Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 53

WOMEN OF EXCELLENCE 53

FEBRUARY 2018 SHOPPER MARKETING

Michelle Then, Senior Client Services Manager, Advantage Solutions

A

fter graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, Michelle
Then entered into Advantage Solutions' ACE (Accelerated
Career Experience) leadership development program. The
one-year training program provided her with the opportunity to explore a number of different areas within the company - "a full immersion into all things Advantage," she says. She then
joined the company full time and has since held different roles, from
sales to operations on various retail sampling platforms. She is one of
three Women of Excellence honorees in the "Rising Star" category.

What are your current responsibilities?
THEN: As the senior client services manager for a national retail sampling platform, I work with my team to oversee data analysis, reporting,
operations, internal systems and the overall event scheduling process
- as well as anything else that comes to my plate.

How did the ACE program help you launch your career?
THEN: It was an amazing opportunity that allowed me to explore the
company's service offerings and the go-to-market strategy, which is
constantly changing, and develop relationships at every single level
within the company. This is a large organization, and it enabled me to
understand the different segments within it and meet so many different people. That allowed for better connectivity throughout the organization to make everything a little bit more efficient. It still positively
impacts my career growth with Advantage today.

You were recently part of the start-up team to launch a new
platform with the No. 2 grocery retailer. What was your role
in that?
THEN: When we launched the business, I worked on anything and everything we needed to go from zero to 100. It was a busy and hectic time be-

cause we were in launch mode, but we worked on everything from hiring
and training our new team to establishing our operations and processes.
I was also the national sales point of contact to drive the business, and
last but not least, I led our client services team. It was definitely a group
effort and I had a great team to partner with every step of the way.

How do you look at shopper
marketing today?
THEN: In the simplest form, it's always changing, which means it's never boring. That makes
me want to keep going. There are always new
opportunities to venture into because of that
change. It's as simple as providing that positive and memorable engaging shopper experience every time and everywhere, whether
online or in the store that makes a big impact
to shoppers and consumers.

What motivates you to continue on
this career path?
THEN: What we can do now compared to
even when I started has evolved tremendously. We're constantly changing and
keeping up with the trends and even getting ahead of them. From an industry and
technology perspective, the fact that it's
constantly evolving allows me to learn and explore new areas. It's very
exciting to see what's out there and the new areas to venture into,
whether for the retailers, brands or both that we work with.
- Erika Flynn

Michele Gissi, Integrated Marketing & PR Manager,
Key Food Stores Co-Operative

M

ichele Gissi has always had a passion for finding ways
to connect with consumers and fostering relationships
- the best parts of marketing and branding, she says.
After earning a marketing and management degree in
2011 followed by her MBA in 2012 (both from Wagner
College), she began her career at Havas Media International. There she
was wowed from the agency side by the various media vehicles and
tactics used to help make those connections. Less than one year later,
she made the jump to the client side when she joined Key Food. Now
a five-year veteran with the retailer, Gissi is one of three Women of
Excellence honorees in the "Rising Star" category.

What are your current responsibilities?
GISSI: I lead all efforts for traditional and digital marketing, social media,
PR, e-commerce, media/vendor partnerships, charitable programs/philanthropic events, grand openings, branding, store brand design and artwork.

How are you working to provide turnkey solutions for your
240-plus stores?
GISSI: Our e-commerce platform is with Instacart. We're working on
a strategy to provide all of our stores with a platform for online shopping. Since our stores are independently owned and operated, product
assortments can vary greatly by store and are unique and specific to
the communities they serve. With the creation of white-label sites for
all of our banners, we're making it easier for our customers to shop
from their specific favorite stores.  

Key Food is the official supermarket of the NBA's Brooklyn
Nets. What has that done for your stores?
GISSI: When I came on board in December 2012, we had just started
our first year as a sponsor. It really makes perfect sense. We were
founded in Brooklyn and the team was moving here, signaling two
iconic brands, new and old, coming together. As the partnership grew,
the feedback we received was fantastic - both from store owners and
our customers. It's not just about in-arena branding, although that is

nice. This partnership allows us to get out and give back to the Brooklyn community with the Nets' players, staff and other partners.

How so?
GISSI: We've done a lot of "surprise & delight" events at our stores where
we'll have players come to help customers shop - there's nothing like having a 6-foot-11 forward reaching the highest box of cereal for you - and
then pay for their groceries, help bag and
even help them to their car. This partnership also allows us to leverage and create
programs for some of our CPG vendors.

What motivates you when you think
about the shopping experience?
GISSI: With so many shopping options
out there, a unique point of difference is
critical. Our customers are diverse and
so are their needs. We work to strike a
balance of local and personal to cater to
the communities we serve, from specific
inventory to assistance with questions
about preparation. Technology is certainly making this easier.

Why does customization excite
you in this space?
GISSI: In the past we'd execute a campaign and it would maybe only resonate
with a portion of our consumers. Now, customers' preferences are
controlling what they see and don't see and their level of engagement.
As a consumer, it saves time and makes me feel like I have a personal
connection with my favorite stores or brands. From the perspective of
a retailer, it enables us to be "more than just a store" and can connect
with our customers in ways they welcome and seek.
- Erika Flynn



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shopper Marketing - February 2018

Contents
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - Intro
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 1
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 2
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - Contents
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 4
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 5
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 6
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 7
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 8
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 9
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 10
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 11
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 12
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 13
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 14
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 15
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 16
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 17
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 18
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 19
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 20
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 21
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 22
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 23
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 24
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 25
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 26
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 27
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 28
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 29
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 30
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 31
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 32
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 33
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 34
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 35
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 36
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 37
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 38
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 39
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 40
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 41
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 42
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 43
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 44
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 45
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 46
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 47
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 48
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 49
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 50
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 51
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 52
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 53
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 54
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 55
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 56
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 57
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 58
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 59
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 60
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 61
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 62
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 63
Shopper Marketing - February 2018 - 64
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