Category Archives: Uncategorized

CMO or SCHMO? Clinging To Old Marketing Models May Be Hurting Rather Than Helping Drive Growth

From Forbes.com on December 20, 2016…

Perhaps it’s the simple job description of the CMO that is outdated or maybe the complexities of today’s marketplace are too much for any one person to deal with.  Whatever it may be, it seems like the CMO position may be at a crossroad whereby it either needs to be redefined or eliminated.

The CMO description is simple enough: “The CMO is responsible for overseeing the planning, development and execution of an organization’s marketing and advertising initiatives.  CMO’s ensure the organization’s message is distributed across channels to targeted audiences in order to meet sales goals.”  Some call the CMO a C-Mo, which is not to be confused with a schmo, which Webster Merriam defines as an ordinary person, not unusual in any way.  Today’s CMO is anything but ordinary.  Continue reading…

Election Worries And Moody Consumers, But Spending Intentions Remain Encouraging

From Forbes on October 28, 2016:

The presidential election seems to be weighing down consumer confidence, but what does it mean for purchase intentions? Deborah Weinswig, Managing Director of Fung Global Retail & Technology, highlights the disconnect between sentiment and consumer spending intent in her analysis of Prosper’s October data. Continue reading…

Small Business Confidence Rises Boding Well For Final Quarter Of 2016

From Forbes on September 30, 2016:

Consumers’ sentiment continues to improve, as does their mood. What does it mean for spending? Deborah Weinswig, Managing Director of Fung Global Retail & Technology, weighs in on what improvements in Prosper’s key indicators mean for retail sales and which categories are likely to benefit. Continue reading…

Which Three Retailers Bridge The Generation Gap For Customer Service Excellence?

From Forbes on April 5, 2016:

While L.L.Bean ranked supreme among this year’s Customer Service Champions overall, younger shoppers certainly express a difference of opinion. New analysis of Prosper Insights & Analytics’ 2015 Customer Service Champions reveals that both the Millennial (born 1983 – 1997) and Gen X (1965 – 1982) generations nominated Amazon.com as their top choice for customer service excellence, while Boomers (1946 – 1964) were firmly entrenched in the L.L.Bean camp. However, a review of the three generations’ top picks for customer service providers highlights interesting similarities between these divergent age groups. Continue reading

L.L.Bean, Amazon And Nordstrom Are Customer Service Champions, According To Consumers

From Forbes on March 29, 2016:

It’s an Amazon, Amazon, Amazon, Amazon world, but one retailer continues to top the online giant when it comes to shopper experience.

For the second year in a row, outdoor outfitter L.L.Bean tops the list of Prosper Insights & Analytics’ Customer Service Champions over second place Amazon.com. Customer Service Champions were developed from a write-in vote from more than 6,000 U.S. consumers (18+) in September 2015 and weighted by each retailers’ relative size in annual revenues as well as its fan base, as defined by a retailer’s promoters (per the Net Promoter Score.*) See last year’s winners here and 2013’s top picks here. Following L.L.Bean and Amazon (in rank order) are: Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Lands’ End, REI, Zappos.com, JC Penney, QVC, and Macy’s.

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Back-To-School: Why Amazon Moves To The Head Of The Class Over Target, Walmart

From Forbes on August 4, 2015:

Shoppers have certainly changed since the recession. Having adopted a “new normal” tenet that focuses on cost-conscious, value-driven approaches to spending, today’s consumers are constantly seeking out sales and promotions, comparing prices, and researching products to ensure they get the most bang for as few bucks as possible. Advances in mobile technology over recent years have only made it easier for shoppers to adhere to this mindset. While many thought that declining gas prices would be the shot in the arm to spending in 2015, cautious consumers defied conventional “wisdom” and instead focused on paying down debt and increasing savings. And so the challenging retail environment continues…

Now we find ourselves mid-year 2015 with the back-to-school shopping season upon us. The National Retail Federation reports that shoppers plan to spend about $630 overall on clothing, shoes, supplies, and electronics for their K-12 students this year, a nearly 6% decline from the $669 average planned budget in 2014. Since the recession, consumers’ back-to-school budgets have consistently followed an up/down pattern as parents restocked one year (“up”) and reused backpacks, digital devices, etc. the next (“down”), so this year’s decline in planned spending didn’t exactly come as a surprise. Of course, this doesn’t make marketers’ jobs any easier in what’s already proved to be a challenging year for ringing up retail sales. Digging into our back-to-school insights a bit further, though, can help us uncover which retailers may be better positioned to gain this season versus those who may end up missing out. And for this installment, we’ll focus on the “Big 3” in back-to-school retailing: Walmart, Target, and Amazon.com. Continue reading

Among Top QSR Chains, Starbucks, Subway, Chick-fil-A Boast Healthiest Patrons

When QSR magazine released its list of top 50 quick service and fast casual chains last year, industry behemoth McDonald’s unsurprisingly sat atop that list. Having served billions and billions of consumers worldwide, McDonald’s 2013 sales in the U.S. were more than double that of second place competitor Subway, intimating that consumers still have an appetite for the Golden Arches. However, consumer tastes and lifestyles are changing, with words like “natural,” “organic,” and “fresh” landing onto competitor’s menus – and onto consumers’ plates. While the movement toward healthier and more responsible living has been a boon to some quick service chains, sales at McDonald’s are consistently suffering.

With this trend in mind, I shuffled the positions of QSR’s top 10 restaurants, re-ranking these establishments not by overall sales, but by the lifestyle choices their patrons make, courtesy of the syndicated insights Prosper collects. Continue reading

Why The C-level Needs To Rethink Their Strategic Management Process

The latest from Prosper Now’s Blog on Forbes.com

I read an article two weeks ago reporting on the challenges faced by a CEO of a big box retailer. At the annual analyst meeting, the CEO identified some challenges that contributed to flat same store sales for the last six quarters. Issues contributing to lackluster growth were:

  • Changes in shopper behavior resulting from online research and shopping
  • Shoppers’ desire to shop at smaller stores.

The solution he offered to analysts was to speed up checkout lines. While this is a worthy tactic, continue reading…