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: 07/06/2018

    Will America win the trade war?

    The very concept of a trade war ignores the interconnectedness of the global economy. Supply chains are frequently integrated across countries. In addition, the perceived imbalance is often a result of focusing exclusively on goods rather than goods and services. The result of trade wars is likely to be inflation and a decline in both revenue and profit for American companies -- the very ones that Trump states he wants to protect. Wasted time, wasted effort, lots of cost and a slowdown to the economy. Now there are unequal playing fields, particularly with China, that need to be rebalanced. But trade wars are not the way to do it.
  • Posted on: 07/05/2018

    Amazon to start new Christmas tradition with its own toy catalog

    This move to send holiday toy catalogs makes sense for Amazon for a number of reasons: 1.) A specific consumer segment uses a catalog for wish lists for their children, which works the best when the children can browse rather than look online; 2.) Catalogs serve as persistent reminders and credibility builders for Amazon toys (since consumers don't necessarily associate Amazon with kids toys), and 3.) A catalog can be a vehicles for content-based marketing (stories that engage consumers and their children). Given that Amazon incorporates dynamic pricing on the site, I believe they will have to go to the lowest price available rather than lock consumers into the catalog prices, which could be higher.
  • Posted on: 07/02/2018

    Will California’s new privacy law set the standard for data protection?

    California frequently is in the vanguard when it comes to progressive legislation. The danger of this "early adopter" role is that the state might not get it right in the first go-around, meaning the legislation would require enhancements over time. This situation is the case when it comes to the new privacy law. Giving consumers insight into how their data is used makes complete sense. Permitting consumers to request that their data be deleted from the company itself places an undue burden on the company and restricts the ability of the company to provide valuable services to consumers in general. And the lawsuit provision needs to be tightened extensively before it can be considered reasonable and effective. It is understandable that consumers wish for more insight into how their data is being used (both inside the company and as regards selling the data to third parties). This new law needs to be adjusted to make sure it is fair to the company as well as the consumer -- adding value to both.
  • Posted on: 06/19/2018

    Will an online dating site formula work for pop-ups?

    Malls have always had pop-up stores when they have open space. Typically Halloween and Christmas items are featured. Kiosks in malls also play the same role. What PopUp Shops does is permit retailers to scale the concept across malls rather than negotiate on a mall-by-mall basis. For the malls it drives new customers and fills unprofitable space. For retailers it scales a method of trial and customer engagement without a long-term lease. Sounds like a win-win.
  • Posted on: 06/07/2018

    How many e-mails are too much?

    Retailers are sending out too many emails — bad emails, that is. Emails that scream offer, offer, deal, deal, buy now, buy now with little branding, personalization or added value to them. The best emails incorporate storytelling (content-based marketing) as well as value-driven offers to make the combination more compelling and drive open and click-thru rates. Consumers want to read stories and especially stories that relate to their lives and needs. That is a lot of work to put into a little email, but well worth the effort.
  • Posted on: 06/06/2018

    Costco workers get a raise and the retailer gets more good press

    In this world of expanding e-commerce, customer experience is one of the few differentiators a retailer has. Fundamentally, employees who are not paid a living wage cannot deliver the type of high-quality experience that is necessary to keep customers off their phones and away from Amazon. By paying a strong hourly wage, Costco gets to select the best retail associates, and maintain their competitive advantage. This approach would seem obvious, but few retailers have embraced it. Too much of a focus on expense line and not enough on incremental customer value, which leads to strong comp sales.
  • Posted on: 06/05/2018

    Is data-driven marketing holding back storytelling?

    Stories are not driven by data, but by people, real or imagined. As the data identifies patterns of customer behavior that can lead to segments, marketers must then turn those segments into personas -- typical people who most resemble the behaviors in that segment. The behaviors come from the data, the attitudes come from research (qualitative/quantitative) and experience of front-line staff with those customer "types." Behaviors and attitudes lead to needs and barriers, and the resolution of those challenges are best told with stories. To succeed at leveraging customer behavior, marketers must use both the left and right side of their brains to draw the picture and create the story that will engage customers.
  • Posted on: 06/04/2018

    Retailers can make personalization work

    When retailers blindly implement business rules that are driven by technology without data insights, then you get the kind of miss that is illustrated in the toilet seat example. Leveraging data to better understand customer shopping patterns in terms of product associations and timing will lead to personalization that is perceived by the customer as truly valuable.
  • Posted on: 05/11/2018

    The importance of prioritizing high(er)-value customers

    Josh's piece is a wonderful, clear description of an approach to identifying and understanding best and potentially best customers in a retail customer base. He is also correct that a retailer must evaluate and prioritize initiatives by how they impact those two customer segments in particular. Modeling customers on potential value can provide lists of qualifying customers; however, you must break down those groups through thoughtful analysis to better understand who they are and how they interact with your retail or ecommerce environment. What products do they prefer? Which of those products tend to skew to those valuable customers? Analysis such as this will provide the insight to ensure that you build your marketing, as well as product assortment, merchandising and promotions, to benefit those customers in particular.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2018

    Why is Amazon partnering with Sears again?

    Amazon is expanding retail outlets for their customers across a range of programs -- Amazon Go, Whole Foods, and now Sears. I see this as a component to becoming a larger player in the auto industry, but also to open the doors to using Sears as a destination for Amazon deliveries and associated services. Acquiring Sears would not be an expensive effort -- the question is whether or not Amazon wants to deal with the legacy leases and real estate.
  • Posted on: 05/09/2018

    Walmart outbids Amazon for India’s Flipkart

    Flipkart seems to place Walmart in a strong position in the Indian market. The greatest strengths of Flipkart are its knowledge of Indian consumers and their logistical expertise. Given the size and complexity of the Indian market, the logistics will be critical to success of any player in the market.
  • Posted on: 05/08/2018

    Walmart associates check out customers on the floor in pilot program

    Retailers have been very slow to adapt to mobile checkout, whether by the associate or self-checkout. Apple has been practicing mobile associate checkout for years with great success, yet few retailers empower their associates to handle payments throughout the store, despite well documented consumer dissatisfaction with long checkout lines. The data on consumer perceptions, albeit skewed to Millennials, show that consumers have evolved faster than retailers. Comfort with mobile phones for a variety of uses has progressed to where even consumers who are not early adopters show acceptance. I hope that Walmart will expand this initiative beyond the outdoor section. Associate-enabled checkout provides customer service and expedited payment -- the best of both worlds. That is the model that Apple perfected and the model most retailers should move to as quickly as possible. Those retailers that do so will see the benefit of greater frequency and consumer retention.
  • Posted on: 05/07/2018

    Shake Shack ends cashless experiment

    I would agree with Phil below. The lack of customization options appears to be an issue of execution, not an issue of the value of the strategy of kiosks. After all, the airlines have trained us to use kiosks or our phones to place transactions, get boarding passes and even check our bags. Over time, fast food will move toward kiosks, to reduce transaction time and the time until a customer gets their food. And they will save some money too. The biggest value may be in leveraging the transaction data for dynamic pricing and the customer data to market to improve retention. Those benefits may very well outweigh the labor savings, in the long term.
  • Posted on: 04/11/2018

    Death Wish Coffee goes from small roastery to Amazon’s ‘most wished for’ brand

    Specific product categories are more associated with grassroots viral marketing than others. Brands that are more hipster or countercultural appeal to Millennials and as a result, are more supported across social media and events. When you combine hipster categories with aggressive naming and supporting branding, you have the elements of success. Being authentic is a requirement as well. Millennials indeed are responsible for some of the decline in chain stores and that makes the environment especially fertile for brands such as these.
  • Posted on: 04/10/2018

    Barnes & Noble’s crowdsourcing app engages readers and earns solid reviews

    I am not sure that an app that consolidates reader opinions and reviews is sufficiently differentiated from Goodreads, an app I frequently use to find new books similar to books I love. B&N must seek out other benefits, such as real-time author interviews and exclusive content to be different enough to drive consumer engagement.

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