Archive for 2018

DSEF Welcomes Its Newest Fellows

DSEF launched the Fellows Program to support educational and research efforts to foster a deeper understanding of the direct selling channel and its impact. We now have more than 150 Fellows around the world from a wide range of disciplines – management, marketing, economics, entrepreneurship, sales, consumer studies – and provide them a rich offering of benefits and opportunities.

DSEF warmly welcomes our newest Fellows:

Dr. Ryan Mullins
Associate Professor
Clemson University

Dr. Lili Gai
Assistant Professor of Marketing
University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Dr. Laurie Babin
Professor of Marketing
The University of Louisiana Monroe

Dr. Robert “Bob” Reich
Assistant Professor
Lynn University

Dr. Brandon Gustafson
Assistant Professor of Marketing
Oakland University

Dr. Peter Whalen
Associate Professor of Marketing & Entrepreneurship
Ave Maria University

Dr. David “Dave” Locander
Assistant Professor of Marketing
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Dr. Erich Toncre
Director of Marketing Education and Assistant Professor of Professional Practice
Rutgers University

Dr. Barry Babin
M.P. Watson Professor of Business
Louisiana Tech University

Dr. Jung-Hwan Kim
Associate Professor of Retailing
University of South Carolina

Dr. Ali Besharat
Associate Professor of Marketing
Co-director of Consumer Insights and Business Innovation Center
University of Denver

Dr. William “Bill” Moncrief
Senior Associate Dean
Texas Christian University

Dr. Kate Karniouchina
Dean, Lokey School of Business and Public Policy;
Associate Professor of Business
Glenn and Ellen Voyles Professor
Mills College

Dr. Tracy Couto
Director of the Savage Center for Reflective Leadership;
Director of the Global Jesuit Case Series
Le Moyne College

Dr. Cindy Rippe
Assistant Professor of Marketing
Flagler College

Dr. Lisa Beeler
Assistant Professor of Marketing;
Director of Diversity and Internships for the Ralph and Luci Schey Sales Center
Ohio University

Dr. Montressa Washington
Assistant Professor of Management;
Co-Director of Shenandoah University’s Institute for Entrepreneurship
Shenandoah University

Dr. Jeremy Wolter
Assistant Professor of Marketing
Auburn University

Dr. Stefanie Boyer
Associate Professor of Marketing
Bryant University

 Dr. William “Bill” Steiger
Associate Lecturer of Marketing
University of Central Florida

Matthew “Matt” Read
Professor of Practice
Le Moyne College

The Foundation Hosts Game Changer Casino Night

The Foundation Hosts Game Changer Casino Night

At the DSA Annual Meeting in June, nearly 300 executives and suppliers played their cards right and joined the Foundation for its first Casino Night Fundraiser. Attendees enjoyed black jack, craps, roulette, music, food, drinks and fun, raising more than $70,000 to help DSEF advance understanding of the direct selling channel at universities across the country.

The party included a CEO Blackjack Tournament where executive-level players tested their mettle against one another. A dozen other tables of popular casino games were filled with excited contenders.

The evening was emceed by Crayton Webb, CEO, Sunwest Communications, and Ruth Todd, SVP Public Affairs, Nu Skin, who added their spot-on commentary to the excitement and drama of the intense competition on the gaming floor.

Angela Loehr Chrysler, President & CEO, Team National and incoming DSEF Chair, called the event fabulous. “It was terrific to connect with other executives while supporting DSEF in their mission to educate others and share the positive impact of direct selling,” she says.

The event’s success will help the Foundation to continue to expand its work to reach tens of thousands of students every year with accurate information about the direct selling channel.

DSEF would like to thank our Presenting Sponsor Nu Skin and Event Sponsors Amway and Jenkon. Thanks also to sponsors Planet Payment, Smart Office Solutions, Inc., Luci powered by Retail Success, Gig Economy Group, Strategic Choice Partners, LLC, Bartha, CUTCO/Vector Marketing Corporation, Harland Clarke, Thatcher Technology Group, LLC, ACN, Inc., Vantiv, Regal Ware, Inc., Club Med Resorts, MGM Resorts International, and Disney Destinations.

DSEF Fellows Offer Insights at DSA’s Annual Meeting

During the DSA’s Annual Meeting in June, a group of exceptionally accomplished Fellows, Dr. Victoria Crittenden, Professor & Chair, Marketing Division of Babson College; Dr. Haya Ajjan, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems of Elon University; Dr. Anne Coughlan, Polk Bros. Chair in Retailing & Prof. of Marketing of Northwestern University; and Dr. Robert Peterson, John T. Stuart III Centennial Chair in Business Administration at University of Texas at Austin, shared new insights on how to empower a salesforce during a panel discussion titled “Your Distributors as Social Media Agents, Skilled Professionals and Emerging Market Entrepreneurs.”

This all-star panel covered how positive and negative sentiments exchanged on Facebook through “likes” and “shares” affect sales performance and satisfaction; which types of turnkey technology, training and communication are empowering direct sellers in emerging markets; and the 14 professional skills gained through the direct selling experience and how to use them to market and recruit.

Dave Wentz Awarded DSEF Circle of Honor 

Dave Wentz Awarded DSEF Circle of Honor 

Dave Wentz, outgoing DSEF chairman, was presented with the Circle of Honor award at the 2018 DSA Annual Meeting in San Diego. The Circle of Honor award recognizes those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the Foundation. “It was extremely moving and meaningful to receive DSEF’s Circle of Honor award,” Dave says. “To be included with such an amazing group of past award winners is truly an honor and I am proud to have been able to make a contribution to the great work of the Foundation. I learned a great deal and more importantly had the chance to work with great people who are making a difference.”

DSEF Executive Director Gary Huggins credits Dave with helping the Foundation transition into a new direction. “We are excited to add Dave to DSEF’s Circle of Honor to celebrate his long history of supporting and contributing to the work and success of the Foundation,” Gary says. “Dave has also been a driving force in developing and implementing a bold new vision for the Foundation to mainstream direct selling by partnering with academics to produce industry validating research and reach tens of thousands of students every year with educational content on the channel.”

Dr. Elizabeth Davis Named DSEF Educator of the Year 

Dr. Elizabeth Davis Named DSEF Educator of the Year 

Dr. Elizabeth Davis (Liz), Dean of the School of Management at the University of San Francisco, was recognized as the DSEF Educator of the Year. The accolade is given to educators who demonstrate outstanding service to the Foundation through leadership, personal involvement, teaching and research. Liz has been instrumental in fulfilling DSEF’s mission of education and validation.

“Liz has made tremendous contributions to DSEF’s work to partner with university professors throughout the country to achieve our goal of reaching more than 60,000 students per year through DSEF events, curriculum and content,” said DSEF Executive Director Gary. “She has been a highly-valued strategic advisor to the Foundation through her service on the board as well as a founding member of the Foundation’s Academic Advisory Council.”

Liz says she was honored to receive the Educator of the Year Award from the Foundation. “My time with the direct selling industry has given me the opportunity to work with professionals who are rewriting the business landscape in new and creative ways,” she says. “I will continue to enjoy my ongoing association and work with the Foundation and DSA as they chart their future and blaze a path forward.”

Dr. Vicky Crittenden Leads Fellows Workshop

At DSA’s Annual Meeting in June, 29 DSEF Fellows joined the Foundation for a Learning Journey to discover firsthand the challenges and topics important to the direct selling community.

To kick-off this academic learning experience, DSEF Academic Advisory Committee Member and DSEF Board Member, Dr. Victoria Crittenden, Professor and Chair, Marketing Division, Babson College, lent her leadership in a workshop before the conference began that illustrated the opportunities of the DSEF Fellows program.

Dr. Crittenden explained, the importance of having it for the Fellows in attendance. “The DSEF Fellows Workshop is always a great event at the DSA Annual Meeting. This year, we heard from eight Fellows about how they are bringing direct selling to their college campuses, individual classrooms, and research.” she said. “It was especially exciting to hear how some of our newest Fellows are already active in their engagement with direct selling executives and with the DSEF. In addition to the workshop, the conviviality among the Fellows was dynamic this year. Not surprisingly, several of the Fellows took that dynamism to the Casino floor, which was great fun.”

Dr. Crittenden planned and moderated the workshop designed to demonstrate how Fellows can collaborate with DSEF on research, campus events, experiential learning projects, etc. and inspire Fellows to become active, productive partners. These workshop interactions often lead to new teaching content that will ultimately reach 60,000 students a year, channel-validating research to help the industry counter misconceptions and executive visits to university campuses, to share real-world business experiences with students.

DSEF Welcomes Its Newest Fellows 7/31

DSEF Welcomes Its Newest Fellows 7/31

DSEF launched the Fellows Program to support educational and research efforts to foster a deeper understanding of the direct selling channel and its impact. We now have more than 130 Fellows around the world from a wide range of disciplines – management, marketing, economics, entrepreneurship, sales, consumer studies – and provide them a rich offering of benefits and opportunities.

DSEF warmly welcomes our newest Fellows:

Dr. Jessica Hurst
Iowa State University
Associate Professor in the Apparel, Events, & Hospitality
Management Department

Dr. Liang “Rebecca” Tang
Iowa State University
Associate Professor in the Department of Apparel, Events, & Hospitality Management

Dr. Jennifer Zarzosa
Henderson State University
Assistant Professor of Marketing

Mr. Zachary Moore
The University of Louisiana-Monroe
Doctoral Candidate and Instructor of Agricultural Business
Agricultural Business Program Coordinator

Ms. April Kemp
Southeastern Louisiana University
Doctoral Candidate and Instructor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Marketing Internship Coordinator

Dr. Scot Squires
Central Michigan University
Professor and President of the Union of Teaching Faculty

Dr. Ellen Bolman Pullins
The University of Toledo
Professor of Marketing and International Business

Dr. Ying Liao
East Carolina University
Associate Professor in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management

Dr. Anne Balazs
Eastern Michigan University
Interim Dean

Dr. Mohammed Shaki
Saint Leo University
Assistant Professor of Management in the Donald R. Tapia School of Business

DSEF Welcomes Its Newest Fellows 4/03

DSEF Welcomes Its Newest Fellows 4/03

DSEF launched the Fellows Program to support educational and research efforts to foster a deeper understanding of the direct selling channel and its impact. We now have more than 125 Fellows around the world from a wide range of disciplines – management, marketing, economics, entrepreneurship, sales, consumer studies – and provide them a rich offering of benefits and opportunities.

DSEF warmly welcomes our newest Fellows:

Dr. Yulong Li
Associate Professor of Marketing
Simmons College

Ms. Joanne Cao
Assistant Professor of Marketing
The University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. David Altounian
Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship
Associate Dean of Academic Programs
MBA Program Director
St. Edwards University

Dr. Crystal Scott
Associate Professor of Marketing
University of Michigan-Dearborn

Dr. Mathew Joseph
Emil C.E. Jurica Distinguished Professor of Marketing
St. Mary’s University

Dr. Minjeong Kim
Associate Professor in Merchandising
Indiana University-Bloomington

Dr. Sally Fortenberry
Associate Professor
Director, Center for Merchandise Education and Research
Texas Christian University

Dr. Sebastian Hohenberg
Assistant Professor of Marketing
University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Cathy Curran-Kelly
Associate Professor, Management and Marketing
University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth

Dr. Jeananne Nicholls
Professor, Marketing and Management
Slippery Rock University

Dr. Scott Swain
Associate Professor of Marketing
Clemson University

Dr. Brian VanderSchee
Professor of Marketing
Aurora University

Dr. Diana Haytko
Marguerite and Guy Howard Professorship in Business; Professor of Marketing
Florida Gulf Coast University

Using Data Analytics to Drive Sales

Using Data Analytics to Drive Sales

On March 13, more than 150 students gathered at Elon University for the “Using Data Analytics to Drive Sales” panel discussion hosted by the Center for Organizational Analytics and Direct Selling Education Foundation. The panel featured Bassam Alqassar, Vice President of Information Systems and Technology at Princess House, and Yemi Mateola, Director of Solution Delivery and Architecture at ACN. The panel was moderated by student Matthew Jegier, graduating class of 2018, a finance and management double major.

How data drives sales in direct selling companies is unique, due to independent sales representatives, who are also consumers. “We look at how we can build information between devices and networks to best understand behavior,” Mateola says. A company’s ability to use data to anticipate and prepare for the future is critical. “It’s not just looking at the data and reporting what happens,” says Alqassar, “but also recognizing patterns to determine what could happen.”

For any direct selling company, integrating analytics into company culture can be challenging, but well-worth the effort. “It’s no secret, data drives everything nowadays,” says Mateola. “Culturally, every department has to find ways to take data more seriously, because using it produces better results and longevity as the business moves forward.” Alquassar agrees. “The biggest lesson we learned at Princess House was that people have to first change their mindset of how they think about business,” he says. “The three key aspects of embracing a data-driven culture include spending time analyzing not only what happened, but also what will happen; ensuring data quality because without that, data can be misleading; and knowing your focus as a business, so you can accomplish what you set out to do and not become lost in the analytical process.”

What are the most important trends in data-driven sales, in the next five years?

“Deep learning as a compliment to machine learning is at the top of my list,” says Mateola. “The importance of the Internet of Things cannot be understated.” Alqassar agrees.”There is so much information we cannot comprehend,” he says, “and with computer power we are able to input information, make a correlation and establish a cause and effect.”

In a data-driven age, employers are hiring college graduates that have a full complement of skills. Hard and soft skills go hand-in-hand when it comes to success. “You could have the greatest analytics idea,” says Alqassar, “but if you don’t know how to present it you will not be able to move forward and deliver your message effectively.

Technology needs to be part of, not separate from, a company’s business strategy. “Every company today is a technology company, so it is key to look at the business first and then see how technology can enable the company to deliver the business goal,” says Mateola.

Co-Creating Value in a Tech-Enabled Marketplace

Co-Creating Value in a Tech-Enabled Marketplace

From left, Jeff Dahl (31 Gifts), Tami Merica (Nerium Intl), Roger Morgan (pawTree)

The direct selling business model is predicated on creating value with its customers to build distributor networks. How our business model creates value through relationships and impacts business performance was discussed with nearly 900 students at the University of North Texas (UNT) on February 22.

DSEF’s “Co-Creating Value in a Technology-Enabled Marketplace” campus event, which featured three leading company executive speakers, was an idea conceived by DSEF Fellow, Dr. Lou Pelton, Associate Professor of Marketing and Logistics at UNT. With the rise of web-based, mobile and social technologies, customer expectations continue to rise. But faced with a myriad of choices, customers are turning to trusted sources – family members, co-workers and friends – when making decisions on a product or service purchase. “Direct selling is the 21st-century’s channel for optimizing value delivery in customer relationships,” says Lou.

In traditional retail, when wholesale manufacturers sell through retail distributors, they have very little control in how the product is sold or whether the customer leaves the store or website happy and satisfied. In direct selling, companies can visualize the customer journey and provide their independent salespeople with the training, tools and support needed to create it. “How do you create value with your customers? Not by putting products on a shelf,” says Roger Morgan, Founder and CEO of pawTree, a pet nutrition company. “Our products are best tried and trusted through relationships.”

Relationships are the heart and soul of every direct selling company. A company’s customers often sign-on to be salespeople, who in turn, share the value of the product with family and friends and motivate others to do the same. “Whether you work as a direct seller or start a company of your own, consider how you can add value,” says Tami Merica, Vice President of Sales at Nerium International, a premium skincare company. “Recognize people for their work. Create your own personal brand. Be a positive influence in someone’s life.”

Having a positive impact in people’s lives extends well beyond business, for many direct selling companies. “Five percent of our company’s revenue is given to charitable organizations every year, but not many Wall Street companies give at this level,” says Jeff Dahl, President of Thirty-One Gifts. Direct selling companies are uniquely positioned to make a difference in the lives of their customers, their independent salespeople and in their communities.