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Consumer Marketing

Feature Story:

How Houlihan's Is Using Analytics To Improve Its Marketing »

By Jen Gulvik

We asked Jen Gulvik, senior vice president of marketing and creative director at Houlihan's Restaurants, "What analytics are you using to improve your marketing?" Here's what she had to say.

Our marketing has become heavily data-driven this past year with the development of several new business intelligence (BI) systems we're leveraging. We have a CRM platform that integrates transaction data from our POS system with "tokenized" credit card data and our large email customer database. Combining those three data sources, we can communicate differently to recent versus lapsed customers, or based on what they typically spend or buy.

We also can analyze our menu mix by once-per-year customers versus five visits-per-year customers to understand if certain menu items seem to be driving loyalty, for example...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: November 24, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Pinterest Makes Moves To Boost Digital Advertising Presence
Pinterest has launched a new visual search tool that uses photos "to comb through millions of product images," according to an Adweek report. Earlier this month, a blog on Pinterest announcing the tool, said, "When you spot something in a Pin that you want to learn more about, tap the search tool in the corner. Then select the part of the Pin you're interested in, and we'll show you Pins just like it. You can even filter your visual search results by topic so you find exactly what you're looking for." Retailers of all stripes could benefit from this new capability.

Facebook Wants To Be Your Mobile News Source, Too
Facebook's "Instant Articles" feature serves up stories from its news media partners such as Time, National Geographic, and USA Today...

Feature Story:

Red Roof Inn's CMO Marina MacDonald Does It All! »

By Kerry Pipes

Marina MacDonald has worked in the hospitality industry for nearly three decades. Since November 2007, she's been with Red Roof Inn, the past year and a half as CMO. Red Roof, a player in the economy lodging sector, has more than 400 properties across the U.S., split among franchised, corporate-managed, and corporate-owned units.

As CMO, MacDonald is responsible for helping the brand achieve its annual goals and objectives by leading and directing its sales and marketing programs. In this role, she develops targeted marketing initiatives that build the brand, increase customer loyalty, and support an integrated sales program. She also interacts with the franchise community and the brand's stakeholders, maintains relationships with Red Roof's top customers, and plays an active role in field sales...

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Social Media Roundup: November 10, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Google to Advertisers: Respond Quickly to Ad Blocking
Speaking at the Wall Street Journal's WSJDLive 2015 conference in October, Google senior executive Sridhar Ramaswamy urged the advertising industry to respond quickly to the rapid adoption of ad blocking software, inspired by fed-up consumers. Since Apple announced its decision to allow ad blockers on its iOS devices, debate has raged around the issue. Some online publishers predict dire consequences for the availability of quality content as a result of the lost revenue they predict when ad blockers become widespread. But consumers have already made up their minds and advertisers will have to adapt: digital ads must use less of consumers' bandwidth, be less obtrusive in their browsers, and become more respectful of their privacy...

Feature Story:

Plan Your 2016 Sales And Marketing Goals Today »

By Eric Lofholm

Each fourth quarter as the new year approaches, it’s prudent to prepare a profitability plan for the coming year, especially with respect to your sales and marketing endeavors. Doing so can give you a notable competitive edge, particularly given the extraordinary number of professionals who don’t bother producing this strategic tool. But, whether developed before or after the start of the new year, the importance of creating a tactical plan for sales and marketing success cannot be overstated. Here’s how to set yourself up for annual planning success.

Successful annual planning requires one key ingredient: your mindset. Indeed, the first step toward successful financial planning is setting an intent to successfully complete your plan...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: October 27, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Like, What's an Empathy Button?
In case you missed the news (and even if you don't care), Facebook has finally added something in the nature of a Dis-Like button. Or maybe it really will be what Mark Zuckerberg says it is: a way to express empathy. The new button will give Facebook users a way to react to something like an illness or injury that's a little more nuanced than the current simple thumbs-up. We'll soon see how it works with the world's Facebook users. "Not everyone is happy about having the option to dislike," writes Jessica Cherok on Digital Pivot. "Many feel it will be a tool for spreading hate and bullying others. Still, most people seem to like the idea that a dislike button can be used to show support, but in a more appropriate way than liking a sad or tragic post...

Feature Story:

Marketing Tips For Finishing 2015 Strong! »

By: Aseem Badshah

Note: This article appeared on the Marketo blog.

We're three-quarters through 2015. (It snuck up on us, too!) Right now, many marketers (you?) may already start looking toward the future by brainstorming ideas to execute in 2016.

A word of advice: Wait! There are still 3 months remaining in 2015, so don't waste them. It's time for you to turn up the heat!

We've seen some big changes and trends in the marketing space since the beginning of the year: mobile took off, social media restrictions were lifted, and SEO... well SEO stayed pretty confusing for many. Most of these changes probably had you rethinking your marketing efforts. With this in mind, let's analyze how we can leverage the first 75% of 2015 to close the year out strong...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: October 13, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Facebook Local Awareness Ads
A relatively new offering from Facebook, the Local Awareness Ad, makes it easy for advertisers to reach people in the immediate vicinity of their businesses. Since the debut of the platform, Facebook has refined targeting options and added new Call To Action buttons, such as "Send Message" and "Get Directions." Facebook has released a guide to its Local Awareness Ads, highlighting eight ways brands are succeeding with them and tips on how to use them in your brand's marketing. "There's great potential in Facebook's Local Awareness Ads. One aspect that many may overlook is the targeting capabilities that exist within Facebook and the ability to reach people based on very specific behaviors and interests," writes Australian social media consultant Andrew Hutchinson on Social Media Today...

Feature Story:

2015 Franchise Consumer: Marketing Conference »

By Kerry Pipes & Eddy Goldberg

With technology continuing to rapidly evolve and change the face of both consumer marketing and franchise recruitment, planners for the 5th annual Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference built an educational curriculum to address marketing's hottest topics--with a focus on how technology is influencing marketing today. Thus the theme for this year's conference: "Where Old School Marketing Meets New School Technology."
More than 300 attendees gathered from June 23-24 at the InterContinental Hotel Buckhead in Atlanta, about half franchise CMOs and marketing specialists representing brands in the service, food, and retail non-food sectors. There were many new faces this year, with 51 percent of attendees first-timers.
Franchising's top marketing executives participated in two days of intensive education, sharing, and networking, each seeking to learn more about the latest strategies and techniques in the world of consumer marketing and gain an edge on their competition...

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...

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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...

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Unveiling the 2016 Annual Franchise Development Report    

Franchise Update Magazine

Issue IV, 2015

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