BEAUTY CARE

Plackers marks 40th anniversary with sweepstakes

BY Alaric DeArment

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A company that makes disposable flossers is giving away $40,000 in a contest to mark the 40 years the product has been available.

Plackers, which credits itself as the maker of the first disposable flosser, said people could buy specially marked packages of Plackers flossers, including Micro Mint, Gentle Fine, Twin-Line and GentleSlide and enter to win the grand prize. Other prize winners will receive an Apple iPad, iPod Nano or a year’s supply of flossers.

"Plackers has revolutionized oral care over the years with innovations that make it easier for people to protect their smiles and enjoy good oral health," Plackers marketing manager Brett Huffman said. "Our Match and Win Game celebrates Plackers’ history of innovation, beginning with the invention of the first disposable flosser, and gives Plackers customers even more reasons to floss daily."

 

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Crossmark portal incorporates Microsoft SQL products

BY Alaric DeArment

REDMOND, Wash. — Crossmark has launched a self-service data portal that it said would deliver business insights in real time to manufacturer and retail clients in the consumer goods industry.

The portal, which uses the Microsoft SQL Server Parallel Data Workhouse, provides sales and marketing channels with access to real-time market data, allowing them to analyze and take advantage of market trends faster than before, the company said.

"As the consumer goods industry has grown, so have the ways to measure the effectiveness of sales and marketing campaigns, creating large, complex data sets that are hard to derive meaning from without the right tools," Crossmark EVP and chief information officer Jim Norred said. "By extending our current SQL Server 2012 business intelligence implementation to include SQL Server PDW, we’ve enhanced our self-service data portal to accommodate these large data sets, as well as daily point-of-sale data, which provides on-demand results from our clients’ sales and marketing efforts."

Last year, Crossmark’s 34,000 employees supported 26 million in-store activities for its clients across more than 550,000 retail outlets in five countries, generating enormous amounts of point-of-sale data and creating the need for scalability, the company said.

"The fast, on-demand data access that SQL Server PDW provides through our self-service portal will give our clients tremendous opportunities to leverage shopper insights into their strategic planning and tactical operations," Norred said. "Using that data, they’re able to quickly adjust any number of variable factors associated with their sales strategy, such as pricing, promotion or placement, which can dramatically boost sales and profitability."

Crossmark also plans to use Microsoft’s SharePoint Server and SQL Server 2012 Power View and PowerPivot to provide scorecards and other ways to visualize data, such as dashboards and ad-hoc analytics. Norred said combining SQL Server PDW and Microsoft’s business-intelligence software would eliminate a bottleneck caused by Crossmark’s legacy platform of data reporting, which the company said wasn’t scalable, and new infrastructure elements would help Crossmark redeploy employees in efforts more focused on clients.

"Although we do want to strengthen our leadership position as a sales and marketing services provider in the consumer goods industry, we ultimately want to be able to better help our manufacturer and retailer clients extend their market leadership," Norred said. "Our vision is to provide manufacturers and retailers with technology solutions that drive growth and efficiencies in their businesses, and that is exactly why we collaborated with Microsoft on this solution."

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Colgate-Palmolive partners with One Direction in oral care promotion

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Colgate-Palmolive has hired pop music group One Direction to help promote three of its oral care products, the company said Tuesday.

The company will market the 1D Colgate MaxFresh power and manual toothbrushes and the 1D Colgate MaxFresh toothpaste; 1D is the shorthand form of One Direction.

"To add some fun to teens’ and tweens’ brushing regimens, we’ve partnered with 1D to encourage fans to take care of their oral care needs with the Colgate MaxFresh line and their favorite band," Colgate-Palmolive VP and general manager for U.S. oral care Philip Durocher said.

The specially branded products will only be available in the United States, starting this month.

 

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