PROFILE

Mark Price

Managing Partner, LiftPoint Consulting, Inc.

Mark Price is founder and managing partner and founder of LiftPoint Consulting Group, which he has led for over 14 years.  He is a frequent speaker at conferences as an expert on data-driven marketing and authors articles on the same topic. Mark has a podcast called The Lift Point and also blogs regularly.  He is responsible for leading client engagements, e-commerce and database marketing and talent acquisition for his firm.

Prior to founding LiftPoint Consulting in 2002, Mark was the Practice Leader for Zamba Solutions, focusing on data warehousing, marketing automation and data mining. Mark’s business experience also includes brand management at General Mills and Ralston Purina.

Mark has an MBA from the Darden School of the University of Virginia and a BA from Haverford College. He lives in Eden Prairie, Minn., with his wife,  poodle and Great Dane.

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LiftPoint Consulting Blog

 

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  • Posted on: 03/21/2017

    Why is the U.S. so bad at airport retailing?

    U.S. retailers make the mistake of assuming that consumers in an "airport mall" are more focused on the "airport" than the "mall." True, specific segments of consumers purchase items to make their flights easier, but many consumers, particularly frequent flyers (who make up a great percent of the ordinary daily airport traffic), treat shopping at the airport as a substitute for the actual mall. More mainstream stores with more mainstream staff and items will drive more consistent traffic and revenue.
  • Posted on: 03/17/2017

    Should retailers obsess about e-mail blast timing?

    In the testing work we have done with retailers, time of day and day of week have significantly influenced results. The article highlights the need to be validating those results frequently, since they do change over time.We have had success with peak and off peak sends, depending on seasonality and holidays. For example, email campaigns run during the SuperBowl can have strong results, even though you might not think so. The same for New Year's eve. Speaks to the need to create hypotheses and test and retest....
  • Posted on: 03/16/2017

    Can UPS fly past Amazon in drone delivery?

    One of the greatest costs of the delivery business is that last mile, which is seldom repeated and is a repeated one-off expense. Drones have the ability to reduce the cost of that last mile and hopefully facilitate multitasking by the delivery vehicle -- delivery to one location personally while delivering to 1+ locations aerially. UPS has the truck fleet and the data on past deliveries to use in optimization analyses, which is a huge advantage in the industry -- they stand a good chance of winning.
  • Posted on: 03/14/2017

    Will being more like Home Depot work for J.C. Penney?

    A signifiant upside exists for Penney's in home improvement driven by the fact that the home improvement category is relatively stable, while the soft goods market is being ravaged by online and fast fashion alternatives. Every day, it seems, someone in clothing is shutting their doors. You may not need a new dress, but when your washer and dryer break, you NEED a replacement. More stability and expanded revenue will be a significant benefit to this up-and-down chain.
  • Posted on: 03/13/2017

    Are retailers ‘blind’ to digital marketing’s flaws?

    One of the greatest benefits of digital marketing is the accountability. With the exception of social media, most digital marketing should be trackable. That does not mean that it is easy to track. The gap for most marketers is attribution modeling, which identifies the combination of actions that drive incremental sales. Detailed test plans (A/B and multivariate), combined with strong web metric tools, provide the tools that will permit marketers to better understand the impact of their digital marketing.
  • Posted on: 02/21/2017

    Are Boomers being ignored by retailers?

    If Boomers feel that retailers do not recognize them and do not provide them with personalized offers, that is a frequent complaint for all customer segments. In general, retailers fail on these attributes. Boomers may have higher expectations for customer experience and attention, but every segment has those needs.Since the majority of retailers are run by Boomers who tend to put themselves in the customer's shoes (sometimes to a detriment), I do not feel that Boomers are neglected. But special attention must be paid to positioning and imagery to ensure that retail brands do not "run away" from the core Boomer audience.
  • Posted on: 02/17/2017

    Will Dunnhumby’s analytics do for Whole Foods what it did for Kroger?

    Customer analytics has been the secret sauce in Kroger's success over the past 10 years. The ability to personalize offers at the SKU level based on advanced analytics has driven customer engagement, repeat and lifetime value. It is unclear if the Whole Foods customer is as offer-driven as the Kroger customer. Whole Foods tends to sell on "value and values" rather than on price. For the Kroger approach to work, Whole Foods must accept that offers will be a core part of their strategy going forward. That seems to me to be the big question.Personalization with more content and fewer offers may have impact, but the impact is likely to be slower than an offer-based approach.
  • Posted on: 02/16/2017

    Lidl is ahead of schedule for U.S. store openings

    Lidl, with their limited assortment and small footprint, may find themselves squeezed between the expanding capability of convenience stores and the broad array of prepared foods and packaged goods at American grocery stores. Aldi has been effective in very specific areas where price sensitivity is the highest (under-served communities and geography.The key to success will be (as always), successful differentiation from the lower-end and higher end competitors. Also, I do not know if Lidl has loyalty cards to track and influence customer behavior. If not, that would also be a barrier to success.
  • Posted on: 02/14/2017

    Is third-party content more effective in generating online sales?

    Clearly, user generated content is placed at a premium. But there is a third category -- sponsored content by independent experts, which is likely to have high credibility. Sponsored content, or even independent reviews by bloggers who have received samples, all work to federate information about the quality of the company's products and can be an effective marketing tool.
  • Posted on: 02/13/2017

    Should L.L.Bean ditch its legendary return policy?

    The return policy is integral to the LLB brand proposition -- that is, being "not an ordinary company" but of being more of a lifestyle and a mission. When you get returns, you are getting repeat engagement, which is not a bad thing. Now you do have to manage the P&L, so I would focus on eliminating the outliers, the people who are taking advantage of the system. Any other cost-focused cutting of the brand proposition must account for the inevitable attrition that comes from straying away from the benefits that comprise the brand.
  • Posted on: 02/01/2017

    How are marketers improving data quality?

    The greatest problem facing marketers today is the proliferation of customer-facing data silos driven by multiple disconnected software tools and the lack of integration of past acquisitions. The traditional method of mapping all the data across all the applications usually does not succeed because the cost is too high in dollars and resources. The new approaches, which we are piloting for clients today, include using machine learning to better forecast needed data fields and assembling "data marts on the fly" to address the analytic needs of marketers and other executives.The challenge is not to run after the next shiny new thing but to keep focused on the key drivers of ROI -- what will actually impact the business in the short and long term.
  • Posted on: 01/31/2017

    Will free two-day shipping give Walmart an edge over Amazon?

    Amazon will not be strongly affected by the Walmart offer because the brand positioning of each organization is radically different. The Walmart positioning is, of course, highly price oriented. Amazon, while maintaining a very broad audience, has a core audience that is customer experience and simplicity focused. Until Walmart is able to successfully address customer experience on the site, the company can not expect to steal Amazon share.
  • Posted on: 01/30/2017

    Starbucks battles mobile pick-up congestion

    Actually, mobile ordering will lead to more predictability rather than the converse. Because the data is coming to Starbucks in real-time, the company can use forecasting algorithms to better predict demand on a daily, hourly and even minute-by-minute basis. What you are seeing is growing pains of a system that is binding customers more and more securely to the Starbucks franchise. I am sure they will overcome this shortly.
  • Posted on: 01/20/2017

    Will online sales redeem struggling brick and mortar retailers?

    Physical retailers hold an advantage over online stores -- consumers can pick up their product on the very same day, even in the same hour. However, "bricks and clicks" retailers will only enjoy the business benefit of this strategy when they can seamlessly integrate online and offline experiences. Buy online, pickup in-store is a compelling program, but prices, products, support and branding must be unified into a true omnichannel experience. Then these retailers can begin to see gains to help offset the in-store only declines.
  • Posted on: 01/19/2017

    Will Walmart’s Scan & Go catch on this time around?

    While the Walmart shopper has a high penetration of smartphones (as do most customer segments these days), I am not sure that their heavy customer fits the "early adopter" psychographic necessary to pioneer new technology. Just like Walmart's difficult initial forays into e-commerce, their customer base tends to be late adopters. As a result, Walmart would be better advised to improve the store experience and hold off on new technologies until they are widely accepted.

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