James (Jim) Sparks MBA
James (Jim) SparksMBA 

Challenge: A start up card company was experiencing extremely low usage and trial among its' cardholders.

People were obtaining the new credit card, but they did not know where they could use it. Simply stated, if they could not use the card at their favorite merchant, there was no reason to carry the card. If we could create the right incentives, we could activate and create loyalty among the cardmembers.


I worked with key strategic partners who were category leaders; these merchants could provide awareness and a halo effect.  I had three simple strategic goals for the program:

  •   Create awatreness and loyalty

  •   Generate sales and revenue for both companies

  •   Create long-term strategic partnerships with merchants  


The program, “ValueFinders,” was the start of the CashBack Bonus and ShopDiscover programs. I developed co-op promotional campagins and sold them to select merchants in the retail, travel, and service industries. I coordinated regular mailings to cardmembers and provided exclusive discounts if they used the card to make a purchase. These mailings became so successful that more merchants started to participate and mailings became even more targeted to the cardmembers' buying patterns. Rewards were added to create greater loyalty with cardmembers and merchants. Advertising from both companies created additional awareness and excitement about the new card program and promotions. Response rates were double digit and revenue targets for these individual promotions exceeded plan goals. 

      James(Jim)          Sparks, MBA


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