking down the silos in their organizations to more quickly integrate digital and mobile into their overall marketing strategy. The retailers who deliver a consistent and compelling experience across the customer journey will win the hearts and minds of consumers."

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Campbell adds Pitney Bowes CEO to board

BY CSA STAFF

Campbell Soup Company has elected Marc B. Lautenbach to its board.

Lautenbach has been president and CEO of Pitney Bowes since Dec. 2012. Under his leadership, Pitney Bowes is diversifying its portfolio beyond its core mailing business and moving into adjacent growth areas, such as digital commerce.

Before joining Pitney Bowes, Lautenbach spent 27 years in senior leadership roles at IBM, most recently as the managing partner for global business services in North America. During his tenure at IBM, Lautenbach was responsible for businesses and customer segments in the United States and globally, and led operations ranging from infrastructure management to marketing, sales and product development.

“We are pleased to welcome Marc to Campbell’s Board of Directors as we continue to reshape the company for accelerated growth,” said Paul R. Charron, chairman of the board. “He is an outstanding leader whose experience transforming businesses and pioneering new markets will be an asset to the Board and the shareholders.”

Lautenbach graduated magna cum laude from Denison University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He serves as a trustee of Denison University, a member of the President’s Advisory Board at Elon University and an adviser and member of the Parents’ Council at Wake Forest University. Lautenbach is also on the board of Catalyst.

With Lautenbach’s election, Campbell’s board will consist of 16 members. Denise M. Morrison, president and CEO, is the only member of management who sits on the board.

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SEC charges four in Ross Stores insider trading scheme

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dublin, Calif. – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged four residents of Northern California with insider trading in Ross Stores stock options based on nonpublic information about monthly sales results leaked by one of the retailer’s employees. The SEC alleges that Saleem Khan was routinely tipped by his friend Roshanlal Chaganlal, who was a director in the finance department at Ross headquarters.

The SEC says Khan used the confidential information to illegally trade on more than 40 occasions ahead of the company’s public release of financial results. Besides trading in his own brokerage account, Khan traded in his brother-in-law’s account as well as an account belonging to another acquaintance. Khan also tipped his work colleagues Ranjan Mendonsa and Ammar Akbari so they could trade in Ross stock options based on the nonpublic information.

The insider trading resulted in collective profits of more than $12 million. According to the SEC, the illegal activity occurred from 2009-2012, when Chaganlal was fired from his position at Ross Stores.

“Khan and Chaganlal took advantage of confidential company data to systematically trade in Ross securities and reap millions of dollars in profits,” said Jina L. Choi, director of the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office. “Even when insider traders try to conceal their profits and kickbacks by using other accounts and intermediaries, we’re committed to piecing together these widespread schemes and catching the perpetrators.”

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