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Tarrytown, New York 10591

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About Hudson River Group

Retail is a broad definition. What does Hudson River Group define as retail?

Hudson River Group defines “retail” as any business that has a direct to consumer relationship with brick and mortar or online outlets. This includes all types of service providers including financial services.

Does Hudson River Group have a parent company or an affiliation to a marketing agency?

Hudson River Group is completely independent, which ensures that our recommendations are unbiased.

How long has Hudson River Group been in business?

Hudson River Group was founded in 1989 and has over a quarter of a century of experience executing marketing mix models and marketing analytics.

What is the tenure of the senior management at Hudson River Group?

All Hudson River Group principals and partners have 15+ years of experience with the company.

Does Hudson River Group execute marketing mix modeling for retailers outside of the U.S.?

Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling experience includes clients in the U.K., Japan, Mexico, Canada, and Germany.

Does Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling expertise extend to non-retail businesses?

Hudson River Group pioneered the use of marketing mix models in numerous other verticals and continues to work across a range of industries.

Can you provide examples of Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling clients? Why don’t you show a client list?

Hudson River Group does not divulge client names publically. However, some clients have allowed us to reveal their names by their willingness to act as referrals.

Given Hudson River Group’s 25 years of marketing mix modeling experience, do you maintain long term client relationships?

Hudson River Group has worked with most of our current marketing mix modeling clients for several years and in some cases for the past decade.

Where is Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling work actually completed?

All aspects of the project are completed in our New York office; we do not offshore any work.

Does Hudson River Group use contractors or part-time staff to help complete client work?

No. All Hudson River Group employees are 100% full-time and we do not use contractors of any sort.

What does HRGPUMTM stand for?

PUM is an acronym for Proprietary Universal Model. It is Hudson River Group’s benchmarking database that contains results from over 2,000 individual marketing mix modeling analyses completed over the last two decades.

What system/IT requirements are there for Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling dashboard?

Only internet access is required. The HRGLive™ dashboard is web-delivered with secure password-protection.

My boss asked me to find a Hudson River Group marketing mix modeling result from 5 years ago. Can I access that?

If you let us know what you're looking for, we will find it and send it to you. Current clients have access to all past presentations via the HRGLive™ dashboard (look under Presentations, "Archive").

We've re-organized… how can our new team catch up on past Hudson River Group marketing mix modeling results?

Hudson River Group is delighted to take new teams through any and all past marketing mix modeling results, findings, recommendations, actions taken, etc. Comprehensive historic results are also available via the HRGLive™ dashboard.

What makes Hudson River Group different from other Marketing Mix Modeling suppliers?

Hudson River Group’s retail industry focus and depth of experience, senior management stability and track record for ensuring successful implementation of marketing mix modeling results separates us from other potential partners.

Why Marketing Mix Modeling?

What is marketing mix modeling?

Marketing mix modeling is a sophisticated multivariate analysis that Hudson River Group leverages to determine the incrementality of each marketing driver on sales.

How does Hudson River Group calculate Marketing Return on Investment (ROI)?

Hudson River Group calculates Marketing ROI as Incremental Revenue (as measured by the marketing mix modeling) per Dollar Spent. This provides an apples-to-apples comparison across media and with our HRGPUMTM retail norms.

Why do I need a marketing mix model to measure marketing ROI?

In an environment that is impacted by many factors, only a multivariate technique such as Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling can determine how much each factor affects sales.

We rely on last-click reporting for most digital media decisions. Why do we need Marketing Mix Modeling?

As a relative (rather than absolute) tool, last-click analysis is valuable (e.g. gauging relative effectiveness of different search terms). However, in order to understand a digital medium’s incremental business impact and ROI on a comparable basis with traditional media, Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling is the technique to rely on.

I already have metrics that track performance of Direct Response media. Why do we need Marketing Mix Modeling?

The sales sourcing from a direct response channel is often very different than its incremental sales impact as a marketing medium. Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling provides an “apples to apples” ROI assessment of DR and non-DR media.

Can Hudson River Group determine how offline marketing impacts online sales? And vice versa?

This is a key benefit for Hudson River Group’s multi-channel retail marketing mix modeling clients. Knowledge of cross channel impact is crucial for accurate ROI assessment and mix allocation decisions.

My direct mail team provides metrics on a different basis than my online team. Help!

One of the core advantages of Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling versus other approaches is the ability to put all media investments on an equal comparison basis, enabling strategic and budgeting discussions to start from a common ground.

Does marketing mix modeling give me a better result than test and control?

Test and control techniques have their place, but the lack of ability to analyze effects over the long-term and to quantify the impact of external factors hinders their usefulness relative to a Hudson River Group marketing mix modeling approach.

We're a broadline retailer. Can Hudson River Group help us understand the overall impact of our marketing as well as the impact to specific departments?

Hudson River Group provides department/division level impacts for most retail marketing mix modeling clients.

Using the marketing mix modeling results, you can help us optimize our marketing spend, correct?

Through marketing mix modeling measurement, benchmark experience, as well as online simulation and optimization tools, Hudson River Group provides the means to get the most out of your marketing budget.

Can Hudson River Group give us guidance on media we haven’t previously used?

Hudson River Group provides guidance for how untried media are working for other Retail clients via the HRGPUMTM marketing mix modeling benchmark database. Alternatively, we work with clients to set up and evaluate in-market tests.

Are there revenue size or marketing spend barriers to pursuing marketing mix modeling?

Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling clients range from small to very large. We tailor the deliverables to what is needed for each.

We're a specialty retailer - can we benefit from marketing mix modeling as much as broadline retailers?

While specialty and broadline retailers differ in their messaging and objectives, both are able to leverage Hudson River Group marketing mix modeling results to increase marketing driven sales and drive comp gains.

Can Hudson River Group execute marketing mix models against KPIs other than sales?

While sales are always at the core of Hudson River Group’s retail marketing mix modeling efforts, this is often complemented with the analysis of other KPIs including store/website traffic, transactions, customer types, and branding metrics.

What type of ROI increase can we expect from an HRG marketing mix modeling relationship?

Hudson River Group’s clients leverage marketing mix modeling as a means to continually improve media efficiency and profitably grow sales. A 20% or greater improvement in marketing ROI after the first year is typical.

Marketing Mix Modeling: Outputs and Implementation

What are your standard outputs?

HRG’s standard marketing mix modeling deliverables include the following: management findings and recommendations to profitably grow sales through marketing investment, measurement of marketing driven sales and efficiency, and a driver by driver explanation of comp growth/decline. Key deliverables are provided each quarter through in-person meetings and the HRGLive™ dashboard.

Once the marketing mix modeling is complete, what type of recommendations do you provide?

Hudson River Group’s primary focus is to provide recommendations that are implementable.  This encompasses questions of mix, level, timing, geography, messaging, division and/or tactic. A secondary focus is to provide thought provokers and ideas to plant seeds for future change.

With the tools available, can we simulate different marketing plans and understand the expected impacts?

Each quarter, Hudson River Group’s optimization and simulation tools (housed in the HRGLive™ dashboard) are updated with the latest marketing mix modeling results, which provides the ability to explore different investment scenarios and to understand sales and ROI impacts.

Do you have experience designing test scenarios to enable measurement?

Yes.  Hudson River Group provides test recommendations based on marketing mix modeling results. We are also involved with clients on an ongoing basis to help identify optimal test markets as well as to analyze test outcomes and determine implications for wider-scale deployment.

Do you measure ROI at the market level?

Hudson River Group provides market level ROIs for clients who manage marketing investment at the market level. For others that manage their business nationally, ROI measurement may be focused at the division level. HRG works with each client to determine the optimal marketing mix modeling scope based on how you market and what can be changed.

Can marketing efficiencies be taken to the profit/EBITDA level?

Hudson River Group often translates client marketing mix modeling results into EBITDA payback (incremental EBITDA generated per dollar spent).

When making ROI based changes to my marketing plan, what scale of reallocation do you generally suggest?

Two key factors drive the scale of recommended reallocation stemming from Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling work: the range of measured experience and the client’s ability/willingness to implement the changes.

When leveraging marketing mix modeling results to make changes to our marketing plan, should we only consider ROI?

Although ROI is important, there are typically a number of other considerations (and metrics) that drive Hudson River Group’s recommendations.

Who should I invite to the marketing mix modeling results presentations?

Typically, the initial Hudson River Group results presentation is made to a small set of key stakeholders, including the Chief Marketing Officer. Shaped by feedback from this initial presentation, results are subsequently shared with a broader group whose make-up is driven by the nature and structure, (and yes, politics) of the company. Subsequent quarterly Hudson River Group presentations are handled similarly. If a meeting with a technical team is desired, it is typically handled separately.

I've heard some other companies not utilizing their marketing mix modeling results, how can you help?

Hudson River Group’s focus is on implementation. We have extensive experience in helping companies successfully adopt marketing mix modeling as an organizational discipline that drives change and yields continuous business improvement.

After the initial project, how often do you need to revisit a marketing mix modeling analysis?

The decision is based on a number of factors, but the best practice for retailers is typically quarterly.

After the initial marketing mix modeling project, what is the turnaround time?

It depends on client capabilities in providing data, but Hudson River Group has retail clients with complex data feeds where the analyses are turned around 7-10 business days after the quarter closes.

Marketing/Media Measurement Detail

We believe marketing has a significant impact beyond the week it runs. Do you account for longer term impacts of marketing?

Hudson River Group marketing mix models are designed to account for the fact that many marketing activities impact sales well beyond the week in which they occur.

Do the models tell us how long each medium impacts sales?

Through the marketing mix modeling process, Hudson River Group is able to determine each medium's pattern of impact on sales over the weeks and months that follow the activity.  This pattern will vary for different types of activity within a medium (e.g. Promotional versus Branding TV).

Can you estimate the impact of reducing Promotional TV in favor of a more brand focused plan?

Hudson River Group’s marketing mix models measure the individual benefit of promotional and branding efforts, and thus are able to estimate the impact of such a shift.

Can you tell us whether we should spend more on TV?

Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling helps you make these types of decisions for each medium. The analysis not only provides an understanding of the overall efficiency of a medium (and how it compares to others), but also how that ROI changes with varying levels of investment.

We've been inconsistent in our campaign focus for the last few years - can you assess differences in campaign performance?

Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling measures differences in sales impact stemming from campaign changes.

Can you help us in our ongoing debate of increasing/decreasing use of 15s in our TV plan?

Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling measures the difference between 15s and 30s in effectiveness (incremental revenue per TRP) and efficiency (incremental revenue per dollar spent) to determine the optimal balance of commercial lengths in your TV plan.

Can you tell us if Spot TV is an efficient medium to increase sales in our highly competitive markets, despite its higher relative costs?

Many of Hudson River Group’s retail clients have disproportionate regional development and leverage marketing mix modeling results to determine where to deploy spot media and optimal levels of investment.

Can we measure the impact of Hispanic TV investment versus general market TV investment?

Hudson River Group provides distinct ROI measurement of Hispanic and general market efforts for retail marketing mix modeling clients. We work with clients to ensure media flighting (and analysis structure) enables such measurement.

Can you determine whether online circulars are an effective replacement for newspaper inserts?

Hudson River Group works with retail marketing mix modeling clients to understand the impact (in terms of both sales and ROI) of limiting distribution of sales circulars to the internet.

Marketing Mix Modeling was pioneered around traditional media. Can you incorporate digital media?

Hudson River Group successfully measures the impact of all major forms of marketing investment – including a wide range of digital media – on both brick and mortar and sales.

Can you tell us if we've hit a ceiling on how much we can spend behind a medium such as radio?

A standard Hudson River Group marketing mix modeling output is an understanding of how the sales response of a particular medium changes over different levels of support and whether a point of diminishing return, or even saturation, has been reached.

Can we understand the impact of regular price versus promotional direct mail?

Hudson River Group provides tactical results for any medium (e.g. “Brand” books versus "Sale" books) where there is significant support behind each type to measure separately within the marketing mix models.

Can we determine which departments drive the most sales when featured in direct mail?

Hudson River Group provides this level of detail for retail marketing mix modeling clients via departmental level analysis. This level of analysis does require well tracked information regarding merch type support by/within each direct mail piece.

Can we understand the incrementality of prospect versus current customer direct mail circulation?

That is an important distinction provided by Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling work, as the effectiveness and cost of direct mail prospecting is very different than existing customer efforts.

Is my investment in ROP (still) efficient?

Hudson River Group has helped many retailers through this transition period in newspapers to leverage marketing mix modeling results to determine how much of their support should remain in ROP, Inserts, and other print media.

Decreasing ROP will increase my negotiated rates; can you help me understand the impact on my ROI?

HRG helps marketing mix modeling clients factor in potential changes in underlying newspaper CPMs so as to properly estimate future return on investment and guide reallocation decisions.

Are you telling all your clients to get out of newspapers?

No. Newspapers are still an important part of a retailer’s marketing mix. Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling provides the information needed to both monitor and optimize newspaper investment.

We initiated a loyalty program; can you help us understand the impact?

Loyalty program impact is measured in a Hudson River Group marketing mix modeling analysis. Incrementality and ROI are two essential outputs in assessing success. However, ROI is not always the only measure of success, especially if the program is intended to grow CRM lists.

Can you measure social media in a marketing mix model?

With recent improvements in the depth and quality of available data (e.g., Facebook Insights), social media has become a measurable medium, particularly for clients with a significant social following.

Can I incorporate brand tracking measures into the model?

Brand tracking measures can be incorporated into Hudson River Group’s marketing mix models depending on the metrics that have been collected and the history available. In scenarios where brand metrics cannot be directly incorporated, such measures can provide valuable context for modeling results.

What marketing do you measure other than media?

Virtually any form of marketing can be measured in Hudson River Group’s marketing mix models, assuming that it is material in driving sales and that data exists to reflect its occurrence.

How can sales be down and ROI be up?

It is possible. Through the current economic downturn we have often seen baseline sales decline, while marketing driven sales (and ROI) increase. By quantifying the macroeconomic drag on year-on-year sales change, Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling explains how this is possible.

Do you account for the fact that Q4 is so different, and that marketing impact may not be the same as in other parts of the year?

As Hudson River Group marketing mix modeling analyses – particularly for retail industry clients – are executed quarterly, an understanding of marketing effectiveness and ROI based on time of year (i.e. by quarter) is standard.

Can you help us improve the effectiveness of our inserts?

Hudson River Group has leveraged marketing mix modeling to understand differences in insert effectiveness and efficiency relating to: geography, sales development, day of week, frequency, # of pages, offer type, circulation depth, zoned vs. non-zoned, subscription vs. newsstand and departmental focus. This insight has driven radical changes in insert strategy for many clients, resulting in millions of dollars of improvement.

How can you measure circulars if we run one every week?

For clients who have circulars every week at very similar levels of circulation, Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling leverages the natural variation in page counts and/or departmental space to evaluate sales impact.

Can you measure the impact of Online Display support on our Brick & Mortar sales?

As is the case with online search, online display typically has a significant impact on Brick and Mortar sales. These cross-channel effects are quantified as part of any HRG marketing mix modeling effort.

We gain efficiencies from mailing DM postcards in lieu of books. Is this offset by a decline in effectiveness?

Direct mail postcards are measured separately from books in Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling. While postcard effectiveness is inevitably lower than books, postcards are often more efficient due to their low-cost nature. HRG’s analysis provides the means to optimize the direct mail mix.

Operational and Uncontrollable Drivers

Can you incorporate non-marketing factors into your models?

HRG incorporates many operational and uncontrollable drivers into our marketing mix models. This not only provides the most accurate and credible analysis of marketing impact but also provides greater insight into overall sales performance.

What non-marketing factors can be measured in a marketing mix model?

Any factor that materially affects sales and where data exists to reflect when and where it happened can be included in a Hudson River Group marketing mix model. This includes operational factors as well as uncontrollable drivers like weather, the economy and competition.

Do you have experience with highly seasonal businesses?

Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling experience with seasonal businesses is extensive. Examples include jewelry, toys, coats, college loans, theme parks & resorts and cruise lines.

Can Hudson River Group help us understand how the economy is impacting our business?

Economic factors are included in all Hudson River Group retail marketing mix models. The economy has consistently been – negatively or positively – one of the more important external factors impacting sales growth in recent years.

Do you provide a database of economic information, or do we have to provide that?

Hudson River Group maintains an economic database of 150+ metrics that is leveraged on our clients’ behalf in our marketing mix modeling.

I don't believe weather is to blame for our poor performance in Q1 - can you help me understand its impact?

The impact of weather conditions is considered in all Hudson River Group retail marketing mix models. HRG also provides the necessary weather data.

What types of weather conditions do you measure in your marketing mix modeling?

Hudson River Group maintains a near real-time database of over twenty different market level weather metrics (e.g., temperature, rain, snow, snow on the ground, etc.) that we leverage on our client’s behalf in our marketing mix modeling efforts.

Do you incorporate the impact of natural disasters?

Hudson River Group maintains a database of extreme weather events (the timing and path of hurricanes, tornados, flooding and dust storms) that are tied to client stores/markets and considered in the marketing mix modeling effort.

Online sales are growing significantly. To what degree is that hurting my brick & mortar sales?

Cross-channel cannibalization is a consideration for all Hudson River Group marketing mix modeling clients with significant online business. In many cases, quantifying the cannibalization is essential to understanding brick and mortar baseline trends.

Expansion of our own stores is impacting my same store comps. Do you have metrics to capture that?

The expansion of client locations has the potential to hurt comps by cannibalizing existing stores. However, new locations can also aid comp growth as a result of natural early life cycle maturation. Hudson River Group incorporates a variety of metrics in its retail marketing mix models so as to properly quantify the impact of new stores.

"Newness" of store is essential in my business. How is that considered?

Store maturation analyses are completed and incorporated into all Hudson River Group marketing mix modeling efforts for clients with significant store openings.

Internal estimates of marketing show weak performance. I think competitor openings during the same period are causing this. Can we measure the impact of new competitive locations?

By leveraging data from your real estate department or third party sources, Hudson River Group’s marketing mix modeling measures the impact of competitive openings and closings (as well as general competitive presence). This is essential when building analyses up from a store level.

Cost cutting has led to decreases in staffing. Can we incorporate this into our analysis?

Employee metrics, such as sales floor and back of the store labor, are standard considerations in Hudson River Group’s retail marketing modeling efforts. This allows operational factors to be put on a like-ROI basis with marketing, thus expanding the opportunity for potential reallocations.