After nearly seven years at RetailNet Group (RNG), a leading research and advisory firm, Keith Anderson is joining Profitero as VP, Strategy & Insights. In this post, Keith outlines why he believes Profitero’s development team is the strongest talent pool anywhere focused on providing the most scalable and global online insight to retailers and brands.
Why I’m Joining Profitero
After nearly 7 years at RetailNet Group (RNG), a leading research and advisory firm, I’m joining Profitero as VP, Strategy & Insights.
RNG was born from a stint advising entrepreneurs and investors on technology’s impact on retailers’ and CPG manufacturers’ business models. I’m biased, of course, but RNG has been at the vanguard of explaining how digital is transforming retail and what to do about it. The team there are among the most knowledgeable and practical advisors anywhere, owing to a unique ability to translate between retailers’ and brands’ businesses and the ever-evolving technology landscape.
For the better part of a decade, I’ve been focused primarily on two objectives:
- Positioning leading CPG companies for success in a digital world with new strategies, organizational structures, and rules of engagement; and
- Discovering, vetting, and explaining new tools and capabilities that empower ecommerce directors, shopper marketers, and brand managers to grow profitably in a changing retail environment
Those familiar with my work know that there have been a few perennial challenges facing those leading the charge in reinventing ways of working to be responsive to shoppers’ and retailers’ evolving expectations:
- Organizational culture and structure challenges related to levels of dedicated and shared support, global and international coordination, talent profiles, budgeting, and aligning around the right metrics
- Digital product content — Generating images, descriptions, and other rich media optimized for findability and conversion on online retailers’ sites; “warehousing” that content; and syndicating it or making it accessible to online retailers with varying specifications
- Online insights and analytics — Using relevant, accurate, actionable insight about the global digital retail landscape to manage the online channel and its influence over offline sales efficiently and on a basis in fact
That last point has been a head-scratcher to me for years. Despite the promise of more measurability online, CPG companies’ ecommerce directors, digital shopper marketers, and brand managers still lack many of the basic insights their brick-and-mortar counterparts take for granted, along with analytics adapted to the unique distinctions of online retail.
In fact, a recent RNG survey of CPG companies’ ecommerce directors placed this lack of insight and analytics as the #2 challenge they faced, with 80% of respondents citing the issue.
Which brings me to Profitero. Having helped many leading retailers and brands prepare for and adapt to the demands of a digital world, I’m very aware of the gap between CPG companies’ needs and available solutions. That’s not to say that there aren’t options–in fact, over the last year or two, I’ve discovered several interesting solution providers and introduced them to clients. I count their leadership as friends, and I’m grateful that the industry is benefitting from a growing number of choices.
But, to borrow a phrase from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, it feels like “day one” in the field of global online insight. Feedback from the industry has been that many solutions struggle with accuracy in areas like product matching. Others provide terabytes of data, but little actionable insight. Some are brilliant for managing individual online retailers but don’t meet the needs of those with global responsibility or focused on emerging markets.
I’ve known Vol, Profitero’s CEO, for a few years, and one of Profitero’s board members for over a year as well. Both have a level of passion and pragmatism I’ve admired as an outsider, and I’ve been pleased to find these qualities in the entire team as I’ve begun to meet them as well.
But what hooked me were Profitero’s technical capabilities. Profitero collects online data on over 250 million products every day and already offers an industry-leading price intelligence and online insights solution that consistently wins accolades for its accuracy and scalability. I believe that the raw horsepower of Profitero’s world-class development team is the strongest talent pool anywhere focused on providing the most scalable and global online insight to leading retailers and brands.
So when the opportunity arose to infuse my domain expertise with this industrial-strength software, I had to be part of it.
In my new role, I’ll be focused on continuously enhancing Profitero’s solution and unlocking the value in its incredibly rich pool of real-time data. As a lifelong analyst, I’m in awe of the new data at my fingertips. I can’t wait to start sharing insight–you won’t have to wait long!
I’m excited to play a part in moving the industry forward in response to such a major challenge. I have a vision, of course, which I’m happy to share. But I’m even more eager to hear directly from you what data, insight, and analytics will make you unstoppable online.
So, be in touch. It’s only day one, and there’s lots to do!