PROFILE

Phil Masiello

Founder and CEO, Hound Dog Digital Agency
Expert digital marketer for eCommerce, Mobile Apps and Amazon Marketplace Sellers. Author of Think-Engage-Thrive: Marketing Actions To Skyrocket Your Brand In The Digital Age

Phil Masiello has founded or co-founded several disruptive business models, focusing at the intersection of emerging digital technologies and consumer lifestyles.

Most recently, Phil was the founder and CEO of 800razors.com, an online seller of Made int he USA shaving products for men and women that compare in quality to the national brands at a fraction of the cost and conveniently delivered to your home. Prior to that, Phil co-founded Raw Beauty with former supermodel Carol Alt to market her skin care line Raw Essentials on the television shopping channels, retail and eCommerce. Prior to that, Phil founded The Daily Market Grab and Go Meal Stores, Fabulous Food Stores and several other notable businesses.

Phil is an expert business startup builder in the B2C channel with a primary focus on lifestyle, health, beauty and fashion products. Adept at developing effective digital and social strategies and campaigns to build awareness, brand recognition and top line sales growth.

For more information, visit <b><a href="https://www.hounddogdigital.com/">the Hound Dog Digital website... </a></b>
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  • Posted on: 10/19/2017

    Amazon’s Prime membership grows to 90 million in U.S.

    Prime is a primary ingredient of Amazon's focus on the consumer. This is a retention strategy to maintain an ongoing value proposition with their customers. Walmart can wake up and start adding free two-day shipping but they are missing the point of Prime.Prime gives the Amazon customer so much more value like on-demand movies, music, books and other content. Let's not forget that Prime members get free same-day delivery on more than 1 million items and access to lightning deals a half-hour before they become live. And what about Prime Now, which is available in certain markets that provide two-hour delivery on food and grocery? This will surely become larger as the Whole Foods integration happens. And a minor perk of cloud storage for images and discounts on Prime Family items. Prime is an all-encompassing value proposition that cannot be matched by any retailer today.To focus only on free two-day shipping is to miss the point of Prime. Walmart misses the point, Jet misses the point but the customer certainly does not miss the point. Prime isn't a membership. Prime is an Amazon lifestyle product.
  • Posted on: 10/18/2017

    Online and Amazon to grow more dominant over the next decade

    E-commerce will continue to grow at its present 15 to 20 percent year-over-year rate. When you look at the categories that have less than 50 percent e-commerce penetration, you can see where the opportunities are. Although fashion, travel, books and music are all well-established e-commerce categories with over 50 percent penetration; home decor, furniture, consumer electronics, beauty and personal care, household cleaning and health are all underdeveloped online categories.Food is, by far, one of the most underdeveloped categories and the most difficult. Packaged goods will have an easier time to transition because a branded box or can is the same no matter what channel it is sold in. Cost-effective shipping is the challenge due to the weight and bulk.Perishable products will be the most resistant to e-commerce. Consumers still want to choose what fresh products they buy. Everyone has a preference when it comes to the type of meat, fruits, vegetables and other fresh products they purchase.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2017

    A mall carves out pop-up space for online brands

    I think this is a very smart new way for malls to promote customer engagement and utilize excess space. But it isn't going to drive new traffic, so it will be limited to strong performing malls only.New products and brands, whether online of offline, never have an edge. Brands really need to be creative to get their message out and their brand through the clutter. Certainly there are less expensive opportunities online to introduce a brand. However, at the end of the day, any brand needs to have a message that resonates with consumers in order to have meaning and gain traction.Physical stores today need to be creative with technology and partner brands in order to create an engagement with their customers. Nordstrom has done this very well in the area of customization with partner brands.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2017

    Is Kroger in denial about the magnitude of its challenges?

    There doesn't seem to be anything new in Restock Kroger. It is a lot of the same old same old. I think the Kroger management is employing the Ostrich Principle to management. Hide your head in the sand.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2017

    Is a standalone beauty concept the right plan for Forever 21?

    The comparison between Macy's, J.C. Penney and Forever 21 is not the same.J.C. Penney and Macy's have average store sizes over 100,000 square feet. Part of the reasoning for the store-within-a-store concept is to make the excess square footage more productive. The average square footage for a Forever 21 is 38,000 square feet.The second issue is that both Sephora and Bluemercury are concepts that were developed before moving into a store-within-a-store. So they helped to draw traffic into the stores.The strategy of building a free-standing store to develop the concept and potentially develop a new customer base makes sense. Once the concept is proven, Forever 21 can easily move this concept into existing stores or develop a dual-branded store.It is smart for Forever 21 to develop a beauty concept targeted at their customer base. Providing them with beauty products for the younger market is smart and has strong growth potential.I applaud them trying to engage with their target customer's lifestyle.
  • Posted on: 10/11/2017

    What marketing lessons can we learn from Amazon?

    The lesson that can be learned from Amazon has absolutely nothing to do with four Ps. Amazon is a consumer-centric company which learns everything it can about how consumers shop and what they love.What all retailers and marketers can learn from Amazon is to understand everything you can about your consumer. Deliver exceptional service and continue to innovate service. Deliver extreme value across all of your platforms and every consumer touchpoint.The four Ps model is about product, not consumers. Amazon is about consumers.
  • Posted on: 10/09/2017

    Are retailers confusing customer service with the customer experience?

    I absolutely agree that retailers confuse customer service with customer experience. Most retailers measure customer service in terms of complaints, time in line, in-stock position and other KPIs. But that does not speak to engagement.I always hated expressions like the customer is always right. The customer is not always right. BUT they are always the customer! It costs too much money to get new customers, don't lose them over stupid decisions.
  • Posted on: 10/05/2017

    Retailers lack of trust undermines predictive personalization’s potential

    We are not in a retail apocalypse, we are in a bad retailer apocalypse. The market has shifted from a retailer-centric market to a consumer-centric market. Consumers have so many choices that they will spend their hard earned dollars where they get the best value and engage with them appropriately.Retailers for years have not trusted what the data has told them and made decisions based on what they think they know. This has led to the same approaches to the same problems over and over. No innovation, no engagement, no sales and the customer leaves. The retailer blames it on Amazon.The best advice anyone can give a retailer is to understand who your customer is on a deeper level. Engage with them on a personal level and provide the value they seek. The tools and the data exist. Stop blaming e-commerce and Amazon. Start looking at how you connect with your customers.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2017

    Thrive Market co-founder: ‘Data and storytelling go hand in hand’

    Thrive does a great job of connecting with their core customers through storytelling. They use their data to better understand their customers. This approach enables them to provide the products their customers want and to THRIVE as a company.Most retailers today don't really know their customers. They do not understand the use of storytelling to connect with their customers. Most of their social efforts revolve around discounts and coupons, which is the wrong approach.Consumers want to connect with a brand that shares their same values. Retailers need to take some position on social issues today. If they know their core customers and understand who they are, then they should be able to connect on similar social problems. Consumers also want to know that the money they spend with a retailer is doing some good other than just paying salaries to executives.
  • Posted on: 10/02/2017

    IKEA buys TaskRabbit to give consumers relief with furniture assembly

    I think this is one of the most brilliant acquisitions that will provide real value to IKEA shoppers. This is a perfect example of understanding your customer and their frustrations. Customers love IKEA but hate putting the products together. Offering this service at the point of purchase will add volume to TaskRabbit and provide a valuable service to the user.Fashion and electronics retailers should use the gig economy to provide styling services, personal shoppers and installation services for purchases. These would be more "on demand" services allowing the retailers to provide the solution without adding to the overhead.
  • Posted on: 09/29/2017

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

    In email marketing, a great subject line is the most important part of the email. It determines whether or not the email gets opened. Yet marketers spend the most time focused on the email itself.I think the reason most marketers don't personalize them is they are afraid to take the risk. The personalization needs to be combined with a compelling reason to open it. Not the same old "25 percent off coupon inside" stuff.Every good email automation system today has the ability to test subject lines. Marketers need to test and take risks with the subject lines. Think about the statements that make you open up an email. People respond to humor and surprise. Use that to your advantage and test, test, test.
  • Posted on: 09/28/2017

    Macy’s counts on new rewards program

    I wish it were that easy.Macy's and other retailers' issue is relevance. Macy's needs to carry a mix of products that is more relevant to today's fashion shopper. It is not just about getting discounts, it is about creating an in-store and online shopping experience that connects with shoppers.What does Macy's carry that a shopper cannot find anywhere else at a better price and more conveniently? The answer is not much. At the end of the day, that is the inherent problem.Nordstrom is trying to innovate with more stylists and personal shoppers. They invested in technology to allow customers to customize and personalize shoes. Nordstrom, Amazon and a few other chains are using AR technology to help search and find products.Adding rewards is not an innovation that will make shoppers stop and say WOW.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2017

    Will customers let Walmart deliver in-fridge?

    I think this is going to be a tough sell and has been tried before. Streamline tried this approach in the late '90s. They actually provided refrigerators and scanners in consumer garages and only accessed that part of the house. I think consumers are wary of having strangers walk through their house when they are not home.I think Walmart needs to focus. It seems to me that purchasing fragmented e-commerce sites, with no real strategy behind it, is not a path to compete with Amazon.They need a strategy of category ownership and growth rather than just trying to buy everything and over-paying along the way.
  • Posted on: 09/22/2017

    Why are marketers increasing their online influencer budgets?

    Influencer strategies can be tricky. Finding the correct influencer for your brand and using the correct media channel that can connect with your target is the key.The compensation model has gotten a bit distorted as demand has increased. We employ a fairly reliable model of paying based upon engagement -- 4 cents per view on average is fair. For example, if an influencer gets an average of 100,000 legitimate views on a video they post, that is worth about $4,000. And we can monitor for fraud and other areas. But the real test is whether or not it drives clickthroughs to whatever the objective is. If it is site visits or purchases, we can track it.But this is not a "set it and forget it" channel. It needs to be monitored and changed to get the desired sales result. Everything should be ultimately measured on sales.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2017

    Did this startup make a big mistake calling itself Bodega?

    The on-demand vending channel has potential in specific categories. Best Buy proved that a company can add significant sales and profits with the correct product mix in the correct places. They did a great job with airport kiosks with travel-related technology for example.CVS is testing OTC drugs in airports, colleges and other places where the need may exist. So the demand is there.For Bodega to succeed, it will really come down to understanding the customer needs in the specific place they put the machines.Personally, I don't care for the name. It does not emit a positive emotion for me. I think they could have come up with a more descriptive name.

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