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: 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.
  • Posted on: 03/15/2018

    No more playing around – Toys ‘R’ Us is out of the retail game

    The private equity firms simply loaded them up with too much debt to have any flexibility to make changes in the face of a rapidly changing marketplace. This bankruptcy is not a failure of brick and mortar retail; rather, it is a failure of a financing strategy. The big box closings of TRU unfortunately will flood the real estate market which is already facing a glut of big box closings. Unfortunate.
  • Posted on: 03/14/2018

    Walmart goes big, goes nationwide with online grocery deliveries

    While Walmart's strategy makes sense from a marketplace environment, I have to wonder about the size of the Walmart customer segment that will want to purchase groceries online. Groceries have been the slowest product line in terms of online adoption in general and I am not sure that the Walmart service has any benefit beyond ubiquity, to drive trial. The price may also be a barrier. I am not optimistic, but eagerly await the results of this effort.
  • Posted on: 03/13/2018

    Will return bans burn retailers that impose them?

    Free returns are a critical part of the retail equation. Consumers will purchase more and more often if they feel that they can return products that do not work out for them. One of the key parts of the analysis that is left out of the article is the value of the customers who return these products. If a customer is a frequent returner but also a frequent purchaser of products that they do not return, then that customer is high cost, but also high value. There is danger in a "one size fits all" policy towards returns. The goal should be to provide differentiated experiences to differentiated customers. Best customers who return should not be penalized, that is clear. Now a retailer must develop systems and processes to address such personalized experiences.
  • Posted on: 02/16/2018

    Walmart reimagines in-store shopping for mobile

    The integration of retail apps into customer experience at stores is vital to maintaining and enhancing customer engagement with the store brand. Consumers are more and more accustomed to shopping on their mobile device -- using retail apps is a natural extension. Eventually, consumers should be able to check out with their phones, increasing simplicity and reducing checkout wait times dramatically. In addition, the retail apps hold great strategic importance for retailers, since the app can share location data in the store and purchase behavior in real-time. In the short-term, store navigation will be the greatest benefit (hopefully with real-time coupon offers), since specific customer segments struggle with finding products in larger stores.
  • Posted on: 02/13/2018

    Will Instacart and Shipt give Amazon a run for its money?

    The broad range of products offered by Amazon and the inherent stickiness of their platform present substantial barriers to entry to Instacart and Shipt. Both Instacart and Target will need to invest substantial amounts of money to drive awareness, trial and repeat. I am a bit more bullish on Shipt, since Target offers a wide product range and has an established online as well as offline audience.
  • Posted on: 02/12/2018

    L.L.Bean ends its famous ‘lifetime replacement’ guarantee

    I have concerns about L.L.Bean shrinking their warranty to one year and only in case of defect. This approach makes L.L.Bean just like all the other retailers in their category and reduces their differentiation. I agree that the problem of excessive returns is a meaningful one; I just don't think that a "me-too" resolution is in the best interests of the company. For example, do you think that returns should be so limited for best customers -- either the longest tenured or the highest spending? I would call that being penny wise and pound foolish ...
  • Posted on: 01/15/2018

    Does a Boxed acquisition make sense for Kroger?

    Since Millennials are not consistent shoppers in grocery stores and bulk purchases are not a key part of Kroger's current business model, a potential acquisition of Boxed would be largely incremental. Not only would such an acquisition provide Kroger with incremental customers and revenue, but it would also provide the company with valuable customer purchase insight. Both organizations have a strong focus on customer transactional data, which would make such an acquisition even more valuable.
  • Posted on: 12/28/2017

    What does Bass Pro owe Cabela’s hometown?

    Bass Pro Shops has struck the right tone of honesty and compassion at the same time. Changes obviously must be made, but letting employees know that the cuts are not indiscriminate and that some jobs will be preserved is an important message. Letting employees know that additional funds has been set aside for benefits for laid off employees also helps. This type of event is never easy. But honesty and compassion are the best combination to get through it.
  • Posted on: 12/27/2017

    What retail apocalypse?

    The economy was clearly the biggest driver, with strong employment and consumer confidence. In addition, market consolidation may have improved overall customer experience and resulted in consumers purchasing at higher levels than previously. The higher customer experience is likely driven by omnichannel behavior, which the best retailers have invested in.
  • Posted on: 12/26/2017

    Lululemon leans on personal development of associates

    The focus on personal development of Lululemon's associates is not only a strong statement in the value of associates to the organization but also is completely consistent with the brand value and positioning. That consistency of living the brand is one of the reasons that Lululemon continues to show brand growth and resilience in tough retail times.
  • Posted on: 12/19/2017

    Are holiday gifts in the workplace an untapped retail opportunity?

    Workplace gifts represent two opportunities. First is the opportunity to include products for a targeted event, like bridal shower gifts, with a list of best selections in a manner that makes it easy for customers to purchase and have delivered. Second would be the opportunity to be a disruptor and see if there is a market for corporate gifting that extends to employee recognition and birthday celebrations, etc. While consumers address these needs in a variety of ways, there is no consolidated service that makes it easy.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2017

    Does it matter if social media is getting a bad rep?

    While users believe, rightly so, that the social media companies are focused on their own profits, the tools still play an incredibly important and growing role in the formation of consumer preference. The 2016 election and the subsequent fascination with Trump's tweets show that Facebook and Twitter are more etched into public behavior than ever before, for better or worse. Now social media does keep evolving and there is some evidence that Snap and Instagram play a greater role for Millennials. That trend in no way diminishes the role of this important and evolving channel -- it just makes it hard for marketers to harness for their own purposes.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2017

    Who will be left standing after the next retail shakeout?

    I agree that these three strategies are critical, but I do not think they act as standalones. Rather, discount retailers must offer a solid multichannel experience and good customer service. There is no secret ingredient. Only by engaging customers in their preferred channel, and delivering a strong experience in-store, will retailers thrive in this new age of competition and declining customer engagement. One strategy that was not mentioned was the delivering of services to add value to the products. Education still has a high perceived value and acts as an incentive to drive customers into the store as well as to make them into raving fans, which every retailer wants. Other services such as yoga classes in stores that sell yoga equipment, fishing classes in fishing stores, etc. all add value to their brands, drive customer engagement and frequency and result in higher revenue in the long run. But one strategy stands above all the rest: engaging and empowering store associates to do the very best they can to connect with customers, leverage product and category knowledge and data to provide the very best experience. That one-on-one experience is so lacking in retail today and promises such opportunity.

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