David Slavick

Co-Founder & Partner
Multi-channel retail marketing expert leveraging data insight to drive strategic planning, communications/ offer management, customer loyalty program design, in-depth analytic skills, highly accountable execution and operational components. Led large teams in the development and sustained innovation for CRM/Loyalty programs while at Accenture Interactive/Digital Retail, FTD Companies, Sears Holdings and American Eagle Outfitters. Specialties: Assessing technology infrastructure and gaps to solve for limitations and constraints in 1:1 relationship marketing. Strategic planning and analysis to drive incremental profitable return on investment from valued customer segments. Deliver practical recommendations that are actionable based on extensive experience in the CRM/Loyalty discipline. Lead with Six Sigma project management discipline in order to meet/exceed timelines/expectations.
  • Posted on: 09/10/2020

    Walmart pilots its way into the drone delivery race

    I'd suggest starting this off in cities with a very calm weather pattern and very little wind. I'd also suggest that whomever is assigned to packing the bags does a really good job of balancing the cans, jars and fruit to not tip the drone. Lastly, it will be a long time if ever before my city, the Windy City, will be part of the rollout. ;-)
  • Posted on: 09/01/2020

    Grocers shift gears as stimulus stalemate tightens consumer spending

    Before the pandemic hit grocers were fighting the big box stores for share of market. Nothing has changed. Consumers counting on $600 in stimulus or consumers preferring to eat at home (or having to eat at home due to lockdown) all need milk, bread and eggs. It is up to large chains (Kroger, Albertsons, Publix) or more nimble mid-tier chains (Hy-Vee, Festival, Bashas, Raley's et. al.) to leverage their new found relationship with newly identified shoppers and find out their preferences, and how best to satisfy their weekly needs. They are paying big bucks to consultants for insights on promotional co-op to drive traffic and yet discounting has been significantly reduced while profits/margins are way up. Time for a new grocery optimization model that leverages data/insight to lift total basket - purchases in high margin adjacencies - bakery, fresh food, organics, health and beauty.
  • Posted on: 08/07/2020

    Has there ever been a better time to build or kill customer loyalty?

    There are two considerations here. One, are loyalty programs or recognition and reward programs of greater interest now than they were pre-COVID-19? The answer is a resounding YES. I have seen the data. Participation rates up. Digital engagement up. Sales from members, especially new online behavior up. Because of the pandemic shoppers who happen to be members are not going to as many places to fill out their list and satisfy needs. Do you do things differently than before? YES. Simply saying do personalization better or improve the online shopping experience is not nearly enough. In regards to the second point I agree, need to do better. But let's be reasonable here and put ourselves in the shoes of business operators in this crazy world we are experiencing. Out-of-stocks have existed for decades. Issues with returns have as well. Customer complaints are rising, and it's no surprise they are frustrated at so many more things in their daily lives than ever before. Call center volume has skyrocketed. Managing customer or member expectations is key. Always saying yes and showing empathy is important as well.
  • Posted on: 07/23/2020

    Is there a path to profitable grocery delivery?

    Shocking that grocery sector remains constrained in these three areas. What are they paying for?
  • Posted on: 06/30/2020

    Will Nike’s digital drive build stronger ‘one-to-one’ relationships with consumers?

    Nike is a highly regarded brand, with high awareness and affinity, and has built this strength over time. They have the leadership and expertise to accomplish it. I believe that there are levels of offline and online engagement that can be accomplished. Every business case differs based on current state capabilities, business metrics and to what extent 1:1 relationships with shoppers, consumers and advocates is valued. If you have nothing, get something. If you see weakness in your current solutions and tools - assess it and solve for it. If you don't know how to build a business case, hire someone to to help you. Digital engagement is the future. Better to get there sooner vs. kicking the can down the road.
  • Posted on: 06/09/2020

    Loyalty marketing is at a crossroads

    Consumers today are motivated by convenience, safe shopping experiences and quality. They seek dependable service, delivery, and ease of pick-up process. These factors are clearly in response to the pandemic. Getting cost savings or bonus value for purchase is less important in today's environment. Brand values and messaging to program members is central to success - not transactional relationships. Members expect personalization at the "person" level. Importantly, loyalty is enabled by store associates who are well trained, embrace the brand attitude and deliver outstanding service to valued shoppers every business day.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2020

    Can outdoor dining save restaurants?

    Warm desert climates? In Arizona or Palm Springs with dry heat I think it is attractive, and even here in Chicago where it was 94 yesterday!
  • Posted on: 06/03/2020

    Can outdoor dining save restaurants?

    Cities need to be adaptable and change their health and safety policies. They also need to relax the process and improve the turnaround in order to enable restaurants to build out outdoor seating concepts. In many cities it takes way too long to go from the application to approval. Likewise, in many cities the operator has to pay separate fees to offer it. Outdoor dining, cafe and alternate experiences are highly satisfying. Make it the norm, and make it not so difficult to implement and support operationally.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2020

    Is the future of retailing going dark?

    There will always be shoppers that want to visit the store, feel the merchandise in real time and satisfy their needs for personal interaction with store associates. Offering convenience and satisfying any customer order and fulfillment journey is essential for most physical store retailers. What is missing from current capabilities? Do I as a retailer know shopper preferences? Do I have the ability to adapt and personalize my communication, offer, fulfillment approach to meet/exceed shopper preferences? Do I have the ability to push that insight on the individual unique shopper to the floor of the store to truly deliver the most highly satisfying in-store experience? Today, sadly the answer is no for most retailers. It starts with shopper identification, two-way dialogue, building an infrastructure to support data/insight enablement, store associate training, and advanced analytics to drive optimum results.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2020

    Retail ensnared in nationwide protests

    Words vs. actions. Actions speak much louder than words. Spend less time commenting and more time protecting your people and your assets. As for the media, once again if it burns it leads, if it bleeds it leads. I am honestly disgusted with the media that spends more time covering destruction and not enough time on the root causes of our hideous past and equally disturbing present. Let's support the leaders who are in the street every day and have been for years shouting for change. In Chicago it took the Laquan McDonald execution to force "some" change in our CPD practices and policies. All of this is local. Not national and certainly not Federal. We pray for peace. Unfortunately as Detroit well knows, there are parts of that city burned to the ground in the '60s and '70s that have never recovered. G-d bless our leaders of commerce. Their charitable contributions to communities of color is essential and I trust it will continue.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2019

    Why do so many people say ‘no’ to retailer loyalty programs?

    The question shouldn't be why do so many people do not join. It should be why so many join and then stop participating. I do agree that personalized service, recognition and unique compelling rewards is essential for those brands that can support this type of mix. Unfortunately, too many brands put out a program and their business dynamics do not support what today's shopper demands. This gap is ever widening as expectations grow. I suggest for those brands that have failing programs: re-evaluate your business case and operating model. Look inward first and overcome your constraints. Then listen and learn from your customers who are inactive, or simply saying thanks, but no thanks.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2019

    Questions abound about the value of net promoter scores

    That's a rich story. Take the score result and then get a consulting assignment. Those who do are fools. If you commit your enterprise toward listening to your customer -- voice of customer study, not one simple question -- you'll be much better off. Plus having a commitment to social listening through great providers such as Sprinklr.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2019

    Questions abound about the value of net promoter scores

    If you are an Influencer or Opinion Leader or Advocate your promoter score matters. If you split your behavior, affinity or spend across the competitive set, you don't matter. Thus from my perspective it is a black/white issue. What truly matters is Customer Lifetime Value. I used to be a huge fan of Best Buy. I actually paid to join the Rewards Zone loyalty program when first introduced. I am no longer an advocate because they've ruined the program with a weak value proposition, dropped selling music in-store and prices for electronics aren't competitive. So NPS at Best Buy, if ever asked, would not rate a 10.
  • Posted on: 05/20/2019

    Just how big is Amazon’s ethics challenge?

    I find this discussion very multi-layered. Perhaps Amazon takes a hit regarding ethics because of who is its leader and that Mr. Bezos is also owner of a prominent newspaper leading the charge for fact-based reporting. Regardless, I am a free market supporter. This leads me to put all the burden on the consumer, let the buyer beware or said differently, let the user be aware. Privacy concerns? Don't put a listening device or a security system in your home. Feel essential to support your local shops, then buy from them vs. relying on the convenience of free shipping. It is all about customer choice. Amazon is not at fault. They are in the business of winning. It's a tough battle out there, but they are not at fault. Competition is good. Complacency is bad.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2019

    Why does loyalty program ROI remain so murky?

    For mature programs I seriously doubt most program managers actually examine their original business case and associated assumptions for the financial model to confirm and/or deny assumptions made. Likewise, I seriously doubt that the owner of the program sitting in CRM or Loyalty or Customer Experience wants the CFO or Finance team auditing their program metrics. The investment in the program MUST be supported by ongoing examination of assumptions and proof points. Over time, pre vs. post launch comparisons to support incremental lift projections loses its validity – too much time has passed, competitive environment changes. We all recognize that the program is a stimulus. Loyalty leadership must have a precise method to understand incremental lift and that comes from seeing:
    • Member value migration
    • Lift in social engagement
    • Referral rates
    • CSAT change to the positive
    • Enrollment growth consistent with the financial model projections
    • Match rate/compliance – transaction to member
    • Active Rate
    • Attrition Rate “reduction” – losing less customers than prior year who were active – so more active remain active YoY
    • Improvement in Controllable Churn
    See my article for more.
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