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Charles Whiteman

SVP, Client Services, MotionPoint

Mr. Whiteman has 20+ years of strategy, marketing and technology experience in a variety of industries. His expertise includes multi-channel marketing, technology strategy, and operations. As Senior Vice President of Client Services at MotionPoint, Mr. Whiteman and his team advise many of the world’s most valuable brands. Their methodology combines proprietary data, technology and a proven process that delivers superior results for companies seeking international growth online.

Mr. Whiteman previously served as Executive Vice President of multi-channel specialty retailer Divers Direct, and as an Engagement Manager at the international consultancy Accenture.

Mr. Whiteman received both a bachelor’s degree in Economics and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Learn more about MotionPoint at:

  • Posted on: 10/24/2016

    Should Bass Pro retire the Cabela’s name?

    Long term, I don't see the benefit of maintaining multiple retail store brand names. That said, Johnny may disagree given that he's been maintaining many other retail store brands including Outdoor World, Worldwide Sportsman, Stick Marsh Outpost, etc. Despite the confusion all these names might have created, Bass Pro's clear dominance as a category killer has enabled enthusiasts to basically ignore the sign on the building and call it "Bass Pro" (regardless of what the sign says). Still, I don't think all these names are helpful because they essentially splinter and complicate Bass Pro's investment in branding, signage, and all sorts of other things. I'd recommend transitioning to a single retail brand name that transfers existing goodwill from the other names. This could be done in a 2-step process: 1a) Immediately put a Bass Pro Shop inside each Cabela's. 1b) Immediately put a Cabela's shop inside each Bass Pro Shop, Outdoor World, etc. (similar to their Orvis shops). 2) As stores are refreshed, standardize on a single retail store brand name (I don't think it matters too much which one they pick, but I tend to prefer Cabela's since it's a shorter name and doesn't pigeon hole the retail concept as much as a fishing store).
  • Posted on: 08/22/2016

    Will Amazon drive-up grocery stores disrupt food retailing?

    Grocery is the ultimate data-driven replenishment category. The ability to tie menu-planning, at-home on-hand (IoT) and grocery store shopping together provides the makings for the ultimate killer app. Add the benefit of avoiding an hour in the grocery store and I for one can't wait. Given Amazon's distribution prowess, I expect this to be a winner. Probably not overnight, but definitely over time.
  • Posted on: 08/18/2016

    Have consumers accepted dynamic pricing?

    The only time a consumer will be happy about blatant price discrimination is when the "product" is in limited supply and they're able to get in line ahead of others by paying a higher price. Targeted discounting is a much less objectionable form of price discrimination ... but that also has some consumer psychology ramifications that must be managed.
  • Posted on: 08/17/2016

    Will other brands follow Birkenstock in cutting off Amazon?

    This is all about Birkenstock's marketing strategy -- which apparently hinges on the brand's presence in retail storefronts. By pulling the product off Amazon, Birkenstock expects retailers to respond by featuring the fact that they offer genuine Birkenstock products. They may lose unit sales in the process, but they hope this premium placement with retailers will compensate by increasing consumers' perception of the brand's value. It may work out, but my own point-of-view on this is that it would've been smarter for Birkenstock to make Amazon an authorized retailer by selling them directly and ensuring their adhere to MAP and policing their site for counterfeits. This preserves the margin brick-and-mortar retailers depend on and gives Birkenstock a good reply to retailers who complain about the product being available on Amazon "If you can't add more value than Amazon provides selling at MAP price, then what value are you to us as a retailer?" It also drives the brand's visibility by ensuring a presence on what remains the world's largest online storefront.
  • Posted on: 08/15/2016

    Is brick & mortar ready to leverage in-store shopper data?

    While stores can do a much better job of using data to drive their planogramming efforts, I don't think they'll ever leverage data to the degree that e-commerce sites do. The reason is that in a physical store, retailers must set the store to cater to the "average" customer. In a virtual store, every visitor can have a different experience. Using data to tailor that experience increases relevance, engagement and sales in a way that isn't possible in the retail store environment.
  • Posted on: 07/28/2016

    How should commissions work in the era of omnichannel retailing?

    For retailers where the "shop online, buy in-store" and "shop in-store, buy online" behaviors are significant (which research shows they are for most multi-channel retailers), creating an omnichannel commission structure is smart. It should be augmented several ways to be most successful:
    1. The CMO and vice president of e-commerce should collaborate closely on the website and the CMO should fund some of the cost of maintaining the website as a marketing channel (since companies will chronically under-invest in the website if it is viewed only as a sales channel to be funded by the vice president of e-commerce's P&L).
    2. Store associates should be given the training and tools to leverage email, social media, etc. to drive their customers to transact in whichever way customers prefer.
    3. Reporting should be implemented to create visibility and accountability for driving cross-channel behavior.
    True omnichannel retailing is all about teamwork and collaboration across the marketing and sales channels ... this doesn't happen by accident.
  • Posted on: 07/22/2016

    Will AI mobile apps replace associates on Macy’s sales floor?

    If these applications can connect customers with the products they're looking for by overcoming staffing, stocking and store signage problems -- they certainly should justify themselves by avoiding lost sales. On the staffing front, I think the technology can be especially valuable in markets with a diverse customer base by overcoming language challenges. A multi-lingual app will be far more cost-effective than staffing stores with bilingual associates.
  • Posted on: 07/11/2016

    Will drop-off points boost online sales?

    Unless retailers incent the use of drop-off points with a lower shipping cost, they will simply be another option for consumers to get their goods most conveniently (in addition to shipping to home or work and store pickup). For drop-off points to play a large role in reducing the costs of online shipping, merchants will have to share some of the savings with consumers as a way to drive that behavior.
  • Posted on: 07/07/2016

    Do retail marketers have an appetite for data science?

    "Is smartsourcing a good idea?" sounds like a leading question. Joking aside, when it comes to strategically important work, it's always a good idea to be thoughtful and really understand what your partners are doing for you. With a vendor, you can often structure a pay-for-performance arrangement that isn't possible with full-time staff. Data scientists are in high demand these days -- meaning it's expensive to hire and retain them. Smartsourcing is a good way for companies to get real results quickly. Insisting on vendor transparency allows these companies to retain the knowledge and insight that comes from this work.
  • Posted on: 07/05/2016

    How important is non-transactional data to personalized offers?

    While I certainly agree with Professor Fader that transactional data is the most powerful tool with which to personalize offers, limiting our personalization only to those with transactional data leaves us presenting generic offers to non-customers (who vastly outnumber your current customers) and any customer prior to being "identified and connected" to their transaction history. We've had great success leveraging non-transactional data to tailor online content and offers for non-customers and unidentified customers. These "personalizations" regularly boost online conversion by double and even triple digits. Examples include using the referring domain to present a competitive offer, using the geo-IP to present a locally-relevant offer and using a cookie to present an offer in response to browsing history. These and many other similar campaigns have generated large conversion gains in the most common scenario for retailers (i.e., they are presenting a user experience to a visitor for whom they have no transactional history available).
  • Posted on: 06/29/2016

    How should luxury brands embrace the internet?

    The web ought to be used by luxury brands primarily as a marketing channel to tell the brand's story. Ecommerce ought to be incorporated in a way that enhances the ownership experience — contributing to the exclusivity of the brand and helping the customer better illustrate his or her affinity for the brand.
  • Posted on: 06/16/2016

    Unilever uses grocery delivery service to ‘test and learn’

    Digital promotions get brands much closer to the consumer by allowing them to quickly and easily test the impact of different promotions relative to each other. The cool thing is that brands really don't need to guess which of the promotional vehicles will work better (i.e., sampling, deals, free delivery, hero placement) ... they can just test and then roll with those that work best.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2016

    Microsoft/LinkedIn deal shows content is king

    I don't think this deal shows content is king as much as it shows that the "user community is king." Microsoft could've replicated LinkedIn's content (& software for that matter) for far less than $26 billion. What they couldn't replicate is LinkedIn's 433 million members who frequent the platform and keep their profiles updated. That said, it's not clear to me how Microsoft will monetize this asset in a way that will one day make this look like a wise investment.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2016

    Amazon pushes back against fake reviews by suing sellers

    I don't see a risk for Amazon ... and see it as another smart way for Amazon to illustrate its commitment to consumers. Very good branding for Amazon to be working hard to ensure the reliability of the information it presents to its customers.
  • Posted on: 06/02/2016

    Amazon Prime’s retention rates are just sick

    Retention rates that high reflect two things: 1. Customers really like Amazon; 2. The benefits of the program are really compelling. I think the first is the result of Amazon doing a great job of focusing on a great customer experience. The second I think is mostly about self-selection ... in other words, those that opt in to the program are those who like the idea of buying a lot of their general merchandise online from Amazon. Prime's free two-day shipping benefit gives these people great value, which causes them to renew. That said, I am still very surprised by the fact that 73 percent of those who take advantage of the free 30-day offer become paying Prime members. That really is impressive!
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