PROFILE

Zel Bianco

President, founder and CEO Interactive Edge

Zel Bianco and Interactive Edge have been helping companies, specifically in the Consumer Goods industry, run more efficiently since 1994. Zel’s focus is always on the needs of the client. He strives to be a real business partner to every customer — no matter what the size of the contract or the scope of the implementation. He wants to help companies eliminate the cumbersome and time consuming tasks associated with data management and organization in order to free up users time so that they can do what they were hired to do: generate insights to grow their business. Zel enjoys helping clients bridge the gap between category management and shopper insights. He collaborates with clients in the development of a process that streamlines the flow of qualitative data into customer facing presentations and reports.

As the president, founder and CEO of Interactive Edge, Zel is responsible for setting the company’s strategic vision and developing business alliances. He is also an industry thought leader who has enjoyed presenting at many industry conferences such as the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), the International Committee of Food Retail Chains (CIES), SAP’s SAPPHIRE and SAP’s TechEd Demo Jam. He has been honored to speak at both DePaul University and Michigan State University, and has donated the Interactive Edge XP3 software for use by students at both of their business schools. Interactive Edge and its customers have won numerous industry awards in areas including Customer Management, Visionary Innovation, and Demand Data Analytics.

Prior to founding Interactive Edge, Zel held senior account management positions in the advertising industry, at Young & Rubicam and other large New York agencies. He worked with many consumer package goods clients and was a part of the account management team that introduced the IBM personal computer.

More information about Zel and his solution for presenting demand data analytics can be found at the Interactive Edge website.

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  • Posted on: 11/22/2016

    Patagonia to donate all Black Friday profits to green groups

    When we have a President-Elect who does not believe in global warming nor any of the world's most serous scientists, Patagonia should be supported by all for their efforts here. It will prove to be a worthwhile initiative both for the planet and for Patagonia's bottom line. I will make sure I shop there because of this and hopefully their loyal customers will as well.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2016

    Will Alexa-exclusive deals bring holiday cheer to Amazon?

    Way too easy to shop this way and way too easy to become habit forming. Nonetheless, it will catch on and all the other players who are trying to catch up to Amazon confirms this. It may not be significant this year but wait a year or two and it will be as ubiquitous as getting your coffee at Starbucks.
  • Posted on: 11/18/2016

    Will hundreds of small stores produce big results for Target?

    College towns and urban areas are smart moves for Target. Anyone that has dropped their kids off at college knows that a trip to Target is part of the plan. The crowds at that time of year prove it. Urban areas will be a good move as well, as long as they accurately plan the store layout, assortment and shopability. One is going in near my neighborhood in Manhattan and there is no reason why most typical categories will not be welcomed, especially if it saves having to make a trip to the far reaches of NYC where there may be a larger-format Target, especially as the location where this one is being built was the site of one of the few remaining gas stations in Manhattan. Perhaps, this factor alone is what has prompted Brian to execute on this strategy, at least in NYC. I wish him luck as this would be welcome.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2016

    How will the ‘sentient enterprise’ spark shifts in company culture?

    The most challenging hurdle we are seeing in this area is normalizing and integrating disparate data sets, both structured and unstructured. Aside from syndicated data which also has its issues, panel, POS, financial, primary research and other shopper and social media data is hard to bring together in one cohesive "data lake" if you will.We have been able to accomplish this for those that have the commitment to doing so. Those that only want to dip their toes into this will not see the true value that integrated data sets can provide whether it be to measure what has happened or to predict what will happen.Many CPGs and retailers are not even using the data they already have access to let alone those data sets that should be added to the mix. It is not impossible, but again it takes commitment and the skill sets to be able to use this data to arrive at actionable recommendations -- not just insights.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2016

    Will Macy’s parade spot connect with new consumers?

    They must go on with the show! Macy's and the Thanksgiving Day Parade are so much a part of the holiday season and in fact the parade is the start of the holiday season. We are fortunate enough to watch it live from my office on 6th Avenue, but even for those who watch at home while getting things ready -- even when it's on in the background -- it is pure Americana and after this dreadful election cycle I think we could all use something we can agree on.Macy's does have its challenges but this is not the battle that should be fought unless they want to lose the war completely. The Macy's brand and image is worth the money they spend to put it on.
  • Posted on: 10/28/2016

    Can retailers overcome the challenges of urban deliveries?

    I'm already seeing newer buildings in NYC being designed with holding areas behind the concierge desk. Even with these new spaces, the number of boxes spill out into common areas anyway. As mentioned, an even bigger issue is where to park the UPS truck when these deliveries are being made. With more and more Uber and Lyft cars virtually everywhere, Citi Bikes, yellow taxis and tourists, I don't know how it will get better anytime soon. Now that Uber is delivering food, perhaps they need to drop off your Amazon deliveries with your take-out.
  • Posted on: 10/24/2016

    Should Bass Pro retire the Cabela’s name?

    I say check egos at the door and make it Cabela's Outpost. It's the best of both worlds and is inclusive so that it does not alienate any customer. So what that Cabela's is the one being bought? Customers first!
  • Posted on: 09/20/2016

    Unilever makes ‘purpose-driven’ deal for Seventh Generation

    As stated, acquiring Ben & Jerry's did not hurt the brand and only helped it continue to grow. There is no reason to think that the same would not be true for Seventh Generation. This is a smart move for Unilever and may not preclude them from folding in The Honest Company as well. There are many examples where a huge CPG like Unilever has acquired multiple companies and brands in the same category. This is not far from the idea of Walmart buying Jet. These are brands that are important to the all-important Millennial shopper and increasingly will be the most important segment to companies like Unilever as they push for growth anywhere they can find it.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2016

    Why did Walmart buy Jet.com?

    I agree with all the reasons stated, however I think that Jet should retain its name to continue to be attractive to urban Millennials. Sounds silly, but I think Jet will be more valuable to Walmart if Walmart allows Jet to do so.
  • Posted on: 09/15/2016

    Are robo-carts coming to a Walmart near you?

    If self-driving shopping carts can provide additional info on shopper insights and help keep inventory in stock, then this might be useful. Otherwise, the potential maintenance and upkeep on these carts seems extremely costly. Lowe’s is currently working on creating a customer service robot that speaks numerous languages and helps customers locate items. This seems like worthwhile technology to invest in. Touch screens that allow customers to locate products in the store, or pull up a store layout on their phone, also seem like worthwhile investments.
  • Posted on: 08/31/2016

    Abercrombie is abandoning teenagers

    I think this is going to be an uphill battle for them to appeal to young adults since their brand is so heavily based on teen buyers. However, their current model isn’t working so they need to do something. Getting the word out about their new apparel and strategy will be one of their biggest issues. If they are pursuing young adults over teens, their apparel needs to better reflect the lives of young people who have now entered the workforce.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2016

    J.Crew to sell inside Nordstrom

    This sounds like a good partnership for both companies but I see this as a better deal for J. Crew. Nordstrom will probably see an increase in traffic as a result of this but J. Crew will gain more retail space and they now have another opportunity to win their customers back if this is executed properly. Both companies have had sluggish returns so anything that can be done to restructure the old department store model and increase foot traffic should be considered.
  • Posted on: 08/29/2016

    Target holds first storewide sale

    A one-day sale may help increase traffic for the day and reengage some customers, but if customers have the same experiences that have plagued Target (such as of out-of-stock items and empty shelves) their customers will leave frustrated and continue to shop elsewhere. Target has been working on implementing new changes like redesigned shelving to hold more products and upgrading their supply network and technology. If they’ve fixed these problems, a one-day sale could be a good way to introduce them and show customers the changes they’ve made.
  • Posted on: 08/17/2016

    Will a blog help Publix make social connections with customers?

    A Publix blog is definitely a great way to further connect with their clients in addition to their other social media platforms. The biggest asset of having a blog is that it can provide more information, useful tips and they won’t be limited to 140 characters or short posts. A blog can also allow for more creativity and enhanced branding. It’s also a great way for Publix to further connect with their shoppers and provides another way to gather additional feedback from their customers in the comments section.
  • Posted on: 08/15/2016

    Is brick & mortar ready to leverage in-store shopper data?

    Brick-and-mortar stores definitely need to take advantage of any and all shopper data they can get. Increased data will alter category management and enhance it. With e-commerce going strong, they need to leverage any data they can and should be investing in better technology so they can better compete.

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