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.

  • Posted on: 02/22/2021

    Should suppliers help fund retailers’ omnichannel investments?

    They truly do need each other to get through this new normal that will be with us for quite some time. Passing costs on to the consumer is not a great idea at least at this time when so many families are hurting. Partner now for a better future for all.
  • Posted on: 02/16/2021

    Walmart discovers a unique craft beer on Instagram. Will this become a thing?

    The pandemic has accelerated how retailers source new products but the process has always been there. Retailers use social listening tools to assess what people are talking about, what's hot and what's not, and then do a good deal of research to understand where those products are being bought and sold and try to predict what markets they will play well in. It is not easy and that is why we are using many data sources and tools to help bring emerging brands to market.
  • Posted on: 02/12/2021

    Should retailers ask workers to return to their offices?

    It will most likely land on a flexible option as that will be a happy medium, fostering more effective communications between co-workers to meet and plan in the office while using the days working from home to do the work and execute the plan. Coming back together in the office a few days a week makes total sense, but if we do it too early it does not.
  • Posted on: 02/09/2021

    Will retail pharmacies be the cure for America’s ‘vaccine deserts’?

    The biggest challenge is that they simply do not have the staff to handle it. It is challenging to pick up your medicine and with the pharmacist being the only one trained to give the shot, it makes it quite difficult to have the process run smoothly. More people are needed and fast.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2021

    Who won this year’s Super Bowl ad contest?

    With so many spots being quite a mess in terms of what they wanted to be, my vote goes to the more normal ones. I think the Jeep, Bruce Springsteen, Let's Grab a beer and Huggies were the best. Alexa was quite good as well.
  • Posted on: 02/03/2021

    A new era for Amazon as Jeff Bezos hands over CEO role

    Bezos made bold decisions that paid off when Amazon was in its infancy. A foundation on which he continued to make bold decisions that paid off on most fronts. He also failed on a number of them but had the resources to overcome them and continue to make bold decisions. We all talk about failing fast and often, but it is much easier to fail and be OK to start again when you have the kind of resources that Amazon has. On the other hand it proves that in business, and in life; no risk, no reward!
  • Posted on: 01/29/2021

    Are small brands eating big food’s lunch?

    Small brands are about listening to what consumers want in terms of "better for you" ingredients. They understand that bigger is not necessarily better. They know that the smaller brands are able to include attributes that make the consumer feel better about themselves and the food they give their family as well as the products used, from laundry detergent to shampoo. Small brands started with this in mind. Large brands, in most cases, are playing catch up.
  • Posted on: 01/26/2021

    Bud is latest major brand player to punt on Super Bowl spots

    Good decision. If more companies took this route, we would get back to business sooner and companies like InBev would be rewarded.
  • Posted on: 01/15/2021

    Will paying associates to get COVID-19 vaccines work for Dollar General and Trader Joe’s?

    They need to get the vaccine anyway, so getting paid to get one should make the pinch a little easier to take. For the sake of their livelihood, their families and ours, everyone needs to just suck it up and get it done.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2021

    Retailers give customers refunds and tell them to keep items

    This will work in most cases, but will require a close watch on those that try to abuse the policy. As online continues to grow, so will the ways in which retailers will need to deal with this challenge. Third party companies that handle returns will take on more of this process.
  • Posted on: 12/17/2020

    Is there a secret sauce to Kroger’s online success?

    I think Kroger's success is partially based on their ability to deliver on the promise of an omnichannel experience for their shoppers. They have been perfecting this position for a number of years now, so I am not surprised at their win here. They have also worked hard to be data driven and have used that expertise to drive their online business bigger and faster than their competition. Kroger is an example of how traditional retailers can lead the pack.
  • Posted on: 12/10/2020

    New York City is trying to kick stores to the curb

    There is no choice here in NYC. Either you do what you have to do or you close the doors. Retailers pay exorbitant rents in NYC, and restaurant operators are at the ends of their ropes to try to make ends meet. They have all spent a great deal of money setting up outdoor spaces and built corrals around them with lights and heaters and still they are empty on most days, especially when the weather is cold. Workers carry tables and chairs back and forth each and every day and pray and hope the weather will cooperate. Makeshift stores have always been set up around the holidays and many retailers that can set up at least some of their inventory outside, should.
  • Posted on: 12/08/2020

    Will the pandemic finally bring marketing and IT teams together?

    It is critical that marketing and IT work together in a much more collaborative way or they will be roadkill for fierce competitors like Amazon, Walmart, Target and Kroger. They have been talking the talk for years. It is now time to walk the walk!
  • Posted on: 11/30/2020

    How will Tony Hsieh’s legacy live on at Zappos?

    The challenges faced by retail leaders today are never ending and can be overwhelming. That is why it would behoove retail leaders to practice many of the guiding principles Tony put in place at Zappos, and tailor them to their own organizations. It is challenging to keep up with the huge changes our industry is currently undergoing. To be able to meet the internal focused ones on top of the huge external ones, especially now during COVID-19, is a tall order that is more effectively executed with an attitude and outlook like the one that Tony had. RIP Tony Hsieh.
  • Posted on: 11/24/2020

    Target CEO points to one-stop shopping as key to chain’s success

    I would say they are getting closer to that goal, but unless they figure out produce, meats and fish, they will not get there. I don't see buying those categories at Target anytime soon.

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