PROFILE

Mark Price

Managing Partner, Smart Data Solutions, ThreeBridge

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: 11/08/2018

    Will Walmart’s bring your own device policy work for it and its associates?

    This approach is tailor-made for a large segment of Millennials, who live on their devices all day long. By providing customer service information to store associates on their own devices, Walmart lays the foundation for a stronger customer experience. The one missing piece is the ability to check out customers from those devices. But I applaud Walmart for taking this step, and expect customers will as well.
  • Posted on: 11/06/2018

    Why aren’t women buying Amazon’s private label clothing?

    While it is relatively easy to compare private label with branded items in a grocery store and other stores with relatively generic products, fashion presents different challenges. In order to succeed with private label clothing, manufacturers have either had to go higher end or give consumers the ability to see the product in person. It is clear that Amazon will continue to grow share of the fashion market, but largely in products that are very familiar to consumers today.
  • Posted on: 11/05/2018

    Consumers say online recommendations are the worst

    Consumers will always have higher expectations online vs. in-store since the company can leverage customer data and recommend from a broader range of products. Retailers fail at product recommendations when they try to take advantage of customers by recommending products with higher margins or greater inventory rather than exactly what the data might suggest would be the optimal product for that customer. If retailers continue with that practice, they will end up driving away the very customers they hope to retain.
  • Posted on: 11/02/2018

    Are Target and Walmart customers dreaming of a mobile checkout Christmas?

    Checkout has long been a major source of frustration for consumers in retail and one of the contributing factors to the growth of e-commerce (although a very small contributor!). Holiday time is the worst time for checkout lines, so I imagine this capability will be well-received across both chains. Since Target's customers tend to be a bit more digital and a bit younger, I imagine they will have a higher adoption rate, although the take-up will be strong for both chains. Post analysis will be interesting, determining which customer segments found this feature the most popular.
  • Posted on: 11/01/2018

    Is there a failure to communicate between retail HQs and stores?

    Before speaking about the challenges that district and store managers face in acting on corporate initiatives, it behooves us to step back and examine the fundamental gap between retail stores and the corporate office. The gap is not one way, from corporate down to the stores, but in fact is both ways, as corporate consistently fails to acknowledge critical feedback from the retail workers that can be used to dramatically improve customer experience and revenue. Corporate executives involved in determining retail strategy must begin to spend time in stores on a frequent basis, and also develop key contacts at the store level to provide them with frank, honest feedback about issues facing store associates as well as the difficulty of translating corporate initiatives. Only in this way can we work to lessen this critical gap.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2018

    Which market research tasks are likely to be taken over by AI?

    Repetitive tasks that are currently done by researchers are the easiest things to automate with AI. I think that will include survey design, fielding and analysis, particularly sentiment analysis and language processing. The key parts of research that should never be replaced include:
    • "What is the key question we need to answer?";
    • "What will we do with the findings when they are complete?";
    • "what are the implications of the findings for the brand and the business as a whole?"
    Benefits include reducing time for a research project and therefore reducing cost. The risk is that researchers and marketers begin to rely on AI to answer questions that require some level of intuition and subtlety to find the real "nugget."
  • Posted on: 08/29/2018

    Amazon’s warehouse workers become social cheerleaders

    The core of social media is authenticity. I am not sure that the social media effort of the FC ambassadors fits that requirement. Ideally, Amazon would highlight to the organization the wish for them to engage on social media, if they would like to. Then the company would stay studiously away from that effort in order to keep it original, spontaneous and genuine. Trying to "manage" the effort, in terms of recruitment and incentives, is sure to be perceived as a violation of trust.
  • Posted on: 08/28/2018

    Walmart turns to Moosejaw for curation

    Moosejaw is an excellent strategy to permit Walmart to access brands that would not be willing to deal with Walmart directly. These higher premium brands appeal to a broader set of customers than the traditional Walmart shopper and thus increase their overall footprint. As the Premium Outdoor Store broadens, it should begin to compete more and more with Bass Pro Shops, REI, etc., in a whole new market segment for Walmart.
  • Posted on: 08/08/2018

    Report says voice commerce is all talk

    On the scale of technology adoption described by Geoffrey Moore in his book “Crossing the Chasm”, voice ordering is at the early adopter stage. The early majority are waiting for the early adopters to spread the word that the technology is ready for prime time. I have no doubt that voice ordering via Alexa, Google or Siri will become widespread. The question is just when the tipping point comes. Given the rapid pace of technology adoption today, I would imagine that we will see voice ordering becoming prevalent within the next two years. For packaged goods brand marketing, there will be more emphasis placed on marketing via these devices. There is also substantial risk, as noted in the article, that the technology providers may substitute their private label products whenever a brand is not designated by a customer.
  • Posted on: 08/07/2018

    Starbucks prepares for a Bitcoin future

    The only way that Bitcoin can be used in the consumer marketplace is if the value remains relatively stable over time. Starbucks is doing the sensible thing, working to convert that coin into dollars and then permitting consumers to use those dollars to conduct transactions. Right now, Bitcoin is simply too volatile to be pegged to any consistent nondigital value. I would imagine that other retailers will follow Starbucks, as they have with the Starbucks mobile app before.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2018

    Walmart still trying to figure out home delivery

    Many grocery retailers have struggled to make home delivery profitable over the past 10 years or so. The challenge is the razor–thin margins in the grocery business, and consumer reluctance to pay extra for delivery in a time of Amazon Prime. To succeed, Walmart must make a substantial investment in infrastructure and analytics. If the home delivery system can be used to prompt consumer interest in automatic replenishment, and if delivery vehicles can store a range of commodity items, such as paper towels, that can be sold to consumers at the time of delivery, the service can be profitable. Ultimately though, the results of home delivery should be evaluated at a customer level, not at a service level. If home delivery customers purchase a higher share of wallet of their grocery needs through Walmart, and if those customers are retained at a higher level, then customer value will increase. Increased customer retention drives higher value. If customers purchase some delivery and some in-store, then their profitability must be averaged across all of their purchases. Too narrow a focus could lead Walmart to miss a substantial opportunity.
  • 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.

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