Getting Results for Franchisors

ARCHIVES

SUBSCRIBE

  • RSS Feed

EVENTS SCHEDULE

  • February 10, 2012
    IFA Convention, Orlando, FL
  • April 24, 2012
    Multi-Unit Franchising Conference, Las Vegas, NV
  • June 26, 2012
    Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference, San Francisco, CA
  • October 3, 2012
    Franchise Leadership & Development Conference, Atlanta, GA

RECOMMENDED

February 06, 2012

Marketing Lessons from a Two-Headed Turtle… Really!

A Two-Headed Turtle offers Franchises Interesting Lessons on Marketing Yes, it does sound like a joke, but the lessons are very real.

In Melinda Caughill's latest article for Franchise Update, she explains what franchises have in common with a two-headed turtle and how they can use the amphibian's example to make its operations more effective.

Check out the full article on the Franchise Update web site.

Or, to learn how Third Person can help you use one consistent brand "voice" to speak to three distinct audiences — the consumer, the potential franchisee and existing franchisees — contact Melinda today at 414-221-9810 or by filling out our contact form.


January 09, 2012

FREE WHITEPAPER: 5 Tips for More Powerful Internet Searches

Franchises: Get Better Results from Your Internet Searches with this FREE Whitepaper When I first started my career in advertising and marketing, I got a great piece of advice that I abide by to this day... help to be helped.

So to help you, I've put together a handy guide called "5 Secrets to Finding Google's Hidden Gems."

This guide lists all the little tricks I use each and every day to get better results from my Internet searches. Hopefully, you'll find these as handy as I do.

If you like this information, we hope you'll take some time to help us by simply learning more about Third Person, Inc. Advertising & Web Design or by telling a friend about us.

Click Here to Begin Downloading Your FREE PDF — "5 Secrets to Finding Google's Hidden Gems."


November 03, 2011

Search Engine Marketing - Best Practices Cheat Sheet

Understand search marketing better and learn fundamental tips to help you maximize your SEM results with Third Person's helpful creation — the Search Engine Marketing Best Practices reference sheet.

With this insightful reference, you'll learn:

  • Why selecting the right keywords is critical to SEM success
  • How creating more relevant landing pages can lower your price per click
  • Why Increasing the click thru rate is one of the most crucial elements of SEM optimization
  • How your target audience, search engines and your company interact with SEM
  • ... plus much more.

Download the FREE Search Eninge Marketing (SEM) Best Practices Cheat Sheet.


November 01, 2011

Franchise Consumer Research - Get to Know Your Best Customers and Find More Like Them

Franchise Customer Marketing Research Services provided by Third Person, Inc. Advertising & Web DesignYou already know that your customers are important to your business. They are the ones who help you pay all the bills.

But, did you know your best customers also hold the key to boosting your marketing ROI, elevating your brand awareness, increasing your bottom line, and eliminating wasteful media spending?

It's time to get know your best customers even better with Third Person, Inc.'s customer awareness services.

Plural™ Customer Profiling
Franchise PerfectShot Customer Marketing Research Services provided by Third Person, Inc. Advertising & Web Design

When you have only basic data about your customers or franchisees, it's a lot like looking at a blurry photo.  No matter how much you squint and tilt your head, it's just not possible to see anything clearly.

Plural™ customer profiling basically takes those few pieces of data you have and turns it into a crystal clear picture of your franchisee or customer.

Here's how it works… We take your basic customer information, like names and addresses, and then Plural service identifies your customers or franchisees in a comprehensive U.S. consumer database. Once we've identified your customer, we can then create a crystal clear photo of you customers, then merge their information and compare that against the database on a whole.  By doing this, we learn what unique traits, interests, etc. your best customers have in common — maybe they're much more likely to have children between the ages of 8-13, own a house valued $300,000 or more, and have an interest in golf and tropical vacations.

Use your Plural profile to make marketing strategies — which media or direct mail lists to buy and which to avoid, which offers to use, which advertising campaigns to try, etc.

Download a sample of a Plural™ customer profile.

Experience Mapping™ Customer Research


Franchise Experience Mapping Customer Marketing Research Services provided by Third Person, Inc. Advertising & Web DesignWhen Third Person started working with clients back in 2001, clients no longer had the budgets for $30,000 focus groups, but they still had a strong need for customer research.

So, we created Experience Mapping™, an entirely new way to conduct market research in which we identify your key user groups and engage them in real conversations. We talk about their experiences with your company — how they first learned about you, why they come into your stores or visit your web site, what problems you solve for them, what you do better than anyone else, what you could do better, and whatever else they feel they'd like to share with you.

This in-depth, qualitative approach to research allows us to create marketing strategies from your customer's perspective, which, in turn, gets better results for you.

Download more information on Experience Mapping Customer Research here.

Download a sample Experience Mapping report here.

To learn more about Third Person's customer awareness services,  fill out our contact form or call Melinda at 414-221-9810.


October 24, 2011

The 10 Commandments of Franchise Marketing

The 10 Franchise Marketing Commandments to Get Better ROITo get the results you need from your marketing and advertising efforts, you have a few choices... You can pray that your efforts will succeed and see what that gets your. Or, you can follow the 10 Marketing Commandments - proven strategies that will win you the favor of your customers, bosses & bottom line.

Thou shall:

1. Know thine customer.
They are the customers who buy your product or use your service. They are the investors who loan you money. They are the employees who fulfill on your offer.  And they are the ones who will ultimately make YOU successful. Before you do anything else, you must know anything and everything you can about them.

2. Know thine business.
Once you know your customers, you need to understand why your business and its products & services matter to them.  What do you offer them that no one else does? Which, in turn, requires you to...

3. Know thine competitors.
Your success is hinged upon providing something to your customers that no one else does.  For this reason, it's important to who your competitors are and what their strengths and weaknesses are. But, after you know this, it's time to move on.  Spending too much time focusing on your competitors will keep you from focusing on those most important people - your customers

4. Define thine brand and be true to it.
One of the worst things a brand can do is to try to be everything to everyone.  Instead, be true to who you are as a company -- understanding both your strengths and your weaknesses, and using these to your advantage in a though-out and consistent brand.  

5. Never covet thine competitors marketing strategies.
If your competitor ever happens to create some exceptional piece of marketing or advertising, the last thing you want to do is try to copy it. "Me too" marketing does little but demonstrate to your customers that you are a follower, not a leader.  Instead use their one moment of inspiration as motivation to do something even better.

6. Honor thine marketing budget.
Frankly, I don't care if your marketing budget is $5 or $5 million dollars.  What I care about is that YOU know what that number is and have realistic expectations about what you can get for that number.  Translation — Don't ask your advertising agency to create a killer series of television commercials if all you can only afford is an entry-level search marketing campaign.  You'll get much better results doing something astounding with an affordable marketing medium than you will by trying to scale down an expensive medium.       

7. Establish measurable marketing goals.
Before you launch your next marketing strategy, be sure you set goals that are SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.  Why?  Quite simply, setting goals is the first critical step to determining if your marketing works.

8. Measure thy marketing results.
In business, the question everyone wants to the answer to is -- Did our marketing lead to actual sales? You will never be able to answer this question unless you put metrics into place that measure your response, conversions to sales, total sales amounts, etc.

9. Continually test thine advertising and marketing to improve it.
In 1972, Mark Spitz won 7 gold medal in the Olympics.  People thought that would be a record that would never ever be broken.  Well, you already know what happened to his record after the 2008 Olympics.  The point? Even the best can be improved upon.  The same is true with your marketing.

10. Have faith in thine marketing.
Let's be clear... not everything you try is going to work.  But, achieving success even just once in a while with your marketing is so much better than doing nothing, which is the only thing guaranteed to get you... well... nothing.

To command more results from you marketing and advertising, contact Third Person, Inc. Advertising & Web Design today.


October 17, 2011

Managing Franchise Social Media in Just 18 Minutes A Day

Managing the time you spend on social media requires discipline.Rarely does a day go by that I don't meet someone struggling to wrap their arms around all that "social media stuff."

Of all the concerns and questions they have, the ones I hear about most often always relate to the time that social media takes.  "How much time should I be spending on this?"  "How do I manage all these social media accounts and still do my regular job?" "There's got to be an easier way to manage all of this, right?"

Unfortunately, no magic solution to social media management exists... at least none that I know of.  But, there are tips, tricks, and survival skills that you can learn.

When I was reading Search Engine Watch today, I came acorss a great blog post about this very subject.  "18 Minutes a Day to Social Media Time Management" includes 3 steps to help you begin tackling social media in a more manaageable way.

Granted, the strategies here are not going to work for everyone.  But, they'll certainly get you started on a path to finding something that will.

Got any social media time management tips, tricks or tools that work for you? Share them below!


October 10, 2011

2 Crucial Elements For Franchise Trade Show Success

As you plan your show invitations, graphics, give-aways, inbooth events and more, allow us to remind you to plan two of the most crucial, yet often neglected, elements of your trade show success — Saying hello and thank you.

SAYING HELLO:

When planning your franchise annual meeting or franchise trade show, say helloTo get people into your booth, very few things rival the results you’ll get from simply having an outgoing, personable greeter saying hello to everyone that passes by. It captures attention like very few other things can. In addition, a greeter can build brand awareness of your franchise, explain the offer, qualify the lead, and, even nurture a sale. Try getting a sign to do that!

 

SAYING THANK YOU:

When planning your franchise annual meeting or trade show, remember to say thank youFor converting show leads into actual franchisees or customers, nothing beats simply saying thank you. It doesn’t matter so much how you do it... by email, direct mail, telephone, social media... the point is that you actually do it. Unfortunately, most companies have every intention of saying thank you in one way or another, but when the show is done and the excitement has died away, so does all the excitement and energy that surrounded the show... and the intention to say thank you.

Our suggestion? Do everything you can now to put your post-show thank you efforts on auto-pilot. For example, consider schedule emails before you leave and pre-print thank you notes that you can easily address and sign later.

Interested in making your next trade show better than ever?
Let Third Person help you!


September 15, 2011

Finding the Right Advertising Agency for You — Pt 3: Chemistry

Maximum franchise marketing results require working with an advertising agency with the right blend of creativity, cost and chemistry for you.At our agency, we firmly believe that marketing isn't rocket science.  The truth is, although most marketing and advertising companies would HATE that I'm saying this, most firms can deliver what you want to some degree...

(Ready for it? Here comes that "but.")

BUT — while just about anyone can deliver marketing, advertising, and web site products — getting actual results and ROI from those efforts is an entirely different thing.  For that, you must find an agency with the just the right blend of The Three C's — Creativity, Cost & Chemistry, for you.

Chemistry between a franchise and ad agency is critical to franchise marketing successCHEMISTRY:

Although this is the last of the three articles, this topic could easily be considered the most critical.

The business of advertising is all about the relationships between clients and agencies.

You can get great results from an agency, but if you don't trust the people you work with, avoid taking their phone calls, or just plum "don't like 'em", the likelihood of your retaining that advertising agency — despite results or costs — are slim.

Now, that's not to say you need to be best friends with the people at your advertising agency.  (In fact, it's pretty imperative that you're not, but more on that in a bit…) But, in order for a client-agency relationship to work, you've got to have some chemistry.

Here are some key indicators of whether or not you'll have chemistry with an agency…

Risk Tolerance...

  • Do you prefer your advertising and marketing to play it safe or push the limits?  Those who prefer to play it safe need their advertising dollars to achieve a certain result — no matter what.  Those who push the limits don't mind trying new approaches that – could be a big bust, but also have the potential to decimate the results of any previous campaign.  Once you know your risk tolerance, look for an agency that respects that.  If you need to play it safe, it'll be annoying to have an agency continually presenting you with ideas that you know you'd never, ever use.  Or, if you want to push the limits, getting creative ideas that have a "been there, done that" feel to them will be disheartening.

Management Style...

  • Do you prefer to be more hands-on or off with your ad agency?  Do you want to help your agency come up with the ideas or suggest designs to use? Or, do you prefer to just leave it to the experts? Do you want to know on a daily basis what's going on with your projects, or do you want all progress updates to come at one time in a weekly or monthly meeting? It's important to understand how you want to work with an agency and share your expectations with your potential agency.  Some agencies will welcome you into their brainstorming sessions while others are not set up in a manner to do so. 

Communication Style...

  • When you have meetings, do you like to get straight to business or do you prefer to have some light, lively conversations first?  Do you want to know if your agency peers have kids, dogs, an ailing mom, etc. or do you prefer to keep to the agenda?  Do you prefer to lead meetings or do you want your agency to do it?  Do you prefer to communicate via email, telephone or texting?  Understanding these can make it a lot easier to find a compatible agency.

Too Much Chemistry?

On a final note, it is possible to have too much chemistry to do business together.  Beware of family and friends who ask for special agency discounts or favors. This signifies a lack of respect for the agency as a business entity. On the other hand, beware of agency friends who don't meet their deadlines or skimp on your work.  It signifies that the agency does not value the client.  If these warning signs appear, have a frank discussion immediately or simply terminate any such relationship.  It'll save heartache in the end.

TAKE AWAY:  Chemistry is critical to an agency-client relationship. Without it, you'll have a hard time working together which will show in the results you get.

Did you miss Part #1 about Creativity?  Check it out now...

Did you miss Part #2 about Cost?  Read it now...


August 17, 2011

Finding the Right Advertising Agency for You — Pt 2: Cost

Getting the best ROI from your franchise marketing requires finding the right advertising agencyAt our agency, we firmly believe that marketing isn't rocket science.  The truth is, although most marketing and advertising companies would HATE that I'm saying this, most firms can deliver what you want to some degree...

(Ready for it? Here comes that "but.")

BUT — while just about anyone can deliver marketing, advertising, and web site products — getting actual results and ROI from those efforts is an entirely different thing.  For that, you must find an agency with the just the right blend of The Three C's — Creativity, Cost & Chemistry, for you.

COST:

Cost is a critical element for getting maximum results from your franchise advertisingYou can’t ignore cost (although sometimes we all might like to). Cost a vital component to every decision a company makes.  This is especially when choosing an advertising and marketing company.  Frankly, when it comes to cost, what seems like a simple issue – "just take the less expensive agency" – often isn't so straight-forward.

Here are some important considerations to keep in mind:

If you demand a price a lot lower than the agency estimates, you may think that you got a great deal and celebrate.  But, you probably won't be celebrating for long...

If the price you expect to pay is too little...

  • Your jobs may not get the priority level you desire:  Let's be honest.  If an ad agency has two deadlines looming on the same day — one is for a client that barely pays enough for the agency to break even on the time while the other consistently helps to pays the bills — who's project do you think will get done first?  If you consistently feel like your work is being put on the back-burner by your agency, you might want to address the issue with the agency and find out if you're paying less than other clients are.
  • Your advertising agencies could go out of business, leaving you without a resource:  Advertising agencies, like any business, need to make enough money to pay salaries, equipment costs, electricity, phone bills, etc.  As a client, you shouldn't bear the brunt of all these costs by yourself, but you should expect to pay a fair price to help your partner company keep the lights on.

On the other end of the spectrum, if your agency asks you to pay a price that's a lot higher than similar agencies, that's not good either…

If the price you pay is too much...

  • You may feel taken advantage of and the work will suffer:  It's the same with anything — if you find out that you're paying a lot more for something than other are, you're going to feel swindled.  Then, in turn, the amount of trust you place in the agency partner will go down.  With less trust, it's almost a certainty that the work will suffer as you begin second-guessing any advice given or suggestions made by the agency.  If you feel the relationship could still have some worth, have a brutally honest conversation about cost.  But, if the relationship is simply broken, look for a new agency — fast.

  • Take a look at where your marketing agency is located:  Do they reside in Manhattan, Los Angeles or Chicago? Those cities have much higher operational costs than smaller cities.  Does your agency have a very posh interior?  Guess who pays for the difference in overhead?  Make sure the results you get from an agency in big city or with a fancy office is really worth the difference in cost.  

  • Determine the amount of staff your ad agency has:  Larger advertising agencies, by their nature, offer more services which require that they keep more employees on staff in a variety of departments.  As a client of a big agency, you're helping to pay for all of these employees, whether or not these people are actually directly involved in your projects.  Make sure that you make use of enough of the departments within a large agency to make it worth the extra cost.  If not, consider looking at a smaller ad agency.  You'll get great creative from a smaller agency at a fraction of the price.

TAKE AWAY:  Cost is a crucial factor in getting the results you need from your marketing, advertising, and web needs.  Make sure you're not paying too much - or too little. 

Did you miss Part #1 about Creativity?  Check it out now.

Ready to move on to Part #3 about Chemistry? Read it out now.


July 25, 2011

The #1 Must-Ask Question of Social Media

3 critical questions every franchise engaged in social media must ask

With the explosion of social media outlets and the craze that has followed, companies have jumped on the bandwagon hoping to reach out to consumers. Unfortunately, many companies haven't quite mastered the art of effectively and safely using social media outlets. Yet.

Yes, I said effectively AND safely. Social media messages can be ineffective with your followers and even dangerous to your brand if you're not careful.

Thus, I'd like to introduce you to one of the single most important questions to answer when engaging in social media and the one that's behind most of the social media blunders today who is going to run your social media campaign:

Who's actually going to manage your social campaign?

By answering this one question, not you'll go a long way towards safeguarding your brand and your reputation from damage — accidental or intentional.

Many companies today outsource their social media creation and management to public relations firms, advertising agencies and more. You pay these companies for their expertise and in return you get what hopefully is an awesome and incredibly cost-effective social media presence.

But, do you actually know who is representing your brand? Does this person know what's happening with your company? Do they even care?

In the land of social media, too often people craft messages more quickly and with less consideration than they would with more traditional forms of communication. That has spelled disaster with some high profile social media scandals.Franchise social media - don't let the Chrysler social media blunder happen to you

Take for example Chrysler Autos.

On March 9, the @ChryslerAutos Twitter account tweeted this message:

"I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f****** drive."

Considering Chrysler's history and relationship with Detroit, this message was a complete social media disaster for the company. In twenty-one words, Chrysler went from the Motor City defender to just another critic.

How could this happen?

At the time of the tweet, Chrysler was using New Media Strategies to develop and maintain their Twitter account. The New Media Strategies employee who created the tweet actually meant to publish it on his person Twitter account.

In the wake of the tweet, the New Media Strategies employee who published the tweet was let go and Chrysler did not renew their contract with the social media marketer.

Chrysler learned a valuable lesson amid the scandal...and so can you...

It is imperative that you know who is creating and publishing your social media content!

That doesn't mean your company, or any other, can't outsource your social media outreach. You just have to be smart about it. Know who is creating and publishing your social media content. While you're at it, take strides to limit the number and powers of those people.

The more vigilant you are today, the better your chances are that you'll avoid becoming the next social media scandal.


June 28, 2011

In Franchise Marketing, Start By Measuring Up Your Customer

For Effective Advertising, You Must Understand Your CustomerYup, to do advertising right, stop thinking demographics and start thinking psychographics. That doesn't mean there has to be a Dr. in front of your name, but you do need to understand people and you can't just stop there. Once you understand, then you need to apply what you've learned.

No, it's not the sit-back-on-a-leather-couch-and-tell-me-everything sort of psychology. Instead, it's segmenting your customers based upon their beliefs, values, opinions, motivations, etc. Psychographics give you a more "life-like" picture of your customers.

For example, take the car buying process. Susan is looking to buy a new car. Demographics can tell you that she is a 57-year-old married woman with a six-figure salary living in the Greater Milwaukee Area. However, demographics cannot tell you why Susan will eventually choose a Toyota Prius over a more luxury vehicle. That’s where psychographics come in.

More importantly than her age, socioeconomic or marital status, psychographics can show that Susan is part of a unique target group called commuters. As an advertiser, you have to know to talk to the commuter, but you need psychographics to know how to do it right.

So, why use psychographics? Two reasons...

1. Better Return on Investment (ROI)

Everyone wants a better ROI, right? Well, psychographics can help you do that.

The reality of advertising is you have to narrow your audience to a specific target. You're money is better spent when using psychographics. You'll be able to focus your advertising on only those targets most likely to listen to your message and purchase your product.

2. Improved Messaging

Once you've narrowed your target, you need to know how to speak to them. Using a universal message that can apply to anyone usually doesn't work. It's simply a waste of your advertising dollars.

Knowing how to talk to your audience can be easy.

With the use of psychographics, you learn more about your specific target to create a message that better resonates with them. You learn about what they value, believe in or how they make decisions.

How do you make it happen?

It's actually quite simple... Start by talking to your customers. Ask them questions and then actually listen to what they have to say.

At Third Person, Inc. Advertising & Web Design, we've created Experience Mapping™ using these very same ideas from psychology.

In essence, Experience Mapping allows our agency to see your website from your customer's perspective by asking a series of investigative questions. As each question is answered, we begin to create a much more informed idea of what your customer is looking for, which we then apply in the creation of your website.

Simply said, for your advertising to be effective, you'd got to do it from the end user's perspective.

Interested in learning more about Third Person's unique Experience Mapping process? Contact us now.


May 25, 2011

Finding the Right Advertising Agency for You — Pt 1: Creativity

Maximing your ROI from franchise marketing requires finding the right advertising agency At our agency, we firmly believe that marketing isn't rocket science.  The truth is, although most marketing and advertising companies would HATE that I'm saying this, most firms can deliver what you want to some degree...

(Ready for it? Here comes that "but.")

BUT if you need to get results from those marketing, advertising, and web site efforts, you can't rely on just any old agency.  Getting the work is one thing.  Getting work that WORKS for you is an entirely different animal.

The Third Person's Theory of the Three C's states that getting results from your marketing strategies requires that you need an ad agency with the unique combination of The Three C's — Creativity, Cost & Chemistry —  that's right for you.

CREATIVITY:

Finding an advertising agency that matches the creative tolerace of your franchise organization is important.Think of it as the headlines, the concept, the design of your marketing and advertising. This is also the stuff that gets the attention of your target audience, helps you to stand apart from your competitors, and makes your message memorable. Too little creativity and your message gets lost in the crowd, never to meet the eyes of your customer.  But, if there's too much, you'll confuse your audience and they'll forget you the moment they turn around.

TAKE AWAY: Look for an agency with enough creativity to excite you, but also one still capable of getting your message to the customer loud and clear.

Ready for Part #2 about Cost?  Read it out now.
Check out Part #3 about Chemistry? Read it out now.