About Us

I founded Top Shelf Analytics because I love helping people evolve their marketing from guesswork to science.  We achieve this by blending marketing, finance, and statistics to introduce professional analysis into growing companies.

Why Marketing Analysis?

For the better part of 15 years, I’ve been fascinated by the marketing for direct response businesses.

I first got intrigued by these dynamics in the mid-1990s as AOL carpet-bombed the country with CDs.  How could they afford to send so many out?

I got the chance to work behind the scenes when I joined  AOL’s Marketing Analysis group in 1999.  Because of the investments in tracking CDs and customers, we were able to scientifically analyze:

  • Cost per Acquisition of each campaign
  • Retention and profitability of individual campaigns
  • Testing of hundreds new offers and packages
  • How to prioritize spending opportunities to maximize rate of return

As a result of measuring and testing, AOL was able to spend over a billion dollars a year on customer acquisition at its peak, all with a healthy profit.  Even though they stopped dial-up acquisition spending years ago, they still have several million paying subscribers.

From that time on, I was hooked on evaluating businesses driven by direct response marketing.  Whenever I encounter a company like Netflix, Salesforce, or HBO, I find myself pondering their customer acquisition costs, margins, and retention.

Professional Evolution

I admit that this is an unusual calling and I’ve followed a bit of meandering path to get here.

After getting my bachelor’s degree in Economics from UCLA, I worked with The Walt Disney Studios as part of a finance team. I discovered that I liked doing analysis, but wanted to get more broadly involved in business management.

In 1997, I joined Maryland’s MBA program to get new skills and discover different career options.  The introductory marketing course fascinated me and inspired me to pursue a dual concentration of marketing and finance.

Through good fortune and networking, I landed with AOL’s Marketing Analysis team. I learned the skills of campaign analysis, testing, customer lifetime value calculations, and deal evaluation from the best in the business.

As I grew my skills, I advanced to leadership roles where I hired and trained staff, and advised business groups across many parts of the AOL organization, including Acquisition Marketing, Retention Marketing, and Web Content.

In 2008, I joined AllTrust Networks as an Executive VP, with the mission to bring rigor to the strategy, pricing, marketing, and financial functions.

I lead the CEO, Board of Directors and investors through evaluations of our past performance and future opportunities.  This includes determining minimum sales levels to justify technology investments, allocating marketing and sales investments to high-ROI options, and projecting sales and profitability.

My work took my family and me to Hawaii, which we now call home.  After 3 years at AllTrust, I reduced my commitment to the company and started a consulting practice, looking to help businesses solve problems at the intersection of marketing and finance.

To facilitate work, I start my day early and am able to overlap with a majority of the workday, regardless of time zone.   My travel takes me all over the country, and I am always happy to stop by for a chat about making marketing more profitable.