Franchise Consumer Marketers Gather in Atlanta at the 2018 FCMC
Freshly back from last week's annual Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference in Atlanta, and it was great - great to hear the speakers and panelists, great to see familiar faces and so many new ones, great to see the latest in consumer marketing technology and services, and great to hear from attendees how much value they were finding during the 2½-day event.
The focus this year revolved around the brand promise and purpose: developing it, spreading it through the system from top to bottom, and maintaining it as the brand grows over time. In fact, one of the opening workshops on Tuesday morning was exactly that: "Develop a Brand Promise and Purpose." The other was "Mapping the Customer Journey."
Following lunch in the Sponsor Networking Gallery, keynote speaker Anders Sörman-Nilsson, an innovation strategist and futurist, delivered a lively, engaging presentation about the state of technology and consumer trends and where it all likely is headed. (If you've never heard a Swedish-Australian accent, check out his TED talk.)
Next up was a fast-paced general session panel, "Build Sales Overnight and Brand Over Time," led by Rocco Fiorentino, CEO of Prime Hoagies. Panelists were Rich Hope, CMO at Jersey Mike's; Dave Randall, senior manager, marketing strategy and analysis at Great Clips; Jodie Conrad, VP of marketing at Fazoli's; and Kyle Noonan, founder and co-CEO of Free Range Concepts.
An early evening welcome reception in the Sponsor Networking Gallery was followed by a special event for first-time franchisor attendees, who met with Advisory Board members and made new connections with them, as well as with one another.
Wednesday began with a welcome from Conference Chair Terri Snyder, EVP and CMO of Checkers & Rally's, who introduced the morning's general session, "Guarantee Delivery of Brand Promises." For this to permeate the entire brand and its culture, this includes employees, franchisors, and other stakeholders. Three concurrent breakout sessions filled out the morning: "Bring Your Promise to Life in Franchise Development" (Deliver Promises Track); "Smartphones and Today's Consumer" (Technology Track); and "Lead Attribution for Effective Buys" (Media Track).
After lunch, Dan Santy and Adam Pierno of Santy Marketing squared off in a mock battle of "Digital vs. Traditional Media." One of the big takeaways was the difference in perception vs. reality regarding the effectiveness of one vs. the other: while digital is perceived as more effective, it turns out traditional media (especially television!) is more effective at reaching consumers. They look forward to the development of better ways to measure TV, radio, and print.
Three more concurrent sessions followed: "Marketing Team - Staff Today for Tomorrow's Needs" (Deliver Promises Track); "Innovative Tools for Marketing Support" (Technology Track); and "Build Your Budget To Meet the Customer's Changing Consumption" (Media Track).
Wrapping up the day was a sparkling keynote from sales and customer service expert and author Scott McKain. With the aid of his news anchor voice, a creative set of stories and slides, and experience working with brands all over the world, he guided attendees through roundtable exercises built on his "Four Cornerstones of Distinction."
The Networking Reception and Dinner at Maggiano's Little Italy put a festive close on the day as attendees unwound and got to know one another in a less business-like setting.
Thursday morning's Closing Workshop, "Deliver on Your Promised Executional Plan," was to help attendees wrap the previous 2 days into a plan they could put into action as soon as they returned home. Led by Art Coley, founder of CGI, attendees split into groups to brainstorm on the tools and tactics they'd need to implement real change in the coming year.
Next year's FCMC will be June 17-19, 2019 in Atlanta at the InterContinental in Buckhead.
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