Challenge the Pros: Using Big Data in Your Franchisee Recruitment
How are you using big data and other technologies in your franchisee recruitment?
Chief Development Officer
The data available through today's manifold third-party resources and related technologies is now required to inform and guide our decisions at every step of the lifecycle of our franchise owners. These decisions include franchise development, real estate and site selection, competitive and consumer trends, marketing messaging, media channel selection, marketing ROI analysis, and everything from menu and pricing management to employee productivity.
As a brand, Capriotti's has invested and continues to invest heavily to ensure that we have access to all of the best internal and external data resources, technology platforms, and tools, along with third-party consultants and analysts. The day when a brand could manage and ensure its competitive advantage simply by leveraging internal resources, tools, and analytics are long gone. To lead and ensure the future success of the business model and brand, we now need to align ourselves with the best thinkers, platforms, and analysts in each discipline that aligns with our business. Our commitment to providing the required financial resources, best-in-class personnel, and thought leadership within this area is foundational to the long-term success of our brand and our owners.
To be able to meet and exceed the standards mentioned above, Capriotti's uses many platforms. For the real estate and development teams, we leverage Restaurant Trends competitive intelligence data, Piinpoint mapping to visualize trends for expansion and provide actionable insights, along with Birchwood demographics and site section predictive indexing, and Mastercard consumer purchase data. Internally, we employ Service Management Group's consumer surveys of our customer base to benchmark ourselves against the competition and our own brand standards.
We also use the full suite of NCR restaurant and data management tools and the full suite of FranConnect Sky franchise lifecycle management software. On the marketing and media analytics and consulting support side of the business, we employ a variety of PR firms to manage our social platforms and provide digital content and brand awareness. Capriotti's also has three different digital marketing and media firms and platforms targeted toward specific audiences and media channels, SEO tools, and PPC ROI analytics. Last, we use creative and media buying agencies, brand-building experts, and restaurant-specific consulting groups in the areas of design, menu management, operational efficiency, and benchmarking our financial performance.
Chief Development Officer
Today, growing a franchise network is a much more complex challenge than just running ads, attending franchise business shows, cold calling, and ultimately hoping for the best. With the wide range of franchising opportunities available today, there no longer is a one-size-fits-all approach. Aligning potential business investors and franchise operators with the right brand is critical to the initial sale of the franchise--and the overall long-term success of the organization.
So how can a franchisor accomplish that? It begins with research. A wealth of data is available that can be analyzed collectively to unveil market opportunities we might not have seen previously. Understanding how to evaluate all of that data requires analytical modeling and forecasting, and we've expanded our capabilities in that area to be able to fully leverage this information, with in-depth data analytics now a fundamental part of our business strategy. We look at driving trends across U.S. markets, accident and vehicle maintenance data, population forecasts and market growth patterns, fuel prices, age of vehicles on the road, new vehicle sales reports, consumer confidence reports, and more.
We also apply that technology-based approach to better understanding potential investors and business partners. Once we understand a market's opportunities, we perform a thorough data analysis on how that market is currently served and what the future might hold. Is a new neighborhood developing? How can we develop local partnerships to become part of the fabric of that neighborhood? We are now able, through our data, to determine who might be the best partner for that market and create a unique opportunity aligned for their growth and investment goals. Or, if a region is experiencing substantial growth, we can develop distinctive territories based on analysis of market data to harness the potential of that future DMA for a major investor.
None of this was possible 10 years ago. As data has become more available over the past few years, it requires a sophisticated approach to aggregate all of that information in an understandable format that can provide a clear view of a market's opportunity and understanding of the business partners and investors best suited for it. But advanced data isn't the only solution for successful franchise growth. It still requires people who can connect with potential partners and build that vision together. The data only makes that connection more dynamic and powerful.
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