With the endless number of advertising and marketing tools at our disposal, it’s easy to get caught up in trends and lose sight of a marketer’s core purpose: to understand, connect and motivate the customer. From her high school days as a yearbook layout artist to Senior Director – Global Center of Excellence for Merchandising & Marketing for one of the world's largest convenience store operators, Kim James has been hard at work finding new ways to create indelible connections with people.
Kim saw a career in advertising as a path to exploring the art and science of communication. This emerging passion led her to the advertising program at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. It proved a perfect fit for her love of advertising and curiosity for business.
She got her start via an internship with a drug store retailer which quickly led to a full-time position. The defining moment was a private label cosmetic brand launch that saluted women as being beautiful on the inside and out. It was a huge hit and spurred Kim’s 25+ year career that has taken on her a journey of bridging brand and retail. And, this is where passion turned to obsession.
From here, Kim landed in the convenience retail channel. This is where she has refined her expertise in balancing the pragmatic and the dramatic of retail marketing. Multi-national retail is a fast, bottom line-oriented culture where pennies are optimized. Today, Kim has a deep understanding of the levers and dials that need constant fine-tuning to find the perfect bit of magic. This relentless refinement is how you stay relevant. But in order to gain customer trial and loyalty, Kim fully realizes it goes beyond mechanics.
You have to find a way to relate, connect and inspire customers. That’s a skill you develop by having an interest in people; their personalities, their habits, their behaviors. And what makes Kim special is her ability to bring humanity to a bottom line business.