Each week, thousands of Northwest Arkansas residents watch “Focus on Suppliers,” the 8th & Walton television show dedicated to helping CPG suppliers become better partners with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Sam’s Club.
“NWA is one of the most important markets in setting the tone for retail globally,” says Jessica Hendrix, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi X. “As the birthplace of shopper marketing and a testing ground for in-store and online retail, NWA continues to push the boundaries of shopping through innovation and key supplier partnerships. It’s here you find some of the most pioneering leaders in the industry.”
Because of YouTube and Vimeo, thousands of people from states outside Arkansas and countries outside the U.S. also watch, furthering the impact NWA and its leaders have on retail globally. In fact, people from every state and 96 countries watch the show on YouTube.
Colby Beland, vice president of sales and marketing at CaseStack, is frequently interviewed on “Focus on Suppliers” and knows the impact of its reach. Beland relates, “Seconds into a face-to-face meeting with a West-Coast supplier, my contact said, ‘I didn’t know I was meeting with a celebrity today.’”
The supplier had watched the 8th & Walton television show on YouTube and recognized Beland.
“We had an instant connection, which resulted in a faster sales process and a signed contract sooner than expected. ‘Focus on Suppliers’ gave the client insight into CaseStack’s experience and business model, so he knew he was in good hands and could trust CaseStack’s freight consolidation capabilities.”
With 52 percent of NWA residents being from another state or another country, people about to transfer here also watch. “‘Focus on Suppliers’ helps transferees become familiar with our community,” says Jeff Clapper, CEO of 8th & Walton. “An out-of-towner watching our regular FOS feature, ‘The Heart of Business in Northwest Arkansas’ gets the idea that there is a lot of good happening here. That’s part of our NWA culture, and it’s part of the show.”
On both Vimeo and YouTube, viewers around the world can watch episodes any time they wish. Those who want to be notified each time a new episode is posted can subscribe. Viewers also can select from a menu of all past episodes and can enjoy extended interviews with outstanding guests such as Martha Stewart and Keith Jackson.
On YouTube, episodes of the show under its previous title of “Saturday Morning Meeting for Suppliers” are available. There, viewers can search all episodes by topic, too.
“Some people gravitate to YouTube rather than Vimeo because they’re more familiar with it,” says Brandie Ash, the show’s associate producer, “but I find the Vimeo presentation is cleaner. A Vimeo visitor isn’t prompted to go to another site, so that’s better for those viewers who want to watch more than one FOS episode.”
Reach is important in retail. 8th & Walton continues to explore ways to connect with all people in the retail community — wherever they live and however they want to get their information. YouTube and Vimeo offer excellent opportunities to extend that reach.
Coming Up On ‘Focus on Suppliers’
The show broadcasts weekly on KNWA-NBC at 6:30 p.m. Saturdays and 5 a.m. Sundays. Full episodes and extended interviews can be found online at YouTube.com/c/8thandwalton or Vimeo.com/FocusOnSuppliers. Currently scheduled guests and episodes, which are subject to change:
April 23: Sustainability Special
Eco-Vet Furniture – Mike Hagood
Environmental Defense Fund – Jenny Ahlen
Excel – Bryan Perry
KYYA Chocolate – Rick Boosey
Menasha – Kerry Bailey
Saatchi & Saatchi X – Jessica Hendrix
Tyson Foods Inc. – Leigh Ann Johnston
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. – Doug McMillon
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. – Laura Phillips
PLUS — Launch of “The Theme from
Focus on Suppliers”
April 30: Omni-channel Special
Content Analytics – Kenji Gjovig
Kantar Retail – Bryan Gildenberg
Liquidity Services – Jeff Rechtzigel
Opal – Victoria Bouldin
Saatchi & Saatchi X – Jessica Hendrix
StartUp Junkie – Jeff Amerine
WebCollage – Ed Carroll