Posts Tagged ‘Business Strategies

04
Mar
13

Top 10 Things We Learned at the IFA Conference (Part 2)

In Part 1 of our Top 10 list, we shared franchise industry insights Tracy and I learned at the International Franchise Association (IFA) 2013 conference in Las Vegas. Today, we are rounding out our list with the marketing takeaways.

Kate Upton says that Carl's Jr. sandwich is spicyOne of the strategic marketing concepts that we thought was astute came from Andrew Pudzer, CEO of CKE Restaurants, describing the Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s ‘Young Hungry Guys’ target market. Andrew discussed at great length the Aspirational target market vs. Direct target market. This has manifested itself into a regular SuperBowl ad with some of the ‘it’ girls of the day. Last year’s ad was one of the most talked about after the big game and featured Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girl Kate Upton. You might think we mentioned this to give us a reason to feature Kate Upton in our blog, you might be right.

Here are the five marketing takeaways from IFA 2013:

1. 25 – 29% of ALL Internet traffic comes from a mobile device. The percentage is continually increasing. Businesses that choose to ignore creating a mobile optimized site or developing a mobile app are going to be in trouble. Consider this: if you gave a bad experience to 1 out of 4 prospects, would you fix the problem?

2.  SEO Killer: less than 1% of franchise business listings are accurate in the top three search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo). It may be as simple as inconsistencies across business locations. I searched “UPS Store” and found these four results on the first page:

        • theupsstore.com                       –>  Thornton, CO
        • theupsstorelocal.com/2579      –>   Denver, CO (7th & Broadway)
        • shipgeorgetown.com                –>  Georgetown, TX
        • fsups.net                                  –>  Tallahassee, FL

3.  The overwhelming majority of franchisors we’ve met do not have the patience for social media. They keep talking about wanting some old school reactions instead of engagement, sharing or interactions. This attitude must change or Millennials will focus on brands that understand.A lack of consistency with the URLs means a more generic search like “package shipping” won’t include UPS Store locations. In fact, the search returned a US Post Office, 2 FedEX office locations and 1 DHL location.

Equally important point, do not hire interns or entry level newbies to “do” your social media. Being a digital native does not make someone a social media expert or marketer.

4. Google is working with the IFA to make Google more franchise-friendly. This is a important development for concepts that are not brick and mortar.

5. We’ve heard of success across different franchise systems using a retargeting program. Retargeting keeps track of people who visit your site and displays your retargeting ads to them as they visit other sites online. Every time your prospect sees your ad as it follow them, your brand gains traction and more recognition. This Kate Upton Carl's Jr.has resulted in higher click-through rates and increased conversions.

All interesting stuff you say, but we know you want more Kate Upton. OK, we get it.

Let us know if you think we missed something. Share your thoughts about IFA with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

25
Feb
13

Top 10 Things We Learned at the IFA Conference (Part 1)

Seven inches of snow greeted the Weise Communications team upon landing in Denver from the International Franchise Association (IFA) 2013 conference in Las Vegas. Paris Hilton AdThe conference was full of highlights, including:

CEO of CKE Restaurants, Andrew Puzder explaining how Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s bucked the trend of targeting mom’s with children for a fast food restaurant and changing to a ‘Young Hungry Guys’ target which led to the infamous Paris Hilton commercial and unprecedented revenue increases.

A lasting, and to many frustating experience, was the image is the ½ mile long line of people queuing up to attend the speech given by former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice. Her speech and the following Q&A were fantastic. She received multiple standing ovations from this friendly audience.

The four-day conference didn’t disappoint. After panels, concurrent sessions, roundtables and a host of meetings, we are going to break-up the top ten takeaways Tracy and I collected at the conference. Today, the first 5 takeaways deal with macro trends and issues that are franchise business specific. In part 2, we will reveal our marketing takeaways.

1. In 2012, there was optimism that economy is turning and that financing for franchisors and potential franchisees was beginning to loosen. That optimism has continued despite the November election eliminating the chance of a lower corporate tax rate.

2. Speaking of the elections, instead of focusing on electing business-friendly government officials, the election has provided certainty how the country will be governed. We are already seeing the impact of higher taxes, burdensome regulations and costly entitlement programs. The franchising industry response needs to be: adapt, figure out how to work the rules and grow business.

3. In a panel discussion featuring Shelly Sun of BrightStar Tariq Farid, CEO Edible Arrangements and Steve Greenbaum, CEO PostNet there was an exchange about indicators of when to make changes to the franchise business model. Tariq said all franchise systems will eventually have to change. Steve provided us with key indicators on when to consider making changes. They included:

  • When your customers’ needs have changed
  • When technology has evolved past your business
  • When there is over-saturation in the marketplace
  • When there is an absence of differentiation with your business and the marketplace
  • When year over year sales are flat or declining

4. There was a lot of discussion about paying referrals to franchisees to gain new franchise sales leads. There are two legal concerns that need to be considered:

  • If a franchisor pays too much for a referral, they are exposing themselves to a potential liability. The franchisee could be considered a broker and be exposed to licensing issues
  • The franchisee could be held to the same financial disclosure requirements as the FDD

5. Operation Enduring Freedom and the VetFran Program has been a raving success. The stated goals were to recruit and hire 75,000 veterans to careers in franchising by the end of 2014. IFA President Steve Caldeira gave an update during his State of Franchising address: 64,880 veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors have started careers in franchising.

Let us know if you think we missed something. Share your thoughts about IFA with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

Be on the lookout for our top five marketing takeaways from 2013 International Franchise Association Conference.

 

12
Feb
13

More than Social Media: Marketing to Millennials

Millennials: They are mobileWhile attending an emergency preparedness workshop last week, there was a robust discussion regarding the role of social media in an emergency. There were two groups of people that discounted social media.

  • First, there were those people that reside in rural areas. They argued that cellular coverage was spotty, 3G and 4G networks virtually non-existent. They needed a more reliable communication method in an emergency.
  • Second, was a distinct generational gap – the Baby Boomers in the room (born before 1964) were unanimous in denouncing the importance of social media.

Interestingly, there was a group of Millennials (born after 1984) in the workshop who were unanimous in stating the power of social media. Full disclosure: I am in Generation X (1965-1984), and in this workshop the Gen Xers were divided about the importance of social media.

The generational gap became an interesting discussion among the small group of marketing professionals. The following are the differences I see in marketing to Boomers v. Millennials.

Category

Baby Boomers

Millennials

Advertising Method Unwelcomed Interruption Engagement
Advertising Content Features and Benefits Sincere Authenticity
Desired Response Reaction Share/Interaction
Desired Result Repeat Users Engaged Participants
Expectations Big Promises Personal Gestures
Marketing Success Consumer Co-creator
Never Return Broken Promise Corporate Shill


Marketers have figured out how to position their products and services to the Baby Boomers. However, for many, it is a new frontier in marketing to Millennials. Here are a few tips:

  • Tablets are currency to the MillennialsCompanies must develop a participation strategy in order to engage Millennials. This is not a quick fix; patience, consistency and long-term commitment are key factors to success.
  • Companies must provide a way to make Millennials look good to their peers. All you need to do is look at the way Apple markets products. The white earbuds of an iPod became an iconic symbol. If you had the earbuds, you were identified as part of the inner circle.
  • Millennials strongly desire to be part of the solution supporting a greater cause. They favor employers who actively support charitable organizations and they purchase products and services from companies that are active with altruistic endeavors.
  • Mobile presence is no longer negotiable if you are targeting Millennials. It is not just access by smartphone; they are also using tablets and gaining knowledge about your company through mobile apps.

All in all, if you want success in marketing to Millennials, you should seriously consider utilizing these four tips. Even better, when combining these tips with a reward program that provides genuine value as compensation for loyalty, you have a winning formula. Because what Millennial doesn’t like ‘free’ compensation.

Let us know your thoughts on marketing to Millennials. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

10
Aug
12

PowerPoint Fatigue: Is Prezi a Better Presentation Tool?

3 things to consider before you Prezi

Contributed by Weise Communications Art Director, Nusheen Jafari

Poor presentations can have disastrous consequences. Instead of trying to punch up a weak presentation, you may want to consider a new delivery vehicle. Prezi’s zoomable canvas is a creative alternative to a traditional slide presentation. But with all the hype about Prezi, have you really thought about why you’re using it? Here’s three questions to consider before you use Prezi for your next presentation.

1.  Does your presentation really need to zoom?

It is very important to consider the type of content in your presentation. Only consider using Prezi if you plan on taking advantage of the zooming capabilities. Prezi is not designed to organize your information by pages. You must think outside “the slides.”

Take the infamous U.S. Army “Spaghetti Slide” pictured above. It is a perfect example of a type of presentation that cannot be shown in sequential slides. Although Prezi may not have been able to aid the design of the information, perhaps it could have helped deliver that information in a more comprehensible way.

Prezi works great for visual content. It’s great for showing how ideas are connected to one another. It’s easy to zoom down to one point, and then pan over to the next. Its also good for showing how your points all relate to a bigger picture by simply zooming out to show the entire canvas; for example showing a small city then zooming out to reveal the entire globe. Prezi is also great for showing diagrams and processes. The storyline feature lets you create paths and frames to guide you through a journey.

On the other hand, Prezi does not work great for text-based presentations.  If your content is more than four words per slide, Prezi will distract your audience and give them motion sickness. If you need to include bulleted lists ortext heavy information to make your point, PowerPoint or Keynote is the way to go.

2.  Is control over design important to you?

You must be fluid with your design. If you’re the type of person who likes symmetry, with information nicely aligned and perfectly centered, Prezi will frustrate you. Prezi is all about movement and fluidity, if you understand that from the beginning, you will have a much smoother experience with it.

Keep in mind that it takes more effort to control what people see in Prezi, unlike the perfectly outlined boundaries of the page in PowerPoint and Keynote. Remember, Prezi is an open canvas, not a slide-by-slide presentation. You will need to space things out on the canvas appropriately to control what people see in each step.

3.  Do you have it all planned out?

The most important thing to keep in mind when using Prezi is to develop a plan. Storyboard your ideas and think about its connectivity BEFORE you start laying it out.

The limitation about Prezi is that you really can’t preview your presentation until your done building all the parts. So, if you like to build a few slides, then preview the presentation then go back to building, you are in for a very long process. Once you build your path in Prezi, it’s difficult to edit, especially for the person who didn’t think it through in the first place. It’s also important to understand that once you start building, you’ll discover new techniques and decide to change things. However, as long as you aren’t changing the entire path you should be fine.

Make sure you practice using Prezi first; build a fake presentation to familiarize yourself with its design. Get to know its features before you commit to building a specific presentation in Prezi. Believe me, you’ll change the way you plan your presentation once you’ve experienced it.

If you have other tips that you’ve found successful with Prezi, let us know here. Do you have a great Prezi that you’d like to share? Send us the link and we’ll post it on The Side Note. You can share your thoughts on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.

05
Jul
12

Top Ten Keys to Radio Advertising – Part 2

As we shared on Tuesday, clients have been requesting more radio as a part of their integrated marketing mix. Our first five tips were focused on the planning of a radio campaign. Today, we are focused on executing the ad with our next five tips.

6. Don’t bury the lead

“Burying the lead” is a journalism expression that means postponing the main point of the story until much further down in an article. In radio, if you bury the lead, listeners may simply change the station before you get to the main point of the ad. An example of not burying the lead is from Duluth Trading. They start off the ad by saying, “we, at Duluth Trading need to come up with a name for jeans that have more room in the crotch.” You know immediately, this is for Duluth Trading and the specific feature of the blue jeans that they consider a benefit. The rest is entertainment…Gooseberry Surprise?

7. Unique, uncomplicated offer

The offer must be easy to understand. I recently met with a company that was offering three months of free service. The catch was the free months were the 1st, 9th and 20th month. So, to get three free months, you needed to keep the service for nearly two years. Try explaining that in 30 seconds.

8. Must be able to answer WIIFM

This acknowledges that as an advertiser, you are an unwelcome interruption. From the point of view of the listener, you must explain ‘What’s In It For Me (WIIFM)

9. Minimum mentions

We use a simple formula for minimum mentions. The name of the advertiser and the response vehicle (phone or website.) One mention for every 15 seconds of airtime. A 30 second spot receives 2 mentions, a 60 receives 4 mentions.

10. Voice talent and articulation

This may seem obvious, but it is often overlooked. Here is an example of a radio ad for a collocation data provider currently running in Denver. For weeks, I heard ‘Fortress’ premium data center. I could not find them, even Google didn’t know Fortress. Then, in subsequent ads, the voice talent still said ‘Fortress’, but spelled out the website and that’s when I learned the company was called ‘For Trust’ – props to whoever pointed out that spelling the website would resolve that issue.

Do you have any keys to effective radio advertising you would like to share? Did we miss anything? Share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.

03
Jul
12

Top Ten Keys to Radio Advertising – Part 1

Radio advertisingWe’ve seen increased interest in clients considering radio advertising as part of their integrated marketing mix. Radio is an affordable advertising outlet. Since radio is genre segmented, you are able to target your audience effectively based on interests. It is hard to beat the value of a well-produced radio campaign in terms of delivering a targeted, impactful message to a wide audience.

With that in mind, we have created our top ten keys to successful radio advertising. We are separating them into two categories. The first five tips in this blog are related to radio planning, the next five coming out on Thursday will be related to radio advertising execution.

1. Theater of the mind

Radio is an entirely audio medium. it is important to use concepts and words that create imagery to tell a story. A great example is the recent competition held by Frontier Airlines for their new ‘spokesanimal.’ Not only did these ads effectively introduce you to the contestants, listeners were encouraged to vote on line for their favorite and we even able to take part in the unveiling of the winner. (It was Polly the Parrot.)

2. Clever, but not too high brow

You must engage your audience quickly and entertain them. One of the more successful radio ad campaigns we’ve heard is Bud Light’s Real Men of Genius campaign. These ads pseudo-glorify the jobs nobody pays attention to (parking lot flashlight waver) or the bizarre character traits of an eccentric (office party over hugger.) These ads grab attention, entertain, deliver the product information and have an effective jingle. That combination is hard to beat.

3. Action/interaction

Effective radio encourages the audience to take action, we’ve seen some great success with radio remotes. The driving force of the success is the radio personality inviting the listener to a location to interact with the station. These are great additions to community events, health fairs and grand openings.

4. Delicate balance of logical and emotional appeals

When you are trying to persuade an audience to act, you must remember that people react based on emotions, then justify their actions with logic and fact.  If your ad is based on emotion, it will set-off alarms when listeners try to justify logically. Conversely, a logical advertising message with no emotional appeal won’t create enough desire to act by the audience. An effective radio ad will create the right balance between logic and emotion in order to persuade.

5. Radio is a frequency medium

If you buy TV advertising, you are reaching the broadest audience, if you send mail, you can target your message to a specific audience. Radio is the blend, you reach more people that mail, but the listeners have common interests for targeting purposes. In order for radio to be effective, you need to purchase a schedule that will reach a significant portion of your target market enough times to be memorable.

If you have tight budgets, don’t be worried about trying to have some activity in the market over a long period of time. It makes much more sense to focus on a shorter period of time you can own and create memorable messages that encourage action, you’ll get results. Those results can enable the purse strings to loosen up for more budget as you’ll see better ROI.

Come back on Thursday when we reveal the remaining tips focused on executing effective radio ads.

03
Apr
12

QR Codes – Unfulfilled Potential: The Next Big Thing or Robot Barf

The possibilities seemed limitless. QR codes allow consumers with mobile devices to access great content, in-depth information and a higher level of engagement. Yet, companies consistently botch the execution of QR codes.

Back in August of 2010, The Side Note wrote about QR codes for the first time. The inspiration for that article was a Calvin Klein billboard in New York City linked to a video that could not be aired on broadcast television in the U.S. At that time, we saw QR codes as a cutting-edge way for businesses to reach consumers. Little did we know, the Calvin Klein billboard would be one of the better executions of a QR code. It teased to create interest, it clearly identified the sponsor and it delivered content that could not be accessed in another way.

Frankly, the blame for QR code failure lies with marketers. QR codes are simple to use, however the delivery of content requires more finesse and significantly better execution by marketing experts. Since consumers don’t know what the QR code does before they scan it, companies need to reward them for stepping into the unknown.

These errors are frustrating because the majority of these mistakes are the marketing version of basic blocking and tackling errors in football. We’ve categorized errors into three types: stupid, lazy and ignorant.

  • The stupid… the content linked to the QR code is not optimized for a mobile device – this is forehead smacking stupidity.
  • The lazy… businesses use a QR code to direct consumers to their business website – too boring, you have to include more engaging, exclusive and interesting content; Bonus error: if the website is not mobile optimized – that error is both stupid and lazy.
  • The ignorant… simply putting a QR code on an ad with the assumption that consumers know what to do – a friend recently said to me, “These things look like a robot barfed, what do I do with it?”

A little more about the ignorant errors, you would assume that college students would be on the forefront of innovation. Research company Archrival surveyed 500 students at 24 colleges and universities. In the study, Archrival found that although 80 percent of the students owned a smartphone and had seen a QR code, only 21 percent were able to successfully scan the QR code used in the study. A legitimate argument can be made that preloaded software on smartphones with an easier way to scan the codes will increase understanding and if people understand it, they will use it.

However, I believe that the payoff needs to be better. The content someone receives when scanning a QR code needs to deliver undeniable value. For example, give me a discount on something I want. Make something available to me because I scanned the code that others cannot get. Show me something amazing that I can’t see everywhere else. Too often the result of scanning a QR code (assuming I’m successful) is a massive letdown.

Today, I mostly see QR codes sending me to a standard company website. The same website I can get with a simple Google search. This key insight is most succinctly stated in this article from Sean X Cummings, “People will not adopt a technical solution that serves to replace a manual task, if that solution is less efficient than the manual task it replaces.”

Overall, the message to fellow marketing professionals is…step your game up!




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