Challenges and Opportunities of Social Media Ads for Multi-Location Brands

fun and welcome to today's round table in our cmo peer talk series my name is raquel sims and i work at primary public leading the customer success and partnerships team today we are going to talk about all about the challenges and opportunities and what can be done with social media advertising specifically when we're having this conversation we're gonna be talking about multi-location and franchise brands and some of the challenges and ebbs and flows of social that we have with us so i know it's right on the dot of noon here um in new york but we're going to dive in right away so just to reintroduce myself to those that are new to the series as mentioned i run our customer success and partnerships department at primary public we are a all-in-one platform for local digital marketing for franchise brands and i'm really excited to have our amazing panel with us today i know the conversation will be really exciting but before i introduce that everyone i do want to apologize in advance i do have a bit of a sinus infection so if i have to mute very quickly um that is why so um hopefully we'll make it through this painless and i have water and tissues right away but it will be as good as normal i'm hoping so our first guest speaker here today is natalie miller from curious jane hi natalie how are you today hi good afternoon i'm good thank you so much for having me i'm excited to meet with you all today um like raquel said my name is natalie miller i work at curious jane which is an ad agency specifically that works with franchise businesses and other multi-location businesses across the united states and canada um so my role i have been in the weeds with social media advertising for many many years with clients like fedex ground kumon anytime fitness dry bar plato's closet amongst some others so um i have faced a lot of the challenges you all are experiencing with social media advertising and have hopefully found some pretty good solutions so i'm excited to work with you all today and to have this great conversation so thank you for having me of course thank you for sharing i'm excited to hear your perspective and so then our next speaker for today is at madeleine park how are you madeline and welcome back i know you've been with us before i'm good thank you thanks for having me uh yeah so my name's madeline i am a uh kind of a unicorn in the space i worked on the franchise brand side with threshold brands for about a decade um in their marketing department i'm also a multi-unit multi-brand franchise owner i've got about 15 locations in the philadelphia area um and i'm also the director of marketing at a franchise ad agency called netsertive so we help franchise brands with everything digital marketing so i'm getting the full scale i see the pain points across everything um and have definitely used a lot of money to test things so hopefully you'll pick up some tips uh that way so you won't be wasting any of your dollars and uh shout out to josie duvall i see you on here appreciate the support we love having you because the fact that you are a unicorn not only do you have like that ad the agency background but you are a multi-unit owner so you know what franchisees are dealing with on the day-to-day basis and what they're looking for in terms of advertising in this case so i'm really excited to hear your perspective today sure thanks um and last but not least we have tori johnson with us today how are you today hi everybody thanks so much for having me um my name is tori johnston i am the chief marketing officer of akt and akt is part of the exponential fitness family so i represent the franchisor side of things today for this discussion and akt is a dance-based cardio studio we offer a unique combination of four different fitness modalities dance bands circuit and tone we have about 30 locations in the us and about 150 franchises sold so we are growing really quickly and opening new studios across the market all different markets in the u.s and i'm excited to talk to you a little bit more today yeah thank you and the fact that you have the franchisor side is really important for the whole conversation as well because i think today's panel is really exciting we not only have the agency perspective and the franchisee perspective but the franchisor perspective so we're really hearing it from all sides and putting all of the puzzle pieces together today so thank you all for taking time out for the panel today um let's just dive in with our first topic today about social media advertising and the specific platforms that you're utilizing because we know social media advertising specifically has been a trending topic not only for quite some time but has exponentially escalated since the beginning of 2020 because more resources were poured into digital during that time um and we can see that two hours per day is the average increase per user since the beginning of 2020 as well because we were as we know all in the same situation at home for quite a big part of that or just consuming new digital platforms that's really when the tick tock uh platform really took off so it's really interesting to see that advertising across all platforms has escalated as well and we've seen this in a global annual marketing report that nielsen published that highlights that 65 of marketers say that social media is their most effective channel so more and more brands are finding success through this like tick tock i know i've seen so many more ads on there than i first started as well as um instagram as we know and facebook as we come to love so the first question that i'd like to give to the panel and and maybe tori you can start off here going with that franchisor perspective is what does your strategy look like in terms of social media advertising are you on maybe just one to two platforms or advertising or do you maximize your presence across the web absolutely so i mean the answer of where do we use all of our focus and our energy is definitely always changing but for this year we've really put a lot of our social social media advertising dollars into google facebook and instagram um until tick tock really offers zip code targeted zip code targeting we have to really hold off i'm dying to get onto tiptalk especially for akt as a dance-based cardio brand just with the nature of dance and movement within the platform but from a franchisor perspective we really need that zip code zip code targeting available so that we make sure that we are really hyper focused on users or leads that could potentially come through from a specific area and demographics so i'm waiting on that patiently to come out but in the meantime we're trying to grow our tick tock channels just organically and encouraging some of our local studio partners to start their own channels as well just to become more familiar with the platform in terms of paid dollars as we open new studios we're really spending a lot of our time and energy on facebook and instagram to gain grand awareness and then once our physical location actually opens we really start to implement our google campaigns as well to layer on top of that as we have more qualified users as we have more and more people becoming familiar with the brand searching for the brand we find that our highest conversions really come from our google campaigns so right now it's just facebook instagram and google but tick tock will be soon enough yeah and tick tock dancing movement and aka like really fits hand in hand so i can only imagine um the top net the bit there but it's really interesting that um you know facebook and instagram is secondary to google especially because it's such a visual um franchise that you're a part of um natalie what do you what is the strategy that you try to implore within the franchisors or franchisees that you work with at curious jane absolutely um i want to first piggyback right off the comment that tori said earlier about tick tock and zip code targeting that is definitely a conversation we have so often with a lot of our local brands who have that perfect audience for tick tock um you know what capabilities do we have to reach them and i think for me to answer your question raquel like that is the perfect intro because the question i would even i i can't answer that until we ask the question of the brands we're working with of who are you who's your customer and where does your customer live because that is how we can help to create the perfect media strategy um if you do have like a gen z maybe a teen or a young 20s or even now 30s you know type audience tick tock absolutely can be an option but obviously as a local business when so i'm in lakeland florida um so if i had a local business here in lakeland florida i would be a part of the tampa dma so do you want to advertise your lakeland florida business to the entire tampa dma it's not the best use of marketing dollars to when you're running into those types of obstacles so find where your customer is and then find the tools that you can use to help reach them so uh tick-tock is great for that gen z but also so is instagram so a snapchat that does have more targeting type capabilities with tory to your point zip code targeting um you know with meta facebook and instagram you can drop that pin and do a radius around a location so it's all about understanding where your audience is and then what tools you have in your toolbox to best reach where they where they are digitally online so i think that's kind of how i would answer that question i know that's kind of a uh not quite a verbatim answer but hopefully that helps absolutely it definitely helps i think that's the first step that anyone really needs to take when they're sitting down to think about what they're going to do with advertising is who is our audience and what are we speaking to and what's the message so i definitely agree with that and both of you have raised like that ever important point when you're working with the multilocation brand you need to focus on you know how specific you can get with the territory of your franchisees because i think that's a unique problem our industry has that you know a single unit or a different company wouldn't necessarily face so that's a really really great perspective madeleine i know you have that combination unicorn perspective so i'm eager to hear what you think of and when you're putting together a digital advertising strategy yeah so um i think the the three parts here is the agency um you know we want to see you get great results because we don't make money unless you make money on the franchisee side uh i don't want to put money into anything that's not transactional while i should have to do that i'm still always going to be like i don't want to use facebook marketing because i'm not seeing clients come directly from that and on the franchisor side uh it's it's both you need uh to promote that brand awareness but also take into account um the amount of spend and the transactional nature so so my answer to this is um kind of twofold where with any of your marketing spends you have to hold them accountable uh but accountable to what so for a franchisee thought process a lot of it is or i should say 99 of it is transactional um that comes from kind of the older generations of marketing where you could spend two hundred dollars on a direct mail drop and get 20 clients and you could calculate it that way unfortunately that's just not how it is in the digital age anymore uh clients need about seven times seeing you before they're gonna say yes so while the brand awareness channels might not seem effective um they're getting you to that yes uh we have seen growth in the facebook and instagram where about you know five ten years ago nothing was being sold and then it was you know small products from overseas uh and then people started experimenting with maybe closing realizing oh i can order something from facebook and it can show up and not be terrible quality uh so now we're moving into higher price items such as appliances people are starting to resell uh and so then i think you know in the next five ten years we're going to see higher priced items such as products higher you know appliances cars real estate businesses for those on the fran dev side so um until we reach that transactional spike you know you have to be where people are um and facebook and instagram is where people are so you need to put money into those uh platforms so that you're getting the reach uh however uh understanding that those are not the transactional uh places that you're gonna be that's where google comes into play people are buying from google to tori's uh point um and then for people saying you know what about uh pinterest and tick tock and snapchat well that really depends on the cost and and to natalie's point the dma of your customer um for the most part i say if you are going to advertise on those those should be your extra marketing dollars for an extra layer uh you know put yourself in the consumer shoes where uh i never am on pinterest to buy something i'm on there for inspiration if i see a brand that's great but very rarely am i going to click that and go off the platform to buy something same thing with snapchat same thing with tick tock so it really is a brand awareness thing to really hyper target into the age range of your customers pinterest would be great for me i have a home cleaning uh franchise so you know that's where the moms are but again people are not on there to buy uh so really your ad dollars are better spent on facebook and instagram they've got a high uh power in the seo world and with google and then again uh keeping in mind that it doesn't have to be transactional to work one more thing to build off what madeline was saying in service based industry like home cleaning or my situation with fitness we really are just trying to offer something to those users in our digital ads that's a trial we're trying to get them to take you know a little bite of what we're showing them to come into our system as a lead and so rather than transacting and buying you know a blouse or a tank top or a new skincare item like you would see on a lot of direct to consumer brands we're offering our services as a way to come try it out and that trial is what's going to bring them into our brick and mortar studios or into our you know our lead funnels and so to me the most important thing is getting somebody to bite on that trial and then we have to really make sure that our marketing approach services that lead the entire way through their funnel so we're throwing it all out there hoping that people like the cover page of our book and then once they open the book we're going to show them the rest of the the brand i think this begs a really really this is a fantastic conversation because this this i love the perspective of the transactional piece and how do we get in front of the person uh buying when they want to buy and that always comes back to the research phase and that marketing funnel tory to your point we need to fully understand the customer's journey of how they buy so madeline you had made a great point earlier that it takes you know on average seven touch points for somebody to make a transaction so our responsibility as marketers is to understand what those touch points look like and how do we use these different tools that we have at our disposal to create the perfect pipeline for that marketing journey to happen so while you know people may not be going on to pinterest to make a purchase they're going on there to research and to be inspired and to find new ideas so does that type of persona maybe i don't know i love pinterest myself so maybe somebody in my age range looking for home decor inspiration um if i see you know a home service cleaning franchise add-on there then maybe i start to think about that and i see it again on meta which may be a little bit more of a transactional type platform um asking for hey we're happy to give you a free quote or maybe more of a transactional message it's all about aiding that customer through their research journey and their buyer's journey to give them the nuggets of information they need along that journey so i think i would argue that all of those different platforms can have transactional intent it's just about hitting that person at the right time in their transactional journey and giving them the information they need to answer their questions before they even have them so i think this is certainly a hard question when you're trying to figure out which platform for your brand you don't know until you have that data so you know you guys were talking earlier about testing so get on there and test see where your audience lives where they bite on to that free trial for your fitness you know your fitness product your point um and use that data to really really mold that media plan for your business absolutely i i definitely agree with everything that was said and i do um echo your sentiment natalie about pinterest i know um we've attended um shop talk conferences in the past all about e-commerce and pinterest was you know highlighting their effectiveness of ads because you do have that click through naturally there you have a cta that you can put in and so i think it's about finding as you said the right platform for the your business because no business is going to have that same magic recipe as the next business because your demographics are going to be different what you're offering whether it's a dance studio or you know a home cleaning service that's all going to be different and affect the end result at the end of the day so everything that was highlighted today that the fact that you want to be as precise with your targeting as possible and the fact that you want to test and research and match your demographic where they are i think those are all really important points when putting together your strategy and choosing what that platform looks like and so while we're on the topic of just kind of the intro if you will of social media advertising i would love to know how you are choosing to distribute your budget across any platforms that you're working with and if your ad spend has changed over the past few years and maybe natalie we could start off with you there since you do this for multiple clients absolutely um and i think i don't mean to keep beating the topic but i think that testing is such a great uh exploratory process if you have a little bit of time and data to really really understand where those ad dollars should go so we've talked about you know making sure you know where your customer lives but it's about trying and testing different types of campaigns using different types of creative elements and assets to really really send that message um and when we think of our you know as as marketers our our rule book is that marketing funnel so really understanding awareness what an awareness message looks like for your brand you know it's and and how that aligns with that that customer's research process um so it's it's putting your ad dollars in those different phases strategically to understand okay if this is an awareness ad that maybe has you know 25 percent of my budget or 15 of my budget um i want to make sure those ad dollars go in platforms where okay people are looking for inspiration or ideas so maybe pinterest maybe tick tock i mean and of course it's different for each brand but think of where they start that research journey and then later will that where they go to be a little bit more transactional madeline to your point earlier so it's it's spoon feeding and placing your budget in those different locations testing messages testing creative assets to find the right uh way to put those puzzle pieces together for your media plan um i think to give you a less abstract answer um you had a great question you know where are we putting money holistically when we look at some of the franchise businesses that we work with from both the local and the corporate level um we always fall onto meta or facebook instagram is kind of our baseline we love meta just because it really has that audience it's got i think i recently saw it was it over two billion active monthly users odds are we all know you know it's hard to find somebody who doesn't have a facebook page or an instagram page so if we really want to find users we start with meta um understand how they move about the platform what interests them what types of content they're clicking on to really start gathering that data that can influence how you want to put them on other platforms so are they interacting with maybe more business type content that your brand maybe that might be a better avenue for linkedin or do they like quick short short term videos that you are putting on there maybe a snapchat or a tick tock so start with meta that is a great um home base and obviously that machine learning with meta is just powerful gives you a lot of great data and a lot of great things you can use to hone in on your perfect target absolutely really well said and i do think that research phase is going to be something that everyone will have to navigate in the beginning um because that's how you learn and figure out what is that right recipe for you and but meta does have not only the enhanced targeting that you can do but the the value of having two billion plus active users not just total users these are people actively using it on a daily basis and that's who you want to target because that means they're on their phone or on their computer regularly using it and and that means more opportunities for you and your advertisement to be seen so that's a really great um point um tori over to you i would love to know how you're distributing your budgets across the social platforms that you're active on and if your ad spend has changed over the past few years yeah like natalie said um meta is definitely our baseline that's where we go first when somebody launches a local digital advertising campaign they're gonna start on meta um it's always been that way that hasn't changed over the past few years but what we have seen is a little bit more seasonality to our business and effects in the life cycle of a business so we're in the process right now of opening a bunch of new fitness studios and as the studio is getting ready to open there's not a brick and mortar location yet we haven't had those grassroots activities we're not doing direct mail quite yet our signage isn't up and it looks like a construction site so for us the only place where we can really start to meet consumers is on facebook and instagram so we've been using that um day one of signing a lease all the way through the life cycle of a studio but like i mentioned before we start to add in these other types of campaigns as we learn more as we spend more as we test out and learn from those results what we're really looking to achieve and so in a brand new studio location that is under construction opening in a new place like tampa we we really start with meta as that baseline we quickly add in additional dollars for google but not until the studio is actually open so for us it's really about the life cycle rather than just the month-to-month budget but uh tracking that return on investment over time after a location is physically open and able to service our clients is really the long-term result that we're looking for that's a really good point and i think that's um something that we should all keep in mind especially because at the franchisor level you're thinking of how can i help my franchisee from you know when they sign on as well as launching and and the day-to-day so by putting that ad spend into the meta platforms to really build up the hype so to speak around the studio and then getting the consumers consistently in and the leads coming is a really important perspective that i don't think should be missed so thank you for sharing that and madeline back to you i know for that hybrid approach um but what do you how do you decide what you're distributing your budgets for what let's take for example your home cleaning franchise franchises that you have and what about your ad spend if anything changed over the past few years yeah so ad spend uh changes not only over the last few years it has to evolve to where people are going and obviously with inflation but also seasonality so we own i own uh home cleaning i also own mosquito and tick which is super seasonal and also exterior house cleaning services which are also in between the seasonal hard stop and uh full full service there so i think that this begs the question uh or point of before you're putting money into your ad spend you need to make sure that the content you're spending money on is gonna work so i usually uh tell franchisees that they need to have one of the three e's which is either entertaining education or be some sort of exclusive um giving people an intent to interact with your content if you're gonna post something that's not one of the three uh probably not gonna do well even if you spend a lot of money on it so uh ensuring that the creative and content you have is not overlooked before you put money into it um secondary is again you have to be where people are so the metaphor i always like to use is if you put a toy in a toy store and don't tell any kids or anyone about it what are the chances they're gonna buy it probably pretty low um if you do that and you decide to put banners up right in the front and you're pinging their phones and you're on facebook your your intent to buy goes goes very high so again being where people are with their intent um to purchase to natalie's point there um again i mean meta is the baseline they've got all of the targeting they've got all the information they connect very highly with google um for for us we spend the majority on google that is where we're seeing the roi we're seeing the traffic it's also driving people directly to our site which tends to convert better and have um you know a better quality client if you will uh then comes facebook and instagram um i would uh uh make a very bold statement to say that i do not recommend linkedin advertising to anyone at this point whether it's fran dev consumer unless you are in maybe the uh employment side of things sure but i think everyone on this call can agree that they have been spammed with direct inmails or whatever and i have spent probably over ten thousand dollars on all sorts of different linkedin advertising uh for all sorts of different companies and brands and leads and it's just never worked so i just don't think it's there yet so that's kind of my my bold statement there um but again to the point of the toy story metaphor if you can't afford these big campaigns um start with a dollar a day that's the minimum to spend there and it's at least reaching people outside of your direct network the people that already know about you they follow your page so you have to constantly be reaching new people so um you don't have to have these million trillion thousand whatever dollar budgets to do it um you you need to start and and to back what natalie said you got to test and you got to get numbers from there you can kind of start to mold how much your budget should be and also don't be afraid to network or talk with other agencies or other local businesses other franchises whatever you're in and and get an idea of their spend i think right now um for qsr so quick service restaurant it's recommended local digital marketing spend across google and and facebook slash instagram is about 1200 to 1500 a month to really make a dent so making a dent meaning you're acquiring new customers and there and you know you're seeing the longevity there um again for brand awareness a little bit harder to track um but uh don't you know don't be afraid to talk to the professionals it's going to be different in everyone's time of the year everyone's location zip code everyone's industry everyone's unique office um and also you're gonna have to split that depending on what type of business you are splitting your budget between franchise development meaning finding new offices or finding new clients and finding employees so you know there is a have to be a budget split across and the creative needs to align with each one of those so um to your answer it's different for everyone ask your friends and experts and it will continue to evolve not only yearly but seasonally and monthly almost if you will absolutely i'm curious to ping it back over to natalie because you are on the agency side of things and you service so many different clients um what is your opinion on linkedin advertising oh girl you hit my heart when you said that it is a bold statement of course but i i mean i very respectfully humbly disagree um and for the reason of so linkedin i mean personally advertising for we we use it a lot for franchise development for a lot of our clients and to be honest with you it has emerged as the platform that has allowed for us to have the highest quality of leads that we have seen within the franchise development space and absolutely we can agree that i think the linkedin cost that we see is totally different than what we see across costs for meta or you know for some of those other platforms but i think when you have um the very very um transparent feedback with you know sales teams working with those marketing teams and truly understand hey how are the leads coming in for this brand are they the quality how long is it taking for you to close them um we have seen a lot of success on linkedin for franchise development but it's all about that persona again right so if your persona for your brand is not on linkedin then don't spend your money there of course but i do really appreciate some of the targeting options that we have with linkedin you know for example if you know that your key new franchise owner has a very uh tried and true history in it that is something that we are able to target immediately within linkedin and i love the capability of that um so without getting too much out of on a tangent i think i'm gonna roll that back down to just test find where your audience is and test it but one thing i just really quickly wanted to bring up as a part of this discussion when it comes to establishing marketing budgets for your local business locations i always want to kind of cycle that back to corporate spend so working in the franchise space some you know corporate entities work with their franchisees to have a national ad fund or um are spending money on marketing from the corporate team um and then expecting franchisees to be you know doing marketing locally so what does that balance look like within your franchise structure what is corporate responsible for doing at the corporate level from the brand awareness to really really emphasize your company as a whole and then what efforts are you making from the local uh from the local piece so um emphasizing your business within your local community i would caution of course have those conversations ask and communicate with your corporate team you know just making sure that the ad dollars that you are spending from the local level are not directly competing with efforts happening at the corporate level and there are so many different uh tactics and questions and structures that can be put in place to truly make sure that marketing efforts from the corporate side and the local side are working seamlessly together instead of a kind of a versus or a competing marketing structure um so i think that's an important conversation to be had that could take forever but i will spare you all those details natalie i'm curious to on your friend dev thing for linkedin um are you are using in platform leads are you sending people to a landing page a little bit of everything truthfully um so we have seen great x um great results within platform leads you are seeing typically that lower cost per lead but then of course there's always that question of quantity over quality so it's about finding how that user is researching and getting their information so we may have maybe a download or something available that is maybe a little less committal maybe we don't need a whole lot of research that may be an in-platform lead opportunity and then remarketing uh perhaps taking them off of the platform onto the website to have a little bit more research uh spend time on the site and then you know track and remarket with maybe google display maybe meta and so they're getting those multiple touch points into something a little bit more committal towards the end of that marketing journey sure and then in your tracking tracking you're attributing the lead where they came from with your tagging to linkedin so a little bit of yes so we we are able to see with linkedin you can do your attribution at it as each campaign or last campaign but then with utm codes going from place to place you can pull all of that within your google analytics to really see that whole picture um so you are are able to see how people are clicking and coming to that site and if you are linked with like a marketing automation software for example like a hubspot um you'll be able to see how that data is coming in as they're downloading that lead gen for i'm sorry they're converting on that lead gen form maybe downloading an asset coming in converting later on your website etc and what's your typical budget for uh linkedin because i'm just curious that to hear um when i was on brand side with threshold we actually uh were in talks with you guys for a while so um we went with somebody else but you know again even on the the agency side weren't seeing the success that you're kind of speaking to so i'm just curious what that budget looked like to be getting a constant flow of leads that you can attribute back to linkedin sure and that is a fantastic question because it is a little bit more of an expensive platform one brand that is coming to mind with us is spending a bit um looking at budgets of maybe twenty thousand dollars a month we do have other brands that have a lower cost but is a little bit more uh national so it's it's like they're targeting multiple dmas in one pool as opposed to a very like micro type approach um we've got ad spends i think some campaigns are doing about five thousand dollars a month which we're still seeing cost per lead it's probably between um a hundred and i would say 215 um which for franchise development with the free what was it the franchise review report that was released in october at the franchise development leadership conference they had said last year that the national cost per lead was 197 so that puts you right in ballpoint um ballpark for the franchise development type of cost that you might expect for those leads awesome no that's that's great to know yeah i think when i was doing it we our budgets were around the you know five to seven but i don't think i think it was over like a three month period for like a year so i think that just makes definitely more sense as to the the conversion factors there um but then pulling it back to we were using brokers at the time which is you know 25 000 minimum off the bat so i think for grand dev we we tended to uh instead of cost per lead or cost per click we would go cost per acquisition so anything under 25 000 at that point was a win but that's great to know i'm excited to know that linkedin isn't a total uh failure for fran dev because that really is where all of the uh the great people are so thank you for that insight no and i'm so glad that you even mentioned it and opened up that conversation i think to your point earlier it really does all go back to testing right maybe it didn't work for a pest control brand or a home cleaning brand um knowing that that's a little bit you know that's in your industry but working with other types of brands i mean it's it's just all up to testing raquel this is why you had a whole vast uh vast three of us here so look at that that's what it's all about i mean i couldn't make this up um but this is the type of conversation that we're actually bringing you all here to have and to really be open honest about your struggles what works for you what doesn't what you have seen on the agency side the franchisor side and the zzz or an agency side for you madeline so definitely welcome the commentary but so i think the the takeaway from part one at least for me is that you have to start small and start testing to really understand what you're doing and then when you have the data to back it up you can really move on and invest into platforms that work for you whether it is linkedin as controversial as it is or whether it is the meta platforms or even pinterest with its e-commerce strategy and so thank you all for that lively debate um but i want to move to um localizing because we did touch upon this a little bit and i know tori you mentioned this about the franchisor side having a national campaign versus the franchisees they want something hyper local and we do see the trends nowadays and including google they're making the focus hyper local and consumers are preferring to engage with a brand on its local pages over a national account because the benefit of that is that they feel that they're speaking with their you know their neighborhood shop and franchisees at the end of the day are a pillar of the local community and so multi-location brands are really using this to its advantage whether it is the hyper localization of social content um or ads in itself so the first question really on this topic of localization to yield sales or to yield conversions as you're looking for are um what main challenges i know it's going to be a tough conversation but what are the main challenges that you face as a franchisor compared to those that a single brand or single unit business doesn't face uh maybe tori we can start with you on that one yeah back to what natalie was saying there are those uh corporate dollars that you're spending um most of the time in my my world it's trying to drive brand awareness and then there are those local campaigns that you're asking a franchisee to put up a few thousand dollars per month on their monthly marketing spend to commit to digital advertising on top of all the other things they're doing to run their local business and so that it is a huge commitment and the benefit of um being part of a franchise is that we've done this many times before there's a business within a box there's been multiple things tested there's been dollars spent in other markets or similar markets to yours or we can take those learnings and really apply them to your local market the fact of the matter is it costs more to do business in certain markets at least for fitness we know there's certain dmas that are more expensive to advertise in you might save in other parts of the business or maybe you can you know charge a higher ticket price for a membership but the cost for advertising might just be that much more upfront um sometimes that's you know covered by a corporate cost other times we're just asking a franchisee to commit to a larger budget up front um but when it comes to the actual content and the localization of that we're really taking what we have from a corporate bank of images of videos of boomerangs of copy and things we know have worked in the past and then we're really starting to test that in your local market we know it works best if we look at all the kpis across the brand but when we come down to a specific local market like tampa or denver or seattle we you know quickly act to test and then refine really quickly within that 30-day cycle so for us it's putting our best creative assets forward based on what we know of all the other franchise locations and then implementing some of the local content as well um you know back to the brand marketer in me it's really people want to be seen in your photos and your videos and your advertisements they want to see themselves as potentially being a member at your fitness studio or being customer of your brand and so that looks a little bit different across the country and we've noticed that um as we've opened new studios and other places besides just new york and la what does a fitness client look like in ohio what does a fitness client look like in kansas city and most the time what we find is that people that come to fitness studios are inactive they're looking for the next step in their fitness journey and so rather than having somebody with six-pack abs and being totally ripped in every photo and sweaty and looking like they work out seven days a week we're trying to look we're trying to portray the idea that somebody could be less active and they're looking to take that next step and that everyone is welcome at akt all different shapes and sizes all different walks of life and so those are some of the learnings that we've tested locally that have really made a big impact that would have been different than just launching the same national creative across all local accounts i think that's a really great example because authenticity is something that maybe you don't think of when you think of social media in general but i the trend is to be more your authentic self and less that polished like filtered persona that we've come to you know think of synonymously with instagram for example so by putting a authentic view of what a person looking to join a club across the country is i think that's a really important highlight about it ways to localize it's not only in let's say the copy or the advertisement and call to action it's also in the physical creative that you put in which ties back to madeleine's point on you know you need to have a creative that works and you need to invest into that so that's really great feedback i'm curious madeline what do you what's your perspective on you know some challenges that as franchisees and franchisors we face when compared to you know an average business when thinking about advertising here yeah i mean the the good thing about franchise advertising and multi-location if you're not in a franchise is that you have a little bit more opportunity to um team up there so um for instance direct mail still works well for us so we're able to do a lot of co-ops uh kind of yard sign swap swaps but you can do the same thing there uh you know for digital and social media where if you want to run maybe a larger campaign that's going to target a bigger area you can you know put funds together with your regional franchisees or your regional locations um i am uh very um passionate about the fact that franchisees cannot rely on just the national advertising fund uh that should be a layer i uh i know you're paying into it but the goal of the national advertising fund is to create this blanket of branding test to new things use it to move your locations forward move the corporate forward so for franchisees saying you know well i have the national advertising fund it's fine yeah but they're not hyper focused on your local area so just as you say to consumers um shop small our local franchise is a small business we are small business owners you still have to uh market locally and treat it as such if you rely on the uh national advertising fund then you're really putting yourself in the bags of starbucks and target and walmart and probably not gonna be able to compete with them at any sort of scale so the local marketing is really where the bulk of it needs to be um and yeah you can have um so you should and have support from your your corporate franchisor um you know what's great about that is that either whether you're working with an agency partner or it's internal um they're looking at a data roll-up so they can make recommendations about how much you can spend they can look at your marketing dollars from your history um and make uh you know suggestions that way so that it's not really a shot in the dark but again yeah you do need to be executing on the near me searches the local people your community your mom's groups some of that grassroots stuff basically digitally getting out there and shaking hands your neighborhood groups as much as we all love to hate next door you know that's where people are looking for you um specifically so you know making sure you have that local strategy and then being blanketed by the national advertising fund as a boost um is what's super important and again if you need more support at that local uh level and or you want to try something new um you can go to your franchisor and and ask for national advertising fund support if you want to test a product or you want to test a program text test technology um that's all out there but again you know it really is a two-fold that they're working hand-in-hand uh uh i had a franchise uh say yesterday like if it's not a win-win then nobody wins and that's really how it works with local marketing and corporate marketing music to my years is the franchisor thank you i agree with all that it's a really great point and i i definitely agree as well i think we do have to think of the business as that the national ad fund as what it says it does it pushes the national conversation forward and then as a franchisee you are local you are that the shop local partner for your community so you do want to focus on what you can do locally in that um natalie because obviously this is your day in and day out i'd love to hear um what you think the challenges are when it comes to advertising a multi-location or franchise business absolutely um and i would love to say absolutely i agree with the whole discussion about the national ad fund and that's something we hear you know a lot of uh express trouble with but from both the local and the corporate team so madeline you hit the nail on the head there um i think so again just a reminder this is coming to you from that agency perspective um and so we work with a lot of the corporate teams and honestly one of the biggest pain points that we hear is scalability and having a little bit of a corporate oversight so understanding that when we're working with a franchise brand these corporate teams really really want to help their teams and their local locations focus on running a business and not worry about your marketing campaigns so in working with an agency partner i would absolutely recommend trying to work with them and figure out how you can make a turnkey solution so your corporate team has the trust that your agency is going to help you keep your branding unified uniform you're going to know exactly what types of assets what types of campaigns what types of messaging that your local franchise franchisees are going to be running with their ad dollars and also providing options because one vendor works for one local location that may not be the vendor of choice for another so i think in creating that structure in working with an agency partner i would recommend maybe rolling out a series of approved vendors and approved packages so what i mean by that is with approved vendors so for example let's say you are a corporate franchise team that has a thousand locations across the united states um for scalability reasons for the option of choice i would elect to do maybe three vendors of choice that your business has vetted that you like the kind of creative they're able to make for your team and the price is right and they're able to help scale and they're able to help just kind of provide this turnkey solution so once you have created and found your established vendors of of choice working with them on creating packages that your local franchisees can opt into so perhaps if their marketing budget is not through the roof in one location but then maybe you know across the country they've got money to spend create a series of packages perhaps packages that just kind of layer or tear on top of each other um so kind of going back to our discussion earlier on platform forms of choice when it comes to social media of course we love to lead with that meta piece but let's say madeline to your point earlier if they have a little bit more ad spun spend maybe they want to add um snapchat on top of that um and of course there's a google a digital search piece as well that goes into that but it's about providing choices for your franchisees and then also relying on a solution that is scalable um and that is corporately vetted and approved and focusing on those local efforts to get your local name out there in your community while corporate can stay focused on using maybe those national ad dollars or additional marketing spend on emphasizing the brand um so those local efforts and those corporate efforts can really partner together that's a really great point and i do think that it's the the sum of the pieces equal the hole in this effort that we're putting together because that's just the nature of the business and so all three of you have shared different perspectives but all come down to that same fundamental piece that is the theme you know from the beginning which is testing what works putting together the right creatives making sure the funds are split between you know the efforts that the local head office is pushing as well as what the franchisee can push from themselves to be that hyper local piece that is the go-to and so just to kind of follow up on this question um i want to kind of dig a little deeper and see how are things working within your team are you suggesting specifics like this is what you should target on that local level this is that's when you should put in here's the creative or how are the franchisees localizing the content that they're choosing to put into advertising by tori because i know you do have that franchisor perspective i'd love to hear um how you're putting together that for your franchisees if at all yeah we have a very robust certified agency partner program here at akt that's part of the exponential fitness family so i work with five certified agency partners that means that they're following our ccpa compliance laws that they're agreeing to certain terms and conditions when it comes to being an agency partner and representing akt and exponential as a whole when dealing with our franchise partners a lot of the agencies have franchise experience or have people on their team who are also part of our franchises or another franchise and so they really understand the business and to me the most important part of that is to really take what we have at the corporate level and bring it down to the local experience so i do prescribe exactly how much we recommend they spend per month at every stage of that business um what they should be running which platforms they should be running on and when they should be introducing additional um platforms creative or switching out different options um a lot of our copy and things change when there's certain um uh events that happen at the studio so for example a grand opening or um a one-year anniversary really does shift the um the focus a little bit and we have recommendations that we give to our agencies that then give those um recommendations to the franchise partners about how to make the most of those events and how to really switch up campaigns or add additional dollars at certain key moments in the life cycle of that studio so we keep a tight wrap on agencies in that way and then we really use the learnings across akt but all exponential brands so you know 2 500 fitness locations across the country to make the best recommendations for each individual agency and then each individual franchise partner so to me if i'm trying to solve a problem let's say you know the cost per lead in denver is too high denver for some reason is always a hard market for us we finally feel like we've cracked the code recently we've tried a few different agency partners we've tried a few different account management styles we've increased budgets and decreased budgets within a few thousand dollars here and there and finally after months of testing and looking at what other brands have been doing within our family and working with an agency partner that was seeing the best results in denver we've finally been able to get our cpl below the company average and really um you know using local content based on what the franchisee is seeing in front of their customers day-to-day so it is again back to that testing to a little bit of maneuvering a little bit of massaging um what we see and put out there in the marketplace but being able to do that from the top down and also the bottom up you know hearing directly from franchisees what's working and what's not um has been really an integral part of that process sorry speaking on mute because i was coughing a little bit sorry about that um but no that's a great point i think being able to see from that head office what you are supporting with and how that they can experiment on their own is really important for those that are on the call to hear and learn what you are doing at the franchisor level i would love to hear from you madeline what that looks like from your perspective like what what do you see as i guess the best approach just because i know you have so many unique perspectives to to answer this um what do you see as most effective whether it's the head office putting a lot of effort into giving the franchisees this or giving franchisees free reign to localize um and if that affects the results at all for you yeah definitely um i'm puppy sitting so excuse any dog that may bark there it is um so localization is super super important especially um to drive engagement or more engagement the more localized you can be the better um there is a kind of two-fold on this where the brand should have some control the brand governance uh you know penalty if a brand wants to a location wants to go rogue and all of a sudden they change your colors of your logo to neon like that's not cool so couple suggestions on here one if you're a franchisor there are agencies such as netsertive we do this where you can upload your creative and then they all localize it for you with localized names urls phone numbers especially important for maybe ctv campaigns or something that's very interactive obviously you want to limit the amount of clicks it takes to convert so to have a click-through that goes directly to their local page to send a lead in is is very important so there are agencies out there that can do that for you secondly um you know get yourself an editing dam such as like a brand folder where you can go in you can limit what they can customize um but they are in charge of going in putting in their their phone number putting in their url um and really putting it on the franchisee to localize um and then another thing is if you have internal creative there's always going to be those franchisees that just can't figure it out or they need a certain spec or they're doing a billboard and that's not on brand folder what we did at madepro is we allowed the franchisees to submit two custom artwork requests i think a month um so that they could have you know make sure it was customized it was localized but again it was done in-house so it wasn't this billboard that looked for lack of better terms like [ __ ] so we did that um and that seemed to work pretty well um my suggestion for brand governance is keep it simple yes you can have a big brand folder in-house but uh your franchisees aren't going to read it so something is simple something like brand folder where they know that they can get approved logos and this and that and localize um the better so i think it depends on what you're doing again i it can be a mix you can use um you know something like a buffer or an uber all that pushes content to all of your location pages and it doesn't have to be customized but again then they can have another ad or a paid ad that is localized so again the more localized the better yes it is a lot of effort um and it does depend on you know what the offer is uh for sure but um i would recommend it to as much as um time would allow and again it's kind of a multi-prong approach there there's not one right way to do it uh but it should be layered so that you're constantly being top of mind and top of mind locally for the local consumers absolutely i do think and we've seen this and as you've all highlighted localization and as local as you can get really does yield the best results um so natalie i'm i'm guessing that's the same hypothesis that you've come to right or the same conclusion that you've come through absolutely and i think um because we partner so closely with a lot of the corporate teams i think i totally absolutely agree with whatever we can kind of template out to make custom so the corporate team can have the oversight on the branding how it looks um i'm thinking specifically one retail customer that we work with where they've got a whole calendar of events throughout the year where we will work with the corporate team to create um let's say they're gonna do maybe an athletic wear type promotion and you know in january everyone's working to get back uh back in shape for the new year um so working with our team to produce assets that speak to that corporate uh planned event make sure that the branding the models the clothing that's selected and these images work across the entire board and then working with the local franchisees to be able to customize that whether it's maybe their ad copy that's customized or the name or digital profile in which that is coming out of and what i mean by that is um you know if it's natalie's retail store in lakeland florida um knowing that you know the profile for my facebook page will say natalie's retail store in lakeland florida promoting that same type of event so they're able to then you know search click through it to find my address find my hours et cetera et cetera um and i think it's important to to kind of establish and work with your team on and making a consistent choice on where are we keeping our branding corporate and where are we keeping our branding localized so for example are the facebook pages all going to be localized or are we just rushing content out from the corporate facebook page so establishing uh that kind of expectation and cadence with your franchisees is also really important um and i think this is a really good time i saw a question come in um on the chat and i hope you guys don't mind me kind of jumping ahead and bringing this up now um but one of the questions that came in directly speaks into this um kind of solution of facebook pages for example are you how do you kind of control the facebook page landscape for your franchisees is everyone kind of going rogue do they have their own or is it under one giant corporate structure um and i think one amazing tool that we love recommending for clients and i'm hoping a lot of you franchise businesses are using this as well is something called meta's location structure um it used to be called the parent child structure years ago but what that allows for corporate to do is it's kind of an umbrella model the parent brand page is just that it's a brand page it represents the entire brand but it allows those child or specific location brands to kind of live underneath it where that address is going to show up in that facebook name you're going to very clearly be able to see that this is natalie's retail store in lakeland florida so you can click to my local page that's going to have all of my local information or at any time you can click back to that corporate page if you want to understand the corporate brand go to the corporate website so again establishing where that corporate message lives and where that local message lives and that'll also help educate and help your team create the media strategy on what corporate is paying for and what local is paying for absolutely i think you hit the nail on the head there in terms of the one of the most frequently asked questions that we get is the question that came through in the chat about what are we setting up how do we do it what do you recommend do we keep it at the head office what is that so the location structure that facebook and meta enable innately is going to be that backbone for most of everything so i think that's really great that you um share that here i know we're slightly over time but we have a little bit more to share so we'll just dive into part three today which is all about aligning your brand um expectations and really essentially running effective social media campaigns because we know this is a challenge social media advertising isn't going to be that walk in the park that organic posting can be and i say that in quotes because we know social media is a bell curve in terms of the ease of use per person and per franchise and per location because there's so many different things that affect that so i'm gonna bring it right back to you natalie because you're coming from us from this agency perspective i would love to know what your recipe is for building you know the collaboration with your clients that benefits everyone because you have this agency insider experience i'm really curious to hear that absolutely um it all comes down to just a few bullet points honestly i think transparency is huge we as an agency want to be able to have full transparency and insights to what happens after the marketing campaigns for example let's talk about leads where are they going how are they being nurtured what does that mean for your sales team do we have the full closed loop of data to be able to adjust and move accordingly so i would say transparency into that data feedback is very very important um we were talking a little bit earlier about like the quality of leads on linkedin for example um i think that understanding and having that truly established transparency is absolutely vital um i also think that setting expectations from your relationship right at the front understanding who is responsible for what duties to make sure that there's never friction oh i thought you were doing that well we're doing that i know that that's you know sometimes an issue that comes up in working with an agency is maybe that scope of work didn't quite entail exactly what you thought it did so asking those questions having that transparency and having that full understanding of data where is the true data do we have access to the crm and the sales information are we all looking at data in the same way are we looking at data on the same cadence you know every month versus every week um so just truly understanding and setting those expectations right off the bat so you are all on the same page and you can all truly be on the same team and have more collaborative brainstorms have more informed and collaborative conversations um so i think when you have those types of expectations and structures in place that's going to allow to have productive conversations on return on investment um what assets worked best for my campaigns what markets are working best and performing best tori you know brought up earlier the example with denver and that that cost per lead nobody could really figure out how to get ahead of that cost per lead so you know making sure you're looking at the same data you're emphasizing and um challenging each other with those same questions and brainstorm um like pain points so really working together based off of those shared expectations absolutely i think that's you know for any partnership whether it is a franchise or franchisee an agency partner or whoever you're working with that transparency alignment on goals and expectations that sets the relationship up for success so it's no surprise that that's been your key to success over at curious jane so thank you for sharing that um question for you tori and madeline um is and i know madeline you have a little bit of a different answer just because you are so multifaceted um is i guess we'll start with tori here are you working with any agencies right now and what is your perspective on what it takes to have a successful agency client or franchisor relationship yeah i mentioned we work with five different certified agents and it's a little unconventional but we get all of our agency partners together quarterly on one webinar just like this and they know who each other are they're familiar they've met at our conferences and they've heard each other speak um or they've heard franchisees speak about other agencies they've used but we get everybody on one call and we go through all of our kpis for our business across all the different vendors we show everyone's results everyone's kpis and in a competitive setting also in an open discussion about how we are measuring um success amongst different vendors i always want to be able to have multiple agencies for franchisees to be able to bounce to if someone's unhappy with their account management if they want to try something new if there's a new franchisee that's opening a location or if they're taking over an existing location as a new franchise operator we want people to be able to have choices and so managing the expectation that people franchisees can move between agencies is definitely something that we're open to but i want all of those agencies to see and hear the same results so we get everybody together quarterly cameras on just like this and talk through what's working and what's not we also you know keep that pretty open line of communication about kpis amongst agencies that way my kind of rule of thumb with the agency relationship is i don't want to be the last to know i don't want to be last known about any issue about anybody pausing campaigns about any um escalations i need to be the first to know so if there's a campaign that's spiking if there's an issue with a franchisee or an account manager or just a concern that's being brought to the table i need to be the first person to know not the last to know um so that's kind of the way that i i manage my relationships with each agency partner and ask them to do the same that's really cool go ahead go ahead marco yeah i'm just gonna say that's really cool that you bring everyone every one of your partners together on a webinar i bet that really yields a lot of results for your team yeah and it adds a little error of uh competition and um you know actualizes what we're talking about absolutely savage and i love it yeah so to both what natalie and tori said um you know i've had it out with our franchisee agencies as a franchisee uh i've failed many times as a franchisor setting up in agencies and now i am an agency so um i think the biggest thing to note is that your franchise is going to have different needs that different vendors can succeed at at different times it is okay to outgrow vendors it's okay to fail but my my thing is fail fast if you realize that a vendor is not uh communicating the way you want them to it's not providing the results that you see you know just cut it off as quickly as possible and move on and being uh to tori's point transparent and communication uh to everyone about that you know not every partnership is gonna work and that's okay uh having different options is where it becomes very important and then i think the biggest thing is making sure you have not only attainable goals but being very clear for every single dollar you spend this is what we expect to get out of it not just spending money to spend money and seeing who does the best but here is our cost per lead can we get it lower from our cost per lead here's our cost cost per acquisition can we get it lower this is the problems we're seeing in order to solve the problem this is what we need to see and this is how much we're willing to spend so making sure you're very clear of your expectations and your goals for your vendor um and then again yes being kind of the first to know ensuring that they have you know the brand control but also that you trust them to talk to their friend to your franchisees i hear a lot of franchise brands say oh we would never let our vendors talk to our franchisees they're they're the most important thing in our franchise i'm like then why are you signing on that vendor in this day and age there are so many different vendors in every single space um so find one that works for you and if over time it's not the best then find someone else um i think it is a mix of internal and outsourcing and it's okay to outsource i also work with franchises that you know want to do it internal and feel like they're not succeeding if they're not uh digital marketing or marketing in general it is rocket science there is a reason why i'm only in digital marketing and it pays my mortgage like there is seo and website building so you know unless you have the dedicated time and resources and money to do it internally there is no problem in in outsourcing for that same thing with creative same thing with you know build it or buy it um it's gonna there it is um there is gonna be a difference in what uh you need from time to time so making sure you keep a pulse on that um and also just being very uh real with yourself as a corporate franchisor or a local franchisee understanding your pain points understanding what's going to fix them and working towards those goals in a kind of journey type process that's really well said and you know i was going to skip this question for the sake of time but because you did bring up roi and goals and really the tangential parts of ads madeleine i did just want to throw this question your way and we don't have to you know go for everyone unless you want to share your insight here but i'd be curious as to how are you finding it in terms of collecting and analyzing the data across the different locations since you are both that franchisee and agency perspective here yeah so i think that the biggest thing and it goes back to question one is um holding every single vertical of your marketing specifically digital marketing accountable so for instead of just saying oh here's my digital marketing i'm gonna spend two thousand dollars a month and where are my leads it's this is how much i'm spending in google this is my cost per lead this is how much i should expect how many clients i should expect to get or how many leads excuse me i should expect to get with this spend with my cost per lead same thing with social media but instead of leads you can make it impressions or reach this is how much i should expect to get and monitoring it over time if it's not reaching your expectations then you kind of go for is it the creative is it my area same thing with your cost per lead if is it over because of what i'm doing or are my budgets not um realistic so obviously to natalie's point testing testing testing so you have that data but again um when in doubt i always say look for the life rafts so there is a million different numbers out there a million different dashboards um really just look for the big ones which are you know your traffic your leads your conversions if your traffic is low um you know your website's probably not great or you don't have enough links you're not getting enough power to send people there if your conversion is low your landing page probably or your form page probably isn't built to convert do you have 20 forms is it 19 scrolls deep you know changing that um if your engagement is low on your social media your creative probably isn't hitting the spot so look for your life rafts make sure they're meeting your baseline if they're not take it internally first say is it something i'm doing and if not then it's kind of reevaluating well has the landscape changed do i need to increase my budget or change my goals um so really breaking every single thing down so that you can hold the vertical accountable and then make the um correct changes as necessary and you're going to have to do that over time because digital especially is changing daily so the more you can break it out now the easier it's going to be going forward because if all of a sudden they bring on a new vendor you open a new brand you open a new location and you're like well here's my spend go um you know it's going to be a lot hard you're going to have to retest over and over again yeah absolutely really well said um i think there's just so much that we can say on advertising on the roi on proving effectiveness on what makes a good ad for one industry that this conversation could honestly be a full day or a full series in itself each one of these topics could open up a can of worms as we saw today and have really spiritual debate on what's effective for me may not be effective for you and and so on so with that i definitely want to thank you all for joining today um just to kind of summarize who we are and what we do uh promo republic is a unified local marketing platform that helps multilocation and franchise brands convert the searches in google and in store and in sales um and this is really why we're here because we are a brand that works with franchisees your head office is in here in our digital marketing manager and managing all aspects so it's really easy to use all in one go and we're really excited to have everyone on the call today even though we're about 15 minutes over and if you're curious and want to connect with anyone um take out your phones scan the qr codes because our amazing panelists um are here to share their expertise with you so again i did want to thank you um i'll start with you madeline park the all-in-one cmo franchisee agency side of things tori the chief marketing officer at akt franchise and natalie miller the director of digital marketing at curious jane thank you so much any final words thanks for having me i really enjoyed this discussion with some boss ass ladies and uh yeah if you have any questions i'm sure any of us have either been in your shoes or happy to answer questions so you know feel free to ping me or i'm sure any of us on on linkedin or directly thank you so much for having us you guys thank you yeah thank you tori yes thank you everyone and i echo what you're what you're saying madeline feel free to connect happy to answer any questions whatever we can do to help support you all so thank you for listening to us and for having us this has been a really really nice time thank you yeah thank you everyone i hope this was productive and you found it really insightful as we did i'm even learning from each other in the short amount of time so thank you for everything and i'm sure we'll connect on the next um cmo talk that we host have a nice day everyone bye everyone bye bye

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