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Consumer Marketing

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.

Feature Story:

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...

Feature Story:

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:

Feature Story:

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...

Feature Story:

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...

Feature Story:

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...

Feature Story:

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...

Feature Story:

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...

Feature Story:

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...

Feature Story:

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...

Feature Story:

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:

Feature Story:

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...

Feature Story:

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...

Feature Story:

5 Keys To A Hyper-Local Digital Marketing Campaign »

By Lauren Reid

Franchisors, take note! Your franchisees have the ability to own a moment - many moments in fact. A few examples: 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...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: May 10, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Facebook's New Branded Content PolicyOpens New Options for Marketers
As of early April this year, verified celebrities, influencers, and publishers can use their Facebook pages to post their branded content. Now they can post videos, photos, and articles that feature or mention brand without any need to worry about Facebook penalizing them. This rule change was requested by marketers, as branded content has become an integral part of their online media strategy. There are limitations, however: for example, "overly promotional" content such as videos with watermarks won't be allowed. "Alongside the tweak, Facebook also introduced a new tool that will let publishers tag brands in their sponsored content posts. That gives users some indication that they're reading an ad, but it also gives brands better insight into how well their posts perform," writes Ricardo Bilton, a staff writer for the Nieman Journalism Lab...

Feature Story:

6 Digital Marketing Tactics Franchisors Need For Franchisee Success (Part 1) »

By Paul Elliott

For franchise brands, local marketing has always been a challenge. And while some emerging tools are making franchisee marketing easier, the digital revolution has introduced new marketing challenges as well. Said another way: consumers' growing use of digital and mobile to find, select, and buy goods and services has fundamentally changed the way we as marketers must approach our jobs -- particularly in a distributed marketing environment.

Looking at the data, it's easy to see that franchise brands that want to succeed in local marketing must put a greater focus on intercepting consumers on their new path to purchase:

Feature Story:

Waxing The City: Rolling With The Changing World Of Social Media »

By Lori Shepard

We asked Lori Shepard, Senior Director, Digital Experience at Waxing the City/Anytime Fitness how she sees social media changing and evolving - and how her brand is adapting and getting results.

With both of our brands, Waxing the City and Anytime Fitness, we develop close relationships with our customers. On our social media platforms, we hope to extend the services and advice that differentiate our brands online. For Waxing the City, we work hard to extend our vision, "To make everyone feel awesome," into the channel in an authentic way. Authentic is key. Whenever we post content, we use the filter of: "Would our technicians really say this? Is this valuable to our clients? Is this our voice?" Our customer interactions on social media are just as important to us as the hello they receive when they walk into our studios...

Feature Story:

Why Your Franchise Should Consider Thought Leadership As A Marketing Tactic »

By Alex Vaccaro

"Thought leadership" is the new term for expertise. Customers and clients see your organization as innovative and forward thinking, and they turn to you when they have important questions. According to a LinkedIn survey, 50 percent of B2B respondents saw thought leadership as a primary goal of content marketing. It's also one effective way to stand out from your competitors.

Thought leadership takes many forms. It ranges from maintaining an active Twitter feed with relevant content about your industry to publishing a blog on your website to disseminating a weekly e-newsletter or speaking at a conference. Ultimately it entails establishing your franchise as a reputable leader in your field by voicing your opinions and expertise to an audience that is interested in them, whether that's your peers or your customers...


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Big Data: All aboard the data train!    

Franchise Update Magazine

Issue III, 2016

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