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: 09/07/2021

    Why can’t CMOs And CIOs just get along?

    Suresh covered this perfectly. This is a relationship that has been rocky for quite some time, and with all of the new marketing technology butting up against the old legacy systems in many organizations, it will continue to be unless greater collaboration is taken seriously among these two groups. Sounds like the relationship between retailers and suppliers doesn't it?
  • Posted on: 08/27/2021

    Do retailers need a chief data officer?

    The need is clear for all the reasons stated in the summary by Tom. Another overarching reason is that retailers are monetizing their data. In many cases, they are making more money from their data than retailing. When all the other issues are added on to this, there is no doubt that retailers need to step up their game in this area.
  • Posted on: 08/23/2021

    Has Old Navy charted a course for all retail to follow on plus-sizes?

    Yes, this should be applauded and followed by other retailers. To not recognize and adopt this to your merchandising strategy is like ignoring a sizable, no pun intended, segment of your customer base.
  • Posted on: 08/16/2021

    Are four drive-thru lanes better than two?

    In markets where the only option is drive up or drive thru, I think it is a winner. Less idling, less wait, and less contact are all good benefits of this concept. Will the technology deliver as promised is the big question. Incorrect orders and the like will no doubt put a speed bump on the way to fast and accurate service levels.
  • Posted on: 08/05/2021

    Kroger seeks to ghost up take-home and meal delivery sales with dark kitchens

    I think this concept has a very good chance of succeeding in certain markets. It will certainly have a significant impact towards the goal of Kroger becoming a food destination. Grocers should always work to achieve an inviting atmosphere where shoppers want to visit on a more frequent basis. It's a step closer to how shoppers interact in many European villages. Shoppers tend to interact with their local merchants on an almost daily basis and it makes for a more pleasant experience.
  • Posted on: 06/23/2021

    Forget digital first. Stores first, digital second is the future of luxury retail.

    Physical stores are needed. Period! It makes sense to have a store where you can have the experience of looking at what you are buying, trying it on or seeing how it looks (or sounds if shopping at a consumer electronics store). Warby Parker does a great job with their online approach, but it does not replace the experience of going into the store to try on as many pairs of glasses as you want. I just purchased two pairs of glasses and, guess what, they had to be adjusted three times. The experience was flawless at a physical store compared to how frustrating it would have been to deal with sending them back over and over. My wife purchased Allbirds (sneakers) for me online and they don't fit just right, so I will go to their store in SoHo and get ones that do. Brands that have both a digital and physical store presence will win the customer's loyalty.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2021

    Will prescription med discounts help Walmart+ gain ground on Amazon Prime?

    Given the cost of prescription drugs, this new perk is likely to draw new shoppers to Walmart.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2021

    Will Amazon become the Amazon of weed if Congress legalizes it?

    Until it is legalized on a national level, it will remain a complex business to maneuver due to differences in state laws. The Bev Al business has dealt with these state laws in alcohol forever and continues to do so. They will be best positioned to handle this. They have the relationships with retailers, distributors, etc. I believe Amazon should be prevented from getting into this business. Having Amazon control everything will not be a good thing.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2021

    Have flagships become obsolete?

    Yes some flagship stores have become irrelevant but here in NYC, it is not the case as NYC is coming back fast. Nordstrom is in a location that will always have traffic given that it is steps away from Columbus Circle and Central Park. Tourists are starting to return, so they will be all over town including all the large retailers in Hudson Yards. Attendees at next years NRF will be amazed!
  • Posted on: 06/02/2021

    Will marketplace sellers carry the Prime Day for Amazon?

    The marketplace sellers are really what make Amazon, Amazon. There are so many great products and brands that are the brain-children of entrepreneurs at small businesses. They allow Amazon to have the depth and breadth of product that we all have come to expect from Amazon. They will both thrive as a result.
  • Posted on: 05/20/2021

    Can Wayfair fend off the bigger guys?

    Wayfair has a wide variety of price points, good quality and customer service and free shipping. I believe they will maintain their place and position despite competition. Big is not necessarily better.
  • Posted on: 05/19/2021

    Is enabling young kids to buy toys online a teaching tool or something else?

    This is a really bad idea. Most parents buy their kids plenty of toys. They have so many toys that kids act like they have ADD in deciding which to pick up and which to put down. There are now credit card companies pushing for providing kids with their own credit card! Their rationale is that they can get used to being responsible with money from an early age! No, the answer is no and parents should recognize these strategies for what they are - a money grab, pure and simple.
  • Posted on: 05/17/2021

    Whole Foods goes all-in on centralized buying

    The question becomes, can centralized buying support local brands? Can this be done in a way that works logistically while still supporting local product sourcing and without raising prices to compensate for the extra costs?
  • Posted on: 05/06/2021

    How did Crocs ever become cool and how long will it stay that way?

    Younger consumers may not remember or care that they were worn every day by Mario Batali, the New York chef, restaurateur and host/personality on ABC's The Chew. He was basically banned from the show and had to give up his partnerships due to charges of sexual misconduct with his staff. Then the popularity of Crocs went out the window. Goes to show that we have have short memories and that an appearance by Questlove tells the younger crowd that it's OK to wear Crocs outside your home. Yikes!
  • Posted on: 05/04/2021

    Will CVS make a breakthrough as it expands in-store mental health services?

    At first glance, it sounds like a crazy idea but when you think of how many people are suffering from mental issues during the pandemic, it is a smart idea and one that CVS and others should be proud to offer. There are so many people that simply do not have the resources to have regular sessions with a therapist and CVS is making the access to therapists easier than ever. They will need to work on lowering the costs as even at the level they are now offering, they may be out of reach for many. Those that are from lower income households are the ones that will not seek treatment, even though they may need it the most. It sounds so odd to see a therapist at a CVS store but, as long as they have a private room, it could be the answer to many who desperately need help.

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