Woman Makes Product Demonstration Her Forte
By M.B. Toboada
Staff Writer of the Arlington Morning News
When Lynda Childs started At Your
Service Marketing, an in-store product-demonstration company she had not actually seen a
But after 12 years as head of the
Arlington-based company, she has had hundreds of clients and provides in-store promotions
for them every week.
The company, which
operates out of a South Arlington shopping center, Was founded in 1985 and serves various
brokerage and marketing companies throughout Texas and bordering states.
"We go in grocery stores or
other stores like Wal-Mart or Foley's and hand out samples of products or give out
coupons," Ms. Childs said.
Companies hire At Your Service
Marketing to promote their product in a store, do store resets in which her employees
reorganize her clients' products within a store, or make sure various stores are carrying
the clients' products.
The demonstrators hand out a range
of products, from pizza to perfume samples. The amount of work depends on the businesses
selling the product, but typically they request in-store demonstrations to be performed on
weekends," Ms. Childs said.
"The demo business is very
unpredictable," said Janie Thomas, an office employee. "One week we could work
15 different projects. The next week we could work two projects. It varies." Ms.
Childs has more than 1,000 demonstrators working for her company and calls their
occupation "part-time permanent occasional work."
"Most [companies] do not have
facilities to manage the labor pool that it takes to manage that sort of business,"
Ms. Childs said. " It takes a lot of time and demonstrators. We provide a good
service for them."
At Your Service Marketing and other promotion companies like it
are crucial to the retail industry," said Dan Raftery, a national food
distribution industry analyst.
demos are rated very high as far as effectiveness alone or in conjunction with other
promotions," said Mr. Raftery, president of Prime Consulting Inc. in Bannockburn,
Ill. "With extremely brand-loyal shoppers, this is how they get them to try
The end result almost always
guarantees an increase in product sales, he added.
Product Marketing and Demos of
Texas has used Ms. Childs' service for six years, said founder, Glen May. At Your Service
Marketing provides sub-contractors for May's company in Houston, San Antonio, the
Arlington-D/FW area, Central Texas and Louisanna.
:Of allthe subcontractors I
work with, she is the very best," said Mr. May, whose company has existed for seven
Through Mr. May's company Ms.
Childs provided demonstators for Lipton, Lawry and Wishbone products. Her
demonstrators work in several grocery store chains, including Albertson's, Minyard Food
Stores and Kroger Food Stores.
"She does a good
job," Mr. May said.
At Your Service Marketing
sustains a 20 percent growth rate in sales annually, Ms. Childs said. But she
requested that her gross annual revenue not be disclosed.
"This work is
challenging, and I enjoy a challenge," Ms. Childs said. "We work hard at
what we do and at doing it right."