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Q2 | 2016




MARKETING From four walls to the world

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Going Social

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Founder Profile ISSUE II 2016

MOD Pizza’s Ally Svenson built her own brand!


20 16 Franchise

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Q2 | 2016

4 From the Editor’s Desk Where are your customers?

Leadership 6 8 Founder Profile: Ally Svenson, MOD Pizza She found a niche and filled it! 12 Anatomy of a Brand How Arby’s reinvigorated its brand 16 PR Firms Find the best PR partners to suit your changing needs 18 Customer Service Leadership sets the tone for employees’ service aptitude

Consumer Marketing 66 24 Social Studies How 3 top marketers are using social media to build their brand 26 Neighborhood Marketing Doing it right: from 4 walls to 4 blocks to 4 miles 28 Marketing Tactics Customers: bring ’em in, keep ’em in, reward ’em! 30 Supplier Spotlight Hot Dish Advertising builds partnerships with its clients 32 CMO Q&A Stacey Kane, CMO at East Coast Wings & Grill, brings an operator’s mindset to marketing 34 CMO Roundtable “Your media strategy and plan is complete and now it’s time to execute. What steps do you take to ensure each layer of your media plan is carried out effectively?” 36 Sales Strategy How to use “retail theater” to compete in an online, e-tail world 38 Millennials Learn 3 ways to improve the all-important customer experience

Growing Your System 74 56 Franchise Development Developing a strong online presence is critical to success 58 Challenge the Pros “How do you choose the right marketing media to reach your ideal candidates, and how often should you communicate with them?” 59 Challenge the Pros II “How do you use social media to attract prospects and validate candidates?” 60 Sales Smarts The 4 types of “Aha!” moments your sales team should know 61 Market Trends Bank underwriting is changing – and to compete, so must brands 62 International Consumer marketing trends worldwide shine a light on U.S. practices 64 It’s Closing Time Give back, get back: 3 stories of community involvement 2

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Fromtheeditor’sdesk BY KERRY PIPES

Franchise update|Q2 CHAIRMAN Gary Gardner CEO Therese Thilgen

Where Are Your Customers?


arketing is at the very core of what a brand is and does. The right combination of marketing tools allows brands to create consumer awareness and identify and recruit qualified prospects. However, today’s seemingly endless number of channels, media, and platforms has made brand marketing difficult to orchestrate, execute, and measure. In today’s fragmented marketplace, choosing the perfect set of tools and channels poses a greater challenge every year. That’s why we’ve devoted this issue to marketing: online or in-store, mobile or bricks-and-mortar, in-house or third party, consumer or franchisee. You’ll find timetested tactics, strategies, and insights—along with innovative ideas—from brands that are using them every day in the field, from third-party experts, and from marketing executives at franchise brands who are pushing the envelope every day, with each campaign. Whether it’s getting the most from traditional channels (print, radio, TV, PR, and trade shows) or online platforms (websites, portals, pay-per-click, sponsored content, social media, and mobile), a growing array of marketing tools is available to brands today. The trick, of course, is to match them with your goals. Seasoned marketing veterans have learned it’s imperative to have a clear definition of their target audience, from their buying habits to their thoughts and motivations. What makes someone check out your brand? What makes someone choose your brand? And, perhaps most critical, what makes them come back or tell their friends? And with the growth of mobile devices, it’s not only who they are, but where they are. I was struck by a comment from Valerie Kinney, vice president of marketing at CertaPro Painters, in our story about social media. “For us, it’s all about where our customers are. We aren’t going into channels where our customers don’t exist,” she said. And while she is always willing to innovate or test different channels, “It’s simply that we only have limited time and resources, so we need to stay focused on where our customers are consuming social media.” Choosing the right instruments and making them work together is a tall order, but it can—and must—be done to win the battle for mindshare, whether at the consumer level or for franchisee recruitment. Sometimes that means keeping all marketing functions in-house, and sometimes it means working with outside partners. While the larger brands can hire the firepower to do it all themselves, most brands choose a combination of both. Says Wendy Odell Magus, vice president of marketing at Kiddie Academy, “Our in-house team knows the brand and our franchisees. The agency staff helps scale our outreach. This hybrid model allows us to scale up efforts without adding a lot of salary and overhead to our organization.” So whether you’re doing it yourself, hiring out, or both, you’ll find a lot to learn in the following pages. n


EXECUTIVE VP OPERATIONS Sue Logan EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Diane Phibbs VICE PRESIDENT BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Barbara Yelmene BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVES Jeff Katis Judy Reichman EXECUTIVE EDITOR Kerry Pipes MANAGING EDITOR Eddy Goldberg CREATIVE DIRECTOR Peter Tucker DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY Benjamin Foley WEB DEVELOPER Don Rush WEB PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Esther Foley TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Juliana Foley MANAGER, SOCIAL MEDIA Cheryl Ryan SENIOR SALES, EVENT & OPERATIONS SUPPORT MANAGER Sharon Wilkinson SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER, MEDIA AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Christa Pulling MARKETING ASSISTANT, SPEAKER LIAISON Katy Geller FRANCHISEE LIAISON, SUPPORT COORDINATOR Leticia Pascal CREATIVE PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Phi Le VIDEO PRODUCTION MANAGER Wesley Deimling CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Jim Bender John DiJulius William Edwards Tom Feltenstein Keith Gerson Darrell Johnson Tim Johnson Steve Olson Adam Pierno CONTRIBUTING WRITER Helen Bond ADVERTISING AND EDITORIAL OFFICES Franchise Update Media 6489 Camden Avenue, Suite 204 San Jose, CA 95120 Telephone: 408-402-5681 Fax: 408-402-5738 SEND ARTICLE INQUIRIES TO: Franchise UPDATE magazine is published four times annually. Annual subscription rate is $39.95 (U.S.) SUBSCRIPTIONS or call 408-402-5681 REPRINTS Foster Printing at 800-382-0808

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8 Founder Profile: Ally Svenson, MOD Pizza She found a niche and filled it!

12 Anatomy of a Brand

How Arby’s reinvigorated its brand

16 PR Firms

Find the best PR partners to suit your changing needs

18 Customer Service Leadership sets the tone for employees’ service aptitude


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Founder Profile



She saw a need and created a brand (twice!)


lly Svenson, co-founder of MOD Pizza with her husband Scott, is no stranger to starting and growing a business. When she lived in London in the 1990s, she missed her Seattle coffee—so they founded Seattle Coffee Company in the U.K., eventually selling it to Starbucks. Back home in Seattle she searched for “fast, affordable, real” food for her on-the-go family of four active boys. Not finding anything that met her expectations, she and Scott founded fast casual brand MOD Pizza in 2008. Today, with more than 100 locations, the dynamic duo is set to go back across the pond to the U.K., part of their plan to open more than 100 new stores per year. As the saying goes, “If you see a niche, fill it.”

STARTING OUT What inspired you to start your business? Scott and I have four active boys and we are always shuttling them around to sports practices and other activities. Like so many busy families, we struggled NAME: Ally Svenson TITLE: Co-Founder, Head of Brand BRAND: MOD Pizza SYSTEM-WIDE REVENUE: $60+ million (2015) NO. OF UNITS: 16 franchised, 108 company-owned INTERNATIONAL UNITS: None, expanding into the U.K. in 2016 GROWTH PLANS: Open 100+ stores annually for the foreseeable future PUBLIC OR PRIVATE? Private YEAR COMPANY FOUNDED: 2008 YEAR STARTED FRANCHISING: 2013 YEARS IN FRANCHISING: 3


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Founder Profile

to find options for fast, affordable, real food while on the go. We saw a need that we were sure was shared by other families like ours, and we were inspired to offer pizza in a way that no one had before. Once we launched MOD in 2008, our employees and communities really started to embrace our brand, and we have all become quite motivated to share the MOD culture in new communities throughout the country. What’s the best and worst advice you got when starting out? The worst advice was probably hearing, years ago, that if nobody else was doing it, it probably won’t work. One of my favorite bits of advice is that you can’t do everything, but you can do anything. What has been the best and the hardest thing about being an entrepreneur? When we started our first business, Seattle Coffee Company in the U.K., we both left our stable jobs and jumped into the world of entrepreneurship—so exhilarating, yet terrifying at the same time. At that point, failure was not an option. With so much at stake, this can be one of the most difficult parts of the journey. The pressure can feel immense. However, it taught us how incredible things can be accomplished when you decide failure is off the table. Seeing your vision become a reality and then watching it grow beyond your wildest expectations is the best part of the entrepreneurial journey. And growing a business is a journey, so it is important to stop and enjoy it along the way! What were you doing before this and how did it prepare you for starting your business? In the ’90s Scott and I founded Seattle Coffee Company in the U.K. We had been living and working in London, and I spent a lot of time yearning for the coffee experience we had back in Seattle. After bemoaning the fact for several years, we decided to take the plunge and do it ourselves. I left my job in publishing and we opened the first Seattle Coffee Company location in Covent Garden in London in 1995. Scott and I built the brand, slowly, from scratch and grew to 69 locations throughout the U.K. We were preparing to take the company public when we were approached by Starbucks,

“Seeing your vision become a reality and then watching it grow beyond your wildest expectations is the best part of the entrepreneurial journey.” which acquired our business in 1998. We remained involved with Starbucks for a couple of years before returning to Seattle. Just before starting MOD with Scott, I was busy raising our four boys, along with being involved in multiple community organizations. The year before we started MOD, Scott and I were deeply involved with Hopelink, an amazing organization based in the Seattle area that assists families in crisis and gets them on the road to achieving self-sufficiency through various services and programs. It was one of the most inspiring and eye-opening years of our lives, and it certainly affected our decisions when building MOD. We knew that we wanted to build a company that makes a positive difference in lives—for both our employees and the communities we serve. We also have been fortunate to have some amazing key employees and advisors who joined us and who have helped us tremendously along the way. MOD has taken on a life of its own, due largely to the incredible contributions and influences of many special people. Why did you choose franchising? Initially we weren’t considering franchising. But we were fortunate enough to have some incredibly experienced friends around us as we were building the business who advised us to take a serious look at it—guys like Paul Twohig (president of Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. and Canada, former SVP of Starbucks) and Jim Alling (CEO of TOMS Shoes, former president of Starbucks International). Once we knew that

the MOD concept was sustainable and scalable, we took our time to find the right leader for this part of our business, and we were lucky to have John Dikos join us as vice president, strategic partnerships. We knew we wanted to keep the number of franchise partners limited to all being able to sit around the table together. Second, we knew we would need strong philosophical alignment around what’s important to the MOD ethos and culture. Last, in 10 years, we would want each of them to say that partnering with MOD was the single best decision they made for their organizations. It’s a big goal, but something we think is achievable. Our partners we have helping us grow MOD are truly incredible. We spend as much time together as schedules allow, and we always enjoy seeing them. We were together here in Seattle just a month ago and it felt like family. We’re very fortunate to have each of them.

GROWING THE BRAND How did you grow the brand at first? What changed as you expanded? We consciously grew the brand very slowly in the first few years, taking time to fine-tune the concept and the customer experience. When we opened the first MOD, fast casual pizza did not exist. So not only were we building a new business, we were creating a new category. We were very committed to learning and understanding everything about the opportunity. Once we were sure the concept was valid, we began building our teams to support the rapid growth we are now undertaking. Today, seven and a half years later, we have many competitors and fast casual pizza is now one of the hottest concepts in fast casual dining. We are moving full steam ahead with our growth, both in the U.S. and internationally. Last year we grew from 31 locations to 92, and in 2016 we anticipate adding an additional 100 stores in the U.S. How did you transition from founding a brand to leading a brand? Scott leads our business on a day-to-day basis. My role is gatekeeper for the brand, and I try to make myself available to provide perspective, support, and advice for Scott and anyone in our organization as we continue to grow and evolve.

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Founder Profile

How would you describe your leadership style? I hope (and certainly aspire!) to be a servant-leader. My goal with MOD (and my family) is to help support the people around me to be the absolute best version of themselves.

PERSONAL What does your typical day look like? 6–8 a.m.: Up to prepare big breakfasts, lunches, sports bags for the three boys (our oldest is away at college) and drive carpools. 9 a.m.–2 p.m.: Meetings at the office or conference calls from home. My time is split between brand and marketing, PR, store design, meeting with potential candidates, and executive meetings. 3 p.m.: School pick-ups and sports drop-offs begin. 4 p.m.: Swing by MOD to pick up pizzas and salads and take a few moments to connect and catch up with the MOD Squads. 7 p.m.: Join Scott for the tail end of dinner meetings with new potential partners. 8:30 p.m.: Finish homework, start bedtime routines, try to wrap up unfinished business from the day. What are your top 5 favorite things to do? Be with my family, talking and connecting with a loved one or a dear friend, making a difference or helping someone, witnessing kindness, love. 3 key words to describe yourself: Grateful, caring, loved. How do you maintain a work/life balance? My greatest focus is to make sure that the people who are important to me know and feel how much I love them. Focusing on that dynamic helps me create my work/life balance. Are you involved in any female entrepreneur organizations? Not currently, but only because I don’t have enough hours right now between my work, family, and volunteer commitments. However, this is definitely something that I would love to commit to in the future—one in college, three to go! Was being female an advantage or disadvantage for you in building your company? How? I am a mother


“We knew that we wanted to build a company that makes a positive difference in lives—for both our employees and the communities we serve.”

LESSONS/ADVICE What in your opinion, is the key to your company’s success? Our people. That is our number-one focus and certainly our “secret sauce.” We know that if we take great care of our people, they will take care of our customers and the business will take care of itself. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned so far? Personally and professionally, it all comes down to the people you surround yourself with. At the end of the day, there is simply nothing more important than the people and relationships in your life.

of four active boys, so in many ways I am one of our target demographic. Having the lens of a working mom has been helpful as we’ve evolved the brand. I am also used to the world of juggling various deadlines and responsibilities. In many ways, MOD continues to feel like a family business, and Scott and I want to keep it that way. As a result, MOD has evolved into a lifestyle brand. Our boys and their friends act as a focus group for MOD on a regular basis!

If you could do one thing differently, what would it be? I feel so lucky and grateful for everything in my life. My only regret is not taking enough time to really slow down and enjoy important moments. I’m working on getting better at this now!

Have you found specific advantages or disadvantages to being a woman business owner? Our business has always been a “team effort” with many contributors. I feel lucky that I’ve been able to bring my perspective as a woman to the table, surrounded by many other perspectives. I believe our business (and every business, for that matter!) needs a female perspective. I also believe that MOD wouldn’t exist without Scott. We are a team!

What advice would you give to other women considering starting their own franchise brand? Make sure you care deeply about what you are doing and surround yourself with amazing people who inspire you. Remember, you can’t do everything, but you can do anything!

What has been your biggest challenge as a woman entrepreneur? Finding enough time each day to juggle the challenges and opportunities of work with the needs of our active family at home. What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace? Finding the right balance and coming to terms with the compromises required to strike this balance. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by a great and supportive network. The absence of this would really challenge my ability to make a mark at work.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given? Take time to enjoy the journey.

FUTURE GOALS What would you like to achieve in the next 5 years? Continue to prioritize and help MOD create as many great opportunities as possible for as many people as possible! What’s coming up that you’re excited about? We will be launching the MOD brand in the U.K. this year. Obviously, the U.K. holds a special place in our hearts, so this will be kind of a homecoming for us. And it will be exciting to go back to the place where we “cut our teeth” professionally, and where we found so much inspiration for the MOD brand. n

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THEY’VE GOT THE MEAT! How Arby’s reinvigorated its brand


rby’s has come a long way in the past few years. Over that time, the legacy brand has launched a series of innovative, meat-focused menu items, including the sizzling Brown Sugar Bacon sandwich lineup, the most successful limited-time offer platform of 2015. It was so tempting that we even created a “Vegetarian Support Hotline” for our non-carnivorous guests who were lured by the sandwich’s “meaty goodness.” This past year, we opened 69 new restaurants system-wide including 60 new restaurants in the U.S., the highest number since


2008, and we completed more than 175 remodels. In December, we were proud to reopen our doors in New York City after nearly a decade, just a few steps from Times Square. Adweek said it best: “If you haven’t been inside an Arby’s lately, you probably wouldn’t recognize the place.” This is what gets our guests in the door: a meat-focused menu, authentic marketing activations, and new restaurant design innovations. But what keeps guests coming back time and again? Here are the three lesser-known efforts that helped Arby’s rebuild its brand and thrive in the QSR industry:

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We equip In 2013, Arby’s instituted “Brand Champ” training for all of our team members, and this past year more than 70,000 employees (company and franchise) across the system experienced this key training initiative. Brand Champ is a half-day interactive learning and sharing experience where entire restaurant teams get together offsite. Our teams discuss thoughtful and creative ways to bring the brand to life and to “own” their role as brand ambassadors. In the spirit of personal development, we also spend significant time teaching them to be “Champions of their Lives” through the power of goal-setting while focusing on an important Arby’s core value: Dream Big. We empower Empowering our team members has brought big wins to Arby’s. For example, the idea behind a recent limited-time offer, the King’s Hawaiian Fish Deluxe sandwich, came directly from a front-line crew member in a franchised restaurant. The employee submitted his recipe for the sandwich through our “Hey Chef Neville!” internal sourcing program for culinary ideas. He was recognized on stage at our Worldwide Franchise Convention and received a scholarship award for his passion and creativity. The centerpiece of our empowerment strategy is our new “We Make It Right” guest experience program where every team member can honor a guest request or address an issue without having to ask

their manager. We’ve coupled that with a new guest experience measurement program to help us quickly identify areas of opportunity or reach out to our guests… often before they return home. This approach has been adopted throughout the entire system and is already helping to raise service levels by providing team members with the power and courage to “make it right.”

We engage When CEO Paul Brown took the helm in 2013, he immediately went on a crosscountry listening tour with franchisees and team members. His first objective was to find out what and how we felt about ourselves. The information gleaned from those meetings helped identify some short- and long-term priorities and set the direction for moving forward. Shortly thereafter, we fielded our first detailed and system-wide franchisee satisfaction survey to pinpoint our op-

portunities. The results were humbling, but we built a plan to systematically address all of the major issues. In three short years we significantly improved those satisfaction scores and earned the prestigious designation of “World Class Franchise” by the Franchise Research Institute. To turn a sharp ear to our guests, Arby’s invested in state-of-the-art social media monitoring technology to help us respond to guests in real time. This has allowed us to not only join the social media conversation but often to be the focus of the conversation… in a very unapologetic but authentic way. Helping to identify issues and provide consumer outreach, our social media team acts as yet another ambassador for our guests and for our brand. Equip… Empower… Engage. The results speak for themselves. We are very proud to have achieved 21 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth and 12 consecutive quarters of QSR industry outperformance. We will continue to press forward and to redefine our brand. With new products, great advertising, and new restaurants, we are on track to generate $4 billion in sales by 2018. But most critically, we will never lose focus on our most important asset: our people, and the outstanding service our guests have come to know and expect. n John Bowie is chief operating officer of Arby’s Restaurant Group

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How PR and Content Marketing Influence the Decisions of Your Franchise Leads Public relations has stood Public relations is no lonthe test of time as one of the ger a luxury – it’s a critical CLIENT: QSR franchise featured on Fox & Friends single most powerful tools need. Recently, a marked for franchise lead generashift has taken place in the tion, and content marketfranchise sales process that 45-50 eƴåų±čå Ú±ĜĬƼ ŸĜƋå Ƌų±þÏ ing has recently fueled the has triggered franchisors to ų±þÏ Ú±Ƽ Ņü ŸåčĵåĹƋ 137 franchise sales PR engine. put even more emphasis on After 25 years of working PR and related content that 92 ų±þÏ Ɩ Ú±ƼŸ ±üƋåų ŸåčĵåĹƋ with franchisors to grow their can be found by potential systems, the Fishman PR franchisees. WHERE DID THE TRAFFIC COME FROM? name has become synonyIncreasingly, candidates mous with franchise sales. are conducting more self-diOver two decades, we’ve rected research. They scour 45% ĉƖŢ 11% 6% direct referrals social media grown to be the largest PR the Internet to educate themfirm in franchising, expandselves about their potential ing our leadership team CLIENT: Educational services concept investment before taking the CLIENT: Entertainment concept featured in Inc. magazine üå±ƋƚųåÚ ĜĹ BƚþĹčƋŅĹ {ŅŸƋ and staff and our services step of contacting a sales to include content marketrep or filling out a lead form. ƖLjLj aFXXFkc cF} ) F F k {) akc B ing solutions. We not only The “story” they find online 1.4 MIL drive third-party validation is almost always the result for your franchise brand of PR and content marketvia traditional media coving efforts – or lack thereof. erage, but also give your An active and progressive MESSAGE: Millennials in franchising MESSAGE: Going from zero to $20-million hero brand a voice by making content marketing strategy OUTCOME: 30 New franchise leads OUTCOME: Over 200 franchise leads in 24 hours you a “publisher” of your is the key to influencing the nity. Sometimes, the media coverage decision-making process of your leads. own powerful, educational content. Today, we are trusted by more fran- is what drives an existing prospect That’s why Fishman PR complements chise brands than any other firm. Hun- to cross the finish line with a signed its traditional PR by creating informadreds of franchisors have documented agreement. tive blogs, e-books, white papers, inEarned media placements resulting fographics, franchisee testimonials and case studies that correlate our secured media coverage and creative content to from PR can take multiple forms: email nurture campaigns. • An online feature story on a busifranchise leads and deals. We’ve closed It takes a professional PR firm experimore franchise sales deals through our ness website profiling a successful enced in franchising to truly understand media coverage and content market- franchisee how to create the right media coverage • A national TV or radio interview ing strategies than any other PR firm and online content to drive leads and with a franchisor executive on a trend- franchise sales. Over 25 years, Fishin franchising. When a client looks at their franchise ing industry topic man PR has grown in size and depth • A local business journal covering of knowledge, with a reputation and sales at the end of a year, deals closed due to PR far exceed the cost of our the expansion of a franchise brand into connections to the media that no other a new market retainer fee, many times over. firm in the space can claim. • A trade magazine article focusing Here’s the scenario: After seeing a We continue to invest in staff trainlocal or national article or TV segment on a brand’s best practices in operations ing, media databases, social influencer • Positive sentiment via blog reviews identification platforms and other techabout a brand, a prospect becomes intrigued. The media coverage inspires about the franchise brand’s products nology to stay on trend. History and a them to research the company. Dur- or services, which lends credibility to proven track record speaks volumes, ing their research, they find compelling the franchise opportunity but we’ll never stop pushing ourselves • Major consumer media coverage to maintain our reputation as the precontent that we have placed in the media, or published ourselves. Next, that raises brand awareness and brings mier and most trusted PR agency in they inquire about franchise opportu- the franchise brand up in search engines franchising. organic search




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PRofessional HELP




ublic relations is witnessing some- the pros, here are some tips to take you accounts through a single dashboard to thing of a tactical evolution these to the next level. help automate social media marketing days, but at its core it’s still all and increase engagement. HootSuite can about communication and relationships. Tools of the trade also help monitor top content, likes and No two elements are more fundamental— Old-school strategies like press releases shares, traffic sources, and other metrics or effective—in designing and executing still have value, but the PR landscape has with reporting modules like Facebook’s a franchise PR strategy. Whether look- evolved and there’s so much more brands Page Insights and Google Analytics. Just ing to enhance consumer marketing ef- can do today. Many PR websites will post sign in with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, forts or to inject new energy into a lead your news releases free and help with SEO. or your email address, and set up “streams” generation program, the right PR tools, Some charge small fees, but the payoff is for each social media account. well-crafted content, and that they do a great job of getting the word Then there’s HARO (Help a Reporter savvy PR people can help out in an increasingly digital world. But Out), a great free method for connecting brands succeed in getting that’s just the tip of the iceberg. your company’s expertise to reporters, their messages across efWhile positive print, broadcast, or on- bloggers, and journalists from all types of fectively. line coverage in mainstream or publications and media properToday’s public rela- trade media continues to hold ties who are looking for sources tions is strategic storytell- tremendous value in terms of on specific topics. Sign up as a source and HARO will send ing, says All Points Public third-party credibility, today’s Relations President Jamie franchisors have new PR vequeries from journalists to your Izaks. “It’s about devel- hicles they can use to your inbox. If a query is a good fit oping a comprehensive benefit, such as building a presfor your expertise and busiJamie Izaks strategy that integrates or ence and loyal following across ness, pitch your response and blends several tactics used to tell the best multiple social media networks. qualifications directly to the stories possible about your brand,” he says. Franchisors now have the opjournalist by email for a posToday’s PR discipline, he says, has its portunity to build and leverage Wendy Odell Magus sible interview or direct quote. own dynamic collection of tools, and fran- relationships with social meWendy Odell Magus, vice chise brands should always be dia “influencers,” says Fish- president of marketing at Kiddie Academy, focused on a mix of tools that man Public Relation’s COO uses both of these tools. “As you hear so work well together to form Debra Vilchis. often, it’s all about the content. The tools a cost-effective strategy that “Influencers can be blog- to help identify media opportunities and produces the desired results. gers, celebrities, and Internet distribute news and information are fairly And now more than ever, that sensations, as well as regular commoditized,” she says. “We use things includes social media. The craft moms and Millennials with like NewsWhip, Vocus, HARO, and an has evolved from simply earnlarge, dedicated followings application like Hootsuite to keep our ing media results (“hits”), and across Twitter, Facebook, Tum- PR flowing.” And, she says, they’re getmuch of that stems from the blr, YouTube, or other social ting results. creative writing, design talents, Debra Vilchis media networks,” she says. Content marketing has also become and technological resources and HootSuite, for example, an important component of strategic PR savvy within today’s PR agencies. is a social media management tool that initiatives. Many think of it as a kind of Whether your PR efforts are finely can help businesses find leads and iden- DIY publishing. “Most franchisors today tuned or in need of adjustment, whether tify social media influencers. It allows now have separate blogs for their consumer you handle it in-house or outsource it to clients to manage multiple social media brand and franchise opportunity pages and


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every hour and every effort put Choosing an agency into telling your brand story,” Identifying PR partners is itself all about says Nick Powills, chief brand the relationship. Sabina Gault, president strategist at No Limit Agency. of Konnect PR, says public relations can “The negative is that the media be less about what a firm can do for your will not see that story as third- brand and more about chemistry, as most party credibility, as they expect offer many of the same services. “Do you you to say you are great.” And, like the people who work there and who he cautions, if you only have a are going to handle your account? Then small team, you won’t be able you have to look at what services you really to network and build as many need and whether you can bundle up as relationships as an agency can. many of those in one company,” she says. DIY, partnership, or both? It’s important to focus on creating a It can be challenging to deal with several Handling PR is a tall, time-consuming collaborative relationship with your PR firms for different services such as marorder, and when it comes to their PR ef- agency, says Fisher. “Find a keting, PR, social media, etc. forts, most franchisors today look for some PR partner that cares passionHaving an all-in-one solution kind of outside help. Larger franchisors, ately about your brand and can make things easier. She also says to ask agensay more than 100 units, typically pos- your goals. Your PR partner sess the infrastructure to handle some PR should be low maintenance, cies situational questions such tasks themselves, if not all. For instance, understand what you want to as, “What would you do if…?” basic franchisee communication, internal do, and help get you there. These queries allow an agency memos and notifications, and system sup- Every PR agency has its own to showcase its ability to handle port can be managed internally, while an culture. Find one that fits well a variety of issues and will prooutside PR agency may handle local and with your brand’s culture.” vide a clue to how well their national media pitching, events, and even Magus is a prime exam- Rich Hope culture meshes with yours. store openings. ple of the collaborative apPowills says to think of the Lorne Fisher, CEO of Fish proach between franchise evaluation process as four key buckets: Consulting, believes that for brand and PR agency. She relationship, strategy, service, and results. brands to truly maximize their says Kiddie Academy uses “That is a good barometer for identifyinternal marketing talent, they a combination of in-house ing the right agency for you. Have them need to rely on outside agency and outsourced PR. “Our explain how they are different in each of partners to help handle the PR in-house team knows the those categories.” load. “You have talented people brand and our franchisees. “It’s a mix of referrals, research, and at your brand, but they can’t The agency staff helps scale instinct,” says Vilchis, along with your do everything and can become our outreach. This hybrid brand’s unique needs. For example, if your overwhelmed without some model allows us to scale up brand has a high risk of crisis situations, efforts without adding a lot make sure the PR firm has experience in outside assistance,” he says. Nick Powills Vilchis says this is why of salary and overhead to our crisis communication. If your PR objective brands often choose to use their mar- organization. You can make it work is strictly franchise sales, make sure the keting director to manage an outside PR without PR expertise in-house, but firm has experience in that area, and can share case studies and results agency. “Media relations and PR is a spe- someone in-house has to refrom other franchise systems. cialized service and requires people with ally work in partnership with knowledge, experience, and time to get the agency to drive strategy If you are seeking a creative the job done right. A PR firm knows what and messaging.” team to handle consumer PR Rich Hope, chief markettypes of angles will appeal to the media campaigns, get a feel for the and knows how and when to communi- ing officer at Jersey Mike’s agency’s creativity and ask for cate with journalists,” she says. Subs, says he too thinks the examples of successful innoBecause agencies work with media all best way to handle PR is as a vative consumer campaigns, the time, they have established relation- partnership between in-house or ask them to come up with ships. Agencies also invest in tools such personnel and an outside firm. a sample campaign designed as media databases and media monitoring “In-house, we focus on prepar- Sabina Gault specifically for your brand. platforms that franchise brands typically ing our franchisees to respond In the end, the right chemdo not have. Building relationships with to the press or appear on-air. We use an istry between a brand and an agency, a media requires a vigorous outreach and outside firm to handle most of the content well-crafted message, and implementfollow-up franchisors often don’t have and media contacts,” says Hope, who was ing the right tools to the right audiences time or money to invest in. an outside vendor himself before coming makes all the difference in the success of your PR efforts. ■ “Handling PR in-house, you control on board with Jersey Mike’s. create and distribute content such as infographics, e-books, and white papers,” says Vilchis. “They become subject matter experts in their fields through these types of valuable content, with many also creating a series of podcasts or vlogs. The PR opportunities and tools available to franchisors are virtually endless.” Lorne Fisher

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Customer service It Starts at the Top

Leadership sets the tone for service aptitude BY JOHN DIJULIUS


ny big initiative, project, or revolution must have the support of the senior leadership team; otherwise it will be considered “flavor of the month” or “management by bestseller.” Customer service must be as important as finance, sales, operations, and technology. It must be discussed at board meetings and strategic planning sessions with leaders and everyone else in the company, including front-line employees. To create long-lasting change, the senior leadership team must provide the necessary resources. That doesn’t mean just increasing the budget for customer service. It is having someone in charge of the project—that is, a chief experience officer (CXO)—who is dedicated and loses sleep over the customer experience program and the results. People must be able to tell that the leadership of the company is truly committed and passionate about the customer experience. I like to say that if my employees can finish my sentences when I address them, then I am doing a good job with my vision and message. Service aptitude starts at the top Typically, when I am done speaking at a conference, I get one of two types of questions from attendees. First, “Can we really get our front-line employees to buy into this and treat customers better?” I respond, “Absolutely. If you follow the plan, you will create a world-class customer experience organization. It takes time, but be relentless and follow the plan.” The other question is, “How can I get my boss/president/CEO to buy into this?” And I respond, “Have him or her come to my next presentation, or get them my book.” But what I am re-


ally thinking is, “You are sunk.” If the top people can’t passionately believe in the customer experience, the company will never embody it. What do Howard Schultz (Starbucks), Walt Disney (Walt Disney World), Tony Hsieh (Zappos), Richard Branson (Virgin Airlines), Steve Jobs (Apple), Horst Schulze (The Ritz-Carlton), Truett Cathy (Chick-fil-A), Herb Kelleher (Southwest Airlines), John Nordstrom (Nordstrom), and Jeff Bezos (Amazon), have in common? Each of these leaders obsessed over their company’s customer experience, down to the smallest detail. They passionately articulated their vision for world-class experience every time they spoke, to anyone and everyone who would listen. And their companies are all known for world-class customer service. Service aptitude starts at the very top.

Customer service hall of shame For every poor customer service company, you can typically track the reason it is so bad back to the lack of its leader’s service aptitude. The CEO of Spirit Airlines is a perfect example. Spirit Airlines is the mostcomplained-about airline in the U.S. To which recently departed Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza said, “That’s irrelevant!” Being the worst at customer service in the airline industry isn’t easy. Very few people like airline companies (unless you are a Southwest or Virgin Airlines passenger). You have to be pretty bad to be the worst. Spirit reached a new low in 2012 when a 76-year-old Vietnam veteran and former marine tried to get his $197 back for a flight he purchased before he found out he had terminal esophageal cancer. After being told by his doctor not to fly from Florida to Atlantic City, airline officials told him to forget it, and Baldanza reaffirmed the company’s hard line in a Fox News interview. “A lot of our customers buy that insurance, and what Mr. Meekins asked us to do was essentially give him the benefit of the insurance when he didn’t purchase the insurance,” Baldanza said. “Had we done that, I think it really would’ve been cheating all the people who actually bought the insurance… and I think that’s fundamentally unfair.” We are talking about $197! Social media exploded over this controversial topic. Within days, there was a “Boycott Spirit Airlines” page that earned more than 36,000 likes. Spirit Airlines also charges its customers extra for each additional service or amenity, including up to a $100 fee for carry-on bags stored in overhead bins. So, is your brand’s customer experience “flavor of the month” or are you continually reiterating how it is your company’s primary competitive advantage every time you speak? ■ John R. DiJulius III is the author of The Customer Service Revolution and president of The DiJulius Group, a customer service consulting firm whose clients include Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, The Ritz-Carlton, Nestle, PwC, Lexus, and many more. Email him at

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Evaluating Franchise Marketing Agencies? Ask for their Marketing Disclosure Document. Franchise prospects have the ability to evaluate different brands based on a common process which we all know as the FDD. It’s time for franchisors to flip the script when exploring new (or reviewing current) agency relationships with an industry standard MDD – Marketing Disclosure Document


ll franchisors headed to the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference (FCMC) this June are seeking powerful ideas and new relationships that will help them make smarter decisions when it comes to marketing their brand in an increasingly digital world. That’s certainly the right strategy/approach – but how do you make sure to get the most out of the events you attend and meetings you arrange at FCMC and other franchising trade shows? The answer lies in the MDD (Marketing Disclosure Document) – an FDD-like document recently developed by our company, 919 Marketing, that helps franchisors conduct their own due diligence with regard to potential (or current) marketing partners. At 919 Marketing, we believe franchise marketing agencies should be held to the same standard as franchise brands. Franchisors should have the opportunity to review an FDD-like document within which the agencies they’re exploring (or reviewing) share the good, the bad, and the ugly about their company. Franchisors must be transparent with their prospects. So, too, must marketing agencies be transparent with franchisors. We hope to equip all franchisors with access to the MDD so they can take their due diligence game to the next level starting with this year’s FCMC. We will be handing out print copies of the MDD at our tabletop booth throughout the show and will share a digital version via our LinkedIn company page when the show begins on June 21, 2016. We encourage any and all franchisors, franchisees and suppliers to provide their comments/feedback via LinkedIn, on FranSocial or in person during FCMC. In the meantime, speaking of “looking under the hood,” here’s a sneak peek at a few things the franchise community will find within the 16-item Marketing Disclosure Document that will be revealed at the FCMC:

1. The Strategic Planning Process − How does the company create the winning playbook for success? Does it include action items, competitive insights and clear, measurable goals that have been set mutually? 2. The Hours and The People − Will the franchisor have the opportunity to influence the people working on the account and meet them personally? Does the agency provide transparency over the hourly rate and how often which people are working on the business? 3. The Evaluation Process/Scorecard − Is there a clear method for evaluating performance? We recommend a quarterly “scorecard” based on the same values and performance metrics the agency uses to measure its employees. This ensures everyone is working toward the same goals. 4. The Agency’s Key Differentiator − What is it... And better yet, can the agency eloquently describe it? If they can’t share their own, how can they effectively share yours? Make certain you are crystal clear on the agency’s key differentiator and true core competencies so you’re partnering with a firm who can help you solve your brand’s major problems. 5. And The FUN Factor − Chemistry MATTERS in all relationships. Do you want to work with this team? Does their culture fit with yours? Does their passion and competitiveness resonate? Regardless, like any other relationship, trust your gut – if it feels right, believe it!


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24 Social Studies

How 3 top marketers are using social media to build their brand

26 Neighborhood Marketing Doing it right: from 4 walls to 4 blocks to 4 miles

28 Marketing Tactics

Customers: bring ’em in, keep ’em in, reward ’em!

30 Supplier Spotlight

Hot Dish Advertising builds partnerships with its clients

32 CMO Q&A

Stacey Kane, CMO at East Coast Wings & Grill, brings an operator’s mindset to marketing

34 CMO Roundtable

“Your media strategy and plan is complete and now it’s time to execute. What steps do you take to ensure each layer of your media plan is carried out effectively?”

36 Sales Strategy

How to use “retail theater” to compete in an online, e-tail world

38 Millennials

Learn 3 ways to improve the all-important customer experience


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Social Studies




hen it comes to a successful social media strategy, Valerie Kinney’s advice for franchisors is succinct. “Stay focused, yet nimble,” says Kinney, vice president of marketing for CertaPro Painters. No longer on the fence about the value of social media, the franchise world is flocking to digital platforms to build, validate, and nurture business. While everyone may be doing it, most still grapple with how to best use digital content to connect with customers. “Organizations often can get caught up on the new shiny social media object and lose focus on why they are doing social,” says Kinney. “You are doing social to have a deeper engagement, to be where your customer already is, and to develop that relationship in a meaningful way with value-added content.” If you want your digital strategy to be a powerful part of a well-rounded franchise marketing program, consistency in the look and tone of every consumer touch point Valerie Kinney


is key, and every social media move must be true to the brand promise, she says.

Connect with your customers Any franchisor’s online conversation begins by connecting with its customers in the places those customers are spending their time. On the consumer side, CertaPro has a presence on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter, and for franchise recruitment efforts turns to LinkedIn. “For us, it’s all about where our customers are. We aren’t going into channels where our customers don’t exist,” says Kinney. While she is willing to innovate or test different channels, “It’s simply that we only have limited time and resources, so we need to stay focused on where our customers are consuming social media.” With so many ways to be in touch online, social media has become a key factor in the customer buying cycle, and its influence stretches far beyond sales. Digital content, used wisely, can spotlight a brand as an industry authority and show the world, through peer reviews and validation, the loyalty of its customers. Blogs, reviews, video posts, and sharing can influence a buying decision or provide instant feedback on the quality of a product, service, brand, or location. Social media’s power to build business resides in its perceived credibility as a source of information. Current and prospective customers turn to their online peers to confirm what they think or know about a service or product, “to see if their perception of you as a brand is true,” says Rosemarie Reed, vice president of marketing at Dream Vacations A Cruise One Company, CruiseOne’s recently launched spinoff brand. “If you aren’t putting attention, resources, and advertising dollars into social media you are missing out on whole opportunities to reach and communicate

Rosemarie Reed with your customer,” says Reed. “It is a layer within your marketing plan that has to be there, and it has to be cohesive and refer back to other layers.” Social media strategies are evolving as quickly as the applications and technologies behind them. Content is still king, but the look and feel of the information has changed drastically, even in the past year, says Reed. Initially, consumers sought their education through articles published by what they viewed as a trusted source (such as a media outlet), rather than content presented directly from a perceived “biased source” (the brand or company website). Consumers now expect and trust usergenerated and original online content. In addition, lengthy text has been replaced by visual elements and strong imagery, says Reed. “If content is too long, they will tune out. They are skimming and don’t have time to read a long article and draw a conclusion,” she says. “Quick content video is being consumed at the highest rate among all content.” CertaPro generates social media based

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on users’ interests and needs. Loyal customers will see content ranging from design and household tips to décor suggestions for specific spaces and trendy color combinations. The house painting brand uses “edutainment” to introduce itself to potential new customers with service offerings that educate in an “attentiongrabbing manner,” says Kinney. Her team uses video and movie and television parodies, color transformations, animated gifs, and blog articles with tie-ins to holidays and pop culture events. Connect with your marketing Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill used all of its social media platforms to successfully cross-promote last November’s launch of a new mobile online ordering and reward program aimed at the brand’s Millennial and Gen X customer base. The fast casual chain employs Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+ in its social media plan and tweaks its messages based on the particular strengths and attributes of each medium, says Ashley Moody, Costa Vida’s director of marketing. Twitter, for instance, highlights the brand in the moment, Instagram gives followers a personal behind-the-scenes look, and giveaways and promotions suit the Facebook forum and lead customers back to the Costa Vida blog where readers can learn about holiday entertaining hacks or “10 Signs Your Soul Mate Is Actually a Burrito.” Engaging and relevant content is the goal to a winning social media strategy, says Moody. “If it is centered too much around the brand, it gets boring,” she says. “You have to change it up.” Connect with your franchisees Social media marketing is also making it easier for brands and their franchisees to present a united front with a consistent, yet locally customized message. When CruiseOne rolled out a yearlong automated social program at no cost to franchisees in 2015, more than 320 franchisees enrolled in the first 10 days. The program blends a flexible mix of inspirational quotes, exclusive offers, and general travel tidbits based on research about how its customers and franchisees use social media. “What we heard is that franchisees wanted to have more time to actually sell the products we offer, and not necessar-

Want To Be More Social?

Try these tips from Valerie Kinney, CertaPro’s vice president of marketing: • Deliver value-added content that will resonate with the individuals you want to reach. Don’t interrupt the community experience they want to have on social media, be part of it. • Pay to play. Allocate funds to promote your content and have it reach the individuals in your target demographic. • Build on what is working. Evaluate your metrics and base your future strategies on them. ■ ily become expert marketers overnight,” says Reed. “We needed to help support them and make sure it was simple and easy enough to execute on, and also understand the customers we wanted to target.” CruiseOne’s social strategy has been accompanied by franchisee education on the importance of interacting with customers to optimize and supplement a cohesive message, but in a warm and engaging way. “You have to make sure your personality comes through and to personalize your messages, not just continuously put out offers or saturate someone’s newsfeed, or they are going to eventually unsubscribe and not want to follow your brand,” says Ashley Moody

Reed. “Humanizing the brand and making sure your content is relatable with your customers was key in educating them.” And while more brands are providing social media programs and support to their franchisees, it’s important for them to remember it takes time for a busy franchisee to get up to speed on how to use it all most effectively. Measuring the success of a social media strategy can be tricky. Reed considers engagement, reach, and ultimate exposure. “You can have thousands and thousands of followers or fans, but if they aren’t engaged with your brand it means they may not be seeing your stuff. Just liking a page is not enough,” she says. “Platforms will suppress consumers from seeing your content if they haven’t engaged with your brand, so we have to be mindful and respectful of that and consider what we can do to keep those folks engaged.” Social integration No matter how well a franchisor uses social media marketing, it can’t be done in a silo, says Kinney. Social media delivers the most powerful punch when integrated with a franchise brand’s overall marketing strategy, she says. The brand’s recent television campaign, for instance, reminds viewers to rely on the home painting brand at every stage of life, from first home to first child to family milestones. The company’s “We Do Painting. You Do Life” theme is featured prominently throughout the brand’s social media channels using humorous and emotion-tugging posts. Online content marketing, for example, is another opportunity to deliver more detailed, consistent messaging that complements traditional marketing avenues, such as direct mail, mass media, and promotions. “Everything needs to work together to reach the right person at the right time with the right message,” says Kinney. “In the majority of scenarios, it is a supporting channel that tells a deeper story of what consumers are seeing about our brand in traditional marketing.” After some high-flying years as the next “new new thing,” social media’s future for franchise marketers is expected to keep on growing and become more sophisticated—as part of a comprehensive, integrated marketing program. ■ Franchiseupdate I S S U E I I , 2016

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ith so much attention on social your internal customers (employees and media and digital marketing, staff) must adhere to. A workplace with it’s easy to neglect one of the high standards attracts workers with high oldest, most effective ways to reach your standards. Even better, an environment customers and attract new ones: four walls with high standards repels people with low branding and neighborhood marketing. standards. Mediocre people support each It’s a revolutionary concept as old as the other by buying each other’s excuses and general store of a century ago, when mer- letting one another off the hook. chants knew their customers’ • Reward. Marketing your names, addresses, birthdays, goals to your internal customeven their family successes and ers involves not only training, tragedies; a time when they but making it worthwhile for cared about their communithem through contests, incenties because they were a vital tives, rewards and recognition, part of those communities. bonuses, benefits, etc., at both The mission of neighborthe individual and store level. hood marketing is to develop • Budget. It also involves single-unit marketing cambudgeting. Most business ownpaigns whose principal focus ers don’t “budget for brilliance” is rooted in the four walls because they don’t know how and surrounding trading ar- Tom Feltenstein to. If you need any incentive to learn, think about this: a 2 eas. It is a strategic process based on the conviction that the first step percent increase in top-line sales equals a in any marketing initiative is to leverage 10 percent reduction in expenses. Motithe foundational sales drivers within your vated now? four walls. You already have everything you need to Outside the four walls grow your sales and make your business a This means knowing the neighborhood leader in your category and your community. by getting out of your store, generating Each individual operating unit is a medium publicity, and making a name for yourself that contains four business-building tools: in the community. It means reaching out 1) the internal customer and targeting local community members 2) products and services who live and work in and around your trad3) internal merchandising ing areas, connecting with them through 4) database management. personal, face-to-face, and hand-to-hand interactions. For mobile and home-based Inside the four walls businesses, it means having distinctive veWhether your goal is to attract new custom- hicles that attract attention and keep your ers, increase ticket size, generate customer name, phone number, and website a visloyalty, or simply to reverse sales declines, it ible presence. all begins within your four walls. There are all the usual tactics: clean uniforms, clean Four miles and beyond premises, clear and attractive signage, in- For neighborhood marketing programs, store specials, rewards programs, etc. These the “neighborhood” is a 4-mile radius from are the price of entry. But without dedicated your location, businesses and homes within employees who “get it,” you won’t stand out a 15-minute walk or a 30-minute drive. from the local competition. Reaching those neighbors means: • Train. Effective four walls marketing • intercepting them in their daily roumeans setting high workplace standards tines (lifestyle intersection);


• creating rapport and making personal connections with local businesses; • holding “big buzz” events that garner attention (PR); and • maintaining a focused, strategic participation in community events such as local festivals, fairs, schools, sports teams, and local organizations like nonprofits, hospitals, and charities. Direct mail Don’t overlook this tried-and-true, costeffective marketing tactic. Use well-timed customer direct mailers to increase new trial, boost frequency, and to forge a relationship with consumers at home and in the workplace. I personally continue to experience 20 to 25 percent redemption rates. Your franchisor should be glad to provide guidance, assistance, and materials to customize for your local market. It’s all connected Four walls and neighborhood marketing programs consist of a series of interconnected ideas designed to build unit sales in each neighborhood market where you operate. Done right, and in conjunction with social media, digital marketing, and customer rewards programs, it will move your franchisees from “catch and release” to “catch and keep” marketing, generating repeat business from loyal customers spending more per visit. It all boils down to one essential truth: to build your base volume. The key is to integrate all the components and to have your managers and front-line staff perform them consistently in every customer interaction. The time to start mining the gold that’s already in your business is now. ■ Tom Feltenstein is CEO and founder of Tom Feltenstein’s Power Marketing Academy, a consulting firm that serves and educates businesses in franchising, retail, hospitality, and service through clinics, seminars, strategy sessions, and trainings. Learn more at www. or call 561-650-1315.

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ttracting customers in 2016 takes many forms—and platforms— sometimes all at the same time. Here are a few tactics franchise brands are using to drive customers into their stores, keep them there, and reward them. • Drive them in. Earlier this year, to generate buzz about a new menu item, a Jack in the Box campaign combined several channels and media. The brand’s integrated campaign, announced in a Super Bowl ad (“Crossing the Delaware”), played up its offer of 1 million free burgers. To cash in on the giveaway, consumers had to visit the company’s website, sign up for a mobile coupon, and, of course, visit a restaurant to redeem the coupon (printed or on their mobile device)— and, hopefully, buy something else while inside. The coupon was good for one Double Jack (the new menu item) or a Jumbo Jack Burger. On January 28, a lead-in to the Super Bowl ad featured a group of Instagrammers snapping photos of the new burger at a Foodbeast event (#DeclarationOfDelicious). The brand also used the million-burger giveaway to promote upgrades to 29 menu items. The promotion was set to last a week or until 1 million burgers were given away. • Fly them in. Bob Minkert, a 16-year franchise veteran who operates Mr. Rooter Plumbing and Mr. Electric franchises in the Atlanta area, should win some kind of award as a local marketing innovator for an idea he came up with to attract attention to his businesses: an airship. (Unlike a blimp, which uses helium to stay aloft, an airship uses hot air. His has a gondola for a pilot and 3 passengers.) According to Airship over Atlanta, it all began 8 years ago in Atlanta when Minkert was stuck in traffic because drivers slowed down to look up at a hot air balloon floating above


the highway. After a couple of years of researching local possibilities, he flew to Germany to learn more about airships, including how to bring one to the U.S. and train pilots to fly it. Today he’s working with area organizations to maximize local use of the airship—nearly 150 feet long and 41 feet wide, and emblazoned on one side with the bright yellow colors and logo of Mr. Electric, and on the other with the bright red colors and logo of Mr.

Rooter—along with phone numbers and pricing information. Floating since 2013. • Keep them in. Restaurants have tried everything to draw customers into their stores… or have they? While some food and beverage establishments have struggled with Wifi-ers who buy a small coffee and camp out at prime tables during peak times, Schlotzsky’s is taking a different approach. At its new location in Jacksonville, Texas, which opened in January, the brand is providing wireless charging stations for its guests to keep their mobile devices up and running. Jacksonville is one of the brand’s first units to offer wireless charging stations, a service Schlotzsky’s plans to roll out in all of its new and remodeled restaurants. The company claims it’s the first fast casual restaurant chain to introduce wireless charging stations at the national, system-wide level. • Reward them. Rewards and loyalty programs have really taken off recently,

with technology playing a transformative role in helping brands move from punch cards to mobile phones and everything in between. And increased competition from the growing number of vendors in this field is spurring continual innovation. Short version: loyalty and rewards programs are easier to use and better than ever for both customers and franchise brands. And as brands compete to grab mind and market share from one another, rewards programs also have triggered a new level of competition among food and beverage brands themselves. In April, for example, when Starbucks revamped its rewards program and ran into a wall of negative reaction from its customer base, Dunkin’ Donuts quickly jumped into the fray, touting the benefits of its own rewards program, DD Perks, along with a new mobile phone app and incentives to use the DD card in April and May. Then there are gift cards, which make an ideal gift not only for customers, but also for retailers: they not only introduce new customers to a brand, they also bring the regulars back more often in the hope they’ll spend more than what’s loaded on the card. In January, working with rewards program vendor Paytronix, Zaxby’s upgraded its gift card program to make it both simpler to use and simpler to manage. “The upgraded gift card offering reduces the time teams spend reconciling and accounting for gift card sales and redemptions while providing merchants with further opportunities for generating gift card sales—through virtual gift cards, third-party retail sales, and promotional ingenuity,” said Kristen House, gift product manager at Paytronix. Then there are all the unused gift cards, but that’s another story. n

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4/27/15 1:53 PM

Supplier Spotlight BY KERRY PIPES


Hot Dish Advertising builds marketing partnerships


ead generation and franchise recruitment are the lifeblood of franchising. Without quality franchisees to represent and expand the brand, franchises simply can’t grow. Yet… identifying, reaching, and recruiting the best candidates remains a huge challenge. That’s where companies like Hot Dish Advertising come in. Hot Dish, based in Minneapolis, is a full-service ad agency with experience in developing strategic marketing plans that help their clients grow their businesses. More important, the company specializes in helping franchise brands grow. “There are a lot of agencies out there, but unless you work with an agency that understands the business of franchising, you will likely fall short of providing best-in-class marketing strategy and tools for your franchisees, or an on-brand franchise development marketing

Dawn Kane


team); 2) Data mine (modeling and research); 3) Develop (marketing and media plan); 4) Deploy (launch, execute, and monitor); and 5) Deliver (performance summaries and optimization recommendations). The key to success of this process is a franchisor that recognizes the value of investing in it.

plan,” says Dawn Kane, CEO and co-founder of Hot Dish. Jen Campbell, president and partner at the firm, says Hot Dish knows how important it is to engage today’s franchisees so they’ll embrace and adapt to the marketing provided by the franchisor. This is essential for the brand to ensure consistency and drive sales. And on the development side, she says, Hot Dish knows how to dig deep to find the right audience so brands can grow with quality leads. Savvy franchisors know they need to go beyond their brand’s attributes and give prospects a reason to connect emotionally with the brand; that they need to tell a story about why they are different and a better choice for both consumers and prospective franchisees; and recognize that they need the right tools, combined with research and sophisticated data tracking, to help guide them. The process at Hot Dish appears deceptively simple: 1) Discover (strategic planning with your corporate

Understanding the brand “The more we understand about the prospects and what motivates them, the better it allows us to get more qualified leads into the pipeline,” says Campbell. A lot of that understanding comes down to unearthing good data—and knowing what to do with it, she says. Once franchisors understand the value in collecting the right data, they can become more efficient and successful with their marketing efforts. On the consumer side, she says, “Data helps us know our audience

Jen Campbell

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and what will motivate them to purchase, become loyal, and what products and services should be added or eliminated so the brand can become much more effective and increase sales. By understanding the audience, we can tell a better story on the website, guide the user journey, and make the interaction enjoyable and productive so the experience is positive and accomplishes our client’s goals.” Achieving these goals is more difficult today because target audiences are changing. Millennials are becoming more important as both consumers and franchise buyers. How they seek information is often very different from how Baby Boomers do. Marketers must recognize this and ensure they are speaking to both audiences in a way that connects with how each learns about products and opportunities. Technology also continues to reshape the marketing landscape. Though “big data” isn’t new, it has become much more accessible and affordable, and franchisors must learn how to leverage their digital assets. Campbell believes taking this information and coupling it with consumer insights and predictive analytics should become a bigger part of the planning process for franchise brands. The role of social media marketing continues to grow in both B2C and B2B campaigns. Brands today must actively manage their reputation online, be responsive to their followers, and continue to share and market themselves in a very organic and authentic way to stay relevant, says Campbell. If you are not authentic, consumers will see right through you, especially Millennials, who use social media to research brands and make informed decisions on their purchases—including the purchase of a franchise opportunity. Partnering with its clients to

“Unless you work with an agency that understands the business of franchising, you will likely fall short of providing bestin-class marketing strategy and tools.” —DAWN KANE

create long-lasting relationships built on mutual trust is important to Hot Dish. “We have the most success when we truly partner with a franchisor,” says Kane. “We look to partner with brands that allow us to immerse ourselves in the brand and be treated like an extension of their in-house team. This allows us to have a transparent relationship, access to data to make better recommendations, and feedback so we can grow together.” n

Supplier Spotlight



ast casual restaurant brand Tropical Smoothie Café engaged with Hot Dish Advertising in 2013 to implement an integrated franchise development marketing program. The agency helped the brand ensure that they had the right tools, messaging, and strategic plan in place to accomplish their goals. To develop a marketing and media plan that would attract new leads, the Hot Dish team went to work determining Tropical Smoothie’s target audience and unique selling proposition. They created a new website and print and online ads with extensive URL tracking codes to identify where leads originated and to evaluate the quality of those leads. They also used SiriusXM radio spots, digital media including pay-perclick, display ads, social media

ads on LinkedIn and Facebook, and print advertising. The entire process took 16 weeks to get up and running. The results were successful—and measurable. Tropical Smoothie signed more than 100 new franchise agreements in 2014, and another 199 in 2015. “Hot Dish has been a big part of us reaching our growth objectives,” says Charles Watson, chief development officer at Tropical Smoothie. Today, the brand has a 5 percent website traffic-to-sales ratio, a $120 cost per lead, and an average cost per sale below $6,000. “The true partnership we have with Hot Dish has driven results in growing our franchise system and allowed Tropical Smoothie Café to put our ‘best foot forward’ in the hyper-competitive area of franchise development,” says Watson. n

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CMOQ&A Market Operator

It’s a team effort at East Coast Wings & Grill BY KERRY PIPES


lobal Director of Buzz” was Stacey Kane’s title when she worked for AmRest Holdings, a Wroclaw, Poland-based company with more than 900 restaurants in 12 countries in Eastern and Central Europe. It was a great title and describes the energy and focus Kane brings to her job. “I’ve been working with and building multi-unit restaurant chains for more than 20 years,” she says. That time includes serving as media buyer for Subway and as vice president of marketing at California Tortilla, where she was responsible for overseeing all marketing functions. In both 2012 and 2013, Fast Casual magazine named her one of the Top 20 Movers and Shakers in the fast casual restaurant industry. In March 2015 she joined East Coast Wings & Grill as vice president of marketing, overseeing the marketing department and contributing to the brand’s 12th consecutive year of positive same-store sales. In January 2016 she was promoted to CMO. Describe your role as CMO. I have continued my previous responsibilities of overseeing brand positioning, digital marketing, customer acquisition, and social media platforms. Additionally, I’ve increased my focus on data analytics, franchise sales, and brand culture. My job is to not only look at the business from a marketing perspective, but with an operational mindset as well. I’m here to continue implementing both national and localized strategies to generate sales and the healthy EBITDA that East Coast Wings & Grill is known for. What’s unique about the CMO position at East Coast Wings & Grill? It’s the people who built the brand. There are folks who have been here since the first day we started franchising and have worked their way up the ranks. When one


is that invested in a company it becomes more than a job, it becomes a family. That relationship makes everyone extremely passionate about the success of the brand.

fective CMO. Sometimes the marketing department comes up with what we think is the greatest idea since Facebook. Then we pitch the operations team and they provide feedback as to why that idea just can’t work in a real-world store, or unitlevel economics says it is not a financially viable program. As creative and fun as the idea may be, sometimes you have to say good-bye to it and not take it personally. 3) Be nimble. Make sure you leave room in your budget and that you and your team are up on the world around you to take advantage of spontaneous moments of awesomeness. How do you prepare a marketing plan and execute the strategies? Everything here is a group effort, so from the beginning we have the end goal in mind. If the team agrees on the goal, we look at that marketplace and tap our vendors to create the best strategy to reach it.

What’s the most challenging part of being a CMO today? The term “big data” is bandied about a ton, and I firmly believe that understanding the numbers is a huge part of a CMO’s role today. In fact, there is so much data in our business that we have an entire unit-level economics department to help out! However, it is sometimes overwhelming to make all of that data actionable. What are the 3 most important keys to being an effective CMO leader today? 1) To make sure every initiative gets buyin from all functions within the company. Does the operations team know how to train it? Does the unit-level economics department know how to measure it? Is the store-level staff going to embrace it? No matter how great an idea is, if the whole team doesn’t get behind a marketing initiative it will not succeed. 2) As the movie “Frozen” says, learning to “Let It Go” is really important to being an ef-

How do you measure marketing results and effectiveness? As CMO, I have the luxury of tapping into our unitlevel economics department. So any time we run an initiative, promotion, or any marketing action, I can see how it directly affected traffic, average check, or profitability pretty quickly and in a robust way. In addition, my department is very adept at pulling metrics off things like social media, digital, and loyalty. Discuss your core consumer marketing strategies and objectives. First of all, it’s important to note that the brand’s universal goal has been the same since the beginning of time. With that, our consumer marketing strategies are the same as at any restaurant chain: to increase sales. To achieve this, no matter how you do it, you must attract new customers, retain existing customers, and get existing customers to come more frequently and pay more during each visit. We use many varying tactics to achieve those goals. For example, we have a very healthy rewards program to retain customers. We also put a large part of our budget into PR and social platforms to attract new customers. It really comes down to one of our core marketing strategies: delivering great customer service every time so custom-

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ers come back and spread the word in an authentic way. How do you go about creating a “customer-centric” marketing and brand philosophy? Given all the metrics we’re pulling, we have the capability to see what our customers’ behaviors are in our restaurants. From there, we mold our menu and our service based on what those metrics indicate. We are also heavily committed to customer engagement in the digital landscape, making us fully aware of conversations customers are having. We find it extremely valuable to take part in these conversations about the brand to explore our guests’ opinions. Describe your marketing team and the role each plays. I have a lean, yet experienced marketing team. My marketing coordinator handles social media and customer engagement, and my director of marketing handles local store marketing, design, and anything going on at the store level. They both come from working in East Coast Wings & Grill restaurants, so they speak the “server” language and bring with them firsthand understanding of the impact our marketing programs will have at the store level. When it comes to helping the brand connect with franchise prospects, why is it so important for the marketing department to have a “personal touch”? I think it’s important for any brand to have a strong and defined marketing department when selling a franchise because marketing is probably the top discipline prospective franchisees are most nervous about executing on their own. Knowing that they’re provided with marketing resources is very assuring, and our team collectively has more than 35 years of experience in restaurant marketing. Additionally, we have a very handson approach to helping our franchisees and walking through all the steps, which they’ve shown to really appreciate. How does this help your franchise sales and development effort? What ways/ tools do you rely on to do this? Many aspects go into increasing franchise sales and development efforts, including our marketing expertise. We’re able to provide relief to many new or prospective franchisees. We see a lot of people who have past

experience in the restaurant industry or in owning their own business but, more often than not, marketing their new store on their own is what they are apprehensive about. To conquer this fear, we get down and dirty: we research third-party data to understand the market, do a trade area analysis for them, and even go so far as to teach their designated agents how to go out and shake hands and kiss babies. We welcome hand-holding and believe in a show, not tell, approach. Whether it’s my team or me, we go directly to the store and demonstrate the process to the franchisee. Do today’s prospects expect more from the franchise marketing department? What, and how do you provide it? It’s not that they’re expecting more (they’ve always wanted a lot of marketing help), it’s just that marketing has changed. It’s no longer about designing a flyer or using clip art to create a poster. It’s much more innovative and is about being able to come up with a meaningful social media campaign that’s going to drive business on a certain day. Again, it’s not that they’re more demanding, it’s just the work is different and the mediums have changed. As marketers, we have made sure that we have the right tools in our toolkit to meet those needs. We staff appropriately, have relationships with the right vendors, stay on top of relevant trends, etc. How is technology changing the way franchise marketing is done in terms of one-on-one contact? A lot of marketing departments would like to do marketing remotely, but there is a certain level of really needing to get in there and feel it. You have to be there to properly assess the entire situation. All of the marketers in our program go out to the stores and evaluate issues and opportunities so we can produce effective results. How are you assisting your existing franchisees with more contact and transparency? What are their immediate needs? We’re there for everything and anything they need. Their immediate needs are establishing realistic goals. From there we create buzz about the restaurant in the local community, ultimately driving traffic to their location. Whether they’re struggling to meet numbers or want help hosting a blogger event, we’re in the store

helping them make it happen. How do you work with other internal departments and does technology help? It’s a constant dialogue. Technology doesn’t hurt, but nothing beats an oldfashioned conversation. All day, every day, each department is sharing information and giving input on initiatives. We very much have an “It takes a village” attitude. How do you manage costs and budgets for the marketing department? Our budget is derived from percentage of sales and then we manage the cost based on what we need to spend to accomplish our goals. It’s all about prioritizing. Do you see vendors as business partners? Why/why not? Of course! We want our vendors to be just as invested in our success as we are. We’re constantly looking at all different types of vendors to make our franchises more profitable. The last thing we want to do is be at odds with vendors—it’s a waste of time. It’s important to build and maintain healthy relationships with them. How have marketing strategies/tools changed over the past decade? How have you adapted? It used to be that you could go out in any given market, spend a substantial amount of money on TV, and you would be fine. You would reach everyone and they would have gotten your message. We can’t do that anymore because media is so fragmented. Smaller brands have to be more creative. With so many more efficient ways to reach consumers you need to recognize what will achieve the most bang for your buck. In most cases, digital, social, and using PR creatively are the most cost-effective ways to reach consumers. These are also the most authentic ways to reach target consumers. For example, in 2015 we shifted our focus to PR and influencer marketing, leading us to produce more than $1.4 million in ad value and $4.3 million in publicity value for a fraction of the budget the same amount of media would have cost. What advice would you offer to aspiring CMO executives? Listen to your people in the field, especially your operators. Start with the end in mind for any project and learn how to roll with the flow. n

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CMOroundtable “YOUR MEDIA STRATEGY AND PLAN IS COMPLETE AND NOW IT’S TIME TO EXECUTE. WHAT STEPS DO YOU TAKE TO ENSURE EACH LAYER OF YOUR MEDIA PLAN IS CARRIED OUT EFFECTIVELY?” Maryellen Torres Chief Brand Officer Front Burner Brands (The Melting Pot) With today’s highly savvy consumers, the marketing landscape is constantly changing and requires a comprehensive, multi-layered approach to help a business achieve its goals and objectives. New technology has created more “noise” in the media landscape, making it more complex for marketers to create a relevant message for both the vehicle and the target audience. From marketing messages sent to our email inboxes to our social media channel newsfeeds, this constant bombardment of communication can lead to months of hard work going unnoticed, if not planned strategically. This puts a stronger onus on the marketing professional to ensure that every single dollar spent is being used effectively. In the months leading up to the launch of a marketing campaign, a franchisor should develop an internal communications program to encourage high levels of engagement among franchisees and get all departments on board with the promotion. Franchise systems with consistent internal communication with franchisees are more likely to experience a greater level of involvement with marketing initiatives. At The Melting Pot, we continually develop strategies and tactics to support our franchisees’ businesses and drive traffic into their restaurants throughout the year. In addition to receiving a robust execution guide, they are given access to a variety of digital creative assets designed to convey a consistent brand message across multiple channels at the local level. As a result, we’ve developed a strong coalition of brand ambassadors who are passionate about going above and beyond their customers’ expectations.


The planning of any successful campaign also warrants a strong execution and monitoring of the results. Now more than ever, marketing professionals have access to an array of analytical tools to measure success. Every component of the marketing plan should have established key metrics and a measurement system in place to determine if the plan has reached its end goals. Keep in mind that marketing campaigns can have a residual effect on a brand or company and provide additional benefits, such as increased brand exposure long after the promotion has passed. Tracking a larger campaign in real time gives marketers the ability to test and adapt its content and delivery, eventually allowing them to produce the results they are aiming to achieve. Diane Emo Vice President, Marketing Coverall North America As a franchisor, we have expanded responsibility for branding for the entire system. In our case this means that more than 8,000 franchised businesses in more than 90 markets rely on us to position the Coverall Core 4 Process, our message, and the united strength of the entire system to varied audiences. Our top priority is celebrating, promoting, and differentiating our franchisees’ businesses and the services they provide. Our media strategy is the vehicle for building brand equity across the franchise system, while also increasing lead generation and improving sales success. Execution is about communication and measurement.

Ensuring that each component is working as planned is essential to a successful outcome. Here are six key steps to ensure that each component is working as planned. 1) Draw a one-page, simple picture of the plan for use with the company and every service provider, business partner, or agency involved in the plan’s execution. A “big picture” visual can keep the team focused when things get chaotic and priorities (or budgets) shift. 2) Link the media strategy to the key functions of the sales and marketing departments, such as website messaging, calls to action, prospect profiles, advertising, lead nurturing, and management through CRM and corporate communications. No function should sit in a silo. Consistency is essential to maintaining an effective media plan. 3) Connect the media plan execution to company strategy and performance indicators. Prepare company business information systems and scorecards to include metrics associated with media strategy. Soft metrics have little credibility in growing EBITDA. 4) Communicate the media plan, roles, and responsibilities to executive management, especially the chief sales officer and chief operating officer, who are the leaders of field teams. Assigning ownership will hold everyone accountable and demand accountability for the accompanying outcome. 5) Monitor tactical analytics to identify user trends quickly and know how to adjust accordingly to optimize your efforts without losing momentum toward your marketing objective. 6) Make tweaks to the plan quickly in response to underperforming campaigns or actions, or to react to the changing needs of the company—but don’t lose site of the one-page plan. n

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4/19/16 12:23 PM


Salesstrategy Retail Theater

Competing in an e-tail world BY KAY AINSLEY


here is much discussion in marketing circles about how brick-and-mortar businesses can compete with the pricing and convenience of e-tailing. Yet for all the appeal of e-tailing, brick-and-mortar businesses maintain one huge advantage: the ability to go beyond just selling product and allow the consumer to experience and create a personal relationship with their brand. The best illustration of a brand experience I know is one I witnessed firsthand. It happened at The Sage Room, our favorite restaurant on Hilton Head. The Sage Room can make any foodie’s heart beat faster just thinking about what’s on the menu. But a truly outstanding restaurant is more than just the food, however wonderful. On our semiannual pilgrimage to The Sage Room we were seated at the 10-person “chef’s table”—seats where we could talk with the chefs and watch our meals being prepared—when another couple came in with a woman celebrating her 80th birthday. We were talking with Matt, the owner, while the woman stared at the menu. We could hear the couple attempt to explain some of the more exotic entrees. Sensing something might be amiss, Matt nodded to us and leaned over to the woman. “I hear it’s your birthday. What would you like to have for dinner?” he asked. The woman said she was deciding when Matt told her to forget the menu and just tell him her favorite dinner. The woman insisted she could find something on the menu and Matt switched gears. “What’s your favorite meal?” he asked. When she replied chicken fried steak, he smiled and, without so much as a foodie grimace or a


roll of the eyes he asked, “Can I make it for you the way I make it for my grandma?” Matt then disappeared into the back kitchen sticking his head out only to ask if she preferred potatoes or grits. All three meals appeared at the same time and were served with a flourish. While the couple enjoyed their gourmet meal, the woman beamed as she ate her chicken fried steak and grits. The Sage Room had indeed created a memorable birthday dinner and brand experience for all.

Retail or restaurant “theater” begins with creating the proper setting in the location, one that reflects the personality of the brand and appeals to the target customer. Delivering the promise While many brands promise a great experience, delivering on that promise is harder than it looks. The type of great brand experience it takes to overcome the advantages offered by e-tailing do not occur by accident. In successful brands, the desired experience is fundamental to how the brand is defined and is an authentic part of the company’s culture. For example, a brand that defines itself as a jewelry store that sells quality jewelry

may provide a different experience than one that defines itself as a jewelry store that helps its customers commemorate a life event or create a lasting memory. A customer can buy a bracelet at each store, but having an attentive salesperson ask about the occasion, the customer’s likes and dislikes, and then suggest a special bracelet that will be treasured forever creates a lasting personal experience that will bring that person back again and again. To fully capitalize on the advantage a brick-and-mortar business has in establishing a personal relationship with customers requires a business to make delivering the brand experience consistently second nature. What we at MSA call retail or restaurant “theater” begins with creating the proper setting in the location, one that reflects the personality of the brand and appeals to the target customer. Next comes hiring and training the right people to serve customers on the front line and to support the effort behind the scene. Proper training must go beyond making people proficient at completing a task to making people understand the brand and how to provide the brand experience. Training is reinforced by the actions of management and by all internal communications. The marketing message and the media selection target the right consumers and set the proper expectations. And it all comes together in a great experience that brings customers back time and again. E-tailing is not going away. We all buy online when we need an efficient way to buy stuff. However, brick-and-mortar businesses that execute retail or restaurant theater to deliver a great brand experience will always have the ability to develop a strong and loyal customer base. ■ Kay Ainsley is managing director of MSA Worldwide, a leader in franchise consulting that provides strategic and tactical advice based on real world experience to new and established franchisors. Contact her at or 770-794-0746.

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Millennials The New Competition

e. →

Customer experience trumps customer service




s a franchise organization you’ve recognized by now that your competition is more diverse and complex than it has been in the past. Once you were in a single business, selling a product like sub sandwiches or sporting goods to consumers. You were competing against other businesses selling similar sandwiches or sporting goods. Consumers today have embraced the multitude of options popping up all around them. Many have learned to comparison shop Amazon or other e-tailers while standing in the aisle of the sporting goods store to see if they can find it cheaper, or maybe somehow better. And, in addition to the thousands of new digital storefronts available for their mobile devices, new types of physical competition are appearing as well. To focus on just one example, the traditional sub shop now has an entirely new competitive set. No longer are they competing against Subway or a dozen other similar brands in most metro areas, but also with fast-food burger brands launching sandwiches; or with convenience stores that have elevated their food offerings; or with pizza brands offering sandwiches, along with desserts. And to bring it back to the Internet, Amazon is launching a grocery business to deliver food to consumers in a single day. Confused yet? Put yourself in the shoes of your best customers. How are you working to make their decision to stay with you simpler? What are you offering that competitors aren’t or can’t? In our study on how Millennials decide where to dine, 67 percent said past experience with a brand or location is the top factor in choosing their upcoming meal. More people cited past experience than cost or craving. Customer experience is different than customer service. When given the choice


between the two in our survey, respondents rated their customer experience about 20 percent more important than customer service. Competition likely won’t decrease as brands across the spectrum look for new revenue opportunities. So ignoring the changing environment is not an option. Now is the time to focus on improving that all-important experience. Here are three ways to do that.

1. Understand what you are actually selling. The days of the Yellow Pages are gone. Brands no longer fit into neat categories. For example, PetSmart isn’t selling pet food, they are selling friendship, they are selling love. The C-store selling high-end ready-to-eat meals and fresh fruit is selling convenient nutrition. Thus, it’s imperative that everyone at the location level understands what the store offers beyond the items for sale. This means sitting down to map out your brand promise, then activating it with every single employee—especially the ones who interact directly with your customers. If employees don’t convey your brand promise through the experience, you can’t expect consumers to remember it. 2. Know your audience. Do you believe that every customer who shops in

your stores chooses you for wildly different reasons? More likely, your best customers have a few favorite things about the products and experience you offer—things that are likely the reasons for the occasions you do win against competitors. It’s important to understand those things, using sales data, post-visit surveys, secret shopping, and social listening. Once you understand what they love about your brand, you can create new details in the experience to maximize their favorite aspects, creating separation from your competitors. 3. Experience for yourself. Your customers are shopping at dozens of stores. How can you improve against them if you haven’t seen them firsthand? Find out other places your customers enjoy and visit them. Try to learn how the experience at your competitors differs from yours. What ideas of theirs can you build on? And don’t be limited to direct competitors. Look in other categories too. Take note of things you liked and things you didn’t, and then observe your own staff to see if they perform in similar ways. These are oversimplifications of potentially complex processes. But for brands on a budget (and most are) doing something small to improve the experience is better than doing nothing. It’s common to perform a cost analysis on any product or service being added to an existing offering. While the math in those cases can be relatively simple, the return on the expense behind process changes may not be as clear. So instead of focusing on immediate revenue impact, remember how heavily your customers weigh experience and understand the price of long-term loyalty and lifetime customer value. Or to put it another way, do the math on customers who don’t come back—they’ll be visiting your new competitors. n Adam Pierno, director of brand strategy and planning at Santy, unearths Millennial insights at the convergence of media, technology, and the marketplace that lead to positive and revenue-enhancing change for clients. Contact him at apierno@santy. com or 480-710-4243.

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nt e v E y l The Onanchisor for Fr sumer Con ters Marke

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Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference J UNE 21-22, 2016


✔ Compelling Content ✔ Unparalleled Networking ✔ New Ideas to Grow Your Business Keynote Speakers: SCOTT STRATTON Disruptive and UN-traditional Sales, Marketing, Branding & Social Media Expert

r Registe

! W O N

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CURT STEINHORST Distraction Expert www. Early Bird Rates Expire May 30! 5/10/16 1:44 PM

Chairman’sNote Welcome! What an honor it is for me to chair this year’s Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference. I was first asked back in 2011 to be a panelist at the very first conference and I’ve been back every year since. This conference has continued to grow every year since it’s inception and the reasons are clear. This forum is jam-packed with all the knowledge and experience that an exclusive club of the brightest, best and most visionary marketing executives has to offer. With a focus on digital, social and consumer marketing, the annual conference is geared to the needs of franchise CMO’s, Brand Managers, and Marketing Professionals. But I wouldn’t stop there, CEOs, Presidents and technology marketing professionals would also benefit from this conference. You will have the opportunity to network with your peers and engage in meaningful conversations and find new vendors to help solve your challenges. Learn from your peers what has worked and what hasn’t and what to watch out for before investing your marketing dollars. This conference addresses many of the challenges and changes marketers will face in 2016 and beyond. The conference will kick off with concurrent opening workshops dealing with “Crafting the Right Brand Promise,” “Media - Paid, Owned, Earned and Shared” and “Engaging Your Customers Through Their Media Choice.” These sessions are extremely relevant for marketers of all levels. This year our two keynote speakers will enlighten us with where our industry is headed. Scott Stratten the President of Un-Marketing, will discuss “What’s Next for Marketing.” Scott is an expert in viral, social,

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and authentic marketing which he dubbed UnMarketing. And then Curt Steinhorst, founder and president of The Promentum Group, will discuss how to craft messages for today’s distracted audiences. Our Advisory Board along with other guest panelists will be participating in many Breakout Sessions. Please take a moment to check out the Advisory Board and the speaker roster to understand the depth of knowledge they bring to this conference. Breakout Sessions will include: ■ Local Marketing- imperative for location, market and brand growth ■ Research and Big Data – how it fits with your brand ■ Social Media – it’s role in driving revenue ■ Brand Building – more than changing your logo ■ Determine Lead Source Attribution ■ Programmatic Media ■ Franchise Ad Fund Compliance ■ The Print and Direct Mail Resurgence ■ Mobile –what it means for your brand and franchisees Whoever said a good idea can be had by one, but it becomes great when nurtured by many was brilliant. Bring your ideas to this convention and watch them blossom. Mark your calendars and bring your team members to share all the great content we’ll be presenting at the 2016 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference. Take advantage of the lowest registration rate by signing up before April 30 and we’ll see you in June. JEFF RINKE Vice President of Marketing Hungry Howie’s Pizza, Inc.

5/10/16 1:44 PM



Disruptive and UN-traditional Sales, Marketing, Branding & Social Media Expert

CURT STEINHORST Distraction Expert

With a unique Un-Marketing philosophy focused on viral, social and authentic marketing, president of Un-Marketing, Scott Stratten, offers enlightened fresh perspective on how to effectively market, sell and engage, that flips traditional advice on its head. He encourages individuals and businesses in all industries to think differently, in order to achieve results. Formerly a music industry marketer, national sales training manager and a professor at the Sheridan College School of Business, he ran his “UnAgency” for nearly a decade before solely focusing on delivering his message on a larger scale. Stratten was named one of the “Top 5 Social Media Influencers In The World” by Forbes and one of “America’s 10 Marketing Gurus” by Business Review USA; with more than 176,000 Twitter followers and 60 million views of his clients’ marketing videos. As a result, companies including PepsiCo, Adobe, Red Cross, Cirque du Soleil, Saks Fifth Avenue, Deloitte and Fidelity Investments have invited him to provide guidance through the social media and relationship marketing landscape. Stratten has been featured by various leading outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, and on, and is the author of four best-selling business books, including his newest, UnSelling: The New Customer Experience. One of the most sought-out speakers on social engagement, with a palpable passion for sharing his Un-Marketing message and a rare approachability, Stratten captivates audiences with his nonconformist attitude and exciting perspective on how to think differently, and effectively market, sell and engage in any Un-industry.

Curt Steinhorst is the founder and president of The Promentum Group, a communications consultancy that crafts messages for today’s distracted audiences. As its lead consultant, Curt has helped an impressive variety of companies and public figures — from preparing Johnny Manziel for his Heisman trophy acceptance speech (described by ESPN as “the greatest in history”) to advising the largest record label in country music on its marketing to digital consumers. As a leading voice on strategic communications in the age of distraction, Curt has spoken across the globe to audiences that include Fortune 100 companies, global non-profits, national associations, and professional sports teams. Discovering a rare gift for capturing the attention of large audiences at an early age, Curt was elected President of his 10,000-member class at Texas A&M University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. His forthcoming book, tentatively titled E-mancipate, offers practical strategies for better managing today’s communication tools in the workforce. Curt’s fascination with distraction is not simply professional. Diagnosed with ADD as a child, he’s worked tirelessly to overcome the unique distractions that today’s technology creates.

Everyone here in marketing is so brilliant and they are able to share, they’re able to teach, it’s a fantastic place to network and learn how to make sure you’re not going to make big mistakes.

— MEG ROBERTS President, Molly Maid

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The 2015 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference is two days of discussion focused on topics of importance to franchise consumer marketers today. You’ll network and learn from the franchise industry’s best and brightest B2B and B2C marketing executives.

ttendees 300 A l a Tot isor Professionals h c n 150 Fra isor Brands Franch 120



Field Marketing, Communications, Technology, Social Media & Franchise Development Professionals


16% 17%


37% Directors & Managers of Marketing

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our Y g n i r B ues Colleagpare & Com s Note

Inspiring Speake rs

Unparalleled Networking

Strate & Tact gic Learn ical ing

keaways Immediat Apply Ta ely y—Plan for Tomorrow a d o T or Lear n f


to s e i l p Ap 2C B & B B2 eting mark cs exe


23% 8%


11% 58%

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The must-attend event for marketing executives and marketing service providers! 5/10/16 1:44 PM

Advisory Board

Our conference advisory board is comprised of some of the brightest, experienced and creative marketers in the franchise industry. We couldn’t bring you the quality programs and content without their support. Please join us in thanking them for their contributions.

2016 CONFERENCE CHAIR JEFF RINKE VP, Marketing, Hungry Howie’s Pizza Jeff is VP of Marketing for Hungry Howie’s Pizza, the nation’s 10th largest pizza franchise, with over 545 locations in 20 states. He oversees marketing communications, including branding, advertising, public relations and market research. Jeff works with Hungry Howie’s advertising agency on developing budgets and oversees social and digital marketing. He began his career with Hungry Howie’s in 1987, as a franchise consultant after leaving Domino’s Pizza. SUSAN BORESOW President, Title Boxing Club For the past 29 years, in addition to Massage Envy Spa, Susan has worked for some of the biggest names in franchising, including McDonald’s, Sport Clips, Cold Stone Creamery, Godfather’s Pizza and many more. In her various roles, she has overseen creative, strategy, media, branding, execution, product development, and online initiatives. Susan has also managed research teams, field marketing teams, PR agencies and advertising agencies, national promotions, loyalty and web strategies, and cause marketing. HEATHER BRIGGS Director of Marketing & Strategic Planning, Great Clips Heather Briggs is the Director of Marketing Strategy & Planning for Great Clips, the world’s largest salon brand. She has been with the company for 13 years and has held a variety of positions within the

marketing department. She oversees a team that manages system-wide, co-op, and salon level marketing initiatives. Great Clips currently operates in over 170 markets across the United States and Canada. Prior to joining Great Clips, Heather worked as an Account Executive at Campbell Mithun ad agency, where she worked on both retail and packaged goods accounts. Heather received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and her MBA from Hamline University. When not working, Heather spends her time with her husband and two children. DAVID BUCKLEY CMO, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. David leads a team that executes large-scale nationwide marketing strategies, while leveraging the hyper-local aspect of retailing. David and his team plan and execute marketing campaigns across a wide variety of marketing assets, including newspaper, radio, cable TV, billboard, direct mail, social media, social couponing, e-mail marketing, loyalty marketing, cause marketing, SEO, SEM, store signage/visual planning, POS marketing and local event marketing. RICHARD HOPE CMO, Jersey Mike’s Subs Rich oversees all brand management as well as national and local marketing activities at Jersey Mike’s Subs, a fast casual franchise restaurant chain with over 750 stores open or under development in 33 states. Previously he was President and co-founder of

Sirius Advertising, Inc., working with such accounts as Steinway Piano, Central Jersey Bank, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, Student Transportation of America, Global Logistics International, Jersey Mike’s and many others, spanning 23 years. DOUG KOEGEBOEHN CMO, Wienerschnitzel Doug Koegeboehn (Keg-a-bean) is the Chief Marketing Officer for Wienerschnitzel, the World’s Largest Hot Dog Chain. Doug absolutely loves the enjoyment of eating food and knows pretty much everybody else does too. That’s why he has relished spending much of his entire career working in food-related business. It started when he was 15 and landed a job at the new Burger King. Then when Doug graduated college he joined an advertising agency working on the El Pollo Loco account. For the next 20 years Doug led agency teams on great food accounts, including Dole, Marie Callender’s, the California Avocado Commission, Yogurtland and his favorite, Wienerschnitzel. This past year an opportunity arose and he joined the Wienerschnitzel family as CMO and is loving it. On the personal side, Doug feels extremely lucky to be married to his beautiful wife for the past 20+ years and has two great kids. His marriage and his children are his greatest accomplishments in life. WENDY ODELL MAGUS CFE, VP, Marketing, Kiddie Academy In her role with Kiddie Academy, Wendy is responsible for all consumer and franchise sales marketing strategies. Prior to joining Kiddie Academy in

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2008, Wendy was a Senior Director of Marketing at Sylvan Learning. Wendy has spent the majority of her 20-year career focused on marketing child-centric businesses, including Disney and Kennedy Krieger Institute. She has developed multi-channel advertising and communications strategies that deliver measurable results and help to build businesses. HEATHER NEARY President, Auntie Anne’s Inc. Heather oversees the marketing, menu development, communications, operations, and creative strategy for the Auntie Anne’s system. Under her leadership, sales grew from $275 million in 2006 to more than $476 million in 2012. Heather works to define and execute brand strategy for the more than 1,330 domestic and international Auntie Anne’s locations. In addition, Heather manages the operations support team, which provides business consultation and support for all domestic stores in the Auntie Anne’s system. MARTHA O’GORMAN VP, Marketing & CMO, Liberty Tax Service Martha is one of the founders of Liberty Tax Service, serving as VP of Marketing & CMO since 1997. She is responsible for developing brand awareness in every major market in the United States and Canada. Martha has created marketing and sales strategies for both franchise development and consumer programs that have led to Liberty’s rapid growth and development. Previously, she served as Director of Communications for Jackson Hewitt Tax Service. Martha is also very involved in cause-related marketing for nonprofits.

MEG ROBERTS President, Molly Maid Inc. Meg joined Service Brands International in 2007, serving most recently as VP of Marketing, overseeing both the Molly Maid and Mr. Handyman brands. In that role, her primary focus was on national brand marketing with an emphasis on web-related strategy, where her team produced triple-digit consumer lead flow. Her leadership style, team development skills, management, and strategic planning are what led to her appointment as President of Molly Maid in 2012. STEPHEN SCHILDWACHTER CMO, Brightstar Care Marketing strengthens the brand and drives sales. Steve leads the development of strategies and programs that make BrightStar Care the obvious choice for our B2B and B2C consumers. He leads an experienced team that drives the most value possible from the BrightStar Care General Marketing Fund. This is aligned with franchisees, operations, and other key cross-functional departments. Before joining BrightStar Care, Steve was CMO at media tech startup rVue, Inc. He held leadership roles at Foote, Cone & Belding and Leo Burnett and has extensive international expertise. During the course of his career, he has worked on such franchise brand assignments as Unocal, McDonald’s, Blockbuster, Wendy’s and YUM! Brands. Steve earned his BA in English from College of the Holy Cross and now lives in the Chicago area with his wife and children. LINDA SHAUB SVP, Marketing, Interim HealthCare Inc. Linda is responsible for brand management and strategic

development and implementation of all consumer and business-to-business marketing initiatives designed to drive growth throughout Interim’s franchise network. Linda has more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of marketing and has led Interim in its successful integration of new marketing channels over the last 12 years. She has been instrumental in Interim’s ability to re-launch an aggressive franchising strategy and grow the existing network. TERRI SNYDER EVP & CMO, Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. Terri joined Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. as Executive VP & CMO in April of 2007. In 20+ years of marketing leadership, Terri has crafted the brand identities, advertising messages and new products for several marquee chains in the casual dining and quick service segments. She has served in major marketing roles at Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, Domino’s Pizza, Metromedia Restaurant Group, Bennigan’s, and more. EDWARD WALLER Chief Brand Officer, Paul Davis Restoration Edward B. Waller has been Chief Brand Officer at Paul Davis Restoration, Inc. since September, 2015. Ed has more than 20 years of brand strategy, marketing and franchising expertise. He spent 23 years with CertaPro Painters as Co-Founder and founding franchise owner. He directed all brand and marketing efforts from 2004 to 2015. He is a Past Chairman of FCMC, the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference. He has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo.

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FranchiseConsumer MarketingConference AGENDA AT A GLANCE TUESDAY JUNE 21, 2016

7:30am 8:30am – 11:45am

Concurrent Opening Workshops (Included in conference registration)

8:30am – 10:00am

Crafting the Right Brand Promise that resonates with your cross-demographic customers – consumers, franchisees, and employees.

8:30am – 10:00am

Media – Paid, Owned, Earned & Shared – Develop a multi-media strategy and placement plan.

10:15am – 11:45am

Engage Your Customer Through Their Media Choice – choosing the right media vehicles to reach your target audiences.

10:15am – 11:45am

Media – Paid, Owned, Earned & Shared – Execute, evaluate and measure results of your multi-media plan.

12:00pm – 1:45pm

Lunch in Sponsor Networking Gallery – Exhibits Open

2:00pm – 3:00pm

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3:00pm – 4:00pm 4:10pm – 5:25pm 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Opening General Session Welcome – Therese Thilgen, CEO Franchise Update Media Opening Remarks – Jeff Rinke, VP of Marketing, Hungry Howie’s Pizza, Conference Chairman State of Franchising – Darrell Johnson, President & CEO, FRANdata OPENING KEYNOTE – Scott Stratten What’s Next for Marketing? Local Marketing – imperative for location, market and brand growth.

Research & BIG DATA – How it fits with your brand.

Social Media’s role in driving revenue.

Welcome Reception in Sponsor Networking Gallery – Exhibits Open

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WEDNESDAY JUNE 22, 2016 7:30am 8:20am – 8:50am

Continental Breakfast in General Session Foyer

9:00am – 10:00am

Welcome – Jeff Rinke, VP of Marketing, Hungry Howie’s Pizza, Conference Chairman General Session Panel – Your Customer Comes First! Determine Lead Source Attribution – Measuring Relevant Data & Evaluating Results

Programmatic Media implementation in a multi-media plan.

The Print & Direct Mail Resurgence

Mobile – what does mobile in 2016 mean for my brand and franchisees?

10:10am – 11:00am

Brand Building is More Than Changing Your Logo

11:10am – 12:00pm

Franchisee Compliance with Ad Fund contributions & spend

12:00pm – 1:45pm

Lunch in Sponsor Networking Gallery – Exhibits Open

1:55 pm – 3:00pm

Integrated Media Done Right

3:10pm – 4:00pm

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Registration Open

4:15pm – 5:45pm 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Franchisee participation & compliance of marketing programs

Public Relations Evolution/Revolution

SEO & Web Development – what do we need to be doing now to make ourselves current five years from now

KEYNOTE SPEAKER – Curt Steinhorst Build unbreakable relationships with truly loyal customers. Closing Networking Reception & Dinner (Included in conference registration)

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Full Agenda T U E S D AY J U N E 2 1 , 2 0 1 6 7:30am – 7:30pm


8:30am – 11:45am

CONCURRENT OPENING WORKSHOPS Included in conference registration

8:30am – 10:00am

SESSION 1: Crafting the Right Brand Promise That Resonates With Your Customers – Consumers, Franchisees and Employees Your brand promise is the statement that guides your entire brand growth. Creating the right brand promise is imperative for the long-term health of your brand. It should be simple, on-point and resonate with your customers, franchisees and employees. It’s not as easy as putting pencil to paper – there’s a process involved. Learn how our panel of industry experts has crafted the right promise to guide their brands.

8:30am – 10:00am

SESSION 2: Media – Paid, Owned, Earned & Shared – Develop A Multi-Media Strategy and Placement Plan An effective media strategy is more important today than it ever has been. The vehicles for message reach and frequency cross a variety of platforms. What steps do you take to build an effective media strategy and placement plan? In this workshop you’ll learn how to set objectives, categorize media and determine media roles.

10:15am – 11:45am

SESSION 1: Engage Your Customer Through Their Media Choice – Choosing The Right Media Vehicles to Reach Your Target Audience The number of media options continues to grow, providing a variety of ways for your message to reach your customer. How do you choose the right media vehicle? Do you understand your customer and how she/he receives information? Our panel of experts will discuss ways to understand your customer and the media options to help your message reach them.

10:15am – 11:45am

SESSION 2: Media – Paid, Owned, Earned & Shared – Execute, Evaluate And Measure Results of Your Multi-Media Plan Your media strategy and plan is complete. Now it’s time to execute. What steps do you take to ensure each layer of your media plan is executed effectively? How do you evaluate results and measure effectiveness?

12:00pm – 1:45pm


2:00pm – 3:00pm

OPENING GENERAL SESSION WELCOME Therese Thilgen, CEO Franchise Update Media OPENING REMARKS Jeff Rinke, VP of Marketing, Hungry Howie’s, Conference Chairman STATE OF FRANCHISING Darrell Johnson, President & CEO, FRANdata

3:00pm – 4:00pm

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OPENING KEYNOTE Scott Stratten What’s Next For Marketing?

4:10pm – 5:25pm


4:10pm – 5:25pm

SESSION 1: Local Marketing – Imperative For Location, Market and Brand Growth Marketing individual locations is vital to keep awareness high on opening day and beyond. Your system needs a successful local marketing strategy for new and growing markets, growing brands, and even in established markets. Just because you’re on TV doesn’t mean you don’t need marketing on a local level. In this session, you’ll discover how brands are helping their franchisees own their market, how to budget, and what tools to use to help drive frequency.

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4:10pm – 5:25pm

SESSION 2: Research & BIG DATA – How It Fits With Your Brand To build an effective marketing plan that will drive topline sales, you need to fully understand your target audience(s). To do so, you need as much data as you can collect. What types of research and data collection options are available today? What type of data does each option provide and how can it impact your business? Learn how to develop an effective consumer research program for your brand.

4:10pm – 5:25pm

SESSION 3: Social Media’s Role in Driving Revenue Social Media has played a role in brand awareness for a number of years. We knew a presence was a must and have been learning how to use the tool to drive revenue. Learn how our panel of experts is using social media to drive revenue for their brands.

5:30pm – 7:30pm


W E D N E S D AY J U N E 2 2 7:30am – 5:30pm


8:20am – 8:50am


9:00am – 10:00am

WELCOME Jeff Rinke, VP of Marketing, Hungry Howie’s, Conference Chairman GENERAL SESSION PANEL Your Customer Comes First! We’ve all heard the phrase “The Customer Comes First,” but do our organizations really live by that mantra? Our panel of CEOs will discuss how to build a brand by putting and keeping the customer first.

10:10am – 11:00am


10:10am – 11:00am

SESSION 1: Brand Building Is More Than Changing Your Logo Building a brand is more than a logo. You must build a plan that encompasses the direction each discipline will take to drive revenue and profit. The plan should include marketing & advertising, operations, training and technology, to name a few. Join us to learn how to build an effective brand plan…and then change your logo.

10:10am – 11:00am

SESSION 2: Determine Lead Source Attribution – Measuring Relevant Data & Evaluating Results Marketers know that integrated marketing strategies drive leads. Many of our marketing efforts direct the lead to a website or call center. How do you ensure the lead is attributed to the right marketing vehicle to measure the impact of your marketing efforts? Learn how in this session.

10:10am – 11:00am

SESSION 3: Programmatic Media Implementation in A Multi-Media Plan Programmatic Media is the new kid on the block and is growing in popularity. It has the potential to become an integral piece of any marketing program, but can be difficult to understand. Join our Programmatic Media expert to learn how it can be implemented into your media plan.

11:10am – 12:00pm

SESSION 1: Franchisee Compliance with Ad Fund Contributions & Spend Execution of your well thought out marketing and media plans takes money. It’s important to have the Ad Fund contributions of every franchisee to support execution of your plan. Not every franchisee is eager to contribute. How do you handle franchisees that aren’t compliant with their Ad Fund contributions? Our panel will share some great stories and advice for franchisee compliance with Ad Fund.

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Full Agenda CONTINUED 11:10am – 12:00pm

SESSION 2: The Print & Direct Mail Resurgence Online communication has been a big focus for several years, but the Internet waves are cloudy. Print and Direct Mail have enjoyed a growing interest as a way to cut through the clutter of online. Learn how to reach your customer through these tried and true vehicles.

11:10am – 12:00pm

SESSION 3: Mobile – What Does Mobile in 2016 Mean for My Brand and Franchisees? Mobile marketing has become an integral part of many marketing programs, providing new ways to reach your customers. Options include text marketing, geo-fencing, mobile apps and online ordering, to name a few. It also provides an opportunity to collect data from every purchase that will help you further understand your customers. Join our panel of experts to learn how Mobile Marketing can enhance your 2016 marketing programs and help you prepare for the future.

12:00pm – 1:45pm


1:55pm – 3:00pm

Integrated Media Done Right Implementing a campaign through multiple media options is critical for driving topline sales. Effective use of paid, earned, owned and shared media is key, but how do you make it work? Join our panel to learn how multi-media delivery of a campaign is done right.

3:10pm – 4:00pm


3:10pm – 4:00pm

SESSION 1: Franchisee Participation & Compliance of Marketing Programs Your franchisee market/co-op has agreed to participate in the new product or program. Its success is determined by effective execution of all locations. What programs, tools and resources can you implement to ensure that all franchisees are following the program? Gain ideas for getting your franchisees participating in your marketing programs.

3:10pm – 4:00pm

SESSION 2: Public Relations Evolution/Revolution Public Relations is an integral part of any marketing plan. Choosing the PR firm that best fits your brand is an important decision. Many PR firms have evolved their services beyond traditional PR. These transitions have changed the landscape of PR today. In this session, you’ll gain a better understanding of the services offered by some of the franchise industry’s most revolutionary PR firms. Join us to learn which firms can help revolutionize your brand!

3:10pm – 4:00pm

SESSION 3: SEO & Web Development – What Do We Need to Be Doing Now to Make Ourselves Current Five Years from Now? The changing online landscape provides an opportunity for elevating your brand image. The reality is that the ability to change online presence grows faster than is feasible for our brands. How do you build your SEO & web development programs today to meet the online capabilities in the coming years? Our panel of experts gives you a look into the future.

4:15pm – 5:45pm

6:00pm – 8:00pm

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CLOSING KEYNOTE Curt Steinhorst Build Unbreakable Relationships With Truly Loyal Customers Curt Steinhorst is an expert in crafting messages that cut through today’s distracted audiences to build loyal relationships. Join us for this interactive session on how you can build truly loyal relationships with your customers. CLOSING NETWORKING RECEPTION & DINNER Meet & Greet with Curt Steinhorst INCLUDED IN CONFERENCE REGISTRATION

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2016 Speakers

A sampling of our 2016 speakers follow. Please check the conference website for updated information.

JONATHAN BARNETT CEO OxiFresh Carpet Cleaning

AARON GROTE Digital Strategist Great Clips

MATT QUANDT Director of Marketing Brightstar Care

NANCY BIGLEY CEO Bottle & Botega

MIKE HANBERY EVP Marketing & Brand Development Growler USA

ALI RAUCH Director of Marketing Chicken Salad Chick

SUSAN BORESOW President Title Boxing Club

JENNIE HONG Sr. Director of Brand Marketing & Strategy Tropical Smoothie Cafe

JEFF RINKE VP Marketing Hungry Howie’s Pizza

HEATHER BRIGGS Director, Planning & Strategy Great Clips

SCOTT IVERSEN VP Marketing Toppers Pizza


DAVID BUCKLEY CMO Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores


WILLIAM RODRIGUEZ President & Co-Founder Lmap Powered by Silvercrest

BROOKE BUDKE Director of Marketing Title Boxing Club

JOSH MARTIN Director, Digital & Social Media Arby’s

ANGIE SCHATSCHNEIDER Creative Director Batteries Plus Bulbs

BRITTANY BURZAWA Director, Marketing Rosati’s Pizza

HEATHER MCLEOD Director of Marketing The Cleaning Authority


DUONE BYARS Director of Marketing Christian Brothers Automotive


CRAIG CECCANTI CEO & Co-Founder Pinot’s Palette


DARRYL SINGER National Director, DSP (Demand Side Platform) Centro

JOSE COSTA Group President Driven Brands

JANET MUHLEMAN President re:group

CHRISTINA COY VP, Marketing Pie Five

ALICE O’DONNELL VP Marketing Massage Heights

LORNE FISHER CEO Fish Consulting

MARTHA O’GORMAN CMO Liberty Tax Service

CURTIS FORD Associate Marketing Manager Great Clips

WENDY ODELL-MAGUS Vice President of Marketing Kiddie Academy

DREW FRENCH Founder/CEO Your Pie

ANGELA PAULES Director of Marketing Mosquito Joe

MATT FRIEDMAN President / CEO Wing Zone

DODIE PLIES Director, Field Marketing Primrose Schools


GILLIAN PLUMMER VP Marketing Wayback Burgers

EDDY GOLDBERG Managing Editor Franchise Update Media

NICK POWILLS Chief Brand Strategist No Limit Agency

TERRI SNYDER EVP/CMO Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants ADAM TERRANOVA Marketing Manager Philly Pretzel Factory MOLLIE TREGEMBO VP Marketing Uncle Maddio’s Pizza ALEX VACCARO VP Marketing Connectivity DEBRA VILCHIS COO Fishman PR ED WALLER Chief Brand Officer Paul Davis Restoration ALAN WRIGHT CMO Newk’s Eatery JAMI ZIMMERMAN Director, Corporate Communication Rave Restaurant Group * As of press time.

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Sponsors This is a don’t-miss event for service providers interested in attracting CEOs, Presidents, and decision makers in the areas of consumer marketing and brand development. You’ll network with the franchise industry’s most talented consumer marketing executives and discover new ideas. This event is exclusive to franchisors, and the only suppliers in attendance are conference sponsors. Join us for our sixth annual event!




SILVER 919 Marketing Company ARKADAS GROUP Berry Network, a YP Company Bluewater Brandify Brandmuscle CallTrackingMetrics Cockrell Enovation DataSource Inc. eKomi The Feedback Company Entrepreneur Media Franchise Payments Network Franconnect

IMN iMobile3 Listen360 Local Search Masters Localbiz360 Location3 Media Mocentric, Inc. Money Mailer, LLC Patriot Creative Group Precision Services Group Preferred Marketing Solutions Prisma Graphic Promio

ReachLocal Scent Systems by Yankee Candle® SOCi Suttle-Straus, Inc SweetIQ theCRUSHagency Vya Systems WebPunch Xpressdocs Yodle for Brand Networks




Silvercrest Advertising


Clayton Kendall





Silvercrest Advertising

Silvercrest Advertising




Mocentric, Inc.

Yext, Inc

Fish Consulting Fishman Public Relations MGH Mindstream Interactive No Limit Agency

AGENDA AT A GLANCE Silvercrest Advertising

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5/11/16 9:40 AM

Bring two or more people from your brand and save! See chart for details:

Early bird RATES


1 Attendee

2 Attendees

3 Attendees

4 Attendees









$626.50 $626.50






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4 Easy Ways To Register: Online: Phone: 800.289.4232 ext. 202 Mail Registration Form: (download from: franchiseconsumermarketing. com/downloads/registration.pdf)

Mail with check made payable to: Franchise Update Media 6489 Camden Ave, Suite 204 San Jose, CA 95120 Fax Registration Form with credit card information to: 408.402.5738

REFUND AND SUBSTITUTION POLICY: Please provide cancellations to Franchise Update Media in writing by Friday May 27, 2016. Your registration fee will be refunded, less a $100 processing fee. After May 27, 2016, no refunds or credits will be issued. Substitutions may be made at any time.

The 2016 Franchise Consumer Book early! For the best rate, please call (877) 622-2115 and identify yourself as part of the Franchise Marketing Conference Consumer Marketing Conference to receive our will return to Atlanta at the special rate. A limited number of rooms have been InterContinental Buckhead Hotel set aside for conference attendees. This rate expires Tuesday, May 31st, 2016 or when room block is full. to accommodate the The room block code is “FU2� growing interest in consumer Please note that the link will not work in a mobile browser (such as marketing and its role in on an iPhone or Android device). To see and book a group rate, guests must use the link on a full browser such as Chrome or Safari. franchise system growth.


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InterContinental Buckhead 3315 Peachtree Road, N.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30326 USA (877) 422-8254 - Reservations Please note we do NOT work with third party agency room brokers. If you are contacted by them do not go through them to book your room.

5/10/16 1:45 PM


56 Franchise Development

Developing a strong online presence is critical to success

58 Challenge the Pros

“How do you choose the right marketing media to reach your ideal candidates, and how often should you communicate with them?”

59 Challenge the Pros II

“How do you use social media to attract prospects and validate candidates?”

60 Sales Smarts

The 4 types of “Aha!” moments your sales team should know

61 Market Trends

Bank underwriting is changing – and to compete, so must brands

62 International

Consumer marketing trends worldwide shine a light on U.S. practices

64 It’s Closing Time

Give back, get back: 3 stories of community involvement 54

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Join the Movement Are You a FAN? Franchise businesses need to come together and speak with one, consistent, strong and collective voice on behalf of our great industry. IFA has launched the Franchise Action Network (FAN), to mobilize the franchise industry to be that voice. By joining the FAN, we will unite all of our voices within franchising with a strong message about the positive impacts of the franchise business model in every community across the country. Make your voice heard and join in this fight by signing up for the FAN today! If you have any questions about this new initiative, please do not hesitate to contact IFA’s Senior Director, Political Affairs & Grassroots Advocacy, Erica Farage at or 202-662-0760.

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arketing isn’t what it used to be. Your once tightly controlled brand identity is a thing of the past. We live in an era dominated by social media, where literally everyone can share their opinion on what your franchise brand stands for. Supporters, detractors, activists… like them or loathe them, if you want to grow your franchise system you must know how this model works. One of today’s most critical keys to growing a franchise system is evolving into a brand that can honestly demonstrate the answer to the question: “Do they love you, or just know who you are?” The difference has proven to be critical in providing a franchise candidate with the confidence needed to move to close—as well as in improving metrics from historically lackluster closing effectiveness rates (typically about 1.5 percent of total leads generated) to levels more akin to those reserved for when a brand has been “referred” (typically at or above 5 percent of total leads generated).


Successful franchise development hinges on proactive validation— what a candidate discovers before completing your lead generation form.

A case in point As part of a recent keynote speech on behalf of an emerging brand in the home services category, we set out to demonstrate how traditional content on franchise websites fails to demonstrate brand superiority (if it ever could). We took the online language describing how the brand differentiated itself from its top competitors and stripped it of all of its branding and references to who specifically said it by name. We presented it to the audience, asking executive management and franchisees alike to identify which was theirs. Among the 50-plus franchisees, all corporate executives, and team members in attendance, fewer than 3 in 10 (28 percent) could identify their

brand from the competition in this simulated test. This raises a critical question: If you can’t identify yourself out of a lineup, how can you expect your customers and prospects to do so? This illustrates our point that it’s no longer who you say you are, but who they say you are. The truth is that your brand promise is no longer owned by corporate marketing. It is instead molded, refreshed, and propagated daily by your customers and others. Online reviews, smartphones, and social media are not passing fads. But can they be useful to your franchise recruiting and development efforts? Or are they 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? Your franchise brand will be made or lost based on its local and network’s “social proof.” There also is no better way to illustrate that your organization knows how to get found and manage customers at the local level, which is where it really counts. At the conference mentioned above, we found a very marketing-savvy CEO and founder looking to accelerate the brand’s growth of new licensees, as growth had stalled in recent years. We offered to conduct an analysis of the strength of the brand’s online presence to determine influencing factors. To that end, we were offered approximately 10 franchisees to study the effectiveness of their online campaigns and social presence. Here’s a sample of what we discovered. • Of the online sites where they desired to have a presence (e.g., LinkedIn, Instagram, Google Maps, Google+, Yelp, Facebook), they were missing from 20 of their 30 preferred online social sites and search engines. • Significant issues and errors in their franchise listings, with a rating of 23 percent out of 100. • Brand inconsistencies from location to location as franchisees either had their own websites or multiple sites, given that the franchisor had provided microsites in an effort to create brand consistency. • Keywords that showed very little symmetry or consistency. • A search engine share of “voice” versus that of local competitors showed that they were barely being discussed in social media circles in their own markets against keywords they hoped to dominate.

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• Content that failed to be maintained. • No responses to comments made by customers who posted reviews (good or bad), demonstrating an apparent apathy in listening or responding. • Finally, in most cases, a sheer lack of any online reviews. The top franchisee in the system had a total of only 40 reviews. These statistics should be viewed from the perspective that franchisors who can’t demonstrate that they can generate interest and passion from their own customer base will fail to convert prospects that otherwise initially bought into the brand’s marketing propaganda. After all is said and done, these metrics can be the best predictor of what potential franchisees might experience in terms of the effective management and leadership from the support center. Expanding the loop 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. Look at it this way: a well-defined and properly executed sales process is critical, but there are many other data streams you can leverage to improve your franchise recruiting and provide your candidates with the certainty that you “get” today’s consumer. The most prominent of these data streams are the online reviews available to everyone through Yelp, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Angie’s List, and many other online sources. Being able to see and understand what your prospects and customers think about your products, services, and employees at the local level is the ultimate leg up for successful development—if you put this data to use. According to the 2015 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising report, online reviews rank third for trust, behind only personal references and branded sites. The report also found that 83 percent of respondents said they are likely to take action on recommendations from people they know, followed by consumer opinions posted online at 66 percent.

What you can do We are witnessing a massive shift in consumer buying behavior. The smartphone has become a “recommendation engine” that virtually everyone carries with them throughout the day. What does this have to do with franchise recruitment? Simple:


lacking any other information, would you be more inclined to buy a two-star cupcake or a five-star cupcake? The same logic applies when people shop for a franchise to buy. Still not convinced that bad reviews cost you money? A Harvard Business School study found a one-star rating decrease can reduce revenues by nearly 10 percent. It literally pays to stay on top of all reviews posted about your business. Branding and advertising are customer-focused functions that belong to the marketing department. But your candidates are watching, too. They will notice if your brand is connecting and engaging with prospective customers. To do that and compete effectively, your brand must now be prepared to do the following on a regular basis: • Optimize local directories (to get found). • Monitor reviews at the local level (to be in the know). • Respond appropriately (to show you care). • Leverage customer insights throughout your organization. • Illustrate to candidates you know what it takes to be successful in 2016 and beyond. When your brand executes well on all these points, your candidates will see and know that: 1) you’re going to help them connect with prospective customers in their location, and 2) you do other things right too. If you want to be seen as a brand on the move in 2016 and beyond, then show up as one. Demonstrate to your customers and candidates that your brand isn’t just known. It is loved. n Keith Gerson, president and chief client advocate of FranConnect, has more than 40 years of franchise executive experience. Tim Johnson is the former founder and CEO of Process Peak, which was acquired by FranConnect, where he now serves as president of brand development. Visit to learn more.

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Challenge the pros “HOW DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO ATTRACT PROSPECTS AND VALIDATE CANDIDATES? Alex Samios Director of Franchising Dogtopia Social media is a regular function of our franchise development team. We use it to generate leads, nurture existing prospects, and validate that the franchise candidate is right for our brand. Today’s prospective franchisees want a self-directed approach; they don’t want to feel as if a franchisor is trying to sell them on the concept. With this in mind, you need to adopt a softer, more subtle social media strategy for franchise sales—especially when posting franchise development-focused messaging on your brand’s consumer social media accounts. At Dogtopia, we keep our corporate Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages separate from those of our franchise owners, who all have their own individual accounts that are updated regularly. Considering the many parallels between our target pet parent and our ideal franchise candidate, our consumer social media pages are useful venues to encourage followers to become a Dogtopian. While this is the case, we are very cautious about how we incorporate franchise development messaging. Frequently publishing blatant franchise development-focused posts will turn off consumers, causing your following to dwindle. The key is to be authentic and refrain from dropping the “F bomb.” And by F bomb, I mean Franchise. For example, if you’re trying to determine which regions to target your franchise development efforts, ask your Facebook community: “If you could open a _____ anywhere, where would it be?” Then promote the post so it shows up in more newsfeeds. Besides showing where consumers want your brand, this hints to fans that your concept is a franchise and they can open their own location. Another great way to draw in prospective franchisees is to share relatable content about your franchise owners. For Instagram, this


might be a 16-second video about a franchisee’s career transition, or a photo from a news article about a franchisee Traditionally, our ideal franchise candidates are owner-operators, but we’re shifting toward a more business-minded investor who would rather work on the business than in the business. As we rethink our franchise sales approach to better reach this target owner, we also will be adapting our social media strategy. For example, rather than subtle approaches through consumer pages, we may begin targeting social influencers who have highly engaged followings of multiunit franchisees within the fast-casual sector. Like most franchisors, we carefully award franchises to ensure a candidate is truly the right fit for our brand. Many people put their entire lives on social media, so when evaluating a prospective franchisee (or an employee, for that matter), a review of their social accounts can tell you a lot about them and may reveal any “red flags” that could make them a bad fit with the organizational culture. Social information also can be used to verify what someone tells you in an interview or on a questionnaire. I use LinkedIn and other professional sites frequently to verify work history and transferable business skills. “Red” Boswell Senior Vice President, Franchising and Business Development Expense Reduction Analysts To some, social media is a whippin’—one big annoyance—but to me it’s a blast. Jump onto Facebook for 30 seconds and you’ll see amazing transparency, humor, personal branding, bold ignorance, inspiration, heartache, plus a whole lot of cute kitten

and ugly kid photos. At Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) we invest most of our time and effort in the social media space with LinkedIn, the leading social network specifically focused on the business community. Over the past 18 months it’s become considerably easier to locate, connect with, and validate the suitability of candidates on LinkedIn. We vet our franchise candidates thoroughly. ERA franchisees don’t just represent our brand; they are our brand. Regardless of a franchisee’s chosen focus (client acquirer or expense category specialist), LinkedIn allows my team to gain a much deeper understanding of a candidate. Within hours of receiving a candidate’s inquiry we email, text, call, and send them a LinkedIn connection request. For the candidate, viewing my profile also helps build my credibility and earn respect in their eyes. It also allows the candidate to see me as a real person. Our franchise development department has chosen not to create a separate page from our client-focused pages on any social media site. Prospective franchisees will see only client-focused messaging. Instead, aside from tracking pixels and dabbling with some right side banners, our LinkedIn recruiting efforts have primarily been on targeting ideal candidates (geographically and experientially) with personal direct messages or through InMails. My team and I always share on our individual LinkedIn and Twitter feeds any articles, blog posts, or white papers that ERA’s franchisees, marketing department, or public relations team write. I’ve enjoyed learning, making friends, and sharing daily on social media (and its predecessor, online message boards) since 1998. While social media will never be our only resource for high-quality candidates, it does continue to gain mindshare in our recruiting efforts. Be real, create a plan, and execute it consistently. n

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Challenge the pros “HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT MARKETING MEDIA TO REACH YOUR IDEAL CANDIDATES, AND HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU COMMUNICATE WITH THEM?” Mark Jameson Executive Vice President, Franchise Support & Development Fastsigns International We believe in utilizing many different marketing channels to reach our candidates, and more importantly, in targeting those in the right markets and for the right category or model. Our brand relies on a strong public relations and digital marketing strategy to target and find the ideal candidates. With the help of a significant national TV buy, Fastsigns is lucky to have a strong brand presence that enables us to stay top of mind. However, this is only a piece of how we communicate the franchise opportunity to candidates, so we must employ a variety of marketing strategies to attract the right candidates. We have found public relations is key in conveying our franchise development messages and is the overarching medium we use to tell our brand story, share new market opportunities, announce new deals, and drive leads to our website for more information. We use our website to keep the conversation going and to allow candidates to explore our various models, including new centers, conversions, co-branding, and international. This is followed up with a focused retargeting campaign for those who do not complete a form and leave the site. We use various franchisee testimonials as the primary messaging in our retargeting efforts. In addition, we provide strong franchise validation by making our existing franchisees available to new candidates. And, with a strong focus on the more than 400 open markets and targeted areas of development in the U.S. and Canada, we penetrate these markets with a pay-per-click campaign to geo-target candidates in those areas to let them know what opportunities are open and to encourage them to learn more. Whether we seek qualified candidates through a portal, pay-per-click, public rela-

tions, brokers, or trade shows, the ultimate goal is to have one of our field-based development directors meet with candidates and follow our defined process to educate them on our model. Even if we find that the timing may not be right for a particular candidate, we focus on ongoing communication with all candidates and continue to follow up through drip campaigns using our CRM system. This ensures that we don’t lose touch with someone who may have interest and be qualified, but who isn’t quite ready to make a decision. We also use social media as an ongoing communications tool and rely on LinkedIn and Twitter to deliver franchise development messages and keep Fastsigns in front of candidates who may be considering our brand. Charles Watson Chief Development Officer Tropical Smoothie Café When choosing the media vehicles for communicating with your target audience, it’s important to have a clear definition of that audience. If you are targeting Millennials who tend to be heavy digital users, then digital tactics such as Facebook and retargeting ads may be the best way to reach them. If your ideal prospect is an older “Corporate America” executive looking for a career change, then national business media may be the best way to connect with those potential franchisees. Also keep in mind whether or not you’re targeting a single- or multi-unit owner, as they usually have drastically different behaviors. The biggest multi-unit operators likely aren’t going to read your generic e-blast—but they may pay attention if you invest in attending a key

trade show like the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference and make a concerted effort to connect with them personally. While there are many options to reach your ideal candidates, understanding their thoughts and motivations will allow you to get in front of them in the most effective ways and provide relevant content that hooks them in to learning more about your business opportunity. The key is to have a layered plan to reach potential prospects in their everyday lives, from radio and print to paid search, digital advertising, or trade shows.

The key to any marketing campaign is consistency and repetition. Remember, the key to any marketing campaign is consistency and repetition. The more you are in front of your audience, the more they will be compelled to learn more. Though you may be sick of your ads because of the repetition, it does not mean your audience is. They’re just getting to know you. People generally need to see your messaging multiple times before moving forward with a decision, especially one as big as signing a franchise agreement. Radio ads are the perfect example: it takes someone hearing it over and over for it to stick with them and get them to engage. Finally, it’s incredibly important to make sure everything can be tracked. That way you can determine the ROI and continue to reinvest in the marketing tactics that deliver the strongest results for your brand. Don’t waste time putting valuable marketing dollars behind tactics that don’t work just because you think you should be doing it—like social media. If it doesn’t work, focus on your more successful avenues. n

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5/9/16 9:59 AM


Salessmarts Aiming for “Aha!”

Matching your brand to candidates’ goals BY JIM BENDER


f you’ve been around the sales and marketing world for any number of years you know the concept of an “Aha!” moment. It is that point in time when the proverbial light bulb goes on, the moment when everything makes sense, the moment when someone finds what they need or, more importantly, what they want. Aha! moments are key milestones when making monumental decisions such as buying a home, getting married, or investing in a franchise. In the franchise sales world, these moments have a special function. They confirm that we successfully matched the benefits of our brands to the dreams and goals of the candidates. As sales pros, it is up to us to create Aha! moments in the mind of our candidates. At the end of each conversation, ask your candidates to describe the Aha! moment they gleaned from the conversation. Their answer is a real-time report card on your performance as a sales professional. The 4 types of Aha! moments Type 1 is the “Aha, now I get it!” moment. These happen when a candidate begins to wrap their arms around what a brand delivers and how it does it, typically during an initial phone conversation. Many of these moments occur when leading the candidate through a brand’s particular market niche, unique marketing and sales strategies, territory or area development agreement opportunities, or during the financial performance review. Conversion from a discussion about all the details to an Aha! moment requires that we know when the moment is approaching, that we planned for its arrival, and that we practiced its delivery. For example: 1) the expansive territory you provide does not merely enable the franchisee’s success, it provides the opportunity to scale their business to even greater heights over time; 2) sales strategies that target schools and community organizations are not simply the most productive, they provide the


franchisee an opportunity to be a strong corporate citizen and give back to the local community; and 3) while strong financial performance is a demonstration of success, it is the source of the legacy that candidates seek for their children and family. Type 2 is the “Aha, this is real!” moment. With proper planning and preparation, these moments occur during due diligence

calls with existing franchise owners. If we have prepared the candidate properly, they will experience a two-part Aha! moment: 1) that voice on the phone (you, the salesperson) has been telling me the truth, and 2) this opportunity is for real. “The truth is our brand is your best opportunity to achieve your goals, and you have the talent and experience to duplicate the success past candidates currently enjoy.” Type 3 is the “Aha, we are going to be successful!” moment. These moments occur most often in person during discovery day. They occur when it all comes together for the candidate, and their level of con-

fidence skyrockets. They occur when we take them to restaurants where every seat is full; when we show them appointment books for every crew that are full six days a week for months on end; or when we walk them into a service bay full of cars. Successful Type 3 Aha! moments require planning and practice. For example, candidates briefly tour several operations, not lingering for hours repeating the same conversations, with each stop becoming a live demonstration of the success you have been describing for weeks. For the candidate, the resulting Aha! moment becomes, “I am confident I can be a success.” Type 4 is the “Aha, I knew there would be a catch!” moment. These are not moments we planned or practiced for, but we must be prepared to handle them when they occur. These moments happen most often during the due diligence phase when a candidate turns over a small rock and a big, hairy troll jumps out. Typically, they are hard to put back under that rock. Sales professionals know if there are trolls hiding in their offering and that they need to bring them out in the open early in the relationship, within a controlled environment—and then provide an accurate, reasonable, and rational explanation supported by both management and franchisees. Candidates realize no person or brand is perfect. They simply want to know they’ll be working with capable, straightforward people when things do not go well. We begin every conversation with a franchise candidate with the goal of creating one unique Aha! moment for that person. At the end, we ask them to describe the Aha! moment they experienced that day. We find this process confirms the effectiveness of our presentation, provides a realtime grade of our sales performance, and makes the personal interaction more fun. Give it a try. (And don’t let those trolls steal your show.) Happy Selling, Jim Jim Bender is the president and owner of Franchise System Builders. He has been in the franchise industry for 37 years and has provided clients with sales outsourcing and concept packaging services since 2002. Contact him at or 248-647-1989.

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Market trends The New Underwriting As banks evolve, so must borrowers BY DARRELL JOHNSON


ank lending cycles last about 7 to 10 years, and in every cycle bankers find some “out with the old, in with the new” approaches to lending. Sometimes that leads to a pivot in industry focus, such as a move in retail banking away from housing toward autos, and in commercial lending from commodities toward healthcare. Sometimes this leads to differences in how underwriting is done, which is applied across industries. During the last economic rodeo that ended in 2008, both retail and commercial lenders became enamored with “low documentation” loans. Essentially, they were betting that higher loan volumes at lower underwriting costs would balance an expected rise in underperforming loans. That didn’t end well. After the predictable decline and then slow rise in lending after 2009, lenders searched for the next “new” approach to loan underwriting. As the economic recovery progressed, banks came under greater pressure to grow earnings, which meant closing more loans. As one would expect, in the first few years of economic recovery banks began dipping their credit risk toe back into business lending at the low end of the risk spectrum. In franchising, that meant multi-unit operators, and banks were stumbling over one another to offer them better terms. However, there wasn’t enough loan volume of this type to go around, so some banks started moving up the loan risk curve. SBA lending, because of its guarantee structure, became a darling of banks and volumes spiked. Now we are seeing the “new normal” phase of commercial lending, with loan structuring and pricing becoming key differentiators as banks move further out on the risk curve. All these trends are predictable behaviors during an economic recovery. Lenders learn from what didn’t work

well during the last downturn and make changes to how they underwrite. Before I explain what bankers learned from the last cycle that is changing franchise lending, I should mention two other trends that are affecting where we are today. The first is regulation. When an eco-

Loan underwriting essentially is an activity that tries to understand the past to predict the future. nomic downturn is caused by a financial crisis, as the 2008 recession was, you can count on regulators to react strongly. And, right on cue, we saw a litany of new banking regulations. Two key results were much greater documentation requirements for commercial loans and greater bank portfolio stress testing requirements to determine capital reserve adequacy. Both of these had implications for franchise lending. The second trend is technology. With the onset of “big data” risk analysis and easier access to more sources of information about an industry, a brand, and a borrower, lenders began experimenting with new ways to approach commercial loan underwriting. What does all this mean for franchising? The answer is a lot—with more coming. To grow, franchising must have continuing downstream access to capital. It’s a basic tenet of the business model. Adapting to the changes that banks are starting to introduce is necessary to see a continued flow of capital. How underwriting is changing Loan underwriting essentially is an activity that tries to understand the past to predict the future. This means look-

ing at a borrower’s historical business and personal results, including financial statements, tax returns, and business and personal behavior, often in the form of FICO scores and personal interviews. What lenders learned from the last lending cycle is that franchise lending has two attributes that help banks improve loan predictability: uniformity and conformity. If the same potential borrower is considering two franchise brands, the underwriter should be able to predict which brand has a higher likelihood of a successful franchisee and therefore a performing loan. Doing so requires better brand underwriting due diligence. Technology, especially in this era of “big data,” gives underwriters more access to information. The challenge they have is putting that information into an underwriting model that predicts loan outcomes. This need is being accentuated as regulators put more pressure on them to defend their underwriting due diligence and stress test their loan portfolios for capital adequacy. Banks asked us whether a scoring model akin to a borrower’s FICO score could be developed to put franchise system credit risk into a relative performance context. Over the past two years we have developed and refined a model that is doing just that: FUND Scores and their associated FUND Reports. The model looks at 13 factors that influence franchise system credit risk from a lender perspective. It is built on a 950-point model and looks at a minimum of 5 years of franchise unit, system, and franchisor history. Banks can purchase a report, and franchisors can obtain a report and consultation as a component of the financing eligibility services FRANdata offers. The 2008 recession and frustratingly slow recovery has been difficult to experience. At least one good thing came from it: Lenders now have an objective and rational basis to reward better performing brands with more and less-expensive capital, and “reward” underperforming brands with less and more-expensive capital. For years franchisors have been told their franchise system performance matters. Now it matters to lenders. n Darrell Johnson is CEO of FRANdata, an independent research company supplying information and analysis for the franchising sector since 1989. He can be reached at 703-740-4700 or

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International Worldwide Marketing Global consumer marketing trends in 9 countries BY BILL EDWARDS


onsumer marketing around the world is both the same and different from country to country. Adapting to the differences is critical in marketing a brand successfully overseas. To help sort out the similarities and differences in global consumer marketing, we asked leading franchise specialists in countries with a high level of franchising activity to tell us what they’re seeing with respect to PR, social media, and local marketing. • China. Although there is no Facebook or Twitter allowed, Chinese consumers have local social media tools with similar functions and service quality. China has two dominant social media operators: Sina Weibo and Tencent’s WeChat. Advertisements have been drastically reduced in traditional print media. Brand broadcasting in social media is widely adopted by brand owners, especially by PR through accounts of well-known people or celebrities. Most brand owners very much value the importance of social media marketing by setting up their own official accounts in both services. In 2015 there were 697 million users of WeChat and more than 500 million users of Weibo. —James Liu, Managing Director, FranChina • India. India is a multifaceted market with a huge population (1.3 billion) and large geographical area. Today’s young Indian customers are educated, smart, equipped with technology, and well informed through various media channels. Consumer marketing in India is driven largely by the growth of smartphones. India, already the world’s second-largest smartphone market, expects the number of smartphones to grow strongly to more than 650 million by 2019. Increasing emphasis is being laid on social and mobile marketing such as text messages and social networking sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and paid online advertisements like Google Ads.


These platforms not only disseminate information, they also enable customers to discuss issues, likes and dislikes, and make recommendations. —Rajeev Manchanda, Managing Director, Inventure India, New Delhi • Japan. Even in what was once considered a conservative country, Japanese consumer behavior has totally changed over the past 10 years, characterized by the increase in online shopping and the use of social media. Online shopping continues to increase, with annual growth of 15.9 percent and is now above US$110 billion a year. Most young consumers order tickets for sports events, concerts, and movies with their smartphone and tablet. Japanese consumers continue to enjoy conventional window shopping as a way of confirming quality and tastes; then they actually order the products online. The Japanese consumer decides which franchised restaurants they will go to through their analysis of brand reputation by social media. In a few years, more than 25 percent of the Japanese population will be over 65. These seniors will prefer online shopping and will use social media to determine brand reputations. —Ichiro “Roy” Fujita, President and CEO, I. Fujita International, Torrance, Calif. • Mexico. Public relations plays an important role in creating opinion leaders and building the reputation of thousands of companies and organizations by virtue of the close relationship PR professionals have with public media outlets and the people they reach. PR today has a role in transmitting products, services, events, and activities not only for companies and organizations, but also for people and individuals with certain standing in society, politics, or economic circles and has transformed into a mainstream source of information. —Roberto Litwak, COO, Feher & Feher, Mexico City and Sherman Oaks, Calif.

• New Zealand. Social media is allimportant. While there is still advertising in newspapers, magazines, and Yellow Pages, social media is taking over with LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram becoming large marketing platforms. Sixty percent of the population is on Facebook, so consumers with Facebook accounts see banners that relate to pages they may like and items that they may typically search for on the Internet. Advertisers often place their ads on Google, which allows advertisers to target specific audiences through the use of categories, keywords, and content. —Stewart Germann, Partner, Stewart Germann Law Office, Auckland • Peru. Peruvians are early adopters and have embraced social media and mobile applications at a fast pace. Facebook is the tool of choice by far. There are 16.6 million Facebook users in Peru (50 percent of the population). Marketing strategies closely follow U.S. practices. Retail business is very similar to the U.S. model. Peruvian Millennial consumer patterns and preferences are identical
to those of their U.S. counterparts making Internet-researched purchasing decisions, with increasing ecological and health consciousness and strong lifestyle preferences. As a sign of the times, a major bank that owns foreign restaurant franchises frequently contacts their bank clients through email with special offers for their food franchises. —Jose RiveraSantander, Owner, Santander Alliances & Partnerships, Los Angeles • Turkey. The growth in the Turkish economy within the past decade attracted more players into the market in almost all sectors, triggering a more competitive business climate. As competition has become more intense, companies that want to differentiate their products and services evolved in terms of consumer marketing. The young population of Turkey adopted the usage of social media to become the country with the 7th-highest number of Facebook users. Considering the many options and continuously developing technology, consumer marketing through social media has created a completely new level of marketing medium that is expanding not only in size but also in creativity with each passing year. —Enver Celikbas, COO at Kale & Co., Istanbul • United Kingdom. Traditional marketing is still very strong in the U.K. De-

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William Edwards, CEO of EGS LLC, has 40 years of international business experience. He has lived in 7 countries, worked on projects in more than 60, and has advised more than 50 U.S. companies on international development. Contact him at 949-375-1896,, or read his blog at






Conclusion Even as consumer marketing through mobile marketing is the growing trend in rapidly developing countries, traditional marketing avenues such as PR and print ads still have a place in many countries. The key is knowing what works best for each. n

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spite the move away from printed media, if you go into any newsagent (newsstand), the shelves are filled with glossy magazines that cater to every imaginable interest, from personal health to knitting. There is a seemingly inexorable move to promotions designed specifically for mobile devices and the growing role of bloggers who can influence buyer behavior. We see the growing use of video and image-based content
and more effective use of data to allow relevant targeting of specific consumer categories. Finally there is the growth of reactive marketing where pizza companies will send special offers to people who are in the vicinity of one of their (or even their competitors’) outlets. —Iain Martin, Managing Director, The International Franchising Centre, U.K. • Vietnam. More than half of the 91 million people in Vietnam are on the Internet, with more than 136 million mobile connections. The Vietnamese make extensive use of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ with more than 30 million subscribers. Vietnam’s communist government, which once blocked Facebook, now has its own page to reach young Internet-savvy users who turn to it for news. Retailers must be especially competent in shaping consumer marketing initiatives that evolve around the mobile devices and the social media platforms that Vietnamese consumers continually depend on as their main platform for information, news, ecommerce, entertainment, and even in areas such as food delivery services. — Sean Ngo, CEO, VF Franchise Consulting, Ho Chi Minh City

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It’s closing time Give Back, Get Back 3 tales of community involvement



onsumer marketing executives are fiercely challenged to help franchisees attract and capture new customers. Spinning in a world of ever-changing technology, CMOs are bombarded by countless digitized and traditional lead generation choices. Even legacy brands are waking up at night, no longer able to assume customer loyalty simply because of their household names. What’s the answer? What’s today’s best roadmap to drive and capture more brand fans? To shed light on this, let’s see how three successful CEOs are riding the path of grassroots engagement and customer appreciation in their communities. • Tony Lamb, CEO of Kona Ice. “We are truly proud of our year-round community outreach programs, which to date have generated $35 million to help those in need,” says Lamb. What’s unusual about this giveback program is that participation is voluntary, yet all of Kona’s 170 franchisees and corporate employees contribute. This is quite impressive, but there’s more. “What our people individually donate is their decision. They choose their cause and how they want to personally contribute, which makes pledging more meaningful.” Examples include providing funds to build a church playground center and to remodel a school’s football press box. The company’s website has an entire web page devoted to its giveback programs, and its home page features the “Million Dollar Giveback,” with a continually growing tally of how much money the company has raised for local communities and organizations since 2007. Kona Ice also provides free product to its customers six times a year, just another way to say thank-you for supporting their business. Each year Kona Ice hosts a social media contest for its fans with $2,500 prize money for the winner. Local franchisees attend and a professional video crew travels to the award-winning customer to capture the ceremonial event. With


all these types of customer engagement, it’s no surprise to learn that Tony’s former life was CEO of a marketing and consulting firm for major corporations. Tony’s consumer trend alert: As a treat company, we must continue to be culturally aware of nutrition-sensitive products for the health and well-being of the customer audiences we serve. • Jeff Bevis, CEO of FirstLight HomeCare. “My 98-year-old mother wants to go meet her sister in Amsterdam. Can you make this happen?” asked a recent customer. “Yes we can,” assured Jeff. “Our travel home care program is a special service we offer our clients and their families. Clients now have greater freedom and mobility to enjoy their world.” This new program, which has been gaining popularity, was initially introduced by one of his franchises. “We really support our travel companion program,” says Bevis. FirstLight’s innovative program allows seniors, family members, and friends who need assistance to enjoy the activities, sights, and experiences of being with their children, parents, moms, dads, and friends. All this is made possible because of the help and care their traveling professional caregivers provide. “Everyone wins: our clients, franchisees, caregivers, and even the travel agency we use to offer this service.” FirstLight’s success starts with its focus on operational excellence and riveting attention to performance metrics. “Your level of training performance, recruiting, customer satisfaction, and other key indicators affects the strength of your client referrals, loyalty, and brand growth,” he says. “You cannot improve what you don’t measure!” Jeff’s consumer trend alert: To keep ahead of the curve, we have to position ourselves through mobile apps, phones, and other communication devices that enhance and capture the engagement of our audiences.

• MJ Riva, CEO of Pizza Factory. “Customer marketing is so much more than just what you serve,” says Mary Jane “MJ” Riva, CEO and 25-year franchisee of Pizza Factory. “We get awesome reviews for our food, which is an absolute must in our highly crowded space.” Welcome to hometown Americana, where thousands of daily customers stroll into Pizza Factory restaurants. Customers are the fabric of the Pizza Factory brand, which serves smaller communities throughout the western states. Grassroots marketing is the DNA of their 31 years of business success. “Unlike many brands, we must know our customers by name. They choose to live away from the hustle and bustle of big cities. Our restaurants serve as a community center for their families to enjoy,” says Riva. Local sports team photos are prominently displayed on their walls. The brand’s No Bully Zone programs are promoted throughout local school systems. All vets receive free meals on Veterans Day. Ongoing promotions include delivering free pizzas up into the grandstands for lucky ticket winners, and the annual Willow Creek Bigfoot Parade in Northern California, attended by thousands, is co-sponsored by the local Pizza Factory. Just because the brand caters to small communities doesn’t mean it has limited itself in terms of technological advances. Pizza Factory has continually stayed ahead of the marketing curve with text and email clubs, loyalty programs, online ordering, and more. “We have seen very encouraging increases to our average ticket through implementation of our online ordering system,” she says. “We are constantly on the lookout for new marketing opportunities that will help us stay ahead of our competition and front of mind for our loyal customers.” MJ’s consumer trend alert: Technology is the game changer requiring all of us to continually step up our programs, or we’ll fall behind the race. n Steve Olson is a 30-year franchise development veteran and author of the #1 Amazon best-seller, Grow to Greatness: How to Build a World-Class Franchise System Faster, available at He can be reached at

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IN FRANCHISING SAVE THE DATE(S) for the conferences of 2016!

April 26 - 29, 2016

September 28-30, 2016

16th Annual Multi-Unit Franchising Conference, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV Attendees: Franchisors, Suppliers & Multi-Unit Franchisees

18th Annual Franchise Leadership & Development Conference Intercontinental Hotel, Atlanta, GA Attendees: Franchisors; CEO’s, Presidents & Senior Development Officers and Suppliers

June 21-22, 2016 6th Annual Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference, Intercontinental Hotel, Atlanta, GA Attendees: Franchisors; CEO’s, Presidents, Chief Marketing Officers & Marketing Managers

(800) 289.4232 ext. 202 | ©2016 Franchise Update Media. All Rights Reserved.

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