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.

Other Links from Mark Price:

LiftPoint Consulting Blog

 

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  • 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.
  • Posted on: 01/18/2017

    Is Net Promoter Score flawed?

    NPS has some real strengths — it is easily understood and can provide some good diagnostics when used well. A couple of caveats:
    1. NPS may not actually represent the likelihood of recommending — some people just don't while others do — but saying they are comfortable recommending suggests a level of brand engagement
    2. Voluntary completion of NPS must be supplemented with phone interviews to balance the pro-bias
    3. NPS can identify product and service issues, like a "canary in the coal mine" — providing early identification of problems for resolution
    4. Management engagement personally with customers with low NPS scores can convert problem customers into happy, repeat customers
    Total NPS trends are not as valuable as taking action and learning from the individual scores.
  • Posted on: 01/18/2017

    Why does Gen Z like brick-and-mortar stores but not malls?

    Generation Z appears to crave strong customer experience and products that feel unique. Mall stores must move from a labor cost focus to a customer experience focus, while encouraging their merchants to experiment with limited-run unique items.As this generation ages, it is inevitable that e-commerce will increase while the social value of shopping declines. How much is based on how ready retailers are to embrace this new paradigm.
  • Posted on: 12/30/2016

    How can the retail job market survive the AI revolution?

    AI at retail is heavy on promise, light on delivery. Ultimately, retailers will be faced with a mix of consumer segments that desire the most expedited service possible along with segments that desire high touch/high support. Those segments are less category-specific than you would think. High-touch customers tend to be high-touch customers across categories and even channels.The most immediate opportunity and the largest savings for retailers will be the use of AI in the supply chain -- making sure that the right product is delivered to the right store at the right time, combining dynamic forecasting of sales with an optimization model for inventory. The in-store component is more complex than it looks and is a bit farther off.
  • Posted on: 12/29/2016

    Will online grocery gain traction in 2017?

    Online grocery seems to be lagging almost every other category of e-commerce, potentially driven by the high frequency rate. But since most consumers purchase mostly the same products at the grocery store, the category seems right for digital disruption. Perhaps auto-replenishment, where consumers receive products on a regular schedule, or even more likely, some combination of Amazon Echo or Alexa, where consumers can simply order grocery products as they are running out, and those products simply appear at their door, will be the answer.But e-commerce as a simple one for one replacement for grocery shopping is unlikely to fill the bill.
  • Posted on: 12/28/2016

    Will data-driven checkout get shoppers through the line faster?

    The benefit of sensor technology is most apparent when the data is combined across stores and correlated with marketing, sales and product assortment data to better forecast demand by hour by day by store. These applications of machine learning are revolutionizing retail today and will do more so in the future.

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