Covid Accelerates Franchising's Adoption of Marketing Technologies, Part 2
As franchisees seek more support for marketing to drive ROI on the local level, martech solutions provide both abundant opportunities and challenges.
“When you are interacting with consumers where they are, which is all-digital now, the emphasis on consistency and brand support gets bigger, but our budgets don’t,” says Katherine LeBlanc, chief marketing officer at Twist Brands, parent of Painting with a Twist—as well as the 140-unit Color Me Mine brand and supplier Chesapeake Ceramics, both acquired in November 2020.
Painting with a Twist, with nearly 300 studios open or in development, was built primarily through grassroots marketing, but has shifted its focus to a primarily digital approach. Customers already comfortable making studio reservations online quickly embraced the brand’s rollout of Twist at Home kits, which are available for pickup or shipping through a newly launched e-commerce site from the paint-and-sip franchise.
“For us, it’s all about automation,” says LeBlanc. “How do we create more automation for franchisees to be streamlined and run their business on the technology side, and how do we create a more streamlined and friction-free experience for consumers on the marketing side?”
Consistency and frequency are everything, she says. Along with a traditional enterprise email marketing system and new strategies to efficiently boost its media mix, the addition of Canva, a graphic design platform, has been a difference-maker. Using Canva, franchisees can create and customize marketing for a local feel that remains brand consistent.
Multi-location businesses with an optimized localized marketing strategy grew revenue at a rate up to three times that of their peers, even during the pandemic, according to the newly released 3rd annual Localized Marketing Benchmark Report. The study, from Localogy and SOCi, reported that businesses that “fully leveraged their localized business presence across top social and search sites experienced higher levels of visibility and performance compared to the average multi-location business.”
The Moran Family of Brands moved to a digital local advertising approach a few years ago, which has helped franchisees stretch their marketing budgets. The automotive franchisor recently switched over to SOCi’s all-in-one marketing platform to manage social media, ratings, and reviews and keep tabs on competitors of its seven brands.
Using data to personalize, tailor, and adjust local advertising is bolstering franchisee buy-in, says Amanda Maquet, director of marketing for the company.
“The biggest result is that we’ve had franchisees stay consistently on a marketing program because they’re able to see the return on their investment,” she says. “They’re happy because they know it’s working, whereas before a lot of franchisees were left in the dark. They only got to see the data up to two clicks or up to two leads, and they never were able to see beyond that. So whenever they had a slow period or a slow week, they blamed it on marketing.”
After months of operating in survival mode, marketing leaders in 2021 expect to focus on online growth and making the most of existing martech solutions to drive traffic, engage customers, and optimize their online experience.
Capriotti’s uses EOS’s Traction business system to strategically develop, organize, and prioritize resources and short- and long-term plans. The next 5 to 10 years will be “super interesting, and our mission is to be on the forward edge of it,” says Bloom. “We are living in the age of convergence.”
With the arrival of 5G, existing technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, big data, and embedded sensors will have the potential to be integrated into game-changing technologies that can provide a clear ROI and add value to any brand.
“While there’s been a crazy amount of destruction and disruption going on, it’s also creating a tremendous amount of opportunity,” says Bloom. “I don’t think there has ever been a more exciting—and maybe scary—time, but there’s never been a bigger inflection point. I think the gap between the haves and the have-nots is going to get bigger and bigger.”
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