Employee Spotlight: Meet Brenna Cogswell, Intern turned full-time employee

We have smart people working at Cartera Commerce and they have each contributed greatly to the success of the company. Each month, we feature one team member who can offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse of our company culture and the people who power our business.

This month we’d like to introduce you to Brenna Cogswell, a Mount Holyoke College alumnus who started as an intern at Cartera and became a full-time marketing coordinator. Brenna Cogswell

What was it like interning at Cartera?

Being a marketing intern at Cartera (back in the summer of 2012) was a great experience. I learned so much about the world of loyalty marketing in the first few months I was here – from email marketing best practices to strategies for writing compelling copy.

Coming from a background in social anthropology, Cartera’s marketing internship was the perfect way for me to apply the skills I learned in college to the accounts I was working on and see results. As an Intern, I felt that my ideas and opinions really mattered and that my coworkers genuinely valued what I brought to the table.

How has your role shifted now that you’re a full-time employee?

From marketing intern, to marketing associate, and now marketing coordinator the change in roles has been truly seamless. With each shift in title, I have been able to take more responsibility and ownership for my projects and have gained confidence in making strategic marketing decisions for my accounts. It has been so great to see my accounts grow and be able to get more involved in testing new ideas that later become company-wide best practices. Marketing Services is a really fun, supportive and team oriented group. I always feel encouraged to take on new challenges and am always learning from what my colleagues are working on.

What advice would you give to college students on the job or internship hunt?

I think one of the most important things during the job hunt is being open and willing to try new things. Discovering how the skills and experiences you have gained through college can apply to new and challenging situations in the workforce is exciting! Trust your instincts, go with your gut, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and above all ask a ton of questions. You never know how your chosen major and experiences are preparing you for the road ahead, so figure out what it is you are motivated by and find a way to turn that into something long term.

What do you love about your job?

I love that each day brings new opportunities to learn. I work on very cross-functional account teams. Being able to work with, bounce ideas off, and learn from my colleagues in relationship management, merchandising services, marketing channel solutions, sales, analytics, etc. is an invaluable experience.

 What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?

Outside of work I love being active and playing sports with friends – from ultimate frisbee to pick-up basketball. I also love exploring new areas in Boston (especially if these new areas include hipster bars and old bookstores) and am always perfecting my coffee making skills (I am 100% a coffee-addict).

Where’s your favorite place to vacation, or where’s a place you’ve never visited but would love to go?

I have a soft spot in my heart for Scotland ever since I studied abroad my junior year of college at the University of St Andrews. Next on my travel list? I am looking to plan a trip to Greece!

What’s on your DVR right now?

Not on my DVR, but my Netflix and I are anxiously awaiting the return of Orange is the New Black.

What’s currently playing on your iPod?

A lot of Lorde, some Sam Smith and of course, Mumford and Sons.

What book are you reading?

Catch-22, I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet!

We’re hiring! See a full list of job openings on our website.

A Peek Behind the Cartera Commerce Curtain with “View from the Wing”

Are you curious about how loyalty-based advertising and offer programs work? Interested to hear about how consumers shop on offer-based portals and how mobile devices will impact this behavior? Are you curious about how they maximize their rewards earning experiences with your brand?

View from the Wing blog editor Gary Leff recently caught up with Cartera CEO Tom Beecher to ask him how merchants, airlines and banks benefit from these programs, and how consumers are using them to earn miles, points and cashback, and save money. If you’re interested in learning more, read the article “Secrets of Cartera Commerce Revealed: Inside the Company that Brings You Miles for Online Shopping.”

Three Mobile Retail Trends That Are Shaping 2014

In 2013, we saw consumers utilizing more mobile devices for their loyalty programs and shopping activities. In fact, according to Forrester’s “Predictions 2014: Mobile Trends For Marketers,” merchants may see as much as 50 percent of their traffic coming from mobile devices this year. Is your loyalty program poised to engage with and deliver offers to mobile-centric consumers?

Here are three mobile trends that merchants should consider this year:

1. The use of mobile wallets will increase in the U.S.

China is already seeing mobile wallets catching on with 100 million users for the AliPlay Wallet application. We’d argue that the adoption rate for mobile wallets is much slower in the US, but merchants must brace for this change and consider what is driving the interest in these applications. That is, consumers want access to fast, easy transactions that make their lives more convenient. Regardless of whether the term “mobile wallets” ultimately translates into an app housing multiple credit card or account numbers, or a merchant-specific app that enables quick transactions, consumers are on the lookout for simple ways to engage with merchants. The loyalty play here is that, in addition to making that shopping experience more convenient, merchants should also offer customers a benefit – or added value – for using this app to do their shopping. One way to do this is to link mobile payment applications to loyalty and rewards programs that help track usage, while offering other deals and discounts

2. Consumers are channel and platform agnostic

Like the use of mobile wallets, the ways in which consumers interact with your brand are all matters of convenience. On any given day, a consumer could research a brand or product on multiple devices and through multiple channels. The only determining factor is where they are and what device they have at hand. Merchants must ensure that they’re prepared to engage with consumers – and optimize their experiences – across all possible channels. Online shopping and loyalty sites must be configured for all possible viewing and interaction scenarios to ensure the best customer experiences at all times. Furthermore, all of these experiences must be linked to provide a seamless progression from one channel to another. This may seem like old news, but few merchants are doing this successfully for their product catalogs. It’s even more challenging to ensure that marketing and loyalty initiatives are incorporated into this omni-channel approach – especially since these programs involve third-party vendors and developers.

3. Mobile is a long-term investment

In order to be nimble and innovate freely enough to remain relevant to tech-savvy consumers, merchants need to invest long-term in mobile mindshare and applications. Whether merchants hire internally or work with an outside party, the mobile initiative is never over. It’s an ongoing evolution of new experiences and expectations, and it cannot be considered a “one and done” effort. Successful merchant marketers will continue to push the mobile envelop, deliver new modes of engagement and continually look for new ways to differentiate shoppers’ experiences across a number of channels, devices and platforms.

As shopping trends continue to evolve, retailers will need to stay in front of the latest technologies and adapt them to an array of consumers’ shopping and situational experiences. What mobile retail trends are you watching this year? Share your thoughts in the comments below.