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Clay Boatright

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  • Posted on: 09/20/2022

    Are biases still holding back marketing analytics?

    "Bias." Ooooo, scary word, let's freak out. How about "Additional considerations based on previous experience"? I guess that's not as salacious. A great business philosopher once said "The greatest illusion of the information age is the belief that once a problem is identified, it is solved." That's because many people would rather admire a problem forever than actually solve it, because trying to fix it takes risk. Cowardice runs rampant while hidden behind the smokescreen of "we need more data." I've been an insights ad data hound for over thirty years and have learned a couple of things. 1) There's a big difference between objective analysis and fact-based-selling. Though many C-Suiters say they want the former, but what they really want is the latter. 2) You only know what you know and the rest is filled in with intuition based on experience. Obviously, the more data and insights a decision maker has the better, but at some point there's a diminishing point of return on the data investment and you have to make a call. I submit virtually all decisions are based on some facts, thus making them "fact-based decisions." However, decision makers may be exercising their privilege (another scary word) and do something the analyst disagrees with. Okay, professional disagreements happen all the time. It doesn't mean the data is wrong or not needed, it means human beings are involved (gasp).
  • Posted on: 09/13/2022

    Kroger simplifies its budget private labels

    Retailers moving from a three-tier to a two-tier store brand strategy has been going on for a long time and makes a lot of sense. The short-term changeover can be tough as middle-tier buyers usually migrate down, but long term it streamlines the portfolio, improves space allocation and holding power, and enables better equity gains leveraged off the national and regional brand players.
  • Posted on: 09/13/2022

    Should store associates handle customer service chats?

    No matter our profession, all of us are in the customer service business. Sadly, retail customer service in America was declining steadily for years before pandemic, which accelerated apathy and forced consumers to lower their expectations. If a shopper walks in a store today and an associate offers help, the customer is pleasantly surprised. If that customer calls a 1-800 number and talks to an actual person, it's like winning the lottery! Consumers have been conditioned to keep their expectations low, so any creative effort to improve the in-store/online/on-phone experience is worth a shot and certainly can't make things worse.
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