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Consumer Marketing

Feature Story:

Marketing Meet-Up: 2016 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference Rocks »

By Kerry Pipes & Eddy Goldberg

One thing was clear at this year's Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference (FCMC): times have changed and will continue to change for franchise brand marketers--more rapidly than ever before. With all the ongoing developments in digital, social, and even traditional marketing strategies and tactics, consumer marketing is in a historic period of evolution for franchise brands.
Keeping current and hearing from peers on how they're navigating the changing marketing seascape are two big reasons CMOs, marketing VPs, and other franchise marketing executives attend this conference, now in its 6th year and continuing to grow in size and scope each year. More than 330 attendees, more than half first-timers, got together in Atlanta's InterContinental Hotel Buckhead in late June for two days packed with marketing insights, education, and networking opportunities...

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Social Media Roundup: Oct. 25, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Twitter Offers New Customer Support Features for Businesses
"These new features enable businesses to tell users they provide help on Twitter, indicate when they're most active, and ensure people know they have the option to send them a Direct Message," according to Twitter. The new features can be activated on the new Customer Support Settings Page on Twitter. Businesses are required to have already enabled Direct Messages from everyone before accessing any of the new features.

Instagram Stories Copies a Popular Snapchat Feature
In a direct copy of Snapchat, Instagram Stories now allows users to post photos throughout the day that will disappear after 24 hours. Stories provides an easy, fun way to create engaging content on Instagram while continuing to take advantage of features like geotagging and hashtags that marketers will appreciate...

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Local Attraction: 5 Keys To A Hyper-Local Marketing Campaign »

By Lauren Reid

Franchisors, take note! Your franchisees have the ability to own a moment--many moments in fact. For example, the moment an office team needs to take a working lunch and an intern types "sandwiches" into Google Maps; the moment a Facebooker scrolls through pictures of her friends and decides she wants some new shoes for the weekend; or the moment a tourist needs some food or entertainment within a three-block radius of their hotel.
These are your moments to win the sale, and a solid hyper-local marketing campaign is the ticket your franchisees need to drive these customers through their doors. It's about foot traffic, repeat customers, and word of mouth. So in a sea of possibilities, can your target audiences find your locations when they're right next to them? Are you on the radar of every GPS app? Is your website design not just mobile-friendly, but also mobile-responsive? If you nail all the ins and outs of a successful hyper-local marketing campaign, you'll be miles ahead of your competitors, even if you're on the same block...

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Retail Theater: Competing In An E-Tail World »

By Kay Ainsley

There is much discussion in marketing circles about how brick-and-mortar businesses can compete with the pricing and convenience of e-tailing. Yet for all the appeal of e-tailing, brick-and-mortar businesses maintain one huge advantage: the ability to go beyond just selling product and allow the consumer to experience and create a personal relationship with their brand.
The best illustration of a brand experience I know is one I witnessed firsthand. It happened at The Sage Room, our favorite restaurant on Hilton Head.
The Sage Room can make any foodie's heart beat faster just thinking about what's on the menu. But a truly outstanding restaurant is more than just the food, however wonderful. On our semi-annual pilgrimage to The Sage Room we were seated at the 10-person "chef's table"--seats where we could talk with the chefs and watch our meals being prepared--when another couple came in with a woman celebrating her 80th birthday...

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A Look Back To The Future: 10 Key Marketing Trends For 2016 »

By IBM Marketing Cloud

Last December, IBM Marketing Cloud released a white paper named "10 Key Marketing Trends for 2016 and Ideas for Delivering Exceptional Customer Experiences." The paper highlighted 10 trends its experts predicted would drive consumer marketing this year. As marketers' thoughts turn to 2017 (and their budgets), a realistic look in the rearview mirror can be extremely helpful. Let's start with an excerpt from the introduction:

"C-suite executives think four technologies will be particularly important for marketing success in the near term: cloud computing and services, mobile solutions, the Internet of Things, and cognitive computing.... The biggest theme running through these key marketing trends for 2016 is gaining a deeper understanding of buyers and delivering the types of outstanding cross-channel experiences customers and prospects crave...

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Social Media Roundup: Oct. 11, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Move ToCombat Online Bullying and Hate Speech
Responding to public pressure, three of the largest social media companies have independently moved to curb online bullying, abuse, hate speech, and propaganda. Facebook has expanded its Online Civil Courage Initiative to further combat extremist messaging, focusing on France, Germany, and the U.K. In September, Instagram introduced an anti-harassment comment filter, which allows users to ban specific words or terms from being displayed on the their page, or completely turn off comments. And in late August, Twitter announced it would extend its Notifications and a "Quality Filter" to all users. (It had been previously available only to "verified" account holders...

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6 Things That Make A Brand Indispensable »

By John DiJulius

We all have a company or two that we can't fathom life without. What are the few companies that, if I told you, "You can no longer do business with them, ever again," you would become extremely upset? When I ask my audiences this question, the same brands always get mentioned: Apple, Starbucks, Nordstrom, and Amazon, along with numerous local mom-and-pop shops.

Now the important part is to think about what they have done and what they consistently do to make you so loyal, to make you feel you cannot live without them. That is power. That is brand loyalty. The more people you can make feel like they cannot live without your brand, the closer you are to making price irrelevant.

The key deciding factors to being a business people cannot live without are: 1) great service/products; 2) consistency; 3) ease of doing business; 4) employee evangelists; 5) educate versus sell; and 6) personalized experience...

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Social Studies: Training For The Online Marathon »

By Helen Bond

When it comes to a successful social media strategy, Valerie Kinney's advice for franchisors is succinct. "Stay focused, yet nimble," says Kinney, vice president of marketing for CertaPro Painters.
No longer on the fence about the value of social media, the franchise world is flocking to digital platforms to build, validate, and nurture business. While everyone may be doing it, most still grapple with how to best use digital content to connect with customers.
"Organizations often can get caught up on the new shiny social media object and lose focus on why they are doing social," says Kinney. "You are doing social to have a deeper engagement, to be where your customer already is, and to develop that relationship in a meaningful way with value-added content...

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Think Segment And Act Personal - Because You Can! »

By Chen Katz

So, you want to target U.S. professionals with advanced degrees making more than $400,000 per year with two children of high school age? Your neighbor may qualify. So does Barack Obama. Same segment? Yes. Responds to and requires the same offers? Probably not.

Across the pond, your counterpart wants to reach wealthy Britons older than 65 who own multiple homes - Prince Charles and Jimmy Page. Same segment? Definitely. Responds to and requires the same offers? I'm guessing not.

Every department across the organization - loyalty, digital, mobile, marketing, merchandising, web, advertising - is working toward the same goal: maintain and grow share of wallet across customer groups.

At the beginning of a campaign, the language spoken across departments must be the same because content, special offers, coupons, personalized pricing, advertising, and flyers need to be tailored to reach the maximum number of segments with a minimum investment...

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Social Media Roundup: Sept. 27, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

On the Fence About Instagram for Your Business? Take a Look at These Stats!
Here's a handy infographic from social media firm Buzzoid with stats that summarize the reach and power of Instagram for business. The article notes that more businesses are taking note of Instagram now that it offers a self-serve ad platform. Some of the eye-opening numbers to get you thinking more about why you should get active on Instagram to engage with your customers:

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Service Recovery: It May Not Be Your Fault, But It Is Your Problem »

By John Tschohl

Companies may not be able to prevent all problems, but they can learn to recover from them. A good recovery can turn angry, frustrated customers into loyal ones. It can, in fact, create more goodwill than if things had gone smoothly in the first place.

Opportunities for service recovery are numerous. If you are close to the customer and discover a problem, it's your chance to go beyond the call of duty and win a customer for life.

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Social Media Roundup: Sept. 13, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Survey: 55% of Google Users Can't Tell the Ads from the Search Results!
According to a survey from the U.K.'s Ofcom, more than half the people who use Google's search engine in the U.K. can't tell the difference between the search results and the ads. (Marketers rejoice?) The survey polled 1,010 U.K. Internet users. Writing about the survey on Search Engine Watch, Graham Charlton, editor-in-chief at ClickZ Global, noted that when it comes to understanding what they see on a Google search engine results page, younger users are more likely to distinguish the ads from the search results than older users. Some of the updates that Google has made to the Adwords platform (removal of the right-hand side ads, added ads at the top, color changes) appear to have confused users further: 5% more users were unable to distinguish the ads in July than they were in February...

Feature Story:

6 Things That Make A Brand Indispensable »

By John DiJulius

We all have a company or two that we can't fathom life without. If I told you, "You can no longer do business with these companies ever again?" what are the few companies you would become extremely upset about losing? When I ask my audiences this question, the same brands always get mentioned: Apple, Starbucks, Nordstrom, and Amazon, along with numerous local mom-and-pop shops.

Now the important part is to think about what they have done and what they consistently do to make you so loyal, to make you feel that you cannot live without them. That is power. That is brand loyalty. The more people you can make feel like they cannot live without your brand, the closer you are to making price irrelevant.

The key deciding factors to being a business people cannot live without are: 1) great service/product; 2) consistency; 3) ease of doing business; 4) employee evangelists; 5) educate versus sell; and 6) personalized experience...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: Aug. 23, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Getting Verified Accounts on Twitter Just Got Easier
Twitter has made it easier for more users to attain verified status on the service. Verified accounts on Twitter allow users to be sure that the people and organizations they follow are really who they say they are. Up to now, verified account status has been awarded strictly at Twitter's discretion, based on the company's judgment that the account is of genuine public interest. Verified accounts have tended to belong to public figures and organizations in media, government, politics, sports, and business, among other areas. Now Twitter offers an online application process anyone may use to request account verification.

Snapchat Geofilters for Local Businesses Now Available
A Snapchat geofilter is a transparent overlay that sits on top of snaps...

Feature Story:

Whatever Works: Bring 'Em In, Keep 'Em In, Reward Them! »

By Eddy Goldberg

Attracting customers in 2016 takes many forms--and platforms--sometimes all at the same time. Here are a few tactics franchise brands are using to drive customers into their stores, keep them there, and reward them.

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TruFusion: How Data Is Changing Our Strategic Marketing Plans And Tactics »

By Steve Rockman

We asked Steve Rockman, Chief Marketing Officer at TruFusion, a Las Vegas-based workout studio: “As the role of big data in strategic market planning grows, how does it affect your long-term marketing plans, forecasting, efficiency/ROI of your media spend, or other parts of your marketing?” Here’s what he had to say.

At TruFusion, we market primarily to the Millennial, specifically females. Because of this, we are talking to the most highly connected generation yet, with their access to instant information. Millennials speak in data, and if we can collect, analyze, and react to this data in a timely and accurate manner, we will greatly increase our chances to develop a long-term relationship with these consumers.

Our entire business model is predicated on technology, from our POS system, which tracks member sign-up and class check-ins, to every purchase members make in one of our studios...

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Social Media Roundup: Aug. 9, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Instagram: Getting Started with Business Profiles
Switching to an Instagram Business Profile gives marketers tools to get the most out of their presence on the popular photo and video sharing platform. You'll need to be sure you have the latest version of Instagram and a Facebook Page to connect to. Once you've set up your Business Profile, you have access to some valuable new features, spelled out with examples by Kristi Hines, a contributing editor for Social Media Examiner:

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Improved Customer Loyalty Starts With Analytics »

By Charles Hogan

Customer loyalty is a competitive game - and it goes beyond traditional programs. Consumers belong to more loyalty programs now than ever before, but the number of programs they actively use is in decline. That's because, according to research cited by the New York Times, plain-vanilla discount and freebie programs are no longer enough to keep customers interested.
Merchants need to think about getting all customers to increase frequency of purchasing and to spend more per visit. To create successful programs and offers that target both new customer conversion and long-term retention of loyalty members, franchises need to make smarter use of their analytics to develop offers that will engage their target markets.

Create customer experiences that build loyalty

Simply having products in stock, competing on price, and offering industry-standard service isn't enough anymore...

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Social Media Roundup: July 26, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Twitter Raises the Limit on Videos to 140 Seconds
“Video is becoming increasingly central to the real-time conversations happening on Twitter – video Tweets on Twitter have increased by over 50% since the beginning of 2016,” writes Jeremy Rishel, Twitter’s head of product development for creators. (Marketers take note!) As a result, the #3 social media platform has increased allowable video length, which can now be 140 seconds, up significantly from 30 seconds. In addition, Twitter’s Vine video-loop platform is experimenting with a “watch more” button on its 6-second shots that will allow for posting 140-second videos there as well. Twitter also announced improvements to how it “surfaces” related videos to make it more attractive to video tweeters...

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6 Digital Marketing Tactics Franchisors Need For Franchisee Success (Part 2) »

By Paul Elliott

In April, we covered the first three of six digital marketing priorities for franchisors. Now, in part 2, we pick up at tactical tip #4, highlighting how franchisors can increase consumer awareness and drive local sales through smarter digital franchisee marketing.

4) Paid search: be creative to overcome competition

Even with Google's recent change, which caused increased competition in paid search by eliminating a large portion of the paid search real estate, bidding on buyer-ready keywords remains one of the quickest and most effective ways to engage consumers ready to purchase. However, we continue to see daily evidence that the friction between the wants and needs of franchisor marketing managers and the local franchisees is alive and well...

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Big Data: All aboard the data train!    

Franchise Update Magazine

Issue III, 2016

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