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: 10/19/2020

    Should local book stores be taking on Amazon?

    I am feeling a little like Amazon is taking over our lives, so being more aware of how independent retailers feel is not a bad thing. We do want there to be competition and if we all shrug our shoulders and say Amazon is too big to compete with, then we are done.
  • Posted on: 10/05/2020

    Are employees or execs holding back data-driven cultures?

    If so, they are doing it at their own peril and that of the organization they are supposed to be leading. Every modern organization knows that data is the most valuable asset they have in order to compete effectively. Having the people that have the skill sets to understand how to turn that data into actionable insights and recommendations is critical. CEOs who are not taking a laser focus on making sure their employees are trained in this area are not effective CEOs and should be replaced.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2020

    Patagonia wants to ‘Vote the a**holes out’

    Although I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment, it is a risky one to place on their products. Time will tell whether it resonates among their most active shoppers.
  • Posted on: 09/16/2020

    C-stores focused on being even more convenient during the pandemic

    C-stores with gas pumps have a great opportunity to drive more traffic as shoppers must stop for gas. Use that occasion to drive those shoppers into the store by making offers too good to pass up. 7-Eleven is doing a very good job in promoting coffee, snacks and healthy choices. On a recent road trip, I was able to buy three bananas, two packages of peanuts and an iced coffee for around $5. Many c-stores also have video monitors on each pump that are used to showcase offers as well as loyalty programs. C-stores will come back faster than many other retailers for many of the reasons stated in the article from Frozen and Refrigerated Buyer.
  • Posted on: 09/10/2020

    Walmart pilots its way into the drone delivery race

    Let the drone wars begin! Walmart does not do science experiments. Walmart does not want to be second to anyone in this race and will be nipping at Amazon's feet ever so closely. They will get this right while continuing to work on other forms of autonomous delivery is my guess.
  • Posted on: 09/08/2020

    Learn about AI success from execs who are getting it right

    The most important piece of AI is really thinking through the problem it will help solve. What is the practical application of it? Many times AI is included for the wrong reasons and it ends up being a solution looking for a problem to solve.
  • Posted on: 09/02/2020

    Has Red Wing created a new standard for Labor Day promotions?

    Retailers can and should do both. Those that are seen as helping Americans get back to work should be rewarded by purchasing their products. Another area where corporate America must take action given our lack of federal leadership.
  • Posted on: 09/01/2020

    Grocers shift gears as stimulus stalemate tightens consumer spending

    It will still be months before most families will feel comfortable going out to eat. In some areas it is just not practical or safe, even at outdoor tables, NYC is a case in point. Yes you can have outdoor tables on the sidewalk, but if people walking by are 1.) Not wearing masks or 2.) Do not have even three feet between those walking by and those eating, let alone six feet, then how is that considered safe or smart? Grocers can take this opportunity to start to promote more on certain staple items that drive traffic and also to aggressively merchandise meal solutions that can be promoted between categories for those CPGs that have complementary categories as well as with other CPG companies that have categories that are a good fit for meal solutions.
  • Posted on: 08/18/2020

    Cloud tech becomes a retailing priority amid COVID-19

    The ability to work collaboratively is a must. The ability to do that productively and cost effectively means the use of cloud technology is a must as well.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2020

    Build vs. buy: Is that still a question in retail IT?

    Retailers have enough issues on their plates to worry about. Technology changes so fast and there is just no way for IT to keep up. Retailers would be better served working with their solution provider to adjust and customize as needed. We have been developing category management analysis and presentation software for over 20 years and always need to update, pivot and respond to customer needs. I have many examples of customers who tried to build internally. They spent a good deal of time and money to come to the conclusion that they could have met their needs much more effectively, in a faster time frame and at a much lower cost had they bought. Those companies are world class CPG companies who became some of our most loyal clients!
  • Posted on: 08/13/2020

    REI is going remote and selling its corporate headquarters

    If retailers can save money by doing this and put those savings towards remote working tools I believe it will prove to be successful. We have been working this way for over four months now and I feel that productivity has been as good if not better than when we were all in the office. Stand up meetings are critical to getting priorities for the day set and tools like Teams for communicating via chat during the course of the day have also proven to be very effective. Retailers and suppliers must embrace this new way of working as it will be here for some time and maybe forever more. I found the latest mini white paper from McKinsey on what CPG sales organizations need to change to compete very helpful and informative.
  • Posted on: 08/12/2020

    Should marketers keep masks out of commercials?

    Given how some people are treating grocery workers, it is a must to show them! Showing people shopping without masks in commercials is like showing people driving without wearing a seat belt. Give grocery and all retail workers a break by reinforcing the wearing of masks in all commercials.
  • Posted on: 08/07/2020

    Has there ever been a better time to build or kill customer loyalty?

    There will always be issues related to availability, promised delivery dates, etc. The solution needs to be better navigation on websites and apps and better chat. So many times the chat gets you only so far, and talking to someone in customer service is sometimes impossible. Retailers who want loyalty should reward their customers with better help line service to act as a control tower across their omnichannel landscape.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2020

    Nov. 2021: How should retail plan for a return to normal?

    Those retailers and brands that have continued to move forward, plan, automate and work collaboratively will be the ones that will increase their chances of navigating through this very challenging period and will emerge stronger. Those that cower in the corner and are afraid to pivot, take action and stop doing things the way they've always done them will be left behind. This is not the time to put off the very technologies that will help sales, category management, and operations become more nimble and efficient so that more time can be devoted to all of the new challenges we will need to get through in order to ever get back to anything that looks like normal.
  • Posted on: 07/30/2020

    What didn’t Jeff Bezos know and when didn’t he know it?

    Did he really not know the answers to those questions or was he displaying his version of CYA?

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