Recently tapped as the new CMO of Regal Entertainment Group, Ken Thewes has made a career out of repositioning brands for the digital age. His experience spans a broad range of industries and billion-dollar brands -- including Procter & Gamble, Red Lobster, and Chili's -- and has enabled him to quickly cut through the clutter and focus on what matters to consumers most.
Thewes currently heads up all marketing efforts for Regal, which includes leveraging the company's loyalty program -- and its more than 20 million members -- to help drive revenue and profitability. In addition, he leads the teams responsible for advertising, digital and social marketing, film marketing and promotions, public relations, and local marketing.
Prior to Regal, Thewes held a variety of marketing positions in multiple industries, with increasing levels of responsibility. In nearly every role, he's been a part of pioneering digital efforts:
- At Red Lobster, he launched the company's first-ever website.
- At Chili's, he launched one of the first corporate partnerships with the leading social platform at the time -- MySpace.
- At Spartan Stores, he led a significant shift in resources from "old" media (primarily print) into the digital space, and he established the digital marketing team within Spartan Stores.
"I was incredibly proud of the work I did at Spartan Stores, culminating in launching 'yes Rewards,' a digital loyalty program," Thewes says. "This resulted in a dramatic shift in the way Spartan Stores went to market. Websites, social media, and mobile apps were all critical components to making the loyalty program a success. In addition, the marketing team introduced advanced analytics to Spartan and helped identify more effective targeted marketing opportunities in partnership with regional and national CPG companies."
Thewes says that he looks forward to pioneering similar advances at Regal. And in his short time there, he's already seen progress -- and anticipates much more. Among other plans, Thewes and his team are in the process of making ongoing website improvements; integrating website, Facebook, and Twitter feeds; and increasing functionality for digital apps and mobile websites. "Regal will lead the industry in the use and incorporation of digital tools to make the movie-going process easier and more effective from search to purchase to event," he says.
You can follow Thewes on Twitter at @KenThewes.