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You've got a great concept and sales team. Great! All you need now is customers--loyal, engaged, repeat customers. And unless you've been in a cave the past couple of years, you know that social media and Web 2.0 have changed the face of consumer marketing. Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, GroupOn and LivingSocial, Yelp and other local search tools, your brand is being built by what's being said online--and franchisors and franchisees alike are searching for insights as they deal with the shift to consumer-generated content.

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CMO Roundtable: Executing Your Media Strategy And Plan Effectively »

Franchise Update

Your media strategy and plan is complete and now it's time to execute.What steps do you take to ensure each layer of your media plan is carried out effectively?

Maryellen Torres
Chief Brand Officer
Front Burner Brands (The Melting Pot)
With today's highly savvy consumers, the marketing landscape is constantly changing and requires a comprehensive, multi-layered approach to help a business achieve its goals and objectives. New technology has created more "noise" in the media landscape, making it more complex for marketers to create a relevant message for both the vehicle and the target audience. From marketing messages sent to our email inboxes to our social media channel newsfeeds, this constant bombardment of communication can lead to months of hard work going unnoticed, if not planned strategically...

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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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Lead Generation: Can Big Data Identify Your Ideal Franchise Candidates? »

By Jim Bender

What's not to love about big data? To paraphrase Sandy Pentland, the big data guru at MIT: The power of big data is that it is information about what people do, not what they say. It's the digital breadcrumbs you leave behind as you move through life. Those breadcrumbs tell the story of your life. Who you actually are is determined by where you spend your time and which things you buy. And from that behavior, analysts can tell an enormous amount about you.

We all look forward to the day when big data will identify candidates who exhibit the same behaviors as our best-performing franchise owners. Fill up my inbox, please!

Today we can only imagine the impact that lead generation techniques enhanced with big data intelligence will have on the franchise development sales process...

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Overcoming Franchise Marketing Constraints »

By Alex Vaccaro

Owning a franchise business has its pros and cons. On one hand, you benefit from your franchise having a strong, trusted identity. Local customers may choose to visit your business based on what they know about the national organization, and you have a vast network that can support your business with ideas and resources.
On the other hand, you may feel constrained in marketing your business within your franchise's standards. It's a delicate balance: you want to get word out about your business, but you don't want to violate the overarching organization's specifications.
Here are some suggested solutions and tips for dealing with three top concerns related to branding your franchise.

Concern #1: I'm Worried About Breaking Franchise Rules
You've got a great marketing idea for your business, but it breaks several different franchise rules...

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The New Competition: Customer Experience Trumps Customer Service »

By Adam Pierno

As a franchise organization you've recognized by now that your competition is more diverse and complex than it has been in the past. Once you were in a single business, selling a product like sub sandwiches or sporting goods to consumers. You were competing against other businesses selling similar sandwiches or sporting goods.
Consumers today have embraced the multitude of options popping up all around them. Many have learned to comparison shop Amazon or other e-tailers while standing in the aisle of the sporting goods store to see if they can find it cheaper, or maybe somehow better. And, in addition to the thousands of new digital storefronts available for their mobile devices, new types of physical competition are appearing as well...

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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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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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Market Operator: It's A Team Effort At East Coast Wings & Grill »

By Kerry Pipes

"Global Director of Buzz" was Stacey Kane's title when she worked for AmRest Holdings, a Wroclaw, Poland-based company with more than 900 restaurants in 12 countries in Eastern and Central Europe. It was a great title and describes the energy and focus Kane brings to her job.
"I've been working with and building multi-unit restaurant chains for more than 20 years," she says. That time includes serving as media buyer for Subway and as vice president of marketing at California Tortilla, where she was responsible for overseeing all marketing functions. In both 2012 and 2013, Fast Casual magazine named her one of the Top 20 Movers and Shakers in the fast casual restaurant industry.
In March 2015 she joined East Coast Wings & Grill as vice president of marketing, overseeing the marketing department and contributing to the brand's 12th consecutive year of positive same-store sales...

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Communicating With Candidates: Finding The Right Media And Frequency »

By Kerry Pipes

We asked Mark Jameson, Executive Vice President, Franchise Support and Development at Fastsigns International, how he chooses the right marketing media to reach his ideal candidates, and how often he communicates with them. Here's what he had to say.

We believe in utilizing many different marketing channels to reach our candidates, and more importantly, in targeting those in the right markets and for the right category or model. Our brand relies on a strong public relations and digital marketing strategy to target and find the ideal candidates. With the help of a significant national TV buy, Fastsigns is lucky to have a strong brand presence that enables us to stay top of mind.

However, this is only a piece of how we communicate the franchise opportunity to candidates, so we must employ a variety of marketing strategies to attract the right candidates...

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Customer Service Mission: 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...

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CMO Roundtable: Getting Results With Evolving Social Media »

Franchise Update

"How is social media changing and evolving, and how is your brand adapting and getting results?"

Brooke Budke
Chief Marketing Officer
Title Boxing Club

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...

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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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No More "Millennials"?: Taking A Deeper Dive Into This Group »

By Adam Pierno

Millennials. You are likely tired of reading about them but you can't stop, because with 60 million Americans in this generation, they're too big to ignore. This group probably makes up the majority of your customers, employees, and potential franchisees.
Technically, we at Santy define Millennials as those born between the years of 1982 and 2004. Even at their massive reported scale, as a group they have begun to seem larger, haven't they? It's almost like they're all around you.
Here's why. As with any influential group, their behaviors have been adopted by older and younger people, and some of their actions have been given a bad rap for having caught on. The examples to follow come from a 2015 Elite Daily study on Millennial consumers...

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He's With The Band: Elliot Baldini Amps Up School Of Rock »

By Kerry Pipes

As senior vice president of marketing for School of Rock, Elliot Baldini is a perfect fit. A self-professed lifelong musician with a passion for performance, he also sports wicked marketing chops. He's been "with the band" at School of Rock since last June, when he was brought in to take charge of their marketing programs including digital, local, events, and franchise development.
Music is in his blood. Before joining School of Rock, his previous "band" was Guitar Center, where he played multiple roles: director of strategy and CRM, director of strategic marketing initiatives, and director of merchandising--and also was responsible for the development and execution of top priority, high-impact marketing strategy and CRM initiatives for Guitar Center's online brands...

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Jersey Mike's: Technology Integration And Collaboration Fuels Growth »

By Eddy Goldberg

At Jersey Mike's Subs, technology, marketing, operations, and strategy are so intertwined, "We joke back and forth about who's in charge of who, because there's so much overlap," says Rich Hope, the company's CMO. "We have a super open-door policy with marketing and IT, and try to get operations involved as well."

"Each department has needs," says CIO Scott Scherer. "In this day and age most of those needs involve technology."

The company's POS system, developed by Scherer and his team, is at the core of the inter-departmental collaboration that is a big part of Jersey Mike's culture - and its rapid growth - as the company reached the 1,000-unit mark last October. Scherer describes the brand's award-winning POS system as an integrated software suite with the POS system as the hub (see graphic)...

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Building A Great Sales And Development Team At PuroClean »

By Kerry Pipes

We asked Marcia Mead, vice president of franchise development at PuroClean, what the keys are to building, training, and retaining a great sales and development team at her brand. Here’s what she had to say.

The process of hiring, training, and retaining qualified individuals for sales and development is a necessary company practice that should not be taken lightly. Having a great sales and development team as the backbone of your business is critical to company success in both the immediate and distant future.

Hiring the most qualified people for your company can be challenging, but if you take the time to work diligently in the early stages of seeking out a potential employee, there is great long-term payoff...

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Speed And Hospitality: On-Time Delivery Was Not Enough At RPM Pizza »

By John DiJulius

In 2011, RPM Pizza (the largest U.S. franchisee of Domino's Pizza) made major improvements in its speed-of-delivery service by improving its percentage of on-time pizza deliveries by 17 percent. However, according to an independent third-party mystery shopper survey, RPM ranked last among its major competitors in hospitality--demonstrating how a company can get overly focused on one component of their business while letting other key components slip away.
So in 2012 RPM committed to changing its culture from being solely an operationally excellent organization, which they called being "Brilliant at the Basics," to also being known for being a world-class hospitality company. They started by creating a "day in the life of a customer" video, to teach their employees to view things from the customer's perspective...

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CMO Roundtable: Changing Your Marketing Strategies And Tactics For 2016 »

Franchise Update

What changes to your marketing strategies and tactics do you plan for 2016? Give examples.
Matt Smith
Chief Marketing Officer
sweetFrog Frozen Yogurt
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...

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Here Comes Gen Z!: Meet The Next Wave Of Customers And Employees »

By Adam Pierno

In case you hadn't noticed, a new generation has begun applying for full- and part-time jobs: Generation Z.
The giant wave of 80 million Millennials is still the dominant generation for many franchise operators, but Gen Z is coming of age and bringing new attitudes with them. It's early to completely define this generation, whose oldest members are just entering the workforce, but here are some preliminary conclusions based on studies to date.
With Millennials, employers saw a new focus on diversity. With Gen Z, this is even more pronounced: just over half (55 percent) of Gen Z are Caucasian, and almost a quarter are Hispanic. Along with this diversity comes tolerance.
Beyond simply being a diverse group, they have seen an African-American president voted into office and re-elected early in their lifetime...


Learn More

Big Data: All aboard the data train!    

Franchise Update Magazine

Issue III, 2016

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