How Marketing& Data Science Help Retail Giants Compete (Prof. Ashish Sinha,UNSW)

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Talk outline: in today's award-winning talk, we will look at effective implementations of marketing analytics in retailing. In particular, we will walk through the story of how Foster’s Beringer California Collection defended its market position against a disruptive new entrant in the U.S. wine market called Yellow Tail. For this purpose, we introduced a category management tool known as Category Optimizer™, which can be estimated on readily available store scanner data. The category optimisations were successfully implemented in early 2008, earning rich dividends for the company; increasing profitability by 70%, revenue by 3%, and earnings before interest and taxes by 8.5%; and having a positive impact on its brand ranking. Category optimizer was in 2012 a finalist in the worldwide INFORMS Practice Prize competition that honours extremely fruitful marketing applications of modelling in the real world.

The second case study involves the implementation of the category optimizer at an everyday-low price (EDLP) chain, such as Walmart. A key challenge of setting prices at EDLP chains is the lack of price variability to estimate price elasticity. The implemented model allows both the estimating of price elasticity and calculation of willingness to pay for different products in the category. These are subsequently used as inputs to optimize the price for all products within the category.

We conclude the presentation by providing examples of other companies where the approaches have also been successfully implemented and by discussing some avenues for future analytics applications.

About the speaker: Ashish Sinha is Professor and Head of School of Marketing at the Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales. His major area of interest lies in developing models that help managers make better decisions. This interest is a natural extension of his work at Information Resources Incorporated, Chicago, USA, where in the role of Vice President and Chief Modeler of Analytics Insight Group he spearheaded the development of several multi-million dollar products including Attribute Drivers, Consumer Mix Drivers and Portfolio Drivers. He has consulted for many Blue Chip companies, including Kraft, Pepsico, Frito-Lays and Campbell Soup Company, among others, and has taught several executive programs for companies, such as, General Electric, Coke, Hershey and Eli Lilly. He has advised many consulting houses and regulatory organizations, including Mckinsey Corporation, Information Resources Incorporated and ACCC, and was involved in the design and marketing of the analytics offerings of Synovate Aztec in Australasia and Synovate MMA in the United States. He has mostly recently sold a Big Data Marketing Analytics company that he was a partner in to Information Resources Incorporated, Chicago, USA.

Prof. Sinha’s work has received numerous awards and been published in leading academic and trade journals. He was awarded the “Best Marketing Professor” in Australasia by the CMO Asia chapter in 2011. Moreover, Prof. Sinha is also a twice-finalist for the prestigious INFORMS Marketing Science Institute Gary Lilien Practice Award in recognition of his work in the areas of Category Management, Assortment and Disruptive innovation.

Please arrive at 5:45pm for beers and mingling - the presentation will start at 6:15pm. Beers are courtesy of Mitchellake Group and Fishburners!