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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:

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...

Feature Story:

CMO Roundtable: The Role Of Diversity Inside Your Marketing Department »

Franchise Update

Discuss the role of diversity inside your marketing department and in your marketing strategies.

Annica Kreider
VP of Brand Development
Mellow Mushroom
Marketing to a diverse consumer base is something that we not only discuss often among our team, but that we also embrace internally from a talent management standpoint. From a leadership perspective I’m a huge believer in having a very diverse team in terms of demographics, psychographics, and lifestyle. If everyone on a team looks alike, dresses alike, and does the same things on the weekend I think you’re really missing the boat in terms of creativity and brand advancement.
With most elements of our creative we like to push the envelope and be as provocative, interesting, and engaging as we can...

Feature Story:

The Power Of Where: Location Analytics Boosts Customer Visits »

By Jack Mackey

Do you know how often consumers pass by your competitors' locations to visit you? Wouldn't it be great to know where and when consumers bypass your stores or restaurants to visit a competitor? Think about how much it would help to also know the why behind this consumer behavior. In 2014, you can gain this new knowledge about your customers to get a competitive edge.
Three converging trends enable you to better understand your current customers, and even to connect with non-customers you want to attract. First, a huge and ever-growing number of consumers carry smartphones with built-in global positioning systems (GPS). Second, many of them are willing to share their GPS data in exchange for a reward from retail or restaurant operators...

Feature Story:

Building "America's Diner": Frances Allen Strives To Make Denny's Vision Real »

By Kerry Pipes

Frances Allen is no stranger to big brands. Over the past 25 years, she's logged successful stints as a senior marketing executive at Dunkin' Donuts, Sony Ericsson, PepsiCo, and Frito-Lay. During that time she has spearheaded brand repositioning initiatives, led new product introduction strategies, and launched expansion into international markets.
Now, as executive vice president and chief brand officer for Denny's since July 2010, Allen is responsible for the overall direction of the brand's marketing strategies and initiatives, positioning, advertising campaigns, menu development, and restaurant image.?One of her core tasks has been to lead the implementation of the company's "America's Diner" campaign, an effort to reposition the brand to reflect its roots and connect with guests...

Feature Story:

CMO Roundtable: Measuring The Effectiveness Of Your Brand's Consumer Marketing Efforts »

Franchise Update

What are some of the ways you measure the effectiveness of your brand's consumer marketing efforts?

Jason Smylie
Capriotti's Sandwich Shop

One of the most widely influential business thinkers, Peter Drucker, once said, "What gets measured, gets managed."
This sage advice applies to every field, but often is tricky for marketers. Many people are under the assumption that marketing is an intangible field where results are esoteric and unidentifiable. With so many variables affecting customer traffic, how are we to know whether it is a marketing campaign that is making a difference or something as simple as a sunny day? Operators too often analyze a marketing campaign's success by how it felt, rather than looking at data...

Feature Story:

Alternative Payments Are Expanding: New Developments Are Changing How Customers Pay »

By Tom Epstein

There has never been a time where the nature of commerce is changing as rapidly as it is today. Technology been moving at blazing speed, not only around mobile payments and tablet-based POS systems, but also in the very payment types now available. No longer is it just cash, check, or charge. A quick look at our data and projections about those payment types points to a 10-year trend showing major shifts since 2006 (all numbers are in billions of transactions):

Feature Story:

Franchise Development In 2014: Show Candidates You "Get" Online »

By Tim Johnson

Online reviews, smartphones, and social media are not passing fads. Can they be useful to your franchise recruiting and development efforts? Or are these things just distractions from the true work of sales and recruiting, and best left to the marketing department?

We believe that effective management of your online presence, including social media, is a critical component of your franchise development strategy. Why? Because there is no better way to illustrate that your organization knows how to get found and manage customers at the local level, where it really counts.

Gathering customer insight has traditionally been a marketing function, but your franchise development team cannot afford to be out of the loop in regard to socially driven customer intelligence...

Feature Story:

Marketo Report: The Definitive Guide To Lead Generation »

By Eddy Goldberg

Ever wish you knew everything there was to know about lead generation in the age of social media marketing? Here's your opportunity to take a giant step in that direction with a 160-page report on the subject from Marketo.

The free, downloadable report is chock-full with a rich mix of information in the form of graphs, charts, tables, stats, studies, checklists, how-to's, and bright, playful graphics that make it easy on both the eye and the brain. In fact, its clever design and presentation itself can serve as a model for how to present information effectively.

Lead generation strategies discussed in "The Definitive Guide to Marketing" include the following:

Feature Story:

Just Say The Word: Here's An Inexpensive To Drive Exponential Growth »

By Jack Mackey

A McKinsey Quarterly Report shows that positive word of mouth has more than twice the impact of traditional advertising. For example, research by McKinsey showed that just one (free) episode of positive word of mouth can generate $200 in additional sales at a restaurant. It also turns out that personal recommendation is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions--and that its influence is greatest when consumers are buying a product for the first time.
There are two reasons word of mouth is so much more powerful than paid advertising. The first is trust. We tend to believe recommendations from people we know. We trust friends, acquaintances, and colleagues not just because we know them, but because they have no financial incentive or ulterior motive to try to influence us...

Feature Story:

Loyalty On The Go: Boost Unit Revenue With Mobile Loyalty Programs »

By Tom Epstein

Technology in the mobile space is moving at blazing speed. Normally, franchise systems tend to run a bit behind the curve when it comes to new technology, but not so in the loyalty space. We are seeing some brands get extremely aggressive with new technology, but it does not always seem to deliver the results they are looking for.
More often than not, franchisors may not even know what the results are, as there are challenges tracking the ROI on these campaigns. Most of the latest and coolest-looking technology in the space has not been integrated with existing technology, making tracking the results of a campaign difficult at best.
I have seen many of these new, cool technology platforms come along, but at the end of the day they are engaging between only 1 and 5 percent of a brand's total customer base and are not really driving any new ones in...

Feature Story:

The "Participation Economy": Work With Millennials Just As You Would Market To Them »

By Jeff Fromm

Franchisees are looking hard at how to recruit and retain Millennial employees. The oldest Millennials are in their mid-30s (born in 1977 and 1978) and have been a part of the workforce for more than a decade. The youngest, though, are still a few years away from working age. The group in the middle (late teens to mid-20s) is the one that many franchise companies have working on their front lines.
So what's the best way to work with this group, which is becoming increasingly more powerful in the workforce? The same way you should market to them: embrace the Millennial-inspired "participation economy."

What is the participation economy?
The participation economy developed because Millennials want to be active participants, not passive consumers...

Learn More

Tune Up Your Team    

Franchise Update Magazine »

Issue III, 2014

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