One of the big takeaways from the 2011 NARMS Spring Conference was how much our manufacturer and retail customers value field representative background screening and certification. They want to know that the people who are going into the store environment to provide at-retail merchandising and marketing services are good ambassadors of their brands. The leadership at NARMS is looking for your participation in a very brief on-line survey designed to help us get a clear picture of member needs in our Background Check and NARMScertifyU program. Click on the link here to participate in the survey. Only one person per company is asked to reply.
In 2005, NARMS teamed with USIS to provide affordable pre-employment screening services. For $8.00 per screening, the USIS/NARMS package included: A criminal records search via the USIS Widescreen National Criminal records database including sex offender data as provided by the various state sex offender files, social security number verification, search of the USMA National Retail Theft Database, wanted persons security screen and a terrorist watch list. USIS is now part of HireRight. USIS will conduct background screening for government accounts and HireRight for commercial accounts including NARMS.
NARMScertifyU is an online learning center offering career-building courses. Developed by industry experts for marketing service representatives, NARMScertifyU provides a valuable learning experience. Online courses can be accessed anywhere and anytime, so the reps can learn at their own pace. It is an opportunity to become an industry expert by earning course certificates. Each certificate earned leads to more exposure and credibility. The increased retail knowledge improves job satisfaction and overall success for all stakeholders.
It is only through your continued involvement as members that we can continuously improve our services, and together, raise the profile and professionalism of what it means to be a member of NARMS. Please take a few minutes of your busy day to take the survey. The data will be used to evaluate and evolve these tools.
These are exciting times for NARMS. The Association recently named Tom Caddell as Executive Director and is in the process of putting together the 2012 new membership drive and renewal campaign. The 2012 Spring Conference is coming on April 14-17 and in its 17th year will feature a new name. Remember to hold the date for The Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference held at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa Florida. Caddell, Conference Chair Stefan Midford, the NARMS staff and the NARMS Board of Directors are putting together a value- packed agenda for our annual showcase event.
Billed as the largest event for retail merchandising and marketing across North America, the event is geared toward retail in-store companies, retail industry executives, retailers, independent food brokers, manufacturers, event/mystery shopping/demo companies, professional installation companies, merchandising service organizations and future NARMS members. The event annually features speakers, workshops, meetings and networking opportunities designed to address the issues and needs faced by the at-retail service community.
Registration for The Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference will open up shortly at the Conference Center at www.narms.com/conferences. You will want to check the Conference Center often for upcoming agenda announcements, hotel information, sponsorships, and exhibitor opportunities.
If you have not already done so, open up your date book or smart phone and make sure you set aside April 14-17, 2012. There are many changes going on at your trade association and you are going to want to be on hand to witness and experience this annual event. Stay tuned for more big announcements from NARMS.
If you attended any of the sampling and demo study sessions at the past few NARMS Spring Conferences, you know that product sampling is very effective at increasing sales and getting shoppers to change their buying behavior. The sessions and research were presented by Dr. Kenny Herbst of Wake Forest University. A recent guest column in PROMO Magazine by Larry Burns, the Chief Executive Officer of Start Sampling, goes a step further and says that samplings and demos are even more important now because of the tremendous influence of social media on Word of Mouth marketing. In the story, Burns gives manufacturers and retailers some basic rules for executing a sample program.
The first rule for the marketer is to ask if the brand should be one that offers samples. The next is to define success in terms of who, what, when, where and how you want your brand experience delivered to. Support those objectives with measurable and predefined metrics.
Those are the top line rules and they make a lot of sense. But at the rate at which one consumer experience gets relayed to the next, some new rules have emerged. Here are a few more: Be imaginative on where you want people to experience your brand. Consider executing your sampling program across multiple channels and touchpoints using consistent messages. Create more samples than you think you may need so you can take full advantage of new opportunities. Account for the Word of Mouth effectiveness when measuring the return on a program. A new benchmark is that for each sample, an additional five people hear about the product.
Sampling combined with Shopper Marketing and Word of Mouth creates a powerful synergy that has taken sampling and demo programs to many more touchpoints. The rule that is not mentioned in the story may be the most important of all. Partner with the professional Event Marketing members of NARMS to execute your sampling and demo program. With the expanded reach of a single customer interaction, brand marketers are going to want consistent execution that these experienced and well trained brand representatives offer at-retail. Click here to view the PROMO story.
In a memo issued this week to the members of NARMS, Board of Directors Chairperson Mary Jo Bastuba outlined some of the progress being made by the Association toward the projects and initiatives discussed at the NARM Spring Conference in Monterey. Among the key topics in the memo are: Spring Conference Venues, the Executive Director search, Accreditation, and the RORI study.
In the three months since Monterey, a volunteer committee was formed to help select locations for the NARMS Spring Conference for 2013 and beyond. If you recall, a decision was made in Monterey to stick with Saddlebrook in Tampa for the 2012 17th Annual NARMS Spring Conference. The committee consists of Marc Shapiro, Jim Fulk, Lucas Pierce, Bruce Wisener, Maria Siliamianos, and Judy Einbinder. The goal of the committee is to identify and suggest more centrally located cities for the annual event. Suggestions so far include Dallas, Las Vegas, Orlando, and New Orleans. The committee will look at possible venues in these cities and determine cost effective hotels, airfare and other factors deemed important by the members.
During the summer board meeting, The NARMS Board of Directors spent a great deal of time and consideration on a Job Description for the vacant Executive Director position. The description outlines the exact requirements and experience required to fill the position. That work is now complete and the opening has been listed on several career websites including Career Connection on www.narms.com. Phone screens and face to face interviews will take place in September with the goal to have the new Executive Director in place by November 1.
A common thread that was identified by the division committees in spring was the desire to continue along the path toward an Accreditation program. Although the program was side tracked last year, the Board is continuing to keep the topic on the front burner. Final steps are now underway to wrap up the RORI study. A final whitepaper will be available to the membership shortly followed by a NARMS Webinar where the members will get a chance to have all their questions answered.
Each year, companies who belong to a trade association have to make the choice to renew their membership for another year. No doubt, that decision causes a review of the cost versus benefit before the final decision is made. At NARMS, we are happy that so many at-retail merchandising and marketing service companies decided to join us again in 2011. We also want to remind you that if you are seeking added value features, there are many available every day by getting reacquainted with www.narms.com.
When visiting the site, you see a front page filled with information. The banner section gets you filled in on upcoming events, conferences and services such as the IFBA Top to Top Conference coming up on May 17-19 or the recently completed 16th Annual NARMS Spring Conference. There is already preliminary information on the 2012 Spring Conference that will be held in Tampa, Florida. There is also a link to each individual service division of NARMS. The MSO, Event Marketing, PIC, IFBA and Associate Divisions all have their own unique landing page.
NARMS is also committed to fresh content and thought leadership brought to you through two weekly blogs, Top Shelf and What’s In-Store. These are also sent out directly to your email box every Tuesday and Thursday. There is also a spot for NARMS corporate press releases. An advertising bar near the top of the home page includes a direct link to the NARMScertifyU program for your field reps and training staff. Upcoming segments of the hugely popular NARMS Webinar Series can be found by clicking the Webinar tab.
Under the Members Area pull down menu, make sure you check out Deals for Members, where you can find links to companies who have put together special programs for NARMS members at attractive rates. Services include transportation, health care options, business communication needs and vital human resource needs such as background screening services.
Each member of NARMS enjoys a searchable listing that can be used by CPG manufacturers and retailers to find the service company to fit their needs. Members have the option to upgrade to an Expanded Listing in order to provide even more information and links to their corporate site, blogs or videos.
One of the more popular uses for www.narms.com is for staffing purposes. Tens of thousands of field reps use the Recruiter to help find merchandising and other in-store work. Many of our members with Expanded Listings use the Recruiter as their main staffing database. Other members go a step further and choose to advertise their jobs using the NARMS JobBank. All of these listings also utilize social media to not only draw people to the site, but also push out the information to NARMS official Social Media Channels.
This column only scratches the surface to describe all the value added features of www.narms.com. To see for yourself, visit us today and keep coming back often.
Meetings at the 16th Annual NARMS Meeting, Conference and Exhibition, held last week, resulted in significant action by the NARMS Board of Directors to ensure the future prosperity of our Association. Leaders from the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry engaged in a candid conversation in several forums. The first was the annual Board of Directors meeting, the second was a joint session of the Board and members of each Divisional Committee, and the third was a town hall question and answer session as part of the NARMS Annual Business Meeting. Here are the action items brought forward:
A committee will be formed to provide recommendations on the location and format for future Spring Conferences. The recommendations for locations will be in effect after 2012, as the Board had earlier decided to stick with the prior commitment to Saddlebrook in Tampa, Florida. The board is actively seeking volunteers to serve on this committee along with Jim Fulk, Judy Einbinder, and Marc Shapiro. Contact Ken McKenzie at NARMS headquarters if you would be interested in serving in this capacity.
The Board is proud to announce the following Division Chairpersons: Ken Kress and John Gillis will co-chair the MSO Committee, Lucas Pierce will chair the Event Marketing Committee, Gregg Morrison will chair the PIC Committee, Jim Hall will chair the IFBA Committee until a replacement can be determined, Kelly Baker will chair the Manufacturer Committee, and Charlie Fanning will chair the Associate Committee.
During the town hall Q & A, some concern was voiced over the current relevancy of the NARMS Mission Statement. Subsequent discussion revealed the need to review and revise the statement to better reflect the current state of the Association. Judy Einbinder has stepped forward to be the point person for the project. The revision will be passed through the board for input and then forwarded to the Membership to be reviewed.
Much attention was given to filling the vacant Executive Director position. The Board spent significant time listening to the members as they voiced their opinions about what they desired in a new leader. The Board is currently compiling a list of requirements in order to craft a job description to use in the search process.
The final, major topic of discussion revolves around the future strategic direction of NARMS. The Board will provide members with updates on a 60-day cycle, and more frequently if needed, to make sure that all members understand and support the direction and strategy of the Association. In doing so, the Board is seeking a greater level of transparency in initiatives such as RORI, Accreditation, and development of a project in collaboration with University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Perhaps the biggest observation from the annual get together is that the NARMS Board of Directors and leadership have been listening to the members and that the members have been heard. If you attended the conference, we are seeking your input on the event. Please click here to participate in a brief survey. #NARMSCON451
Tuesday wrapped up the 16th Annual NARMS Meeting, Conference and Exhibition in fine style, as a star studded cast of keynote speakers took the main stage at the Monterey Conference Center. Each guest speaker added a unique contribution to the gathering of at-retail merchandising and marketing professionals. All in attendance agreed that it was a great way to cap off and engrain the lessons learned during the four days in California.
Early risers got a chance to hear from Al McClain of RetailWire.com as he presented Shopper Insights: Actionable or Academic at the MSO breakfast session. The PIC Division got their morning started with Mark Hunter presenting his ever popular Emerging Trends 2011 series. This year, Hunter focused on the trends that will be specifically shaping the future of new store set-up, remodel and at-retail installation services.
The General Session started with a moving and inspirational talk from nationally renowned motivational speaker and author Tommy Spaulding. Spaulding delivered his message: It’s Not Just Who You Know with deeply personal and heartwarming stories about building life changing relationships with everyone in your life, both personal and professional.
Dr. John Henderson then got things back to business with: Business Capability Platforms-New Models of Innovation and Operational Excellence. Henderson used relevant and real world examples of companies and vendors who are hugely successful at co-creating value. When looking at these case studies, Henderson identifies critical actions that develop a highly strategic business platform.
Doug Stephens pulled the world of retail into the mix with: What Now? Selling to the Post-Crisis Consumer. The recognized Retail Profit showed why the roots of the current economy actually reach back 40 years with vivid examples of the changing face of retail. He explained that the current frugality is just a coping strategy and that strategies and tactics to win back real purchasing power are attainable by understanding current consumers and global realities.
Finally, Myra Golden graced the main stage with: Social Media as the New Customer Service. This topic is very important to NARMS members who not only have their own customers to satisfy, but also are instrumental in providing great service to the ultimate consumer. NARMS members also utilize a large decentralized source of labor which becomes another very important group of consumers. Golden used her pioneering position in employing social media as a customer service tool to provide examples how companies are bridging the gap. The audience walked away with some very practical steps on how each could employ social media in their own organization.
The 2012 Conference will be held on April 14-17, 2012 at Saddlebrook in Wesley Chapel, Florida. If this year was any indication, you will want to put it on your calendar now.
#NARMSCON482, #NARMSCON483, #NARMSCON485, #NARMSCON489, #NARMSCON491, #NARMSCON493
Each year, the NARMS Spring Conference includes an exhibit hall featuring some of the top service providers to the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry. The 16th Annual NARMS Meeting, Conference and Exhibition is no different. The event this year will be held on April 9-12 at the Portola Plaza Hotel in Monterey, California.
As you are making your plans for Monterey, plan to stop by the exhibit booths and spend some time checking out the variety of goods and services being offered. The trade show floor opens at 1:00 PM on Sunday and is open each day for you to stroll at your convenience. There are some additional social events planned to give you even more access. Monday, April 11 will include a lunch on the trade show floor at 12:30 PM. Later in the day, an Exhibitor Reception will be held at 5:00 PM. Tuesday, April 12 will again feature a lunch on the trade show floor at 12:45 PM. Here is a list of the exhibitors and a link to more information about each:
Each of these exhibitors offers solutions designed specifically for NARMS members. They may have just what you are looking for to tackle your day-to-day operational and staffing challenges.
If you are traveling to Monterey this weekend, we look forward to seeing you at our value-packed annual event. If you cannot make it this year, take some time to review the exhibitor information above. Either way, we know you will find it time well spent. #NARMSCON469
By now, many of you have visited the Conference Center on www.narms.com and have seen the great agenda that is lined up for the attendees of the 16th Annual NARMS Meeting, Conference and Exhibition. The event this year will be held on April 9-12 at the Portola Plaza Hotel in Monterey, California. If you have not already registered, you can do so here. This year, you also have the option of taking the Conference Center with you via your iPhone, Android, Blackberry or other smart phone.
Simply scan the QR Code included with this story to be taken to the Mobile Conference Center. Here you will be able to access all of the events on any given day at a glance. If you do not already have one, you will have to download a QR Code Reader App for your smart phone such as Optiscan for iPhone.
The Mobile Conference Center is built specifically for your smart phone screen so it is easy to read and navigate. You will be taken to a home screen that allows you to view the conference agenda or reference conference sponsors and special offers.
Be sure to follow @narmscon on twitter to get workshop notifications and other information as the conference progresses. If you do not have a twitter account, just send FOLLOW narmscon to 40404 from your cell phone to get notifications. When the conference is over, simply send UNFOLLOW narmscon to 40404 to stop getting notifications. If you can text, you can tweet.
Conference is now only days away and the excitement for the at-retail merchandising and marketing services industry showcase event is building. The Mobile Conference Center is just another way for you to get the most out of your four days in Monterey.
The NARMS U education platform is known for providing educational topics on a variety of business related disciplines in the form of webinars and workshops. The 16th Annual NARMS Meeting, Spring Conference and Exhibition again will feature four of these sessions. Today we will focus on NARMS U General Session #4 - Business Capability Platforms: New Models of Innovation and Operational Excellence. Spring Conference is less than two weeks away and will be held this year on April 9-12 at the Portola Plaza Hotel on Monterey Bay in Monterey, California.
Information technology is a critical component to the members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing services industry. On Tuesday, April 12 at 10:30 AM, Dr. John Henderson of the Boston University School of Management will share his expertise on the strategic impacts of information technology. Special areas of interest include the management of strategic partnerships, knowledge management, and the impact of mobility on organizations and markets.
Henderson is the Richard C. Shipley Professor of Management and Chair, Management Information Systems, Information Systems Department at the Boston University School of Management. He also serves as the Director of the Systems Research Center at the School.
He and Lloyd Baird authored, The Knowledge Engine: How to Create Fast Cycles of Knowledge-to-Performance and Performance-to-Knowledge that explores how effective leaders leverage knowledge assets. A noted researcher, consultant, and executive educator, he has published in journals such as The Sloan Management Review, Human Resource Management, MIS Quarterly, and IBM Systems Journal. The IBM Systems Journal selected his paper, Strategic Alignment of Business and I/T Strategies, as a turning point article and one of the most influential papers on Information Technology strategy published by the Journal since 1962. Prior to joining Boston University, Henderson was a faculty member at the MIT Sloan School of Management.