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Consumer Marketing

Feature Story:

2014 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference: A Look Back, Part 1 »

By Kerry Pipes & Eddy Goldberg

Consumer marketing changes constantly - no news there. Keeping up is another story. Tactics and thinking that were progressive and results-oriented yesterday are passé and ineffective today. To make matters worse, franchisors are also battling an increasing glut of media channels, confusing new technologies, and competition from all sides. No one understands these challenges better than the franchise CMOs and marketing executives on the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference's advisory board, who deal with them every day.

The board took all these challenges and more into account when they developed the theme of this year's conference: "Change: The New Marketing Currency." The fourth annual conference, held in June at Atlanta's InterContinental Buckhead Hotel, attracted top franchise marketing executives for two days of jam-packed education, sharing, and networking, all seeking to gain an edge on their competition and learn about the latest strategies and techniques in the world of consumer marketing...

Feature Story:

Slow Service? Diners Using Cell Phones Keep Waiters Waiting - 2014 Vs. 2004 »

By Maia McCann

A busy NYC restaurant kept getting bad reviews for slow service, so they hired a firm to investigate. When they compared footage from 2004 to footage from 2014, they made some pretty startling discoveries. So shocking, in fact, that they ranted about it on Craigslist! (Editor's note: The original posting is no longer on Craigslist. The following is a transcript posted on distractify.com by Maia McCann. The post has been shared more than 800,000 times so far, and has received nearly 3,000 comments.)

We are a popular restaurant for both locals and tourists alike. Having been in business for many years, we noticed that although the number of customers we serve on a daily basis is almost the same today as it was 10 years ago, the service just seems super slow even though we added more staff and cut back on the menu items...

Feature Story:

Marketo's Top 10 Social Marketing Blogs »

By Maggie Jones

Editor's note: This blog originally appeared on Marketo's website on Aug. 21. For additional suggestions on social marketing, see the responses in the Comments section.

There are a lot of blogs about marketing out there, and many of them are worth reading - well-written, original, full of valuable information and fresh perspectives. But the sad, sad truth is that there are a limited number of hours in the day (only 24, last time we checked).

To help our friends in marketing sort through the blogosphere in record time, we're compiling a list of our most bookmark-worthy marketing blogs, narrowing down the list to 10 in each category. Last month, we posted our 10 favorite content marketing blogs; this month, we're covering off on another subject dear to our hearts: social marketing...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: Aug 26, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Free Tool Analyzes Effectiveness of Facebook Pages
Inspire, a free tool from ActionSprout, analyzes Facebook Pages to see what recent content on their walls has been most successful, and provides a "Fan Engagement Score" for any page submitted to it. Writing on Social Media Today, Alan Rosenblatt, director of digital strategy at turner4D, says, "Inspire not only provides data on likes, comments, and shares for each post displayed in the results, but includes data on how the interaction on that post compares to the average post for that Page. This is important data for anyone trying to optimize the performance of posts on their own Page(s)." This is a great way to learn what works for your community, and to focus your content precisely on the people you want to attract and keep engaged with your brand...

Feature Story:

Old Chicago: Repositioning A 37-Year-Old Brand Takes Planning And Patience »

By Mike Mrlik

Before rebranding to Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom in 2013, Old Chicago Pizza & Pasta had a successful 37-year history that served three generations of guests. The neighborhood restaurant, founded by a few buddies in Boulder, grew steadily to 96 restaurants in 22 states.

The brand made a lot of loyal friends along the way, but though longtime pizza lovers enjoyed the familiar comfort of the traditional beer-and-pizza combo, the U.S. food scene was quickly evolving. Diners were becoming more knowledgeable about food and drink and were hungry for more upscale options with an emphasis on artistry and a passion for all things craft.

In November 2010, Old Chicago evolved into part of CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, the nation's largest brewery restaurant...

Feature Story:

Tapping The Power Of Word Of Mouth »

By John Tschohl

1) Give 'em something to talk about. Just having a satisfied customer and giving them service that is simply good enough will not get anyone talking. You've got to go above and beyond the call of duty if you want your customers to talk about you.

Word of mouth is instrumental in driving your company's success. Verbal buzz about your business or product passed from one reliable person to the next is still the most cost-effective way to build a loyal following, expand your business, and reach new customers. How does it start? Give them an amazing customer experience and encourage your customers to think of themselves as partners in your business. The organization chart at your business should show the customer at the top.

How your customers feel about you and what they are prepared to tell others about you can influence your revenues and profits...

Feature Story:

Customer Insights: The Power Of Fact-Based Marketing »

By Jack Mackey

"Insight is a new configuration of knowledge that breaks the existing pattern of thinking in an unexpected way." This definition of insight comes from Luke Williams, professor of marketing and innovation at the NYU Stern School of Business. In short, insights drive intelligent marketing decisions that, when executed well, drive growth. Williams spoke at the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference in Atlanta in June.

There it was also my pleasure to host part of a wide-ranging panel discussion on marketing strategy, planning, execution, results, and measurement. Executives contributed their insights obtained in diverse industries from child education to senior services. Retailers, personal service providers, and restaurant operators all shared surprising lessons...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: Aug 12, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Email Marketing Is Still Effective - When Done Right
Email marketing is still one of the most successful ways to reach people on the Internet. Almost everyone who is online has is an email account, and their inbox is the first and last place most people check every day. To get the most bang for the buck with their campaigns, smart email marketers follow these three rules:

Feature Story:

Revolutionary Marketing: Schlotzsky's Brand And Sales Revolve Around Its Guests »

By Kerry Pipes

As 2014 dawned, Mark Mears stepped into the C-suite at Austin-based Schlotzsky's to lead the brand's marketing initiatives. By all indications, it's been a great move.
As CMO, Mears oversees the direction of the brand's marketing division, including the strategic management of Schlotzsky's marketing and creative services departments, along with directing brand promotions, advertising, creative design, menu tests, and other initiatives.
Mears, with nearly three decades of experience in QSR, fast casual, casual, and premium casual, is a visionary business leader with a track record of building system value and driving innovation at high-profile brands.
He came to Schlotzsky's from Mimi's Cafe, where as president and chief concept officer he led the brand through a repositioning strategy, related menu optimization, and new concept development...

Feature Story:

Smokin' The Competition: Dickey's Barbecue Pit Preps For Growth With A New CBO »

By Kerry Pipes

Texas-born and bred Dickey's Barbecue Pit is looking to expand. That's partly why executives of the family-owned brand recently created a new position - chief brand officer - and called on a fellow Texan to market that message and help build greater brand awareness nationwide.

Christie Finley brings vision, drive, and creativity to the nation's largest barbecue brand, which has more than 400 locations in 42 states. Finley says she's focused on "the basics done right," and on promoting the brand's core values of heritage, innovation, and craftmasnship.

As chief brand officer, Finley oversees all traditional marketing efforts of the brand, which is well-known in Texas for its big, bright yellow cups and savory, smoky barbecue...

Feature Story:

How Summer-Only Kidcam Camps Targets Customers »

Franchise Update

We asked Melissa Conner, who leads marketing and operations at Kidcam Camps, how she identifies ideal customers - and how she targets them effectively with marketing initiatives. Here's what she had to say.

Kidcam Camp Franchises has 17 company-owned and franchised summer camp locations for children ages 3-13. Although we plan for our summer business year-round, we market heavily to our prospective customers for only about 5 months. Each location is treated a little differently, but there are few initiatives we have found effective regardless of the location.

Even though our business is all children, it's the parents making the decisions, and we know our customers choose us based primarily on location: How close are we to their home or work? In our off-season we look at a lot of reports telling us where our campers attend school, where they live, and how they found out about us...

Feature Story:

SEO Refresher: 6 Experts Offer Advice »

By Eddy Goldberg

"SEO, SEO, SEO" has become the online equivalent of "location, location, location." So many articles, so many years of expert advice, and so many case studies, success stories, best practices... Perhaps it's time to take a step back from rearranging the keywords, worrying about your rankings, and trying to decipher the latest tweaks to Google's algorithms, and take fresh look at what your brand is been doing with SEO.

There's lots of "expert" help out there, and more every day. Here's another, an ebook from HubSpot called "Learning SEO from the Experts." Okay, more experts, advice, and how-to's. But these six authors provide a healthy overview of SEO, along with practical how-to tips and additional references to help your brand tune up and make sense of what you're doing with SEO to attract customers...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: July 22, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Online Search Ads: Worth It or Worthless?
It turns out online advertising suffers the same problems as other kinds of advertising: reliably separating correlation from causation, as in, Would that purchase have happened anyway, or did our online ad trigger the behavior? A 2013 study by a group of economists working with eBay's internal research lab concluded that, at least for large, well-known brands, search ads are probably not worth the money. It may be that search ads for smaller company's products and services are more effective. A problem for them, of course, is that their ads normally don't rank as high as those from major brands with massive PPC budgets, so they won't be seen nearly as often. Jordan Weissman, writing on Slate, puts the study in perspective...

Feature Story:

Schlotzsky's: How Marketing Supports Franchisee Recruitment »

By Kerry Pipes

As CMO at Austin-based Schlotzsky's since January 2014, Mark Mears oversees the direction of the brand's marketing division, including the strategic management of its marketing and creative services departments, along with directing brand promotions, advertising, creative design, menu tests, and other initiatives. With nearly three decades of experience in QSR, fast casual, casual, and premium casual, he has a track record of building system value and driving innovation at high-profile brands. Schlotzsky's now has more than 350 locations worldwide, with plans for aggressive growth this year and beyond.

Describe your role as CMO. I am the steward of the Schlotzsky's brand, a passionate advocate for the brand in relation to everything that touches our guests - including high-level strategic thought leadership, marketing calendar development/execution, culinary/menu research and development, mass/micro media, digital/social media and web/mobile interactivity, publicity/corporate communication, franchise and guest relations, and local restaurant/field marketing activities...

Feature Story:

Targeting Customers Effectively At Liberty Tax Service »

Franchise Update

We asked Martha O'Gorman, Chief Marketing Officer at Liberty Tax Service, how she identifies Liberty's ideal customers - and how she targets them effectively with marketing initiatives. Here's what she had to say.

The one thing I have learned through my years of experience in marketing is that the ideal customer is identified best by modeling them after a real person. I spend a lot of time watching and listening to our customers in person and through social media channels to get a sense of who they are and what they are looking for in a tax preparer. In many ways, that expectation is all over the board, but there is one constant that rings true throughout our customer base: they want to be treated with respect by a friendly person who makes them feel good about their experience with us...

Feature Story:

IT Speaks: Building Technology Solutions That Marketers Love »

By Johnny Cheng

Note: This article originally appeared on the Marketo Marketing Blog.

Back when I was in IT, my biggest fear was implementing a solution that no one liked -or worse, that they didn't end up using. Being at a startup tech company, my IT budget was minuscule. This meant that aligning with other "well-funded" departments in my company, such as the marketing team, was always a challenge.

If I'd had an unlimited budget, I would have always implemented complete turnkey solutions (for those not in IT, these are "off the shelf," ready-to-go solutions), with 1,000 professional services hours and 24/7 live support. I wouldn't have worried about learning the solution or onboarding my users. Crazy, I know... but everybody has to dream...

Feature Story:

5 Reasons To Use Cartoon Animation In Online Marketing »

By Toonimo

The past few years have seen an increased use of animated cartoon by sponsors at Franchise Update Media conferences. Whether aimed at franchisees, franchisees, or marketers, these presentations are not only a departure from "standard" promotional and marketing videos, but judging by audience reaction, they also seem to draw more eyeballs (as well as a few smiles) - despite clearly being marketing pieces pitched to sales and marketing pros. Toonimo, a company that produces animated cartoons, presents their top five reasons to consider incorporating moving pictures into your brand's online marketing mix. Below are some edited excerpts.

From the intro
Cartoon animations can be a powerful marketing tool for online marketers...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: July 8, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Mary Meeker's 2014 Internet Trends
Kleiner Perkins venture capitalist Mary Meeker gives out a valuable presentation about Internet trends every spring. It's widely considered a sort of "State of the Internet" address. Here are the data-packed slides from her 2014 presentation. Key insight: The Internet is still growing fast worldwide and mobile is growing even faster.

Twitter Interactive Guide for Small Businesses
Want to get started with Twitter and don't know how or where? Or maybe you're already using Twitter and want to take your activity to the next level. The popular social media giant (255 million monthly active users) has put together an interactive guide to help your business reach its goals, whatever your experience level...

Feature Story:

Customer Service: Empower Employees To Go Beyond The Rules »

By John Tschohl

There are rules for a reason: they work for most people most of the time. Often, scientific evidence backs them up. But as with almost any other endeavor in society that doesn't involve criminal activity, rules can sometime be broken - or at least bent - without the world coming to an end.

This is especially true in business. Company owners and top executives give a lot of thought to winning and keeping customers, and they spend a lot of time and money on things like PR, leadership training, social media campaigns etc. But the real front lines of building a business are in the daily interactions employees have with customers.

One of the major roadblocks to customer service excellence are the policies and procedures most companies have in place to make sure that 1 percent of their customers don't take advantage of them...

Feature Story:

Store Analytics: Franchise Networks Should Act More Like Chains »

By Mark Ryski

The benefits of tracking traffic and measuring conversion rates in retail stores have long been established and are now widely considered fundamental in retailing. Not only have retailers been doing it for decades, but the retailers who leverage the insights effectively have an "insight edge," and consequently a competitive advantage over retailers who do not.

Over the course of the last 10 years, I have worked with a multitude of franchise and dealer networks including those in wireless, general merchandise, electronics, home improvement, and automotive segments. Regardless of the type of franchise network, I see a consistent disconnect between franchisors and franchisees when it comes to analytics, especially store traffic and conversion analytics...


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Tune Up Your Team    

Franchise Update Magazine »

Issue III, 2014


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