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Consumer Marketing

Feature Story:

Learning Service Excellence (Again!) From Southwest Airlines »

By John Tschohl

Customer experience management (CEM) has been recognized as the future of customer service and sales. Companies are using this approach to anticipate customer needs and adopt the mindset of the customer. It's a strategy well worth pursuing, and an opportunity for any business to turn customer experience into growth - and profit.

In its 45th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (LUV, on the NYSE) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary customer service, delivered by more than 47,000 employees to more than 100 million customers annually. Southwest operates more than 3,600 flights per day, serving 95 destinations across the United States and six additional countries. The company's net income of $691 million in the second quarter of 2015 is an all-time quarterly high, and its 9th consecutive quarterly record...

Feature Story:

10 Insights Marketers Can Get Only From Phone Calls »

By Amber Tiffany

Marketers are trained masters in the art of digital analytics. We can follow the digital customer journey in our sleep. Email open rates, content downloads, social shares - easy! What could we possibly be missing?

It turns out phone calls hold a ton of valuable (even essential) marketing insights. I know this flies in the face of your digital sensibilities, but the truth is that a simple phone call has customer and marketing insights you just can't find anywhere else. Here are 10 marketing insights you can gain only from phone calls.

1. True campaign performance
It's no secret digital marketing drives phone calls. In fact, according to Invoca's 2015 Call Intelligence Index, 54% of customer-initiated phone calls come from mobile marketing campaigns and 30% come from traditional online channels and campaigns...

Feature Story:

CMO Roundtable: Building An All-Encompassing Marketing Department »

Franchise Update

How do you build an all-encompassing marketing department and assemble the kind of team that gets results?

Lisa Dimson
Chief Marketing Officer
Tropical Smoothie Café
Hiring the right team is absolutely the most important element of getting the results you want. Without a strong team behind you, even the best CMO won't be able to take their marketing initiatives to the next level of success. Compared with other brands, we have a small internal team tasked with developing innovative and amazing products, activating the national calendar, and ultimately driving brand awareness.
When hiring for the marketing team, we follow a list of guidelines we call "SIDE" to ensure that the potential candidate will fit in with our company culture and work ethic before they come on board...

Feature Story:

Putting Heads In Beds: Value Place's Kelly Poling On Her New Role »

By Kerry Pipes

This past September Value Place, the largest economy, extended-stay hotel brand in the U.S., named Kelly Poling executive vice president and chief marketing officer. As the leader of Value Place's brand, marketing, and distribution strategies, Poling says she is focused on strengthening the positioning of the brand and driving more guests to its hotels across the country.
The veteran executive came to Value Place from Rosetta Stone, where she led consumer marketing strategy and operations, but her hospitality industry experience runs deep. She spent seven years at Choice Hotels International, where she ran corporate strategy, marketing, and e-commerce. Other experience includes managing brands at Johnson & Johnson and developing IT and corporate strategies as a management consultant with Arthur Andersen...

Feature Story:

Digital Ordering: Welcome To The Bring-Your-Own-POS World »

By Noah Glass

Digital ordering has gone through several waves of evolution over the past 15 years, starting with online ordering as the only ordering channel and now spanning multiple ordering channels, with mobile shining in the spotlight. But is mobile the key to digital ordering success? The brief history of digital ordering helps to shed light on the rise of mobile and its role in digital ordering today and in the future.

Digital ordering in the restaurant industry began with pizza. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the big three (Domino's, Pizza Hut, and Papa John's) found a new way to capitalize on the rise of home dial-up by letting hungry customers place orders over the web. Online ordering was a natural fit for pizza customers, who were used to calling their local store and placing orders for home delivery...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: September 8, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Is Facebook Ripping Off Businesses?
Sam Fiorella, a partner at Sensei Marketing, makes a strong case that it is. In his blog last month, he wrote: "Imagine a magazine's marketing team charging a business for an ad in its publication but then black out that ad unless the business pays more money for subscribers to actually see the ad. What would your reaction be to such an advertising policy? Any sane business person would be outraged and walk away. Yet Facebook is getting away with it." Limiting the number of followers who see a Facebook page's unpaid posts in their feeds was the last straw for some businesses (as few as 3% of brand fans now see unpaid posts). Facebook page owners work hard to build communities around them, and many of them feel it's unfair for Facebook to make them pay to run advertisements or to "boost" their posts...

Feature Story:

Facebook Content Marketing In 4 Steps »

By Jack Monson

What's an effective way for a franchise brand to market to consumers? That's easy: social media. But getting started and then executing is not easy for some franchise systems.

Many franchisors get stuck in the swamp of social media trends, get buried in unproven digital marketing advice, and drown in a constant flow of new marketing "experts."

Here's a simple, effective way to not only catch up in social media, but also to grow your business, starting with Facebook. Facebook is the most important social platform for your brand's marketing if the consumers you're trying to drive to your franchisees' locations are in the 25- to 54-year-old target demo (or older!).

There are four steps to effectively telling your story to potential customers on Facebook...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: Aug 25, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Snapchat: Should Your Brand Be On It?
Millennials love Snapchat. While just 8% of U.S. Internet users are on Snapchat, an amazing 34% of 16- to 19-year-olds are. Snapchat is completely visual: users send video and photos to their networks that stick around only for a few seconds (1-10) before they disappear from the stream. Many celebrities and brands have been successful with Snapchat, including McDonald's, the NBA, and even General Electric. Should you try it? If your demographic is between 13 and 25 years old, and your brand is a good fit for Snapchat, go for it! Snapchat users value fun, personal connections, and authenticity. Cookie-cutter messages and a lot of selling don't cut it on Snapchat. Also, you need to be quick to get new content up and to respond to comments...

Feature Story:

Summer Refresh: 3 Things Marketers Can Do Now »

By Gregg Schwartz

Mid-to-late summer is often a slow time of year for many businesses. People are on vacation, kids are out of school, and the warm weather can create an air of sluggishness around the office. But even if the phone's not ringing, customers are out of town, and nothing much seems to be happening, there are still several important things marketers can do right now - even during the "slow" time of year - to help boost their sales results.

The bottom line is that if you invest the time and energy into making some extra effort now, it will lay the groundwork for future success when business picks up again. Here are three marketing tips to keep you busy and productive during the remainder of the slow season:

1. Revisit old business leads and unfinished projects
When business is brisk, it's easy to fall into a pattern of grabbing low-hanging fruit, putting out fires, and responding only to the most urgent customer inquiries...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: Aug 11, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Social Sharing: 6 Types of "Sharers" - Why They Do It
Sharing something in a social network works like "the wave" in a sports stadium, says Brian Kramer, author of a new book about social sharing: Shareology: How Sharing is Powering the Human Economy. Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner, interviewed Kramer for his blog, which includes a podcast of the conversation. "For the book Bryan did more than 250 interviews with executives, marketers and social media people, as well as professors of linguistic," writes Stelzner. "The answer came down to one thing: connection." The book identifies six types of social sharers, each with their own motivations: the altruist, the careerist, the hipster, the selective, the boomerang, and the connector...

Feature Story:

Q&A With Valerie Kinney - VP Of Marketing At CertaPro Painters »

By Philip St. Jacques

Valerie Kinney first became immersed in franchising in 2003 when she joined Auntie Anne's Pretzels. In September 2014, she became a regional marketing manager at CertaPro Painters and recently was promoted to vice president of marketing. And while she'll be the first to tell you that her favorite paint color is Sherwin-Williams' Fun Yellow (SW 6908), she's also thrilled to share some insights on the realities of franchising, how CertaPro fosters collaboration with its franchisees, and recent examples of the brand staying relevant with marketing strategies.

CMOO: Before joining CertaPro Painters, you were at Auntie Anne's. Can you tell us about your transition from a food retail brand to a home service brand?

Kinney: First off, I can't eat paint, so my waistline is thanking me every day! The customer journey, price point, and purchase frequency are a few examples of differences I've experienced during my transition...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: July 28, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

3 Free Photo Apps To Improve Your Social Media Marketing
Everybody loves photos in social media. Here are three free apps to help you work with them to attract and engage more of your target audience, fans, and prospective customers. Aviary is a full-featured, web-based photo editor that can handle just about anything you can throw at it: enhancements such as sharpening and brightening, applying filters, blemish removal, and much more. Bonus: Aviary allows sharing directly to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or email. Image Sizer solves the problem of getting pictures to fit into the Instagram square frame. It also lets you place multiple images into one frame, offers a choice of filters, and has sharing options. The new Google Photos app is attracting a lot of attention...

Feature Story:

5 Consumer Marketing Publications You Can Learn From »

By Eddy Goldberg

Vendors and suppliers are continually producing white papers, reports, studies, surveys, and other "vendor-neutral" publications, aimed at informing potential customers about a technology or trend, and touting their own subject matter expertise in the process. Here are five such publications (all free) to consider as you seek to continually improve your consumer marketing efforts, strategies, and campaigns. Edited overview descriptions are taken directly from each publication. (This list does not imply an endorsement of the companies or their respective points of view.)
Title: The 7-Minute Buyer's Guide to Choosing Your Customer Support Solution
Source: AcquireSoftware
Pages: 9
Overview: This guide will take you through a three-step process for assessing your operations, determining the kind of customer support solution you need, and finding a vendor who can supply the perfect software...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: July 14, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

LinkedIn: Who Do You Not Know... but Want To?
The old-fashioned way of getting started on LinkedIn went something like this: a colleague, college friend, or business acquaintance invites you to join LinkedIn. You let the invitation sit in your Inbox for a couple of weeks. Then you join, fill in about 60% of your profile, and connect with four people you know. Then you get laid off or quit your job and realize that LinkedIn is the place to be for professional purposes, so you start getting serious about it. However, many LinkedIn users don't take full advantage of the dominant business-oriented social media network, because they connect only with people they already know. Instead, writes Des Walsh (business coach, certified social media strategist and LinkedIn expert), decide who you need to know next to reach your professional goals and concentrate on adding those individuals to your network...

Feature Story:

Aligning Your Sales And Marketing Teams »

By Dayna Rothman

Editor's note: This article originally appeared on the Marketo website.

Most marketers know that sales and marketing alignment can be tough! A great way to build more alignment between the two functions is to staff your teams in a way that promotes collaboration and cross-functional goal setting. Creating the right structure between marketing and sales is imperative for proper alignment. This means defining roles in marketing and sales in a way that helps you move leads through the pipeline more effectively. Outlining specific roles ensures that every part of the customer's journey is accounted for. Let's take a look at some ways to consider structuring your marketing and sales teams for success.

1) Marketing Roles
How does your marketing team work with sales? Take some time to look at your role descriptions to ensure that they are truly cross-functional...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: June 23, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Looking for Free Visuals for Your Online Marketing Efforts?
Do you need fresh, engaging visual content for your website, blog, or social media campaigns? The Internet - particularly social media - loves visuals, but buying stock images from companies like Getty Images, Shutterstock, and Fotolia can run into big money fast. If you want to avoid pirating copyrighted material or otherwise misusing online images (whether by design or mistake), here's a collection of more than 65 sites featuring public domain images you're legitimately allowed to use - at no cost. These sources feature images that are free to use for commercial use; have no copyright restrictions; are royalty-free; and require no attribution.

Two White House Explosions - NOT! Avoiding "Hack Crash" Panic
A professor at the University of Buffalo's Department of Media Study has published an analysis of the 2013 Hack Crash...

Feature Story:

CMO POV: Pet Supplies Plus - No Silos On This Marketing Team! »

By Amy Parker

We asked Amy Parker, SVP and chief marketing officer at Pet Supplies Plus, "How do you build an all-encompassing marketing department and assemble the kind of team that gets results?" Here's what she had to say.

The main goals for most marketing teams at multi-unit brick-and-mortar franchises are primarily the same: acquire new customers and drive in-store traffic. It's how each marketing department chooses to build its team and communicate the brand's message that differentiates one from another. At Pet Supplies Plus, we are structured in a fairly traditional manner with support groups that include analytics, creative, and retail marketing components. However, the way we use these groups to build our marketing programs has recently evolved...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: June 9, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Still Confused About Hashtags?
People use hashtags almost everywhere in social media today, but many are still confused about what they mean and how to use them effectively. Basically, hashtags serve as a way to index the subject of a post or a tweet. (Hashtags started on Twitter.) The most important things to know are: 1) tweets with hashtags average twice the engagement on Twitter, 2) too many hashtags decrease engagement (except on Instagram), and 3) Facebook users still don't like hashtags (and don't like or share posts with them). This infographic has much more to enlighten you about the ubiquitous hashtag, and why you should be using it. "This infographic from Ghergich & Co. and SurePayroll offers a basic primer for hashtag use for those new to the social media space or still confused by the intended uses of that weird pound symbol in front of all those words," wrote Alan Rapp on spiral16...

Feature Story:

Tropical Smoothie Cafe: Building A Great Marketing Team »

By Lisa Dimson

We asked Lisa Dimson, chief marketing officer at Tropical Smoothie Café, "How do you build an all-encompassing marketing department and assemble the kind of team that gets results?" Here's what she had to say.

Hiring the right team is absolutely the most important element of getting the results you want. Without a strong team behind you, even the best CMO won't be able to take their marketing initiatives to the next level of success. Compared with other brands, we have a small internal team tasked with developing innovative and amazing products, activating the national calendar, and, ultimately, driving brand awareness.

When hiring for the marketing team, we follow a list of guidelines we call "SIDE" to ensure that the potential candidate will fit in with our company culture and work ethic before they come on board...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: May 26, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Social Media Advice: 30 Pieces To Ignore
We've been hearing from social media gurus for years now about how to maximize the desired results of your social media marketing campaigns: Do this, don't do that, and here's where and how often to do/not do it, etc. In an it's-about-time effort to debunk commonly accepted social media advice, often from self-proclaimed "experts," Ellie Mirman, writing on Hubspot, dissects 30 pieces of common social media mistakes. Examples include:

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Franchise Update Magazine

Issue III, 2015

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