PROFILE

Phil Masiello

Founder and CEO, Hound Dog Digital Agency
Expert digital marketer for eCommerce, Mobile Apps and Amazon Marketplace Sellers. Author of "Think-Engage-Thrive: Marketing Actions To Skyrocket Your Brand In The Digital Age."

Phil Masiello has founded or co-founded several disruptive business models, focusing at the intersection of emerging digital technologies and consumer lifestyles.

Most recently, Phil was the founder and CEO of 800razors.com, an online seller of Made in the USA shaving products for men and women that compare in quality to the national brands at a fraction of the cost and conveniently delivered to your home. Prior to that, Phil co-founded Raw Beauty with former supermodel Carol Alt to market her skin care line Raw Essentials on the television shopping channels, retail and eCommerce. Prior to that, Phil founded The Daily Market Grab and Go Meal Stores, Fabulous Food Stores and several other notable businesses.

Phil is an expert business startup builder in the B2C channel with a primary focus on lifestyle, health, beauty and fashion products. Adept at developing effective digital and social strategies and campaigns to build awareness, brand recognition and top line sales growth.

For more information, visit the Hound Dog Digital website...
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  • Posted on: 08/14/2018

    ‘Less is more’ when competing with Amazon

    The first thing we need to understand is that Amazon is not a discovery platform. 78 percent of consumers know what they are looking for when they go to Amazon. They have already done their homework. They choose to buy from Amazon because of trust, Prime and the A to Z guarantee. In order to determine the correct merchandising strategy of "less is more" or "more is better" you must understand your customer's path to purchase. Certainly when it comes to furniture, fashion and food, variety is a benefit. When choice becomes a problem is when the product is complex, like technology. That is why Apple has been so successful. They removed the complexity from technology. Know your customers and their needs before determining if less is more.
  • Posted on: 08/13/2018

    J.C. Penney goes after Babies ‘R’ Us customers with new shops

    I am not sure what is meant by the statement. Certainly Target, Walmart, Carter's and other retailers focus on in-store baby supplemented with a digital experience. Making such a large investment in the category may be underestimating the importance of the online experience. Especially when it comes to hard goods like car seats, cribs and the like. These are review-driven purchases and readily available conveniently online. Diapers.com proved that model many years ago. It appears J.C. Penney is trying to seek some relevance for the brand. I think they need to understand who they are and who their customer is today. I don't see this driving strong traffic to the stores.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2018

    Rite Aid and Albertsons call off merger – what’s next?

    Albertsons' challenges are quite apparent. They have no point of differentiation against brick-and-mortar competitors, online grocers and Amazon. The entire company has not progressed forward in a world where the consumer expects more from their grocery store, other than just low prices. In the end, they will go the way of Toys "R" Us. Rite Aid needs to play catch up to the other drug operators. But with Amazon entering the prescription drug market, it is going to become a different playing field. I do not hold much hope for either company. I think both companies should seek to sell themselves to other operators.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2018

    Walmart still trying to figure out home delivery

    Delivery needs to be viewed in a different way. Free shipping on e-commerce is a motivator to purchase. Therefore, it should be looked at as part of the marketing expense to generate conversions. If grocers want to be successful online with home delivery, creating brand loyalty and customer retention, then they need to look at delivery as part of marketing. Certainly there has to be sales minimums and guidelines, so retailers are not making deliveries for low-value items. But delivery can be a powerful tool to drive add-on sales.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2018

    Retailers fail to reward long-time customers at their own risk

    Most retailers have never measured the long-term value of a customer. I would bet they do not understand it. In fact, most retailers do not measure their customer acquisition cost. So they do not do the simple value equation of what it costs to get a new customer, what it costs to keep a customer and what it costs to lose a customer. E-commerce retailers have always measured these KPIs because they have had to. This is one of the reasons e-commerce has been able to move customers away from traditional retail. This lack of understanding a retailer's customers has lead to the retail issues we are seeing today with chains closing. Retailers need to understand their customers to survive and thrive. New customers as well as long-term customers. The longer you retain a customer, the better chance you have of creating an advocate.
  • Posted on: 07/16/2018

    Target offers discounts as teachers prep for back-to-school

    This is a bit of both goodwill and sales. Being the first out there offering a discount and making a big splash about it made Target top-of-mind for teachers when they need to buy supplies. I am sure teachers will appreciate the savings. Supporting teachers and schools should be a large part of all back-to-school efforts. Education is important for parents and is a great way for Target to connect with their customer base. Retailers that support the same causes as the shopper always win.
  • Posted on: 07/05/2018

    Amazon to start new Christmas tradition with its own toy catalog

    Amazon is certainly going to take advantage of this void in the market and they have the best ability to contact the customers. They have the mailing addresses of every person who has ever purchased on the site. That is a powerful list to mail to. They also know the purchase behavior of their customers. So they can directly target toy purchasers. I don't think it will affect the pricing practices on Amazon.com. They can use coupons and Prime discounts in place of price reductions. This will be about the convenience of shopping over the holiday season.
  • Posted on: 07/02/2018

    Amazon calls on entrepreneurs to help deliver its packages

    I am involved in several online forums for Amazon sellers and Amazon-related business groups. From the discussions, this DSP program is attracting a lot of attention from young entrepreneurs that fit a specific profile. Primarily, the people who are driving Uber and Lyft cars. Amazon is working to control its distribution through the entire supply chain. They do not want to be dependent upon another company's inefficiencies. Delivery and on-time delivery is extremely important to the Amazon brand. So they want to make sure they do it right. As Amazon adds additional stores, this will become an even more efficient delivery flywheel. The USPS, UPS and FedEx have something to worry about.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2018

    Kroger to deliver groceries using driverless cars

    This is certainly worth testing. But calling it a game-changer is a bit of a stretch. There are several logistics issues that would need to be overcome. Along with customer acceptance of the service. Meanwhile, Amazon is announcing financing an independent fleet of delivery companies. The difference between autonomous vehicles and manned vehicles is getting the product to the front door and ensuring customer satisfaction. I applaud the effort, but there is still a lot of items to be worked out for the customer.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2018

    Toy City pop-ups look to fill the gap left by Toys ‘R’ Us

    This is a very smart move on the part of Party City. It makes good brand sense and I am surprised they had not executed on this sooner. Pop-up stores are a fast and low-cost way for Party City to test the validity of the concept. The online strategy is very sound. With the traffic their website is already generating, adding this category will surely add incremental revenue and profit.
  • Posted on: 06/27/2018

    Former CEO wants to bring Toys ‘R’ Us back from the dead

    There is still value to Toys "R" Us's brand and IP. The battle is going to be all uphill. This brand's problems were not because of poor operations. This was just a bad LBO by greedy VCs. Larry Storch will need some partners with deep pockets and great negotiating skills to revive this. But a revived brand needs to have an omnichannel presence with a strong social component. Toys "R" Us could dominate the online toy category with the correct strategy, as well as strategic brick-and-mortar support. I hope he can pull it off.
  • Posted on: 06/26/2018

    Analyst: Prime perk could eventually double customers at Whole Foods

    If only 20 percent of Prime users are also Whole Foods customers, there is a lot more growth Amazon can get. Customers love Prime perks and this will certainly lead to a large amount of additional Whole Foods customers. Prime is Amazon's retention tool. This gives Amazon a lot of marketing power to drive customer use at Whole Foods. The only impediment to this strategy of using Amazon's existing retained customers to build Whole Foods' base is that there is not a Whole Foods everywhere. Some locations may be too inconvenient for many users. The other benefit to this strategy is a location determiner for Amazon to build more stores. Build them around where their Prime members are underserved. Amazon has a lot of data to use to build this business and it would not surprise me to see very high double-digit year-over-year sales growth in the next five years.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2018

    Joann Fabrics’ new concept is all about the experience


    There are a lot of consumers who enjoy this brand and its offerings as a hobby, a business or a craft. Adding more education enhancements and collaboration will probably bring in new customers who wanted to try but were not engaged. I also think this is a category ripe for community engagement and collaboration. Great job thinking about the customer.
  • Posted on: 06/18/2018

    Is Amazon killing Barnes & Noble’s chances for a turnaround?

    The majority of Barnes & Noble's struggles are self-created and began about 20 years ago when they failed to fully embrace the changing customer. They were slow to respond to online selling in the beginning. Their Nook was a late and half-hearted attempt at digital books. If you look at the history of the online bookselling channel, both Barnes & Noble and Borders allowed Amazon to flourish. Neither company took online and digital books seriously until it was too late. Additionally, Barnes & Noble has run the same brick-and-mortar model without changing or adapting. In order for Barnes & Noble to survive, they need to figure out the unmet needs of the book buying consumer and carve out a sustainable niche online and in physical stores. Unfortunately, they may be out of time.
  • Posted on: 06/11/2018

    Brands win with TV 2.0 and the new direct mail

    Television advertising can still be effective for brands. However, the effectiveness of the ad comes down to how well the creative speaks to the audience and how much the spots costs. Today, the cost of production has dramatically decreased. That allows brands to test different creative and different messages, very effectively. Because of the number of channels available, brands can do a very good job of targetting their correct audience. Wayfair is a great example of advertising on channels like HGTV and DIY. I am not so bullish on direct mail. In my opinion, the returns were never there and have gotten worse. I have never seen direct mail work.

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