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: 01/15/2018

    Does a Boxed acquisition make sense for Kroger?

    Since Millennials are not consistent shoppers in grocery stores and bulk purchases are not a key part of Kroger's current business model, a potential acquisition of Boxed would be largely incremental. Not only would such an acquisition provide Kroger with incremental customers and revenue, but it would also provide the company with valuable customer purchase insight. Both organizations have a strong focus on customer transactional data, which would make such an acquisition even more valuable.
  • Posted on: 12/28/2017

    What does Bass Pro owe Cabela’s hometown?

    Bass Pro Shops has struck the right tone of honesty and compassion at the same time. Changes obviously must be made, but letting employees know that the cuts are not indiscriminate and that some jobs will be preserved is an important message. Letting employees know that additional funds has been set aside for benefits for laid off employees also helps.This type of event is never easy. But honesty and compassion are the best combination to get through it.
  • Posted on: 12/27/2017

    What retail apocalypse?

    The economy was clearly the biggest driver, with strong employment and consumer confidence. In addition, market consolidation may have improved overall customer experience and resulted in consumers purchasing at higher levels than previously. The higher customer experience is likely driven by omnichannel behavior, which the best retailers have invested in.
  • Posted on: 12/26/2017

    Lululemon leans on personal development of associates

    The focus on personal development of Lululemon's associates is not only a strong statement in the value of associates to the organization but also is completely consistent with the brand value and positioning. That consistency of living the brand is one of the reasons that Lululemon continues to show brand growth and resilience in tough retail times.
  • Posted on: 12/19/2017

    Are holiday gifts in the workplace an untapped retail opportunity?

    Workplace gifts represent two opportunities. First is the opportunity to include products for a targeted event, like bridal shower gifts, with a list of best selections in a manner that makes it easy for customers to purchase and have delivered. Second would be the opportunity to be a disruptor and see if there is a market for corporate gifting that extends to employee recognition and birthday celebrations, etc.While consumers address these needs in a variety of ways, there is no consolidated service that makes it easy.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2017

    Does it matter if social media is getting a bad rep?

    While users believe, rightly so, that the social media companies are focused on their own profits, the tools still play an incredibly important and growing role in the formation of consumer preference. The 2016 election and the subsequent fascination with Trump's tweets show that Facebook and Twitter are more etched into public behavior than ever before, for better or worse.Now social media does keep evolving and there is some evidence that Snap and Instagram play a greater role for Millennials. That trend in no way diminishes the role of this important and evolving channel -- it just makes it hard for marketers to harness for their own purposes.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2017

    Who will be left standing after the next retail shakeout?

    I agree that these three strategies are critical, but I do not think they act as standalones. Rather, discount retailers must offer a solid multichannel experience and good customer service. There is no secret ingredient. Only by engaging customers in their preferred channel, and delivering a strong experience in-store, will retailers thrive in this new age of competition and declining customer engagement.One strategy that was not mentioned was the delivering of services to add value to the products. Education still has a high perceived value and acts as an incentive to drive customers into the store as well as to make them into raving fans, which every retailer wants. Other services such as yoga classes in stores that sell yoga equipment, fishing classes in fishing stores, etc. all add value to their brands, drive customer engagement and frequency and result in higher revenue in the long run.But one strategy stands above all the rest: engaging and empowering store associates to do the very best they can to connect with customers, leverage product and category knowledge and data to provide the very best experience. That one-on-one experience is so lacking in retail today and promises such opportunity.
  • Posted on: 10/30/2017

    Johnson & Johnson takes aim at digital disruption

    Managing all the channels is a requirement for top CPG brands today. Distribution will be absolutely critical to success, and distribution strategies will need to be flexible and agile as the digital and discount channels change with new retailers and e-commerce providers emerging and changing their value propositions.In addition, consumer engagement across channels will be critical. Customers must be researched and segmented as their behavior is evolving -- making the challenge even greater.Success will be driven by distribution and engagement and the best CPG marketers will be highly focused on both.
  • Posted on: 10/27/2017

    When are text messages welcome from retailers?

    Clearly the main question is about the importance of the communication. Consumers who are in the segment that accepts and even encourages text messages do not want text to just become another email, where you receive so many communications it is hard to identify the important ones.Text messages need to contain time-sensitive information, perhaps based on location data, as well as transactional information. Context as well as content will be critical to the success of text messaging as a tool to drive engagement.
  • Posted on: 10/24/2017

    Do U.S. retailers have a big cross-border opportunity?

    To the extent that companies can identify specific customer segments within new markets that would benefit from their product, new markets can be profitable. The barriers to entry are high, though, in terms of regulation, shipping and VAT. One additional cost that manufacturers underestimate is the cost of distribution, both in terms of dollars and time to train, manage and ensure effective operations.Increasing free trade zones can help to reduce those costs and grow businesses in the U.S. by opening those markets to new products for those segments that would really benefit.
  • Posted on: 10/23/2017

    Will in-store clienteling aid Neiman Marcus’ digital push?

    Providing powerful data driven tools to enhance customer experience in-store with the associates has been a long time coming in retail. I applaud Neiman for moving this ahead. The ultimate positioning for any retailer is "you know me" and tolls such as this will help Neiman reinforce their relationship with their core customer base, increasing retention and frequency.This capability will provide a bigger benefit to customers the more often they come in and the more they purchase. Being able to access sizes and colors based on historical transactions, as well as "next most likely" product suggestions, in-store, will provide a human touch with essentially digital capabilities.I am excited to see how Neiman and other retailers will use this capability to improve customer experience.PS: you need well-paid, retained associates to make this work, by the way....
  • Posted on: 09/29/2017

    Personalization works. Why don’t more marketers use it?

    The greatest gap I have seen in my clients is a combination of skills, process and software. Let's take it in reverse order. Most of the digital marketing automation software available on the market today is fully capable of executing personalized email marketing. However, the software may not be configured to do so, or may not be connected to the right data to build the personalization rules.Second, many retailers have a slow, cumbersome approval process for products and offers, involving multiple revisions of products and pricing by buyers before emails can be sent. Personalization (multiple versions) simply multiplies the work and leads to other emails falling farther behind.Finally, the marketing team finds themselves required to dramatically increase the complexity of their email campaigns, without additional staff or time for training to improve speed while maintaining accuracy. This is a slippery slope and leads to burnout and attrition inevitably.Personalization, to succeed, must be introduced piece by piece rather than through a big switch.
  • Posted on: 09/28/2017

    Macy’s counts on new rewards program

    The new loyalty program does not address one of the most critical issues that I believe is curtailing Macy's growth -- customer experience in-store. Discounts, special merchandise and on-line benefits are good builds to enhance best customer relationship, but the foundation of success in retail is in-person customer experience. Having enough staff and having the right staff to deliver a 5-star customer experience must be addressed as the highest priority.No amount of loyalty program development, no matter how solid, will replace a poor experience.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2017

    Should shorter lines for the iPhone 8 concern Apple?

    Long lines and scarcity are critical to Apple's "leading edge" image (although many of the features of iPhones are available for Android already). I believe that the X will have long lines, and Apple has reduced production quantities which should ensure scarcity.The launch of the 8 and the X simultaneously was an unusual choice and diminished the appeal of the 8, even though that phone has some clear benefits.I think the multi-level launch strategy will hurt Apple in the long-run. Apple represents new and different, and the launch of the 8 simply does not meet that mark and customers responded appropriately.
  • Posted on: 08/31/2017

    Is outsourcing a better option for in-home tech help?

    There are benefits and drawbacks to outsourcing tech services for retailers. The benefits include not having to continuously retrain a team to address the latest technology, not carrying additional headcount on the books and being able to flex staff costs as demand fluctuates. The final benefit is recognizing that most retailers do not have heavy service delivery as a core competence.The drawbacks focus on handing over a key element of customer experience to an outside team, which may or may not represent your values. Remember, customers will see the tech services team as an extension of the retailer's brand, not as an outside group. Any misstep falls on the retailer's head.If a retailer can place stringent enough controls and measures on an outsourced group, that strategy will be the strongest.

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