PROFILE

Mark Price

Managing Partner, Smart Data Solutions, ThreeBridge

Mark Price is Solution Partner for Smart Data Solutions for ThreeBridge, a national technology consulting firm.  Prior to joining ThreeBridge in October of 2018, Mark was founder and managing partner and founder of LiftPoint Consulting Group, which he led for over 16 years.  He is a frequent speaker at conferences as an expert on data-driven marketing and authors articles on the same topic. Mark blogs regularly.  He is responsible for thought leadership, leading client engagements and solution development for ThreeBridge.

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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  • Posted on: 07/02/2019

    Are offline experiences becoming more important to online performance?

    More and more, online brands are discovering that offline interaction with their customers is critical to their success. Whether it is catalogs from online retailers, pop-up physical locations or PR events, online brands are seeing incremental sales from physical interaction with their customers. As the article notes, online customers do not live online alone; a specific segment of online customers (usually those who are truly multi-channel) respond to a variety of engagement stimuli and are critical to a brand's success.
  • Posted on: 07/01/2019

    Will a new BOPIS option boost Amazon’s results?

    Specific segments of customers will desire the human interaction of Counter to assist with pickup, putting packages in their cars and addressing issues (such as product damage, incorrect SKU, etc.) immediately. This additional method of interaction helps put more of a face on Amazon and improves perception of customer service. Retailers should welcome Counter due to incremental traffic, a percent of which will make impulse purchases in the store. Clear win.
  • Posted on: 06/25/2019

    Toys ‘R’ Us prepares its American comeback

    Retail today, to survive, must have some combination of specialized merchandise and outstanding customer experience. I am not sure if TRU will be able to thrive on selling best-sellers to customers who need the product today, not with Amazon and Walmart moving into same day delivery. There is always a market for great customer experience, especially in retail locations with smaller footprints. I hope they focus on highly trained staff who can help specific customer segments find that perfect gift for children.
  • Posted on: 06/24/2019

    REI scraps mail order catalog to publish a magazine

    Since the goal of catalogs is more to drive engagement than actually to turn into the main driver of customer transactions, I think the magazine approach is spot-on. Catalogs usually lean 80-90% to product and only 10% or less to content; yet, what drives readership in a world where you can see all the products online is the content. This magazine will reinforce brand presence, drive increased engagement and also drive a fair amount of short and long term transactions. In addition, this magazine is likely to appeal to REI core customer segments which will have a great er effect than content driven at customers with a lower base engagement level. Well done.
  • Posted on: 06/19/2019

    Best Buy knows tech. What about fitness?

    Technology associated with fitness is a good business for Best Buy. The question is whether fitness equipment specifically is a reasonable adjacency to the BBY brand. Not sure consumers will make the connection or whether or not BBY is credible in this field. 50/50.
  • Posted on: 06/17/2019

    Does self-checkout make sense for Costco?

    Given that Costco does not do upsell at the register, there is no reason not to embrace self-scan checkout. The lines on the weekend are formidable and it is certain that Costco loses sales because customers choose to purchase items elsewhere rather than deal with the crowds. I believe this initiative will have higher customer satisfaction and increased traffic numbers over time.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2019

    Will Farmstead’s ‘Smart Shopping List’ give it an edge in online grocery competition?

    Outstanding application of predictive modeling. Suggesting products based on consumer behavior and seasonal specials permits customers to have the "fun" of impulse shopping along with expedited repeat purchasing. This approach will continue to show growth in revenue, as well as repeat and retention (the two metrics that are the most critical for online shopping). Well done.
  • Posted on: 05/08/2019

    Will Walmart’s new online pet pharmacy and vet clinics draw more pet parents?

    Given the scale that Walmart offers across all their businesses, it is inevitable that they will become the category killer for pet prescriptions as well. They offer a clear financial benefit and have the benefit of very frequent store shopping for their core customer segment as a base. I imagine they will offer store delivery of prescriptions as well as home delivery, further driving traffic, and expanding their offerings into higher margin categories of the pet business. Many people will spend more for their pets and I am sure this will prove a profitable venture for them.
  • Posted on: 05/07/2019

    H&M will cease printing its catalog after 39 years

    I have some concerns about this strategy, and none of them are about sustainability. Analysis I have conducted for several retailers has shown the catalogs drive incremental transactions, just not always through the catalog itself. Catalogs serve as a strong visual reminder of the depth and breadth of a retailer's offerings. Combined with direct mail and email, catalogs demonstrate clear incrementality. I fear H&M will pay for this decision....
  • Posted on: 05/06/2019

    Will a strategy built around changing people’s lives transform Lululemon’s business?

    As a big Lululemon fan myself, I think their move to become more of a lifestyle brand will be a great fit. One of their great strengths is the localization of the brand to highlight different types of fitness around each store. The brand is highly authentic, encouraging employees to get out into the fitness and yoga world and do meditation in-store. This move seems like an extension that, if it continues to be authentic, will expand the brand to new venues, new customers, and new platforms.
  • Posted on: 04/15/2019

    Is Bed Bath & Beyond smart to draw the line on coupons?

    For BB&B to reduce reliance on coupons and not suffer a serious sales decline, they must use analytics to determine which customers show incremental behavior from the coupons and which customers would have purchased anyway. By targeting coupons on incremental behavior, total coupon usage can decline while revenue maintains. If the company simply reduces coupon distribution across the board, history from other companies shows the results will not be positive.
  • Posted on: 03/06/2019

    Will attribute-based product recommendations be a game changer for Walmart?

    I think that natural language processing and machine learning will represent a cutting-edge improvement in customer engagement and the value of product recommendations. The retail industry is plagued with content that is manufacturer and merchant generated, with little validation from users that the language used has any relevancy whatsoever. NLP will not only improve the authenticity of language used with consumers, but will provide additional connections between products that can be used in product recommendations as well. And this is only the beginning of true personalization of marketing communications.
  • Posted on: 02/07/2019

    Are legacy retailers on the right track or heading off the tracks?

    The greatest challenges facing legacy retailers in today's environment are two: developing and executing on an omni-channel strategy, with customers truly receiving the same products, pricing and benefits; and the challenges of developing and maintaining a superior customer experience in-store that clearly differentiates that retailer from other brick and digital alternatives. The failure to invest behind these two initiatives has led retailers to where they are today. There is no easy answer anymore; retailers must invest to catch up, which inevitably will depress short-term profits for long-term gains. Balancing that with investor pressure is the hidden challenge for retailers today.
  • Posted on: 01/15/2019

    NRF: Consumers prefer self-service, but associates still have a role to play

    Consumers only prefer self-service technology for low value added parts of the customer experience in store. So when that becomes most of the customer experience, it is a strong indictment of store associate performance, which is directly related to the priority that corporate places on developing and continually training store associates to make a difference for customers. The only benefit that retail presents to online is customer experience. With one day or same day shipping becoming more prevalent in e-commerce, retailers must focus on their store associates as the linchpin for successful growth for their business.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2019

    Whole Foods halts 365 concept’s growth

    The overall strategy for Amazon in acquiring Whole Foods, I believe, is to create additional physical outlets for their shipments and e-commerce brands, add value for Prime members and grow membership by attracting Whole Foods customers, who resemble Prime best customers to a large extent. Maintaining and potentially expanding small footprint locations where appropriate seems to fulfill those goals as well as larger stores do. I would bet small format stores remain part of the strategy, just not under the 365 brand.

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