• June 9, 2015
  • The Hilton
  • Minneapolis
  • 8:00 am – 4:30 pm

Registration for the 2015 Midwest Retail Strategies Conference is now open. Register before May 15 and save.



Hear from the leaders in Retail

For savvy retailers, opportunities abound. The best days are ahead. Although online commerce has staked its claim, Lee Peterson of WD Partners says: “The next ‘killer app’ is... stores.”

Are you ready to take the lead? Register now for Star Tribune’s second annual Midwest Strategies Retail Conference, on Tuesday, June 9 at the Hilton Downtown Minneapolis.

We’ve invited numerous retail leaders to this one-day event to share their perspectives on the issues that matter most to you. Here’s a sneak peek at our agenda that features both general sessions and fast-paced breakouts:

  • Marketing to Millennials
  • Unleashing the power of marketing automation
  • Tapping the power of Google for your business
  • Marketing to mobile shoppers
  • Optimizing your preprint strategy


Opening Keynote

The New Killer App: Stores

“Stores as we knew them are over,” says WD Partners. Online retailing has upended commerce, leaving a generation of store-less shoppers. MORE+

And in trying to solve for the loss of shoppers, stores are overlooking their best and most effective solutions. In this presentation, based on new consumer research, you’ll find actionable concepts for winning back the Storeless Generation and pioneering the next big thing for your stores.

Presented by Lee Peterson, WD Partners

Breakout A

Option 1

Savvy SEM for Serious Sales

Can paid search drive both online and offline sales? Yes! Smart planning and effective campaigns and connect with shoppers in both worlds. MORE+

In this session you’ll see how to create an effective local presence through SEM that will guide consumers in online research mode to in-person purchases.

Presented by Ted Kozlowski, DemandQuest Institute

Option 2

Millennials: Media, Myths, and Momentum

Frank N. Magid Associates is the preeminent generational insights organization. Their latest research reveals facts about how Millennials consume media. MORE+

Hear about surprising facts including how they view your advertising, and think about shopping.

Presented by Bill Day, Executive Director, Frank N. Magid Associates

Breakout B

Option 1

Designing Digital Retail Experiences: Simplicity + Emotion = Success

As retail evolves from episodic to continuous relationships, shoppers depend on technology more and more to engage. MORE+

We will examine strategies and related case studies for how retail companies are increasing brand awareness and customer loyalty via mobile and digital experiences. The consumer-facing mobile app serves to capture market share by educating shoppers about products aligned with their preferences and encouraging them to share those with their networks.

Presented by Jay Miller, Chief Engagement Officer, MentorMate

Option 2

Optimizing the Marketing Mix with Preprints

Preprints, whether delivered via newspaper or shared mail, are the workhorse of the retailer's marketing mix. Why? Because nothing is better at driving store traffic. MORE+

In this session we discuss when and where shoppers look for preprints and how data-driven targeting can improve ROI. We'll compare engagement by channel (paid, opt-in, opt-out, shared mail), challenge myths about millennials, and explore which verticals experience the most success with preprints.

Presented by Todd Molldrem, Star Tribune

Lunch Keynote

Why She Buys

Bridget Brennan's book “Why She Buys” was hailed as essential reading by The Wall Street Journal and Fortune. MORE+

No one is better than at distilling the trends driving women's shopping behavior, or at helping retailers capture the attention of female consumers, drive brand preference and increase sales by understanding how to speak to the world's most powerful consumers.

Presented by Bridget Brennan, CEO, Female Factor

Breakout C

Option 1

Data, Data Everywhere: How Retailers Can Know Every Customer Better and Drive More Sales

Customer personalization was born in retail stores, and in the digital age retailers can gain a real advantage through the smart use of their data. MORE+

It’s a powerful fuel for delivering smart, relevant experiences at just the right moment—whether customers are in-store or online. But with nearly infinite data points available, where should you start? How do you combine offline and online data? How do you reach high-potential shoppers across screens at the right time-and the right number of times? This session provides strategies and use cases for using data to drive awareness, visits, and revenue for retailers of any size.

Presented by Baochi Nguyen, Vice President of Marketing, Krux

Option 2

How Minnesota Shops & Spends for the Holidays

Ring in record results in 2016! With new research from the 2015 holiday season, this session will highlight changing consumer behavior around mobile and online shopping, and show you how to think bigger about the holiday season—when it really starts and ends. MORE+

See how national brands make a holiday splash—and where local retailers have an edge. Attendees will also get a look at exclusive Star Tribune promotional opportunities for boosting their marketing ROI around the holidays.

Presented by Eric Pohl, Travel Tags Vice President of Sales and Steve Yaeger, Star Tribune Vice President of Marketing

Breakout D

Option 1

Case Study: Not in My Backyard: How Mall of America is Protecting Its Turf in the Face of New Competition

When an ambitious new competitor came to town and set up shop virtually across the street, the Mall of America didn’t shrink from the challenge. MORE+

It went on the offensive, redoubling marketing efforts to appeal to local and visiting shoppers as the destination mall in the U.S. Get the inside story on how the MOA shifted its strategy and stayed on top.

Presented by Jill Renslow, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Mall of America

Option 2

Steal These Ideas: High-Impact Creative, Real-World Results

What does “breakthrough creative” mean in 2015? When more advertising is bought and delivered by machines, what's the role of the creative thinker? MORE+

This fun, practical session will show that while everything's changed…nothing has changed: no matter the medium, ideas that connect still carry the day. See real-world examples of recent creative that's performed in print, digital, mobile and video.

Presented by Sean Haley, Director of Ad Strategy and Creative at Star Tribune, and Jenny Johnson, Sales Development Manager at Star Tribune

Closing Keynote

Looking Downfield: How Retailers Can Win with Sport’s Biggest Event

Super Bowl LII comes to Minnesota in 2018, but it’s not too early to start planning for sport’s biggest event. MORE+

Sponsorship and hospitality opportunities will be plentiful, of course, but this session will get your wheels turning on creative ways to put your business in the center of the action and capture more sales.

Presented by Maureen Bausch, CEO, Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee


The experts who deliver retail success every day

Here’s just a taste of what’s on tap at the Midwest Retail Strategies Conference — new ideas and proven practices.

  • Maureen Bausch

    Maureen Bausch

    Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee
    Presenting: Looking Downfield: How Retailers Can Win with Sport's Biggest Event

    bio +

    Maureen oversees every aspect of planning and executing the week-long celebration and showcasing our region to an international audience. Previously, Bausch was the Mall of America’s Executive Vice President of Business Development, where she helped build Mall of America into an internationally-recognized brand that entertains over 40 million people each year and generates more than $3 billion in economic impact to Minnesota annually. Bausch has been named one of the Top 100 Marketers in the country by Advertising Age.

  • Bridget Brennan

    Bridget Brennan

    Female Factor
    Presenting: Why She Buys

    bio +

    Bridget leads the country’s foremost of business strategy firm that is 100% focused on marketing to America’s most powerful consumers: women. She is a contributing writer on the subject of marketing and selling to women for Forbes.com and one of the world’s most popular speakers on the subject. Brennan has served as an instructor at Northwestern University’s Medill School marketing communications graduate program, as a guest lecturer at MBA programs at the Kellogg School of Management, and is a popular speaker at conferences worldwide.

  • Bill Day

    Bill Day

    Executive Director
    Frank N. Magid Associates
    Presenting: Millennials: Media, Myths, and Momentum

    bio +

    Magid is the leading strategy consulting firm focused on consumer interaction with entertainment and media across all platforms. Bill has a long track record of improving sales for numerous national retailers. In 2008, while at Gannett, Bill was recognized by Target as the Corporate Media Partner of the Year. He is on the faculty of American University’s School of Communications where he lectures on media economics, management and new media ecosystems.

  • Sean Haley

    Sean Haley

    Director of Advertising Strategy and Creative
    Star Tribune Media Company
    Presenting: Steal These Ideas: High-Impact Creative, Real-World Results

    bio +

    Sean leads an internal team that develops strategic marketing recommendations for leading retail and CPG advertisers like Target, Mills Fleet Farm, Macy’s, Verizon, and Anheuser Busch. Their research and data-driven creative and media strategies help clients reach millions of customers across multiple platforms.

  • Jenny Johnson

    Jenny Johnson

    Sales Development Manager
    Star Tribune Media Company
    Presenting: Steal These Ideas: High-Impact Creative, Real-World Results

    bio +

    As part of Star Tribune’s sales development team, Jenny works with dozens of the region’s biggest retail brands developing creative that delivers results.

  • Ted Kozlowski

    Ted Kozlowski

    DemandQuest Institute
    Presenting: Savvy SEM for Serious Sales

    bio +

    Ted is a seasoned technology sales and marketing executive, a Silicon Valley veteran and current President of DemandQuest Marketing Institute. He is a featured speaker and teacher throughout the U.S., sharing his expertise on search strategies with advertising and marketing professionals from local chambers of commerce to national conferences.

  • Jay Miller

    Jay Miller

    Chief Engagement Officer
    Presenting: Designing Digital Retail Experiences: Simplicity + Emotion = Success

    bio +

    For the past 20 years, Jay has worn many hats—Designer, Creative Director, Production Artist, Vice President—leading to once-in-a-lifetime design opportunities, including launching the Wheaties FUEL® campaign with Kevin Garnett, Albert Pujols and Peyton Manning; and working closely with Def Jam to unite their labels into an online portal. Today, as Chief Engagement Officer for MentorMate, Jay leads the Client Engagement team, which is comprised of Client Services and Marketing. From startups to Fortune 500 companies, clients at MentorMate rely on Jay’s design expertise and creative genius to transform their vision into a branded, interactive experience that engages customers.

  • Todd Molldrem

    Todd Molldrem

    Director of Major Retail & National Accounts
    Star Tribune Media Company
    Presenting: Optimizing the Marketing Mix with Preprints

    bio +

    Over the last 20 years, Todd has worked with large national brands and regional and local retailers in optimizing their media mix, including previous roles with Tactician Media and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he worked with major retailers to develop total market coverage strategies that delivered advertising ROI. Previously he spent 10 years at ADVO (now Vlassis).

  • Baochi Nguyen

    Baochi Nguyen

    Vice President of Marketing
    Presenting: Data, Data Everywhere: How Retailers Can Know Every Customer Better and Drive More Sales

    bio +

    At Krux, a next-generation data management platform (DMP), Baochi helps marketers, publishers, and agencies drive revenue by delivering smarter content, commerce and marketing experiences in real time. Her work has earned recognition from publications including Mashable, Entrepreneur magazine and FoxNews Business. She is a frequent speaker at industry events and currently serves as an advisory board member for Scoop.it, a social content curation platform.

  • Lee Peterson

    Lee Peterson

    EVP, Brand, Strategy & Design
    WD Partners
    Presenting: The New Killer App: Stores

    bio +

    With more than 34 years of collective experience as a retailer, strategist, and leader in brand development, Lee brings an innovative approach to strategic assessment and brand development. Particularly in tune with cultural trends, consumer demographics, and buying behavior across multiple industries, Lee offers a well-rounded and informed approach to brand development and designing customer-focused retail and restaurant prototypes.

  • Eric Pohl

    Eric Pohl

    Vice President Sales
    Travel Tags
    Presenting: How Minnesota Shops & Spends for the Holidays

    bio +

    As Vice President of sales for Travel Tags, Inc., Eric leads a team that consults with some of the biggest names in retail and financial services on prepaid and debit/credit products. Travel Tags, Inc., based in Inver Grove Heights, is one of the largest prepaid and gift card manufacturers in the world shipping product to over 50 countries and has facilities in the US and Europe.

  • Jill Renslow

    Jill Renslow

    Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development
    Mall of America
    Presenting: Not in My Backyard: How Mall of America is Protecting Its Turf in the Face of New Competition

    bio +

    At the worlds #1 entertainment and shopping destination, Jill oversees all aspects of communications, marketing, strategic alliances and partnerships, advertising, digital media, group sales, theme park, and theatre marketing. She is responsible for working with new and existing tenants to create unique experiences and drive sales and traffic.

  • Steve Yaeger

    Steve Yaeger

    Vice President of Marketing
    Star Tribune Media Company
    Presenting: How Minnesota Shops & Spends for the Holidays

    bio +

    At Star Tribune, Steve is responsible for all aspects of brand, advertising, promotions, and consumer research. In addition to Star Tribune, he manages a portfolio of brands that includes StribExpress, Vita.mn and dozens of specialty websites, apps and publications. Before joining Star Tribune in 2011, he held marketing leadership roles at Aspyrion, Cognos, The Thomson Corporation and Fingerhut.

Agenda and speakers subject to change. Check back for updates.


For further information about the Midwest Retail Strategies Conference, please contact Patrick Davis at 612‑673‑4163 or patrick.davis@startribune.com.