Remembering Charlie Bowlus
SARASOTA, Fla. — If the legacy of a man is measured in the number of people he positively influenced, then surely Charlie Bowlus was a titan of our industry. Not only did he have a profound impact on the personal lives of the people among whom he worked — ECRM employees, retailers and suppliers — he made an indelible mark on the way this industry does business.
Charlie Bowlus, 64, passed away from complications following emergency surgery earlier this month. Friends and family paid tribute to him as part of a life celebration at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Aug. 22.
You can only begin to wrap your arms around just how profound an influence Charlie Bowlus wielded when you read the comments that frame this tribute. He was a true visionary. He was a leader. And, perhaps most apparent, he was a people person whose primary objective every day was to do good by others. Indeed, that is the maxim that drove, and still drives, the way ECRM conducts business. “He was truly a legend in this industry and left a permanent imprint on people’s lives,” said Mitch Bowlus, ECRM president. “From the beginning, my father has instilled in all of us that the most important thing is to help people.”
Charlie Bowlus helped revolutionize retail conferences by leveraging technology and a “speed-dating” approach in developing the Efficient Program Planning Session style meetings with which ECRM has become synonymous. ECRM started with only five executives and an idea for how to better do business in 1994, and that idea has since blossomed into 100 different annual ECRM events. Many of the employees and participants from the beginning still are with ECRM today, Mitch Bowlus said, and they are all considered more than just colleagues. “They’re family,” he said.
Charlie Bowlus began his retail career during college at Ohio State University, when he worked for a small drug chain owned by a friend’s father. From there, he went on to become a buyer and wholesaler for various chains, including Target, Cook-United and Boston Distributors Inc.
In addition to Mitch, Charlie is survived by his wife Liz, daughter Melissa Fontanella, stepchildren Katy and Jenna Biegelsen, and grandchildren Michael and Miranda Fontanella. Memorial donations may be made to one of the following: Women for Women International, ASPCA or Feeding America.
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Young diabetes patients miss mark on receiving routine exams, testing
NEW YORK — A new study published in Pediatrics found that young people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes missed out on routine tests that are recommended by the American Diabetes Association.
According to the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study, which analyzed responses of 1,514 patients:
Nearly 5% self-reported that they didn’t have their blood pressure checked at all or most visits;
12% self-reported that they didn’t have their lipid levels measured;
17% didn’t have their kidney function tested;
32% didn’t receive HbA1C testing; and
34% of patients didn’t undergo an eye exam.
Quality-of-care measures were based on ADA guidelines, the study authors said, adding that the results underscore the need for young patients to adhere to such recommendations in order to better manage their condition.
Study: ‘Connected’ consumers shop, recommend favorite retailers more often
SAN MATEO, Calif. — New data released Friday by Motista suggests that retailers should look beyond the traditional set of holiday emotions, such as family and giving, to understand what’s really motivating consumers to spend more. The data also revealed different ways in which men and women interact and connect with retailers, which may be useful as retailers plan their holiday marketing campaigns.
According to data collected by Motista as part of its ongoing retail study, overall awareness and familiarity with 10 major retail brands it tracks were high (90% and 71%, respectively), but only 18% of consumers indicated an emotional connection to their retailers. With only 24% of consumers indicating they would make their next relevant purchase with the retailers they frequent today, retailers must establish and leverage emotional connection to retain their customers and increase sales, Motista suggested. Key findings in the survey illustrated that building deeper connections with consumers can help drive higher levels of purchase intent, response rates, online engagement and advocacy.
According to the study, connected consumers are better retail consumers — consumers who feel emotional connections to their retailers are four times more likely to shop those retailers first when relevant needs arise, as compared to consumers who are simply familiar and satisfied with their retailers. Connected customers also respond to direct mail from their retailers twice as often as consumers who are familiar and satisfied.
Connected consumers also are more engaged through social and mobile channels. Consumers that feel a connection to their retailers are shopping their retailers’ websites via mobile devices ten times more often than consumers who are simply satisfied. And these connected consumers are following their retailers on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, four times more often.
Connected consumers are likely to recommend their favorite retailers to friends and family. When consumers feel a connection with their retail brand, they are 50% more likely to advocate for the brand and recommend the retailer to others.
“The findings of our most recent study will help retailers as they plan for the 2011 holiday season,” stated Alan Zorfas, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Motista. “But the long-term takeaway for retailers is the importance of establishing more relevant connections with their customers."
Motista also segmented the data to look more closely at how men and women interact with retail brands, and the data reveals that genders connect and experience retailers in different ways. For example, men take retail more personally. Men are 50% more likely to feel that their preferred retailer makes them a more valuable person. Appearing to seek to enhance their identities and sense of self through the retailers they choose, men are also 53% more likely to feel that people will see them differently because they shop at a particular retailer and 30% more likely to feel that their retailer personalizes its relationship with them.
Women, on the other hand, establish connections with retailers around the perception that the retailers are fun and stylish. Women are 18% more likely to connect with retailers they consider to be fun, and 18% more likely to connect with their retailer if they believe the retailer is stylish.