Special Report: Media Mavens 2012

Media Mavens: Jamie Egasti, Catalina Marketing

CEO of Couponing Company Says Industry Is on the Brink of a Digital Breakout

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Jamie Egasti
Jamie Egasti

Résumé: Jamie Egasti spent the first eight years in sales at Procter & Gamble Co., then moved into marketing with the beverage business in 1988. Later he became marketing director and general manager in fabric care, VP-corporate new business and president-global snacks and coffee.

Biggest accomplishment: Such innovations as Febreze and Swiffer at P&G, digital buying system BuyerVision and Modiv Media acquisition at Catalina.

Quick fact: He was a CEO before -- of a company that didn't quite exist: Folgers Coffee Co. He assembled a team to spin it off as an independent company in 2008 before J.M. Smucker Co. entered at the last minute entry to acquire it.

In a 30-year Procter & Gamble Co. career, Jamie Egasti was best known by insiders as the driving force behind the fabric- and home-care innovation binge of the late 1990s that saw the launch of Febreze and Swiffer.

Now at Catalina Marketing, he looks to bring the same spirit of innovation to media. Since Mr. Egasti became CEO a year ago, the company best known for its Checkout Coupon system has launched BuyerVision, a way to target online ads in real time to people based on their shopping habits, as determined by Catalina's loyalty-card tracking systems. Catalina also recently bought Modiv Media, which Mr. Egasti hopes to build into a major mobile-promotion platform.

"We sit on what may be one of the very best data sets available," Mr. Egasti said of the shopper-purchase database. "And I learned from my early days at Procter that having the best data was an incredible competitive advantage."

Mr. Egasti said he also sees parallels in the power of partnerships, with such rivals as Clorox or Unicharm at P&G and now with Nielsen, among others, at Catalina.

He views Catalina as "a digital media company" with a weekly audience of 75 million to 80 million that he described as "a third bigger than Yahoo and three times Sunday Night Football." Adoption of digital and mobile technologies to replace paper coupons has been slower than many expected, he admitted, but he said the industry is on the brink of a digital breakout.

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