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Consumer Marketing

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...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: April 12, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

The Twitter Algorithmic Timeline Apocalypse Came (and It's No Big Deal)
Twitter has launched its new algorithmic timeline. Since the company announced it was coming, it has been extremely controversial, with widespread predictions that it marked the "end of Twitter." No such thing occurred. The new feature simply extends the "while you were away" feature that has existed since early 2015. Twitter users who don't like the new feature can opt out in their settings. "The algorithm now appears to be enabled by default across the social network, with users reporting that the company started turning it on it across the service as early as March 15," writes Gwen Williams on The Next Web.

Instagram Is Going Algorithmic Too
The wildly successful Instagram photo and video sharing service will begin to show "what you care about most" instead of a pure timeline in their feeds...

Feature Story:

Customer Service Vision - The One Statement Employees Must Know »

By John DiJulius

When we start working with a consulting client and tell them the first place we start is creating a customer service vision statement, they say, "The last thing we need is another statement. We have mission statements, purpose statements, and our employees can't even keep them straight."

Good businesses have evolved away from lengthy, wordy mission statements that no employee can recite, much less remember. Today it is okay to have three major company statements -provided it's clear as to how they differ and how your employees need to decipher them.

While every company needs strong, inspiring mission and purpose statements, they are results, not actions. For example, if your mission is to be the #1 financial institution in the world, what does that tell a bank teller or loan officer to do today as they interact with each customer? Even the greatest mission and purpose statements are not actionable by employees...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: March 22, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

What Can Politicians and Celebrities Teach You About Social Media?
In case you hadn't noticed, much of the action in the 2016 presidential campaign is playing out on social media. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders all aggressively employ Twitter, Facebook, and other social media channels to rally the troops and keep the media reporting on them. They're not the only public figures to take to social media in a big way: the Dalai Lama, the British monarchy, and now Pope Francis are all prolific posters and popular on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This infographic depicts how celebrities and competing candidates in past U.S. elections have pushed the boundaries of social media. See what you can learn from them about connecting your brand with your target audience(s) online...

Feature Story:

Title Boxing Club: Navigating The Changing World Of Social Media »

By Brooke Budke

We asked Brooke Budke, chief marketing officer at Title Boxing Club, how she sees social media changing and evolving - and how her brand is adapting and getting results.

The past year brought numerous new developments and milestones in social media and social networking. From the rise of live streaming on social platforms like Periscope, to instant short-lived videos on Snapchat, to the 1 billion users who use Facebook on a daily basis, brands are being tasked with finding new ways to engage with their customers and fans. Whether your followers deem your content good or bad, they will tell you, and it's how you react that will either win them over or lose them as loyal customers.

As an experience-based brand, Title Boxing Club's social success depends largely on the quality of the relationships we build with our audience, meaning the brand campaigns must live online and also be manifested in physical form in our clubs...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: March 8, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Weak Accountability for Social Media Marketing
Okay, you're spending more money and time on social media marketing -and thanks to improved analytics and tracking technology, measuring the return on your investment is easier than ever. Right? Not according to the biannual CMO Survey of 289 marketers conducted by Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. "Despite the increase in spend, almost half (47.9%) of marketers surveyed said they haven't been able to show the impact yet on their business," reports Lindsay Stein, writing in Advertising Age. "More than 40% said they have a good qualitative sense of impact, while 11.5% said they can prove the impact of social quantitatively," she wrote. Additional results include: social media spend as a percentage of respondents' marketing budgets; where that spending is going (62...

Feature Story:

Beyond Pizza: Cicis Overhauls Its 30-Year-Old Brand From The Ground Up »

By Darin Harris

Darin Harris is CEO of Cicis, which has nearly 450 restaurants in 32 states.
For 30 years, Cicis has been delivering unlimited pizza, pasta, salad, and dessert to every guest who enters its restaurants. But over the course of three decades, customers evolved. They wanted something better, more innovation, more contemporary restaurant designs... something beyond where Cicis had been.
So, with the introduction of the company's new leadership team, the Cicis brand underwent a comprehensive review to pull itself out of the past and into the future. We started from the ground up to evolve every facet of the business, including product, price, place, promotion, and the meaning behind our name.
First, we listened
The first step to understanding where we needed to go was to listen in on what guests enjoyed about Cicis today...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: February 23, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Can Your Brand Profit from #TBT (Throwback Thursday) Nostalgia?
Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are awash in old baby pictures, family photos, and all kinds of nostalgic snapshots. Welcome to Throwback Thursday (#TBT). Brand marketers as well as individual consumers can take advantage of #TBT to post excellent, compelling content that has proven to attract attention. Here are the rules, courtesy of Kendall Walters, writing on Hootsuite:

Feature Story:

Mosquito Joe's Marketing Director Details 2016 Marketing Plans »

By Angela Zerda

We asked Angela Zerda, director of marketing at Mosquito Joe, what changes she's planning in her marketing strategies and tactics for 2016. Here's what she had to say.

The marketing landscape, particularly in the digital space, is constantly evolving. To be a leader in our industry we must always be looking out for new opportunities. As we plan for 2016 I expect a continued increase in digital marketing spend, as well as a focus on tying those campaigns to our off-line campaigns for greatest impact. For example, if we're using direct mail in an area, we're serving up banner ads to that same area. Frequency remains vital in marketing, and with new technologies we have additional opportunities for touch points throughout the day...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: February 9, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Sharing Online: Why Do People Do It - and What Do They Share?
Sharing content is one of the most common online activities. Marketers work hard to provide content people will want to share. But what drives the impulse to share online? Adobe surveyed more than 12,000 consumers in 6 countries to find out. All were over 18 and owned at least one digital device, such as a smartphone or tablet. According to the survey, "The State of Content: Rules of Engagement for 2016," almost two-thirds of respondents share content online (64%). Their top motivation was to make people laugh (37%), followed closely by a desire to raise awareness of a cause or issue (29%). Another important takeaway: most people will stop viewing online content if it takes too long to load, is overly long, or doesn't look good on their device...

Feature Story:

SweetFrog CMO Details 2016 Marketing, Growth Plans »

By Matt Smith

We asked Matt Smith, CMO at sweetFrog Premium Frozen Yogurt, what changes he's planning in his marketing strategies and tactics for 2016. Here's what he had to say.

From a strategic perspective, we will be looking to connect with our customers in a more personal way to help strengthen repeat business.

A major tactical change will be the standardization of a national loyalty and rewards program with a move to a new vendor. In the past, sweetFrog has offered a fragmented effort with some franchise owners using a different platform than others. The new platform will change everything from the messages we deliver to their frequency and time of day - all built to give customers the kind of offers they want, when they want them...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: January 26, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Customer Advertising Preferences: 9 of 10 Actually Want Ads!
It's not news that consumers' preferences are changing with the technology they use - at home, at work, or on the go - leaving marketers confused about where to launch campaigns and how to allocate their media spend. In examining research on the advertising preferences of U.S. adults conducted by MarketingSherpa, social media expert Heidi Cohen highlights the following in her blog:

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Consumer Marketing: From four walls to the world    

Franchise Update Magazine

Issue II, 2016

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