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    Cenex Launches Gift Card Initiative for the Holidays

    Comprehensive campaign includes print ads, radio spots, direct mail, online advertising, e-mail marketing and consumer promos.

    ST. PAUL, Minn. – Cenex, a division of CHS Inc., is getting into the holiday spirit this season with a recently launched all-inclusive holiday marketing push.

    "To help Cenex retailers capitalize on the 2011 gift card season, CHS has launched a comprehensive holiday campaign including corporate media placement, merchandising kits for retailers and sales training for front-line employees," said Kayte Haaland, brand and marketing manager for CHS Refined Fuels.

    The media plan for this holiday season includes print ads, radio spots, direct mail, online advertising, e-mail marketing and consumer sales promotions.

    "Our marketing strategy is always twofold ¬-- make it appealing to consumers and easy for our retail partners," Haaland explained. "Research shows occasion-based gift cards help drive purchase decisions; as a result, a new campaign is introduced seasonally. To make it easy for busy retailers to implement the latest campaign, they receive complete merchandising kits with campaign guides in advance of a corporate media campaign launch."

    The company is also offering bonus advertising incentives for Cenex convenience store operators who deploy local marketing.

    "Our goal is to provide retail partners with everything they need to leverage and benefit from the campaign. For example, based on customer feedback, this year we developed online training to teach c-store employees how to maximize sales of Cenex gift cards through suggestive selling, merchandising techniques and more," Haland added. "Best of all, everything is completely free. The Cenex brand is all about energetic, personal attention -- and the gift card program is just one example of that commitment."

    In the decade since Cenex gift cards were introduced in the stores, gift card numbers have increased every year -- both in sales and transaction counts, according to the company.

    "We're on track for another record year. Our challenge now is to keep up the momentum," Haaland said.


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