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: 09/01/2021

    What’s the formula for e-commerce profitability?

    Below average online margins have been an issue for e-commerce historically. The levers that can influence that include management of shipping costs (e.g. the BOPIS only test), targeting promotions to increase the percent of volume purchased incrementally and leveraging existing labor in-store to process orders. One piece that the article does not mention is management of returns. Some retailers are experimenting with funneling returns directly to stores, to reduce processing time and cost and to decrease the amount of time until that product can be resold.
  • Posted on: 08/27/2021

    FMI research finds normalcy is not in the cards, not yet

    Grocery shopping online has "jumped the shark" in the past year, and consumers will continue to purchase for delivery and for pickup at a much higher level than pre-pandemic. Also, as retailers continue to shorten delivery times and expedite returns, consumers will not return to the malls in the coming year in the quantity that did before. When consumers do return, they will come for more single-point shopping -- to a specific store to fill a specific need, rather than mall browse. Finally, I think the days of business suits and more formal women's wear may be ending (outside of DC, that is). When you encourage employees to come in business casual, it will be hard to get them to go back!
  • Posted on: 08/27/2021

    Do retailers need a chief data officer?

    This is a very big topic. Retailers need to leverage their data (both customer and supply chain) more than ever due to changes in behavior and supply chain. These leaders need to make more decisions faster and those decisions have greater ramifications. To achieve those business results, retailers need to put in place a strong data leader, whose role will be focused on ensuring the necessary data and analytics are available for the leaders in a timely fashion. The role should include data standardization, putting in place data governance, designing and building on a consistent data platform, ensuring metric consistency and building out self-service analytics. Finally this role must be the advocate for data-driven behavior within the company as the internal data evangelist, and support the work with a strong ROI measurement. A very full job indeed!
  • Posted on: 08/26/2021

    Should grocers take a lead role supporting weight loss efforts online?

    Grocers are worried about "shaming" consumers with weight loss content, and are also worried about the decline in revenue from the packaged, salty, sugary snacks that represent so much margin. The online features suggested in the study will be helpful from a branding position, but are unlikely to be heavily utilized. Partnerships with the weight loss apps to provide custom meal kits and delivery may be more effective.
  • Posted on: 08/26/2021

    American Eagle acquires logistics startup to help transform its supply chain

    By accumulating orders, AirTerra reduced both time to delivery and shipping costs. In addition, this technology could conceivably be adapted to address the returns challenge. By focusing on streamlining delivery AND increasing data availability for analytics, the company will be able to glean new insights to continue to improve customer experience while reducing inefficiencies. Since delivery time is a consideration in e-commerce, this strategy is both customer and internally facing.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2021

    Following full FDA approval, should employees be required to get COVID vaccines?

    Yes, retailers and employers should require vaccines of employees. Not only does a requirement lead employees to get vaccinated, but vaccinations should reduce sick days as well. Finally, vaccination requirements are a clear value statement from the company that they care about the greater good as well. For customers, right now there is no quick and easy way to verify vaccinations. Several QR code systems are in test, but are not rolled out. I would recommend mask requirements for customers to maintain traffic and not need dedicated associates at the doors checking.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2021

    What benefits do premium loyalty program members value?

    Essentially, the key rewards that consumers desire from their loyalty programs are the benefits offered by Amazon Prime. Free shipping and faster shipping. The lower demand for brand engagement benefits represent the fact that retailers have not yet cracked the code on how to connect with consumers in a way brand-related way that changes behavior. I also notice the lack of charitable benefits in the list.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2021

    Has Ben & Jerry’s gone too far with its stand on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

    While I applaud B&J for standing true to their values, even when that role may be unpopular, I have to question the selection of the Palestinian Territories for highlighting. If the company wishes to remove themselves from areas of conflict that could lead to genocide, I am assuming that they should start with China and the Uygurs, then proceed to Myanmar and the Rohingya, then include Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and so forth.... Selecting Israel out of all those potential conflicts sites seems heavy handed and inconsistent. Also, the Palestinian issue is highly complex and nuanced -- suggest they study it in detail before making broad statements.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2021

    Will the Delta variant keep shoppers and unvaccinated workers at home?

    The future is likely to include multiple waves of variants of COVID, and I can easily imagine that some of those variants will require new vaccinations. The business environment will go from open to more closed and back again. In this every changing world that I am envisioning, retailers must engage their customers across both digital and physical channels and be prepared to deal with rapidly shifting behavior. To have this flexibility, retailers must continue to invest in supply chain, to ensure that products can be available at retail and through ecommerce whenever a customer might shift their behavior.
  • Posted on: 07/02/2021

    Marketers go to college to recruit brand ambassadors

    Given the connection between college athletes and their fans, I believe it is inevitable that NIL marketing of college students will become a bigger and bigger piece of brand spending. Not only will college athletes become part of national mass advertising, but they will feature prominently in local marketing and social media as well. College students have a greater proficiency in social media, further increasing their value.
  • Posted on: 07/01/2021

    Is the food delivery bubble ready to burst?

    Convenience has always been a motivation factor for a segment of the consumer population, a segment which grew during the pandemic. As we begin to enter a post-COVID world, consumers will move back to some more traditional patterns. The question is -- how many consumers will retain some of the patterns of the pandemic. One of the benefits of increased delivery penetration during the pandemic is the connection with more consumers than ever before. If the delivery services can capitalize on that relationship, they will continue to reap the rewards. If they fail, then the investments in delivery may fail to pay out. Approaches can be increased personalization and cross-sell of other products and services. As always, delivery services must quickly adapt to the new-new reality.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2021

    Is fast food going too slow in reopening for dine-in business?

    Fast food chains are taking advantage of improved economics of takeout. If the takeout volume remains high, the chains can meet those needs with reduced staff. Reduced staff improves profit and also recognizes that hiring right now is very hard, and will continue to be a challenge in the near future.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2021

    Help Wanted: Authentic leaders to drive sustainable business success

    Authenticity requires the confidence and commitment to show who you really are, warts and all. While authenticity is easy to discuss, it is more difficult to execute. While being yourself does improve relationships, it also opens you up to a world of criticism by people who will see that openness as vulnerability to be exploited. Authenticity + strength of commitment to the approach, despite "heat" you may take, will make all the difference.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2021

    Have flagships become obsolete?

    The objective of a flagship store is to generate awareness and exposure to a brand in an area of high traffic. Those stores rarely pay out per se -- their impact is spread across markets and channels as consumers make their purchases later on. Many of those stores are located where tourist traffic is strong, which spreads brand exposure to other markets without going to them (e.g. NYC). As tourist traffic grows again post COVID, flagship stores will regain some of their importance.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2021

    Best Buy puts multi-taskers to work

    To the extent that this initiative is perceived as a way to reduce headcount and simply work the store associates harder, it will be doomed to failure, regardless of the improvement in and customer experience. Ultimately, unhappy employees lead to unhappy customers. Best Buy must carefully identify employees who are willing and able to add additional tasks to their day, and not make those tasks mandatory across the organization. Post Covid, workers are very sensitive to management loading additional tasks for their own profit at the expense of employee satisfaction. Good strategy, but tread carefully.

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