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Consumer Marketing

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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...

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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. 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...

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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...

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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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Social Media Roundup: July 12, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Facebook Live Gets Results for Small Business Marketers
Facebook Live, Facebook's new video platform, lets users share live video with your followers and friends on their Pages and Profiles. This article on Social Media Examiner by Mari Smith, co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day, shows three examples of Facebook Live that produced great results for the marketers who made them. Planning, preparation, and attention to building buzz were key factors in the success of the Results Fitness nine-minute Live flash mob. They built on their success with a three-minute highlight reel. Read about how Results and two other innovative businesses have been successful with Facebook Live.

Google Places for Local Marketers
This blog on SociablWeb lists 5 things you're missing out on if you don't use Google Places...

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3 Inexpensive, Effective Ways To Get Your Brand Involved At The Local Level »

By Alex Vaccaro

As a franchise business, you likely advise your local franchisees on ways they can stand out from their competitors and get local customers to notice them. Even with the support of co-op dollars, franchisees can no longer rely on traditional media options like buying TV or radio ad time to reach their local audiences, as more and more consumers are opting for streaming media and other digital services.

In light of this shift, encourage your franchisees to take a personal approach by getting involved in their communities. There are inexpensive solutions that can bring visibility to a local franchise business and also help them give back - a clear win-win! Here are three ideas you might suggest to help your franchisees get started...

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Social Media Roundup: June 28, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

4 Social Media Marketing Analytics Tools To Help You Measure ROI
Measuring the ROI from social media marketing has always been a challenge for brands. While the sites themselves offer some analytics to help guide social media managers, they tend to be weak on actionable information. That's where the tools (Quintly, Sysomos, Followerwonk, and Buffer) reviewed in this article come in. If you're in search of a deeper look into your social media efforts, consider one or more of these tools. "If you want great analytics to measure your ROI and inform future marketing decisions, don't rely on the social media websites. Instead, use specialized tools that will  provide you with the most helpful information," writes Jack Edwards on GrowMap...

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Customer Service Excellence Starts At The Top! »

By John DiJulius

Any big initiative, project, or revolution must have the support of the senior leadership team; otherwise it will be considered "flavor of the month" or "management by bestseller."

Customer service must be as important as finance, sales, operations, and technology. It must be discussed at board meetings and strategic planning sessions with leaders and everyone else in the company, including front-line employees. To create long-lasting change, the senior leadership team must provide the necessary resources.

This doesn't mean just increasing the budget for customer service. It is having someone in charge of the project - that is, a chief experience officer (CXO) - who is dedicated and loses sleep over the customer experience program and the results...

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Social Media Roundup: June 14, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

How to Promote Your Local Franchise Online
This article from Mediavine Marketing provides a good collection of tips for local franchise promotion with social media and other online directories, such as Google and Yelp. Here are a few of the ideas of what to post to promote interest and engagement:

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Beyond CRM: 5 Tips For Using Predictive Analytics To Boost Your Bottom Line »

By Lang Smith

For any sales-driven business, it isn't the size of your data that matters, it's what you do with it. No longer a discretionary luxury, predictive analytics is now the name of the game for marketers determined to use customer metrics in a meaningful way to establish a competitive advantage, gain market share, and boost bottom lines. 

Just what exactly is predictive analysis? Simply put, it's the ability to more precisely predict a customer's future spending based on their past behaviors. Of course, there's no way to actually predict the future, but predictive analytics can give companies invaluable insights that can make or break a CRM system. If you're not using predictive analytics, your current CRM system is likely falling short in several areas...

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Social Media Roundup: May 24, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Facebook Messenger Makes It Easier for Customers To Connect
People and businesses send each other more than 1 billion messages each month on the Facebook Messenger app. Messenger has quickly become extremely popular, especially on mobile devices. It's easy for Messenger users to contact a business right within the app to ask questions, make customer service requests, and set up appointments. Facebook has added tools for page owners to manage communications, and soon they will be able to set and edit unique user names for their pages and make it easy to contact them right from the pages themselves. "All of these new functions are going to let customers find you faster and get in touch more quickly," says Mike Wolpert, writing on Social Jumpstart...

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Big Data: All aboard the data train!    

Franchise Update Magazine

Issue III, 2016

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