CMO – Casey’s General Stores, Inc.

COMPANY BACKGROUND/CULTURE

Casey’s General Stores, Inc., (Casey’s) headquartered in Ankeny, Iowa, owns and operates 2000 convenience stores in 15 Midwestern states and generates revenues of over $7.5 Billion. The stores offer self-service gasoline, a wide variety of grocery items and prepared foods, such as made-from-scratch pizza, donuts and sandwiches, as well as broader food, beverages and non-food items. Interesting to note that Casey’s is well known for its made-from-scratch pizza, and is the 5th largest pizza chain, by units, in the United States. Casey’s operates its own distribution centers (Ankeny and Terre Haute Indiana) delivering approximately 75% of the gasoline and 90% of in-store products.

 

The first stores opened in 1968 in small towns throughout Iowa. Approximately 57% of all of stores are located in areas with populations of fewer than 5,000 persons, while approximately 17% of its stores are located in communities with populations exceeding 20,000 persons. The company has a strong balance sheet and owns nearly all of its assets, enabling it to take advantage of growth opportunities.

 

Through the years, Casey’s success has been attributed to clean stores, restrooms, and the friendly employees who pride themselves in customer service. Casey’s customers have come to know that inside each store they will find dedicated, helpful, and well-trained employees, exceptional prepared food items, and a clean environment in which to shop. Casey’s aims to be their consumers’ first choice, and is often the hub of the small towns they serve.

 

As a Fortune 500 publicly-traded company, Casey’s (NASDAQ CASY) offers employees a team-focused culture, true to a foundation built on family and community values. The Company enjoys very low employee turnover, with many employees having spent their entire careers with Casey’s. The Company empowers team members and operates at an ambitious pace in a “roll-up-the-sleeves” environment, but offers a very solid work-life balance. The Company continues

to grow strategically and methodically with continued product enhancement and geographic diversification.
Casey’s has an aggressive growth agenda of 4-6% per year and enhance shareholder return, via a combination of organic growth and acquisition.

 

With unanimous support from the BOD and the senior leadership team, Casey’s has established the new position of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to help achieve its growth objectives, with a particular focus on leveraging digital technology to deepen customer engagement, enhancing customer experience and optimizing pricing and product mix.

 

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

 

The primary responsibility of the Chief Marketing Officer is to strategically drive revenue by developing and leveraging customer insights to create a digital enabled, omni-channel customer engagement strategy.

 

Leveraging data analytics and insights to create customer understanding and intimacy, this executive will represent the voice of the customer, fully understand the different customer segments, and influence the organization to help fulfill customer needs. This will enable the organization to unlock the full value of Casey’s current customer base and expand it as appropriate.   Having clearly defined and prioritized differentiated customer and product segments, s/he will be able to identify new product opportunities, service offerings and partnerships, and will drive integrated programs that capitalize on these opportunities, including driving product innovation, and optimizing product mix and pricing strategy.  This leader will play a critical role in enhancing the current culture to optimize customer experience and employee engagement.

 

This new leader will build seamless integration of customer understanding and programming across sales and communications channels with respect to all aspects of customer acquisition, retention and lifecycle marketing initiatives.

 

As the business grows the CMO will ensure appropriate positioning and evolution of the strong Casey’s brand.  Founded in robust analytics, this brand positioning will serve as a brand filter and inform messaging and customer experience, will facilitate demand generation and customer loyalty and, importantly, will create the kind of customer engagement that will be a critical underpinning to business expansion.

 

Specifically, s/he will:

 

  • Develop, secure support for, and implement an overarching marketing strategy for the company and build and drive the execution of measurable action plans from this strategic marketing foundation.
  • Provide industry-leading innovation in strategy, marketing and business planning as derived from a consumer-centric research, analytics as well as creative thinking, all with a view to clearly articulating the brand and prioritizing marketing actions.
  • Create a data-driven, customer-centric approach with differentiated objectives and programs by customer segment, product category and region to drive profitable growth. Leverage customer insights to optimize pricing, product mix and integrated marketing programming.
  • Partner with Information Technology Department to identify current capabilities and future system needs to create the appropriate digital ecosystem and technical underpinning to best understand and engage the customer and measure effectiveness of initiatives. Work to develop modern and advanced technology to support the business in a constantly evolving and rapidly changing digital environment.
  • Bring “modern” thinking and be “looking around the corner” to develop and test compelling new approaches.
  • Create a consistent and brand- coherent customer experience across media and revenue channels and products.
  • Fully leverage cutting-edge digital strategies and a laser-focused approach to marketing investment; evaluate spending based on business objectives and customer targets to ensure optimal allocation of resources.
  • Develop and manage direct budgets in accordance with organizational goals and   Continuously improve effectiveness and the ROI of marketing investments and the most efficient choice of investment channels.
  • Develop and measure metrics around key performance parameters
  • Develop and evolve all brand messaging; integrate all customer communication strategies across media and distribution channels.
  • Drive operational marketing within a strategic framework, across a complex matrix of products, markets, customers and distribution channels.
  • Evaluate and optimize organizational structure and staff.
  • Build, inspire, empower, lead and hold accountable a high-performance marketing team.
  • Drive establishment and accountability for goals and objectives while cultivating a culture that assures effective cross functional teamwork.

 

YEAR ONE CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS

  • Define digital engagement strategy
  • Clearly articulate Casey’s brand and what it will be known for
  • Develop collaborative relationships and establish credibility across the C-Suite, BOD and entire organization.

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE/QUALIFICATIONS

With a deep commercial understanding of how to leverage customer data, an analytical approach and a holistic business view with a P&L mindset, the Chief Marketing Officer will have demonstrated the ability to build and lead an organization to develop and implement strategic, integrated marketing initiatives that drive measurable business outcomes.

 

A best in class, modern marketing executive, the ideal candidate will be a highly successful and proven enterprise-wide leader. S/he will have experience in a customer-centric organization and a proven track record of leveraging customer insights to directly impact business performance and shareholder value via integrated marketing initiatives across sales and media channels to drive traffic, customer engagement, strategic brand building and ultimately, profitable revenue.

 

S/he will have the ability to use critical and analytical thinking to manage problems and streamline processes, utilizing innovative approaches to resolve issues and formulate effective strategies.

 

The successful candidate will likely have 15+ years’ experience with positions of increasing responsibilities and capabilities built from across multiple industries. Experience in a multi-unit environment is strongly preferred. Convenience store and foodservice experience is nice to have, but is not required.

 

Key elements of his/her background should include:

 

  • Has driven integrated, customer-centric approach based on data fueled analytics / insights within a business with a significant level of scale and complexity.
  • Is digitally savvy; understands interconnectivity between technology and customer experience. Leverages digital tech as a business enabler as well as a sales/media channel.
  • Balances right and left-brain aspects of merchandising and marketing and brings strategic and analytical approach to inform product development, creativity, brand, innovation as well as create CRM/Loyalty initiatives.
  • Demonstrated ability to align the organization behind a customer-led agenda.
  • Experience building and leading a high-performance team.
  • Demonstrated comfort with creating systems and processes and building capabilities and approaches that don’t exist.
  • Track record of performance, top and bottom line, strong fiscal management practices.

 

LEADERSHIP CHARACTERISTICS

  • Relentless focus on results and strong attention to detail.
  • Highly collaborative team player; builds and nurtures partnerships with diverse internal and external stakeholders including across the senior management team and the Board of Directors.
  • Gravitas, executive maturity and compelling communication skills are a must.

and intellect that will lend immediate credibility.

  • Humility and patience that will facilitate influence and integration.
  • Collaborative and able to build consensus.
  • Able to inspire, influence and align to get results through others; a strong leader and coach; cross-functional and team-building skills.
  • Comfortable getting into the details as well as stepping back to the 30,000-foot strategic view.
  • Genuine and a straight shooter.
  • Must demonstrate ethical and professional behavior in accordance with company values.

 

EDUCATION

Undergraduate degree is required, and an advanced degree is desirable.

 

COMPENSATION

Compensation will be competitive and commensurate with experience. An attractive package, including base salary, annual incentive cash bonus opportunity and a long-term incentive package will be developed to attract the finalist candidate. A relocation package will be provided.

 

CONTACT

Zach Peikon

212 973 5845

zach.peikon@kornferry.com