Thursday, July 22, 2021

Retail Media Networks, Part 2: Why the Hype?

Let’s talk about retail media.

More specifically, the reasons underlying all the excitement about – and investment in – retail media networks (RMNs) launched by major retailers, which is the focus of this article, Part 2 of a 4-part series.

In Part 1, I covered the origins and definition of RMNs; in Part 3, I will paint a picture of where different retailers stand in their journey of launching their respective RMNs; and in Part 4, I will offer my hypotheses on what needs to happen in the retail media space for RMNs to live up to their widely publicized potential.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Retail Media Networks, Part 1: What Are They?

Let’s talk about retail media.

More specifically, the rise of retail media networks launched by major retailers, looking to build new, sizeable, and highly profitable media revenue streams by taking advantage of their large audiences of loyal shoppers and the vast amounts of purchase data they collect from these shoppers.

In this 4-part series, I take a look at the origins and definition of retail media networks (or RMNs), examine the reasons for the rising interest and investment in RMNs, assess where different retailers stand in their evolutionary journey of launching and monetizing their RMN, and offer my point of view on what needs to happen in the retail media space in order for RMNs to live up to and deliver on their widely publicized potential.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

An Inconvenient Truth: How Will Convenience Stores Survive the Conversion to Zero-Emission Vehicles

Let’s talk about electric vehicles … and convenience stores.

What do the two have to do with each other? Quite a bit, it turns out: the majority of convenience stores in the U.S. are either part of a larger gas station or offer fuel services themselves. If GM achieves its recently announced goal to convert its manufacturing output entirely to electric vehicles (EVs) by 2035, that will shake up and transform the convenience store industry in ways only few have begun to imagine.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

In-Store Media and Merchandising: The Digital Renaissance Cometh

Barrows "Connected Store" endcap units

Let's talk about digital in-store media.

More specifically, the future of engaging shoppers digitally inside physical stores to make their shopping experience smoother, more productive and delightful, while also seizing the opportunity to serve them advertising and promotional messages sponsored by brand manufacturers.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Two-Way Street: Growing a Two-Sided Marketplace Through Supply and Demand Promotions

Let’s talk about two-sided marketplace promotions.

More specifically, the crucial marketing tactic two-sided marketplace platforms, such as Uber or Doordash, deploy to drive engagement and growth by stimulating both demand and supply among their network participants. 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

The Talent Stack: Differentiating Between Values, Abilities and Skills When Evaluating People

Let’s talk about talent.

More specifically, how to identify and assess people who are best suited to ‘click’ seamlessly with your corporate culture, deliver meaningful impact and results effectively and quickly. The Talent Stack is a powerful framework that helps focus your attention on the right people attributes and candidate qualifications, and in the right order of strategic priority.

I was first introduced to the concept of “Values, Abilities and Skills” by Ray Dalio during my time at Bridgewater. One of his (now famous) “Principles” was that we should look at people as having these three very different tiers of qualifications or attributes that should not be commingled together, with values being most important and skills the least.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Settling for Less: The Challenges and Opportunities of Manufacturer Coupon Clearing

Let’s talk about coupon clearing.

More specifically, the last stage of the Life of a Coupon process that delivers the processing of the coupon and the settlement of face-value funds between the manufacturer who issued the coupon and the retailer who accepted it.

A recently announced partnership between Quotient Technology and Mandlik & Rhodes, a smaller coupon clearing house, promises to shake up the duopoly Inmar Intelligence and NCH Marketing Services have enjoyed for decades, and to provide better services and lower costs for CPGs. Will that come to pass? We’ll see. But to really understand what’s possible and what it would take to disrupt the coupon clearing industry, let’s take several steps back for a brief overview of the business of issuing, processing and clearing of manufacturer coupons.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Life of a Coupon: The Industry Value Chain That Powers Manufacturer Coupons

Let’s talk about coupons.

More specifically, the full value chain of activities and industry players that constitutes the ‘Life of a Coupon’ – from the CPG manufacturer to the consumer to the retailer’s checkout register and back to the manufacturer.

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The Value Tree, Part 2: Using Shareholder Value to Unite and Prioritize the Corporate Portfolio of Strategic Initiatives

Let’s talk some more about shareholder value. More specifically, applying The Value Tree strategic framework, which I adapted from ...

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