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Ted Karkus of ProPhase Labs discusses value of sampling

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK — There’s no better way to drive trial of a product than placing that product in the consumer’s hands. Unless, of course, it’s a doctor placing that product in the consumer’s hands at the point of care, which is how Brandperx samples products. That’s better.

“We’re always looking for new ways to drive trial because we really believe in our product,” said Ted Karkus, CEO ProPhase Labs, who discussed the value of sampling in the first installment of the DSN Marketing Innovation Showcase. “At the end of the day if the consumer doesn’t try the product, they’re not going to buy the product,” he said. “Our sales have grown dramatically over the last three years, and Brandperx has been a significant portion of that.”

Brandperx delivers samples and educational material in heat-sealed bags to patients, right in the doctor’s office at the actual point of care. “Point of care is important to me for several reasons,” Karkus said. “The most important of which is the fact that consumers are coming in when they’re not feeling well. … Also, because it’s a doctor’s office that’s handing out the sample, you’re getting the implicit endorsement of the doctor, which is critical in this world of dietary supplements and over the counter drugs [where] there’s so much confusion.”

ProPhase Labs markets Cold-Eeze Cold Remedy and at one time provided samples of Cold-Eeze in a big jar, where consumers could grab three or four samples at a time. “When you think about the efficiency of sampling, it’s really important to figure out what it’s really costing you on a per sample per consumer basis,” Karkus said. “When you figure out the true cost on a per consumer basis, it’s actually much more efficient to sample through Brandperx.”

An additional benefit of working with Brandperx, Karkus noted, is that Brandperx actually educates the doctor and their office staff regarding a product before it’s sampled. “They don’t simply ship the product to the doctor’s office,” he said. That means that doctor’s office may recommend Cold-Eeze to their patients long after all of the samples are given out.  “[That’s] an additional benefit compared to your traditional sampling methods,” he concluded. 

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Walmart’s chief merchandising officer to leave company

BY Mike Troy

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — The merchandising organization at Walmart is being transformed again following the departure of EVP and chief merchandising officer Duncan Mac Naughton which triggered several other high level moves.
 
Mac Naughton’s departure had been the subject of intensifying speculation since early October when his two homes in Northwest Arkansas came on the market. His departure was officially announced internally at Walmart on Nov. 25 by Walmart U.S. president and CEO Greg Foran who had been elevated to his current role four months earlier to fill the positon vacated by Bill Simon.
 
“Duncan’s departure has allowed me to relook at our merchandising structure and the incredible talent within the team,” Foran said. “At this time, I have chosen not to name a new chief merchant. I would like to use this opportunity to get closer to the merchandising organization.”
 
In conjunction with Mac Naughton’s departure, Foran announced several other changes involving senior merchandising leaders including:
 
  • Steve Bratspies will transition from his role as EVP of general merchandise to EVP of  food. Current EVP of food Jack Sinclair will aid in Bratspies’ transition before assuming an unspecified role at a later date.
  • Andy Barron will retain his role as EVP of Softlines and will assume responsibility for general merchandise.
  • Michelle Gloeckler will remain EVP of consumables and U.S. Manufacturing and gain oversight of the health and wellness business overseen by SVP Labeed Diab.
  • John Aden will remain in his current role as EVP of sales innovation and Scott Huff will remain in his current role as EVP of merchandising operations.
 
“Through Duncan’s leadership, we have focused on developing our merchants while also driving stronger collaboration between marketing and merchandising,” Foran said in an internal Walmart memo. “This has made us more relevant to and focused on our customers. I also think it’s important to recognize Duncan for his leadership in re-engaging with our suppliers to develop joint business plans. This work is resulting in better and more localized assortment in our stores.”
 
Mac Naughton joined the company in 2009 as chief merchandising officer of Wal-Mart Canada and moved over to the merchandising operations at the U.S. business in 2010.

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Walgreens to donate value of one pneumonia vaccine to UNF’s [email protected] campaign on Giving Tuesday

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — In celebration of Giving Tuesday on Dec. 2, Walgreens on Tuesday announced it will donate the value of one pneumonia vaccine to The United Nations Foundation's [email protected] campaign for every pneumonia vaccine administered in its pharmacies between Nov. 28 and Dec. 2 up to $25,000.  
 
The donations received for the five-day period (up to $25,000) will then be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
 
This Giving Tuesday initiative is in addition to Walgreens current Get a Shot, Give a Shot campaign in which the pharmacy donates one polio or measles vaccination for every non-flu vaccination all year round at Walgreens locations nationwide. 
  
 

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