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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.

Feature Story:

Auntie Anne's CMO Heather Neary »

By Philip St. Jacques

Leading and innovating the marketing strategy for a 1,300-location franchise concept in a highly competitive industry and retail environment is a monumental challenge. For almost 10 years, Auntie Anne's CMO Heather Neary and her team continue to lead the brand to new levels of growth year over year. As part of Focus Brands International, owned by Roark Capital, how does a simple product concept evolve into a ubiquitous brand that becomes a category leader and, more important, what are the keys to her success?

In the following interview with CMO Outlook (CMOO), Neary shares insights into her unique perspective on her marketing approach, and the relationship between national marketing strategies and how thousands of franchisees unify to execute locally against a single goal...

Feature Story:

The Power Of Customer Insights: Understanding The Power Of Fact-Based Marketing »

By Jack Mackey

"Insight is a new configuration of knowledge that breaks the existing pattern of thinking in an unexpected way." This definition of insight comes from Luke Williams, professor of marketing and innovation at the NYU Stern School of Business. In short, insights drive intelligent marketing decisions that, when executed well, drive growth. Williams spoke at the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference in Atlanta in June.
There it was also my pleasure to host part of a wide-ranging panel discussion on marketing strategy, planning, execution, results, and measurement. Executives contributed their insights obtained in diverse industries from child education to senior services. Retailers, personal service providers, and restaurant operators all shared surprising lessons...

Feature Story:

CMO Roundtable: Identifying Your Ideal Customers And Target Them Effectively  »

Franchise Update


"How do you identify your ideal customers, and how do you target them effectively with your marketing initiatives?"


Melissa Conner
Marketing & Operations
Kidcam Camps

Kidcam Camps has 17 company-owned and franchised summer camp locations for children ages 3-13. Although we plan for our summer business year-round, we heavily market to our prospective customers for only about 5 months. Each location is treated a little differently, but there are a few initiatives we have found effective regardless of location.
Even though our business is all children, it's the parents making the decisions, and we know our customers choose us primarily on location. How close are we to their home or work? We look at a lot of reports in our off-season telling us where our campers attend school, where they live, and how they found out about us...

Feature Story:

Top 10 Franchise Lead Generation Trends For 2015 »

By Thomas Scott and Joe Mathews

A blog from the Franchise Performance Group examines 10 trends in franchise lead generation for 2015. What follows are edited highlights. For the complete version, which explains each trend in further detail, click here.

Smart franchisors have seen these "game-changing" new trends in how franchise buyers research opportunity, how search engines affect website traffic and results, leading a reinvention of how they recruit franchisees. Here are our Top 10 trends for franchise lead generation in 2015 and beyond:

Trend No. 12015 spells the end of VPs of Marketing controlling the franchise development advertising budget. Marketing to franchise candidates is totally different than marketing to just about anyone else. For decades, franchise salespeople have been held captive by the marketing department, forced to use pretty but otherwise ineffective marketing materials...

Feature Story:

EWallets Can Spell Big Bucks For Franchise Brands »

By Bradley Wilkes

Apple, Google, Softcard, PayPal, Visa, and many others are together spending billions of dollars on digital wallet technology. The emergence of these eWallets is getting a lot of media attention as well, but what's in it for you?

What can you expect from a digital wallet?
An eWallet can hold the same items as a traditional wallet. These include ID cards (e.g., a digital driver's license), coupons, national currencies, and payment cards (bank cards, both debit and credit, gift cards, loyalty cards, and rewards cards). The purpose of an eWallet is not only to create an electronic storage location to hold these types of items, but to also to add intelligence to them that will simplify our lives. For example, an advanced eWallet will know when you are making a payment at a specific merchant location and can prompt you to redeem the value on a gift card - no more worry about forgetting your gift cards...

Feature Story:

CMO Q&A: Diana Hovey, Corner Bakery Cafe, Part 1 »

By Kerry Pipes

Diana Hovey says she came to know and love Corner Bakery Cafe over a cup of coffee at a unit in her neighborhood. In October 2006, when the opportunity to be a part of the corporate team came along, she jumped at the chance. She's been chief marketing officer for the Dallas-based brand for 8 years now, at the forefront of shaping the branding and messaging strategy for the bakery-cafe pioneer that she says is the "ultimate neighborhood gathering spot."

Hovey says connecting with guests and giving back to the community are paramount to what the brand believes in and stands for. In fact, understanding the hearts and minds of the consumer has always been the focus of her career, first in public relations and marketing with TGI Fridays and later with Brinker International as vice president of marketing for its Mexican Concepts Division and Romano's Macaroni Grill...

Feature Story:

5 Mistakes Brands Make In Local Marketing - And How To Fix Them »

By Lori Alba

If your local marketing efforts have fallen flat, chances are that your franchisees aren't happy, and neither are you. It's not uncommon for brands to run into problems engaging with their franchisees and directing them toward a common marketing vision. The good news is that there are solutions to these challenges. Understanding some of the common mistakes brands make in local marketing can help revitalize a sagging program and re-engage disconnected franchisees. Here are some of the most common local marketing mistakes brands make - and tips on how to fix them.

1) Providing marketing funds to franchisees with too many or too few restrictions
Investing in the local marketing efforts of your franchisees can go a long way in strengthening your relationship and encouraging winning behavior...

Feature Story:

The Future Of Digital Marketing: 15 Predictions For 2015 »

By Eddy Goldberg

A new e-book from automated digital marketing firm Acquisio gathers the thoughts and predictions from 15 digital marketing and PPC experts for what's ahead in the coming year. What follows are brief excerpts of those predictions, which focus mainly on PPC and the changes ahead for digital marketing in general. Click here for a free download of the e-book, "The Future of Digital Marketing: 15 Expert Predictions for 2015."

1. More mobile clicks
David Szetela, Owner and CEO, FMB Media
In 2014, many advertisers saw huge increases in impressions and clicks from smartphones. This trend will continue through 2015. Mobile clicks will often represent the majority of clicks available to advertisers.

2. Mobile PPC goes mainstream
Founder and SEM/PPC Strategy Consultant, Big Click Co...

Feature Story:

Improve Your Franchise Marketing System-Wide: 5 Tips »

By Corey O'Donnell

Franchises are different. They are not like the monolithic enterprise businesses with centralized decision-making and abundant resources, nor are they a series of related small businesses. In a franchise business, the decisions, financing, and implementation of business decisions are shared or distributed between the members of the network. To function effectively, franchisors and franchisees must collaborate, but facilitating this communication between franchisors and franchisees presents a major challenge. It's the space between the franchisor and franchisees - the communication, data, and decision-making gap - that must be overcome for a franchise to succeed.

When it comes to marketing, this is further complicated by the addition of dozens of new channels, technologies, and tactics...

Feature Story:

CMO Roundtable: Using Technology In Its Marketing Effort »

Franchise Update

"How is your brand using technology in its marketing efforts to target and reach customers more effectively?"


Whitney Samuelson,Maid Brigade
Director of Marketing

Over the past several years, we have seen traditional marketing methods decline in effectiveness and increase the cost of acquiring new customers. In the past we were able to send out a direct mail piece or run an ad in the Yellow Pages and customers would come calling. Unfortunately this is no longer the case.

Feature Story:

The Maids: The Brand Culture Starts At The Top »

By Amy Olson

We asked Amy Olson, vice president of customer experience/marketing for The Maids about the role that the brand's culture plays in creating, framing, and developing its brand message/image to customers. Here's what she had to say.

The Maids has more than 30 years of experience in the highly competitive residential cleaning industry. We know well the importance and challenges of differentiating our brand in the market, and how important culture is in conveying and creating a positive overall brand experience. Personifying the brand culture starts at the top through executive and franchisee leadership.

The personalities of the brand we strive to convey through our culture are professionalism and being detail-oriented, friendly, and considerate...

Feature Story:

5 Tips For Improving Franchise Marketing System-Wide »

By Corey O'Donnel

Franchises are different. They are not like the monolithic enterprise businesses with centralized decision-making and abundant resources, nor are they a series of related small businesses. In a franchise business, the decisions, financing, and implementation of business decisions are shared or distributed between the members of the network. To function effectively, franchisors and franchisees must collaborate, but facilitating this communication between franchisors and franchisees presents a major challenge. It's the space between the franchisor and franchisees - the communication, data, and decision-making gap - that must be overcome for a franchise to succeed.

When it comes to marketing, this is further complicated by the addition of dozens of new channels, technologies, and tactics...

Feature Story:

2014 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference: If You'Re Not Green And Growing, You'Re Ripe And Rotting »

By Kerry Pipes & Eddy Goldberg

Consumer marketing changes constantly--no news there. Keeping up is another story. Tactics and thinking that were progressive and results-oriented yesterday are passé and ineffective today. To make matters worse, franchisors are also battling an increasing glut of media channels, confusing new technologies, and competition from all sides. No one understands these challenges better than the franchise CMOs and marketing executives on the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference's advisory board, who deal with them every day.
The board took all these challenges--and more--into account when they developed the theme of this year's conference: "Change: The New Marketing Currency." The fourth annual conference, held in June at Atlanta's InterContinental Buckhead Hotel, attracted top franchise marketing executives for two days of jam-packed education, sharing, and networking, all seeking to gain an edge on their competition and learn about the latest strategies and techniques in the world of consumer marketing...

Feature Story:

Claiming Your Share: Popeyes' Turnaround In A No-Growth World »

By Jack Mackey

Growing franchisee profitability usually requires growing the top line, as well as controlling costs. With no rising economic tide to lift all boats, the way to grow sales is to take share from the competition.
This makes sense because most people you think of as "your" customers are also customers of your competitors. If you are franchising restaurants, "your" customers' total spend on eating out is much more than their total spend on eating out with your franchisees. You just get a very small sliver of the customer pie.
But you can increase your share by being different, better, and more desirable to customers. To put a finer point on that growth formula, it looks like this:
Unique offerings + marketing and design that distinguish the brand + guest-focused operations = a growing brand that creates legions of loyalists and generates great wealth...

Feature Story:

Going Mobile: Help Your Customers Spend With Mobile Apps »

By Tom Epstein

According to the National Restaurant Association:

Feature Story:

How To Buy Print Advertising For Maximum Results »

By Steve Olson

Magazines, newspapers, direct mail, billboards, and other print media have been the backbone of business-to-business and consumer marketing for centuries. Kicking back and reading a magazine in the comfort of our home, office, or a coffeehouse or on the beach, airplane, train, or bus is a personal experience that can never be replaced. We aren't interested in skipping about on a computer, or we just don't have one at our fingertips. Print is portable, tangible, and easy on the eyes. The convenience of print and a more captive mindset provide strong advertising opportunities to reach franchise prospects, opportunities that should never be abandoned for the flash of electronic media.

Here are some quick tips that will help you make better decisions when purchasing print advertising:

Feature Story:

Revolutionary Marketing: Schlotzsky's Brand And Sales Revolve Around Its Guests »

By Kerry Pipes

As 2014 dawned, Mark Mears stepped into the C-suite at Austin-based Schlotzsky's to lead the brand's marketing initiatives. By all indications, it's been a great move.
As CMO, Mears oversees the direction of the brand's marketing division, including the strategic management of Schlotzsky's marketing and creative services departments, along with directing brand promotions, advertising, creative design, menu tests, and other initiatives.
Mears, with nearly three decades of experience in QSR, fast casual, casual, and premium casual, is a visionary business leader with a track record of building system value and driving innovation at high-profile brands.
He came to Schlotzsky's from Mimi's Cafe, where as president and chief concept officer he led the brand through a repositioning strategy, related menu optimization, and new concept development...

Feature Story:

CMO Profile: Mark Mears, Schlotzsky's »

By Kerry Pipes

As CMO at Austin-based Schlotzsky's, Mark Mears oversees the direction of the brand's marketing division, including the strategic management of its marketing and creative services departments, along with directing brand promotions, advertising, creative design, menu tests, and other initiatives.

Mears came on board as CMO in January 2014. With nearly three decades of experience in QSR, fast casual, casual, and premium casual, he is a visionary business leader with a track record of building system value and driving innovation at high-profile brands.

He came to Schlotzsky's from Mimi's Cafe where, as president and chief concept officer, he led the brand through a repositioning strategy, related menu optimization, and new concept development...

Feature Story:

Breaking Through The Clutter: Reach Local Customers More Effectively »

By William Rodriguez

There's a lot of competition out there. And, as the economy continues to show signs of improvement, new franchises are entering the marketplace while existing brands open new stores or add new service providers.

While this growth is certainly positive, many of us are noting an almost opposite trend in our customers. We may be giving them more options, but their waning attention spans and "get-it-now" mentalities make it even more challenging for us to actually get their business.

How to break through the competitive clutter with your advertising message? Reach your customers where they are - and inspire them to move to where you'd like them to be.

Location, location, location
Successful businesses use geotargeting to deliver promotional messages that resonate with their unique demographic niches...

Feature Story:

2013 Annual Payments Review: Digging Into Trends And Looking Ahead »

By Tom Epstein

For the third consecutive year, FPN is reviewing the previous year's sales trends in the franchise space. While not encompassing all of franchising, FPN does have real data on the 150-plus franchise systems that endorse us for our various products and services, which gives us a good snapshot of trends in franchising and the economy in general.
In a year when the economy has been sputtering along with sales fairly flat, the holiday sales period was critical, as always, to merchants looking to end the year strong. November saw same-store sales growth of 4.5 percent over 2012, but in December that gain dropped to 2.9 percent over 2012.
Black Friday got things moving on a positive note, with most analysts reporting in the +3.4 percent area over 2012...


Learn More

Powerhouse Women    

Franchise Update Magazine »

Issue I, 2015


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