After years without a dog, my husband and I jumped into the deep end last summer with a puppy. We knew it would be an investment of time and money but the rewards would be worth it. Similarly, I welcome a lot of new gap intelligence users into the family, and with the proper introduction, training, and consistent follow up, the relationship flourishes. Whether you just got a puppy or are bringing on a new client, here are the steps to success.

Early Engagement

Before we even picked up our puppy, Monte, we had a trainer lined up and a puppy playgroup (yes, that’s a thing.) It turns out it’s important to socialize the new puppy right away so new situations, people, and other dogs will be easier for them to handle later. Teaching the basics is easier with an enthusiastic new dog.

For our gap intelligence clients we have a “First 90-Days” engagement plan. It turns out it’s important to get new users working in the tools right away, experiencing success in answering their business questions. Frankly, new users are just as enthusiastic to learn all the ways that gap intelligence can help them. Early training pays off in creating more efficient users who get the most from their company’s investment long term.


For the first three months, I took Monte to class once a week where we reviewed skills we had already learned, and introduced new skills. To learn the behaviors, once a week wasn't going to cut it. We had to practice at least three times a day consistently, while keeping the training fun and rewarding. Class was more about training the humans to give clear, concise signals to communicate with their pets in a way they could understand on a daily basis.

The same is true for new gap intelligence users. Often there’s an introductory training, a walk-through of the tools available, and a video tutorial they can bring with them anywhere. That’s a good start, like the puppy class was with the instructor. But to solidify the ability to navigate the tools fueled by our GFD (Great Freakin' Data), usage needs to become part of a consistent workflow. All clients are different, and for some the workflow includes staying informed with our weekly Market Intelligence Reports that are written by our analysts. Some clients are tasked with connecting the dots between sell-through and causal promotional activity, while some users need pricing and specifications to plan new product launches. The latter clients need a deeper connection with the data, and it’s my job to connect them with those resources.

Ensuring Success

Even though we finished puppy classes several months ago, we’re constantly using the skills we learned there. "Sit and stay" has come in handy for photo opps for my puppy’s Instagram (yes, that’s also a thing: I also frequently refer to dog training YouTube videos or Facebook training groups to learn more about dog behavior and teaching tricks. Training has become part of our daily workflow.

At gap intelligence we offer a lot of follow up opportunities for clients to continue learning, but we also offer ongoing webinars and trainings. We have experts available to work with clients to show them how to take our data beyond the basics – to teach the "tricks". Category-specific analysts work with clients through gapConsulting time built into every subscription to get new insights in the data and the marketplace.

So, what’s the payoff for all this work at the beginning? For both new puppies and new clients, starting early, being consistent, and continuing to learn will pay off with years of a mutually rewarding relationship.

No matter how long clients have been part of the gap intelligence family, my goal is always to help them understand all the resources available so they can get the most out of their gap intelligence investment. Connect with me at and we’ll see how I can help, and don’t forget to follow the puppy journey on Instagram. Click here more POGs (Pets of gap).

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