Mark Price

Managing Partner, Smart Data Solutions, ThreeBridge

Mark Price is Solution Partner for Smart Data Solutions for ThreeBridge, a national technology consulting firm.  Prior to joining ThreeBridge in October of 2018, Mark was founder and managing partner and founder of LiftPoint Consulting Group, which he led for over 16 years.  He is a frequent speaker at conferences as an expert on data-driven marketing and authors articles on the same topic. Mark blogs regularly.  He is responsible for thought leadership, leading client engagements and solution development for ThreeBridge.

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.

  • Posted on: 03/11/2020

    Are online sales metrics irrelevant for brick and click retailers?

    Given the massive investment in e-commerce infrastructure and support, not reporting the financial impact seems odd. Using advanced analytics, it is possible now to attribute revenue to the site as part of a multichannel customer journey. I believe that companies are not sharing the information to avoid giving out competitive information, and also because the investment in e-commerce may have a poor 1-yr ROI, even though the long-term payout would be hugely positive.
  • Posted on: 03/10/2020

    Will rival retailers buy Amazon’s ‘Just Walk Out’ technology?

    There is no question that "Just Walk Out" technology will become common at retail. But the barriers to this technology, which are similar to the reasons that POS systems have remain antiquated, are about cost, implementation and lost productivity during the transition. Since Amazon started this effort from scratch, I am sure that the lack of a true measure of incrementality also slows down this effort. But when the first major player successfully implements, then I imagine the dike will break.
  • Posted on: 03/09/2020

    Burlington Stores walks away from e-commerce

    While it is easy to say that the off-price category is not a good fit for e-commerce, it appears that the Burlington website lacks a number of best practice-based features that T.J.Maxx has implemented, such as publicizing key issues, promoting product scarcity (while supplies last), etc. T.J.Maxx's success may reflect a stronger brand name, but I am not sure that brand strength is the issue. Improved execution might solve a host of Burlington's issues.
  • Posted on: 02/11/2020

    Will Staples’ new concept Connect with small business owners?

    As I take a look at Staples Connect, I really don't see any competitive differentiation from the broad range of colocation facilities available. The podcast and recording support strikes me as something that is a bit unique, but not enough to make a difference. The biggest factors with colocation are convenience, quality of facilities and the range of other businesses that are working in that location. I am not sure that Staples Connect can scale fast enough to gain momentum, and the company must be very careful about locations in order to not select overcrowded areas. All in all, this effort appears fraught with potential pitfalls.
  • Posted on: 02/10/2020

    Why isn’t voice commerce taking off?

    The slow adoption of smart speakers for purchasing is consistent with patterns of technology adoption historically. Usually what you see is that early adopters start to use the technology first, because they enjoy using new technology and are willing to put up with early-stage problems. The next group of customers, often called early majority, are waiting for the early adopters to signal that the new technology is ready for prime time. That has not yet happened. As additional capabilities get rolled into the main smart speaker apps, you should expect more widespread adoption. Issues of private privacy will always be a concern, but over time consumers become more comfortable with technology and their privacy concerns diminish.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2020

    Will ‘guests’ love Target even more as Circle members?

    Target seems to understand that loyalty cannot be bought with points. The combination of personalization, social savings and content is what loyalty programs were intended to be -- not just another way to buy an incremental transaction but a way to create and maintain a relationship.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2020

    Walmart U.S. CEO: Good retail jobs are much more than good pay

    Store associate retention has always been critical. Now, in the age of extensive e-commerce competition, the single biggest differentiator that a retail store has is the quality of the customer experience. All the research has shown that store and department managers are some of the greatest factors impacting customer retention and store profitability. By prioritizing store and department managers with salary and training and support and technology, Walmart has placed them selves in a great position to continue to drive growth in revenue and profit ability at retail locations.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2020

    Do alcohol and shopping mix?

    Anything that increases traffic in shopping centers is a good thing and certainly should be expanded to enclosed malls. If consumers can drink in restaurants in malls, why can't they take a drink from one of those restaurants to go shopping? Consumers can take Starbucks around a mall...
  • Posted on: 12/20/2019

    Amazon gets more free with free returns

    The more extensive the returns policy is for Amazon, the less risk there is to online purchases compared to in-store. The benefit of in-store is the ability to try something before you buy it. With limited return risk, consumers will be more likely to experiment with Amazon purchases. The downside to reducing the risk, of course, is that a higher volume of returns is inevitable. But I would bet that Amazon has been hard at work automating return tracking and warehouse restocking.
  • Posted on: 12/18/2019

    Bed Bath & Beyond’s CEO cleans house

    Tritton should have the opportunity to take the best shot at a turnaround with the team that he wants to go to war with. The best way to do that is to make the change quickly, like they usually do with sports teams. In terms of hiring, given the urgency of the situation, I would recommend that he begin first with trusted associates who understand his expectations and how he works. That will reduce the number of cycles required in the change management process.
  • Posted on: 12/17/2019

    Why is Amazon banning FedEx ground delivery?

    As usual, the answer is probably not simple. Amazon has been raising the bar for third-party delivery over the past few years, and it seems like FedEx is struggling to meet those stringent standards. In addition, the breakup of the relationship with Amazon clearly does not provide any incentive for Amazon to maintain FedEx as an option any longer than they have to. This season has had more shipping delays than previous ones, based on mother-in-law research (small sample size, one locality, only my friends :)). The FedEx issues could be part of the cause.
  • Posted on: 12/16/2019

    Andy Dunn’s departure from Walmart indicative of a broader problem

    There are good reasons to retain start up founders after an acquisition. There are also challenges to keeping those founders happy over the long-term. The challenges are that what made the start up successful in the early growth phases may not be the same set of skills that are necessary to operationalize and scale the business going forward. Yet the innovation and creativity of the start up founders is an essential ingredient that often is lost in larger corporations. The challenge is to funnel the skill set of the start up founders into the areas where they can have the greatest benefit. That benefit tends to be in incubating new ideas and challenging the status quo. For that to succeed, the contributions of the founders must not be standardized or worn down by the processes of the large organization. If you look at the rapid departure of startup founders, you can see that this is easy to say and relatively hard to do.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2019

    Are Americans ready for a DTC shopping holiday?

    While I applaud this initiative to increase the direct connection between brands and their customers, I am not sure that America needs another shopping holiday. In order for this effort to succeed, there must be a clear benefit to customers for working directly with manufacturers. It's clear that the price must be consistent with the price offered by intermediaries for comparable products, and in addition there must be some level of access or rewards to distinguish the direct-to-customer relationship from other alternatives. The direct-to-customer initiative is also very consistent with the needs of Millennials, who as a group tend to want to work directly with authentic, value-driven organizations. At the same time, I am not sure about the piece about moving away from Facebook and Instagram. It seems to me that the communication channel plan should exist separately from the overall strategy of going direct to customers. All in all, it will be exciting to see how this plays out over the next couple years.
  • Posted on: 11/18/2019

    Will a purpose-driven site do good for Zappos?

    The appeal of these sorts of offerings falls squarely into the needs of Millennials. The key factor is that there is not a tradeoff in functionality, fit, style for the "do good" benefit. Accumulating these brands seems to be a solid proposition and will have a fallout effort of associating Zappos as a whole with a good for the world/environment benefit.
  • Posted on: 10/28/2019

    What makes voice assistants creepy?

    It's clear that we are in the middle of a sea change in the way consumers relate to technology. First the Millennials and now the Gen X'ers are becoming more and more accepting of the leverage of their data to improve their experience, either by anticipating their needs or suggesting complementary items, discounts, etc. As these two groups form more and more of the collective buying power, the role of anticipatory technology continues to increase. At the same time, research suggests that consumers consider the monitoring of their conversations to be a "red line" that retailers and e-commerce merchants should be wary of crossing. At least for the moment, consumers in the younger segments who are mobile-fixated tend to be comfortable with the leverage of data to improve their experience when that data is voluntarily provided. And the definition of voluntarily provided seems to be shifting over time. In the next five years, I anticipate that even conversations will be considered fair game -- just that more patience is required.

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