Are your franchisees struggling for new customers, or to get more business from their existing customers, in today’s difficult economic environment
Do your franchisees complain that they can’t afford to advertise to get more customers?
Does your corporate staff have a difficult time getting franchisees to read important emails or updates on the company Intranet?
Does your franchise development staff need additional methods of generating leads for prospective franchisees?
Would you like an easy-to-use, high ROI, low-cost way to solve these problems?
If so, please continue reading because Mobile Marketing is the answer!
Studies have shown that mobile marketing has the highest ROI of any direct marketing medium, are read by 97% of recipients within 15 minutes, and because 84% of consumers keep their cell phone within 10 feet of them at all times, mobile messages have an AVERAGE response rate of 15%.
Strategic Partnership Benefits Franchise Industry
And we can help your franchise organization take advantage of this incredible marketing medium through a new strategic partnership between franchisEssentials and Strategic Growth Concepts, who recently entered into an agreement to become a Certified Solutions Provider for a leading Mobile Marketing services firm.
Because of franchisEssentials Integrated Franchise Marketing initiatives, we have requested and received authorization from our strategic partner and the Mobile Marketing services firm to offer a special Franchise Incentive Program for franchise organizations interested in taking advantage of the benefits of Mobile Marketing.
FREE Mobile Marketing Account
For a limited time only, we’re offering franchisors a FREE mobile marketing account for the corporate office that achieves a minimum percentage of franchisees signing up to participate in the program individually. And the FREE corporate account remains in force as long as the franchise system maintains the minimum percentage of franchisees also participating in the program! And we’ll help sign them up!
This means that your franchisees can begin sending unlimited text messages for as little as $25 per month, and the corporate office can begin sending them for FREE! Since text messages are typically read within 15 minutes and have an exceptional ROI, franchisees can start increasing revenue immediately, and you can start generating franchisee leads, marketing on a chain-wide basis, and communicating more effectively with your current franchisees!
Franchise Organizations Are Using Mobile Marketing
Click the links below to learn how several franchise organizations are using Mobile Marketing, and the successful results they’re experiencing:
Little Caesar’s Mobile Campaign Nets 62% Opt-in
Learn More About Our Special Offer and New Mobile Club
If you would like to learn more about Mobile Marketing and to take advantage of this special offer, please TEXT the word FRANCHISE to 244326. This will opt your organization in to franchisEssentials Mobile Club, and notify us to schedule a FREE demonstration for your organization.
Members of our Mobile Club will be eligible for future special offers, and will receive weekly tips on using Mobile Marketing to benefit your business. If you prefer not to join the Mobile Club but would still like to receive the FREE demonstration, contact us by email at paulsegreto@FMDpro.com. Please be sure to mention keyword FRANCHISE.
The following article was written by Guest Author, Linda Daichendt. Linda is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Concepts, a consulting firm that specializies in start-up, small and mid-sized businesses.
During my recent guest appearance on a segment of the FranchisEssentials Show on BlogTalkRadio, we discussed briefly how franchise organizations can benefit from Mobile Marketing. I thought it might be useful to expand on that discussion by providing show co-hosts Paul Segreto and Joel Libava (The Franchise King) with a listing of more ways in which franchise organizations can benefit from the use of Mobile Marketing. The following are a few of my thoughts on this topic:
With Franchisees/Potential Franchisees
• Provide consistent messaging to franchisees regarding upcoming deadlines or special events via text messages, voice messages, or mobile websites
• Receive inquiries from potential franchise candidates asking to receive initial franchise information and to request initial contact
• Send messages via voice mail or text to relay the date for upcoming potential franchise candidate seminars based upon those earlier registrations
• Have franchise seminar attendees complete a survey about the event and indicate interest in continuing conversation
• Mobile contest registrations
• Mobile customer loyalty program registrations
• Fitness franchises; sign up consumers for FREE introductory visit and/or post exercise class schedules for existing members
• Restaurants; allow consumers to make reservations
• Plumbing, locksmith, electrician, other trade franchises; post emergency numbers on mobile websites, allow consumers to contact you via text at those numbers
• Distribute coupons to registered consumers
• Provide information regarding upcoming sales and/or discounts available
• Have consumers complete surveys about products/services
• Restaurants; allow consumers to place food orders in advance for pick-up or immediate seating upon arrival
• Restaurants/fast food; allow consumers to place food orders for delivery
• Utilize GPS mobile technology to notify registered consumers who drive into a targeted geographic area about a limited-time (1 hr) only offer to initiate immediate response
• Real estate franchises can send home listings to potential buyers for review and selection
• Real estate franchises can add an SMS code (text number) to the signs posted at each listing which will enable consumers to indicate an interest in seeing the house; and enable real estate agents to respond immediately
• Maid services franchises and other trade franchises; allow consumers to schedule appointments via mobile
• Fitness clubs/tanning salons/hair salons; allow consumers to schedule appointments and/or send appointment cancellations and/or request re-schedules
• Fitness clubs/tanning salons; allow consumers to make monthly payments via mobile
• Florists/candy store/gift store franchises; allow consumers to place orders for delivery
• Florists/candy store/gift store franchises; allow consumers to check on status of orders placed
• Florists/candy store/gift store franchises; distribute special offers to registered consumers to encourage early ordering during peak seasons such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day
Obviously, this list is in no way comprehensive as the ways that Mobile Marketing can be utilized by franchise organizations are limited only by your imagination. Mobile provides an extremely cost-effective and efficient method of reaching target audiences. It works well as a stand-alone marketing strategy, but works extremely well as part of a multi-media strategy in which all media being utilized are integrated for maximum effectiveness.
If your firm is interested in learning more about Mobile Marketing and the ways in which your firm can benefit from its use, please visit the Mobile Marketing section of our website, or contact me directly at linda@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com and indicate you were referred by FranchisEssentials in order to receive your FREE one-hour Mobile Marketing consultation.
The following article was written by Guest Author, Linda Daichendt. Linda is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Concepts, a consulting firm specializing in start-up, small and mid-sized businesses, and a Strategic Partner of franchisEssentials. She is a recognized expert with 20+ years experience in providing Marketing, Operations, HR, and Strategic planning services to start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. Linda can be contacted at email@example.com and the company website at www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com.
Top 5 Social Media Tips for Small Business
by Linda Daichendt
as posted on Marketing With New Technology July 16, 2009
(Please Note: some content in this posting is from an article by Mya Frazier for Bankrate.com)
A few years ago, using the Internet to market a small business simply meant to create a presence online with a simple, informational Web site. Then came the demands of search engine optimization to ensure Google and Yahoo searches yielded top-ranked results for your company. Was your business’s Web site chock full of the key search terms that would bring it to the attention of customers?
Today, social media is transforming the small-business marketing landscape. Social media are Web- or mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information. It’s not just for seeing who your high school sweetheart married. Businesses can tap into powerful networking sites and other social media to drive customers to their shops or companies.
If done right, small-business owners might even be able to slash their traditional marketing spending to zero. Writing blogs (short for “Web logs”) or on-going online commentary using social-networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, can provide inexpensive but powerful online marketing.
Because it’s free, people think it’s easy to create a social media presence. But this attitude can lead to missteps. So before you dive headlong into social media, take some time to observe the customs and social norms of these new forms of communications, says David Spark, founder of Spark Media Solutions, a San Francisco-based firm that helps companies tell their story through social media. “Also think about your strategy for effectively utilizing social media before you jump in,” says Linda Daichendt, CEO/Managing Consultant of Strategic Growth Concepts. “It’s easier to avoid costly mistakes before you begin than to correct them after they’ve done damage to your company’s reputation.”
“Think of social media as a cocktail party,” says, David Meerman Scott, author of “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” and “World Wide Rave,” books about how to create buzz online. “You don’t go into the cocktail party and go into the middle room and scream at the top of your lungs and say, ‘Buy my products.’ … What works is you have some meaningful conversation first. And that’s just how social media works.”
If you decide to take the social-networking plunge, here are five ways to harness social media to help your business.
1. Use free sites. Use free online services, such as the mobile short-message site Twitter, and popular networking sites Facebook and MySpace, to post significant news, specials or events. For example, you run a small Italian restaurant with a loyal following. You could create a Twitter account and upload the lunch or dinner specials via “tweets,” or short messages of up to 140 characters, daily to customers’ smart phones or to other Web sites.
“All you have to do is give a (Twitter) handle and start a conversation. You could put the Twitter handle on the menu or in the restaurant,” says Chris Abraham, Abraham Harrison LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based digital public relations agency. Granted, social networking sites are still for early adopters. “You aren’t going to get Aunt Matilda to tweet about the experience she had at dinner,” Abraham says.
Abraham considers Twitter one of the easiest ways for a newbie to social media to get started. “It’s more challenging to do Facebook,” Abraham says. “You have to create a personal profile, create a page and so on. With Twitter, if you’re Joe Smith with Motorcycle Emporium, you don’t have to create a page. And you can create Twitter updates via a phone or mobile device easily.”
“Don’t try to reinvent the wheel,” he says. “There are lots of people sold on really expensive solutions, but two of the best investments for reaching out to people and engaging with them are free on Twitter and Facebook.”
2. Shift marketing costs to social media. After learning how social networking operates, use social media to free up traditional marketing dollars for your small business by putting it online. You can quickly learn which of your Facebook or MySpace “friends” or online “group” members received and responded to your message.
Stanya Doty has cut her print marketing budget to zero. As owner of Simple Indulgences, a wine and high-end gift shop in Delaware, Ohio, she began using Facebook in December 2008 to communicate with her brother but quickly realized the online marketing possibilities.
“I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, there are so many people here,’ ” she says. Indeed, Facebook boasts 200 million users worldwide. In April 2009, she began promoting monthly wine tastings via a Facebook page for the shop that quickly attracted 100 members. Combined with an e-newsletter created using the do-it-yourself, e-mail marketing Web site Constant Contact, she keeps enough buzz going about her shop that her advertising budget for local print ads no longer seemed necessary. She usually sends out about 700 e-mails, with the response rate sometimes reaching nearly 50 percent. It sure beats a postal mailing. “If I sent out a postcard with postage and paid for all that, I’d still have no idea who read it and who threw it away,” she says.
Indeed, unlike a print ad, Doty gets instant, measurable results. “On Facebook, you can see who has responded to invites,” she says. “It’s easy, it’s cheap and I’m actually appealing to people that at first know me from the store and then hopefully … pass the word along throughout their networks.”
3. Do your own social-media optimization project. Learn about the competition in your industry and geographic region that are tapping social networking. Spark recommends starting by researching the competition in the major search engines — Google and Yahoo.
“Type in keywords and phrases that people would use to find you, like ‘plumber’ and ‘San Francisco.’ If you don’t appear in the top percentage of pages, take a look at the Website of those plumbers that do show up,” says Spark. “Look at their pages, and usually they will have a lot of content on their sites.”
To increase a business’s presence on the Internet, Spark advocates companies create blogs, newsletters and other articles on their sites to bolster the number of keywords — terms that search engines recognize — to boost their ranking in all-important Web searches.
“That’s the way people discover you,” he says. “Take that plumber in San Francisco. The right search terms might just be ‘clogged toilet and San Francisco.’” “That tells me I should write … in my blog about how to fix a clogged toilet and mention that I am a plumber in San Francisco,” he says.
4. Take social-network marketing to the next level. Create and post richer content about what your customers would expect from someone in your business. Don’t view social media sites as a place to simply hype your wares. It’s a place for conversation.
“Social media is about earning attention,” says David Meerman Scott, author of “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” and “World Wide Rave,” books about how to create buzz online. “What’s most important is to forget about what your company does. Instead, think about the people who are buying your products. Simply hyping products and services online and in social media sites completely backfires. People are not looking for products but for something fun. They are looking to make connections,” Scott says.
So it’s all about having something interesting to say or show. It could be a blog, or a video on the video-sharing Website YouTube.
For example, if you’re a caterer, instead of talking about your service, create engaging culinary content. Imagine positioning yourself as a gourmet magazine on the Web, complete with links to a video you uploaded to YouTube.
“A caterer could create a blog with information about how to create a fantastic party, and each blog post or YouTube video could be another installment,” Scott says. “On the Web, you are what you publish and being on the Web is about publishing information.”
So back to that plumber faced with the prospect of dropping an expensive Yellow Pages listing but worried about customers not finding him if they have a burst pipe or a misfiring shower head. Scott recommends the plumber post a list of “the 100 home fixes for common plumbing problems.”
“All of a sudden you are going to get indexed very highly in the search engines, and people are going to share that content with their friends,” he says. “When someone puts an update on Facebook asking if anyone knows a good plumber in Boston, a friend might point to your content.”
5. Use blogging to drive search results and help new customers find you. Lately, blogging has gained greater attention, with the advent of “micro-blogging” on Twitter. But consider the time commitment and strategy before launching an account.
Even with the spread of micro-blogging, Abraham remains a big fan of traditional blogs, which are lengthier and show up on Web sites. In general, no matter what form the blog takes, it should be consistent over time.
“If you can’t keep up one (blog) post a day or 12 tweets a day, do one tweet every Thursday. Consistency in blogging or tweeting will create a relationship of trust with your followers or readers. Do it once a week, but for the next two years,” Abraham says.
And don’t spend extra money on blogging software, technical help, or a ghost writer for your blog. To get started, sign up with WordPress.com or Blogger – both are free blogging platforms which are easy to use for beginners.
Additional opportunities within the social media environment include: online radio shows on platforms such as BlogTalkRadio, social networking sites such as LinkedIN, Plaxo, and FriendFeed, and a wide variety of additional tools as well depending on your type of business.
Following these social media basics for small business will get your company started on the right road to gaining new customers and increased revenue via social media.
As the following article and graph points out, it is projected that social media marketing, mobile marketing and email marketing will experience huge growth through the year 2014. franchisEssentials has projected the same, and has geared up to provide clients comprehensive, technologically advanced marketing services and strategies. Complementing its own expertise and increasing success in social media marketing, franchisEssentials has recently aligned itself with several leading marketing and support organizations. To address email marketing and mobile marketing, it has entered into Strategic Partnerships with iVideo Makers (aka Franchise Video Makers) and Strategic Growth Concepts.
iVideo Makers bring an exciting combination of video and audio products that take email marketing to new levels of message delivery and professionalism. Quite frankly, nothing compares. It’s newest product, iVidMail is state-of-the-art and is used to create video email campaigns with extensive audio and video capabilities, complemented by an expansive tracking and reporting system.
Strategic Growth Concepts utilizes years of experience and expertise in mobile marketing and cellular technology to create successful mobile marketing campaigns for franchise organizations and independent small businesses alike. Utilizing more strategy than a particular product, and capitalizing on the increasing popularity of the iPhone and Blackberry, Strategic Growth Concepts keeps itself on the leading edge of the rapidly expanding mobile marketing market.
franchisEssentials has also entered into Strategic Partnerships with Arment Dietrich PR, Open Box, SmartFinds Marketing and AssociAD. These highly successful organizations are focused on public relations, custom software development and tech support, internet marketing and direct mail marketing, respectively. franchisEssentials is excited by its ability to offer clients extensive and comprehensive marketing and emarketing services, as a one-stop marketing and development company, for years to come.
Forrester Predicts Huge Growth for Social Media Marketing [and Mobile Marketing and Email Marketing]
as posted on Marketing Pilgrim Friday, April 24th, 2009 by Andy Beal
Forrester Research is holding its own conference (Forrester’s Marketing Forum 2009) down in Orlando and has just revealed its predictions for the growth of online advertising. The bottom line is that social media and mobile will be the hottest, but just about everything will see an upward trend.