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"A candle loses nothing of its light by lighting another candle."
- James Keller

Michael Hemsey

Michael Hemsey President

“There is nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.”

This droll observation from Jim Hightower was buried within a phenomenal article discussing the challenges companies face trying to distill their value proposition down to a single statement. The article’s point was that the most effective leaders, and effective companies, are able to do just that—and that the clarity and simplicity of communicating this way, and thinking this way, helps them “win big in tough industries.”

I think the challenge applies to not only Kobie Marketing and our brand – but to each of us, and how we strive to succeed in our careers, and in our lives. One of Kobie’s promises has been “we never sacrifice an existing client for new business.” Another promise from everyone on our team is “we do what we say we’re going to do.” And while I think these assertions are important, and something we need to hold ourselves accountable to as we grow – I don’t think they are defining statements of our brand.

We discussed this as a team, and spoke with our clients, and realized that Kobie’s entire focus has been to “deliver the best Customer Experience in the loyalty industry, to both our clients, and their customers.” Period. That, we recognize, is the defining statement of our brand, and why our clients choose to work with us.

This statement encompasses every interaction our client’s customers have with Kobie products and services—how the phone is answered by our call center, how our website is designed, the IVR messages, the text message, the packaging and fulfillment of a gift card, the travel experience—every channel, and every customer interaction our client’s entrust Kobie to manage on their behalf.

And the statement also encompasses the Customer Experience our client’s have working directly with the Kobie team, day in, day out. Client service, operations, technology, creative, analytics—our teams are focused on making our clients successful in their careers, and making all of their investments in their programs profitable.

It is in this light that we challenge ourselves, and ask if what we are doing day-to–day delivers on this promise. Do our goals reflect an evolution to that purpose? Do things need to change to meet that purpose?

Another great quote from the article had me chuckling: “You can look at an opportunity or a challenge, and ask yourself, ‘Is this the right thing to do given our purpose? Does this further our cause?’ If it does, you do it. If it doesn’t, you don’t. If it’s proof to your purpose, embrace it. If it violates your purpose, kick it out on its ass.”

The beauty of simplicity.

~ Michael


As President of Kobie Marketing, Michael is responsible for leading all facets of the loyalty marketing organization including business development, IT initiatives, client services, as well as the overall direction of the Kobie brand. For over 20 years, Michael has cultivated a rich background in client services, product development, marketing, technology and operations through several key posts.

Prior to Kobie Marketing, Michael was Executive Vice President of TSYS Loyalty (formerly ESC Loyalty) and led the loyalty marketing implementation and relationship management teams serving the world’s largest issuers and retailers. Michael served as Director of Product Management at Broadvision, a worldwide enterprise software company, where he was responsible for developing the company’s employee portal platform offering. In addition, he has held client relations and marketing leadership positions at Consumer Financial Network, an e-commerce platform of insurance and financial service providers, and Mutual of New York (MONY).

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts in Government, Michael has served on the Board of Notre Dame Alumni, NJ; and held board member posts at DataComm Electronics and Loeffler Randall, Inc. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Trinity School of Medicine.

What are your hidden talents?
  • Playing the piano by ear
  • Creative writing
  • Aspiring pastry chef