Kevin Hillstrom

Kevin Hillstrom
Separating Social Media Hype From Reality

Let's take a look at social media in 2010: We continually hear about brands that have a half-million or million Facebook fans. Well, that’s wonderful. That’s validation that social media provides a channel for consumers to interact with a brand. It isn’t, however, validation that social media creates orders.

Analyzing the Value of a Facebook Fan

When you evaluate customer spend on an incremental basis, you quickly find that new channels provide little incremental value in the early stages of development. What happens is that brand loyalty counts for so much more than does the excitement of new channels.

Should You Offer Discounts or Not?

My boss thinks that free shipping and 20 percent off promotions are the key to competing with brands online. My team thinks we're giving our business away for free. Who's right?

Is Your Loyalty Program Really Worth It?

Loyalty programs are frequently evaluated on the basis of biased metrics, which lead companies to believe that the programs are more effective than they really are.

A 5-Step Process to Forecasting Sales

The beauty of this process is that you can change new customer assumptions, customer retention assumptions and/or spend per customer assumptions to see what impact the assumptions have on the future of your business. You can identify a path that leads you to the sales figures that management is looking for.

Cross-Channel Sales and Budget for Multichannel Retailers

Q: "Are there any best practices for multichannel retailers 
around how to allocate cross-channel sales and, in conjunction, budget?" — Steve Cates, vice president of multichannel marketing at Carrot-Top Industries

Kevin Hillstrom's Dear Dr. pROfIt: Planning Holiday Sales Forecasts

Holidays have a way of chopping off the sales tail. Often, you'll see sales increases early in the week, only to see those sales rapidly decline in the days leading up to the holiday. Sales seldom rebound in the days following a holiday. Try creating a new event to generate interest, as holidays cause customers to shift focus from the old event to the holiday.