Trust A Partner With Your Franchise Marketing, Not A Vendor
It’s not uncommon for franchises to struggle with finding the right marketing fit.
In-house solutions can be a great way to cut costs and keep things close to the chest. Choosing an agency is another great option, though that route comes with its own potential pitfalls.
Your company’s advertising arm should understand the way a franchising system works, top-to-bottom. They should have the experience necessary to address all needs from the C-suite to the local level. They must share the same vision as your company, to ensure a customer’s experience in Phoenix is the same as it is in Philadelphia. You need a marketing partner that gets you and your business, rather than simply another vendor that doesn’t.
Franchise world, you should meet full-service advertising agency, MGH. Chances are, the Baltimore-based business would love to meet you.
Entering its 24th year, MGH has established itself as a leading franchise and multi-location agency for companies across the country. Its current client roster includes Great American Cookies, Marble Slab Creamery, Round Table Pizza, Hot Dog on a Stick, and Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls — a collection of brands with locations ranging from six to 440.
Along the way, MGH helped grow national brand staples like Marco’s Pizza, ZIPS Dry Cleaners, Weight Watchers, The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille, and Papa John’s Pizza — a partnership that recognized MGH as “Agency of the Year” two separate times.
“We don’t shy away from brands with limited locations, and we’re not tied to one specific industry,” said MGH co-founder and CEO Andy Malis, whose rich history, as a regional marketing director supporting franchises at the local store level, has benefited the agency since its start. “What’s important is that you have the structure to be a great partner and that we can grow together. That’s why some of our current clients have been with us for a decade or longer.”
It’s true. At a time when moving from agency to agency after only a few months of work has become a standard practice, MGH has maintained relationships that span more than a decade.
The agency has grown from its humble roots at Malis’ kitchen table to one of Ad Age’s 2019 Best Places to Work.
Once just a traditional media buying agency, MGH now offers a wide array of services, including social media, public relations, digital marketing, and web development. The results? Several American Advertising Federation’s National ADDY Awards, including a Gold National ADDY awarded for a two-page print ad that MGH created for OLD BAY’s 75th anniversary.
Today, a heavier digital emphasis has been placed on franchise marketing, and MGH has more than kept pace. With locations to watch coast-to-coast, a consistent digital and social media presence — and a larger, laser-like focus on community and reputation management — is crucial to the continued success of every brand.
MGH has not only grown the followings of its current client roster on important platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It also serves as a first responder for its clients, using approved crisis communications messaging to respond to social media feedback and criticism, and ensuring that issues are taken offline to better serve both the customer and the brand.
“Things can change very quickly with social media and reviews,” CMO and social media marketing director Ryan Goff said. “Maintaining a uniform implementation of these practices is an essential function of an agency partner in 2019, especially for franchises.”
Beyond managing a client’s social standing, keeping a keen eye on both industry-specific trends and opportunities for MGH’s franchise clients to introduce technological advancements — is a point of pride for the agency.
Marrying search engine optimization with voice-driven products like Amazon Alexa, developing branded, smart camera filters that play with augmented reality for Facebook, and even using artificial intelligence for time-sensitive customer service responses online are just a few ways MGH has stayed ahead of the game. It’s what has helped its clients maintain success.
Strategic thinking should be highly valued when choosing an advertising partner. Whether your franchise marketing team features five employees, or 50, it’s important that its agency be comprised of quick, thoughtful, and data-driven professionals who plan to immerse themselves in the fabric of your company. And if something isn’t as successful as it could be, the hope is that both parties learn from it.
MGH takes it a step further. With the company motto, “Great ideas come together,” it’s easy to see why Malis’ business is thriving nearly a quarter-century after it started. It’s a team effort in Owings Mills, Md.
Just as it’s important for franchise companies to be in-sync at all levels of the company, MGH knows it’s only as smart as the sum of its parts.
“An idea can only get better when it’s shared, challenged and built upon,” Malis said. “Over the years, we’re proud to have helped shape the way our franchise clients told their stories because each one of our employees are part of those stories as well.”
If you’re in the market for a new advertising, PR, social media, or web design partner for your franchise in 2019, call Andy Malis at 410-902-5012, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit mghus.com.
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