How to Build and Lead a High-Performing Franchise Marketing Team

hello everyone and welcome to today's um edition of cmo peer talks i'm very excited to welcome you today because we have an amazing group of panelists that are here to talk about how you can build a high performing team on the marketing side so to introduce myself my name is raquel and i run our customer success department here at promo republic but more importantly i am the host of cmo peer talks so if you're in our community i'm sure you've seen me posting pretty actively on linkedin i mean if you're not join us scan this immediately i'm cmo peer talk started off at these amazing podcast series where we invited great panelists in the franchise industry to share their knowledge and it has really grown into an amazing community um where we can share ideas and bounce off each other so you can join right now again scan this code and i'll leave it on for maybe 20 seconds and then we can do the introductions for what you're here today again to learn all about the um how to build a high performing marketing team so the first um introduction or i'd like to make is davao padgett can you hear us and welcome hi thank you so much for having me um hi everybody i'm dabo i have been in the franchise space for almost eight years and i started um with painting with a twist within the art skin crafts industry and i've moved since over to color my mind which is a paint your own pottery franchise we have 130 locations internationally and i oversee everything to do with marketing and creative so you know social media branch strategy national partnerships in all the way down to studio design amazing well welcome we're really excited to learn all about your experience our next panelist is uh kristen pajack welcome how are you i am good thanks for having me hi everybody i'm kristen i work for massage luxe and we are a health and wellness brand offering massages and facials in a membership-based model we have 73 units open and we'll open about 15 more this year so we've got a lot of growth in the next five months we're really excited about and in my role at massage lux i've got two priorities as chief growth officer i want to make sure that our franchisees are as successful happy and profitable as possible they oversee the consumer demand generation then i have the unique ability to also kind of blend um those tactics and strategies on the franchise development side of the business and the second area of responsibility is really making sure that our franchise is growing from a unit perspective so some big things ahead for the brand and i'm excited to be along for the ride and to talk to you all today thank you um congratulations on your growth that's amazing adding 15 units at the end of this year that's an amazing accomplishment so congratulations for you and the entire massage lux team thank you our next panelist is julie wade welcome thank you thanks for having me of course i have been with tazikis about two years the majority of my um career has been in franchising either for a large franchisor or a large franchisee or on the franchisor side and here at taziki's i'm responsible for all of the marketing that we do and we really kind of break that down into multiple different segments so we have our obviously our consumer marketing where we want to get customers into our stores and ordering uh their meals from us then we also have marketing where we are marketing to recruit employees and retain those employees and then we also have the branch where we um are marketing for new franchisees and helping the franchisees that we have grow so i'm over all of that um have a great team here with me and if you hear a little chaos out in the background we just got finished with an all company meeting uh right outside my door so i think that they're probably chatting a little bit after getting to spend some time together but thrilled to be here today and can't wait to um have a good conversation excellent um and don't worry we can't hear any background noise thus far so all good okay good and last but not least we have don weiss how are you don i'm good thank you glad to be here um yeah so i am uh i've been on the team at uh stride and row house for just a few weeks um moved over from cycle bar joined exponential fitness um which is the the largest franchisor of boutique fitness in the industry um we've got 10 brands more notable cycle bar where i came from club pilates pure bar so a lot of people know those brands um and these are the two more emerging brands um so that's sort of my wheelhouse um been part of the founding teams of massage envy the joint amazing lash studio so what i've really learned in 17 years of franchising is you know you've got to have a really great team you have to have a great team around you you have to hire people smarter than you so i'm excited to share some of those insights and the things that i've learned and maybe shortcut somebody else along the way great thank you so much for joining and that is exactly what we're here to do today to you know share past experiences what works and doesn't work and learn from each other so to open up we have our first question which is how can you best structure your in-house marketing team for a multi-location brand or franchise and then we have as you can see uh quite a breath of experience amongst our four panelists and so i will open this up for you maybe julia you were just um highlighting you have some all hands behind you so just start off the excitement on that same energy i would love to hear how you structure your in-house team well great thank you um we really strive to be an in-house marketing agency for our franchisees most of our franchisees do have some kind of local store marketing component we require that everyone have someone in the market that can service some of those functions whether it's the social media part of it and responding to customer reviews and that type of thing um oh we also combine our marketing along with catering sales so that ends up being a combo position a lot of times out in the field so in-house for us we have um all of those different functions um represented inside our team so that we can service our franchisees and any needs that they have and that goes all the way from creative to placement of digital ads and we don't do it necessarily in-house but we have really good third-party partners that we work with that can sell anything all over the country so somebody that is in atlanta or cincinnati or dallas they get the benefit of having that same service to be able to place their their ads there um and we also have somebody that is dedicated to uh numbers and really looking week to week what is going on in those franchise locations and he gives me every week a top five and a bottom five so that i can really go out and celebrate those top five and whatever it is every week it's a different metric um and those that are in the bottom five of whatever it is we can reach out and also give our support and any help that we may have from a corporate side um and that's been real helpful to be able to to cheer on those folks at the top but then be encouragers and helpful to the ones that are at the bottom thank you so much for sharing i like your anecdote about kind of acting as an agency so being that arm that can really provide them with everything they need i think that's a really unique way to put it and kristen i did see you kind of nodding along to what julie was saying i'd love to hear how you're structuring everything internally in your organization yeah of course so i would start by saying it's not a one size one-size-fits-all if there was a perfect formula for how to structure a marketing team in a franchise organization we would all be doing the same thing um and so you have to cater a little bit to what you're trying to sell whether you're a service or a product the size of your franchise etc um the one piece of advice that i can give is to continually remember that as a marketer you were servicing people who did not sign up for the business model to be marketers and that's something that i have to like remind myself and my team continually is like hey they didn't get into this business to do a bunch of marketing they got into this business to run a business and while there's always going to be elements that we cannot do as a franchise franchisor on behalf of our franchisees there are going to be things as franchisees they're going to have to do in marketing we've got to take that heavy lifting and make it as plug and play as possible for the franchisees or the reality is just won't get done and we all experience that right i know we're all sitting around a table saying why aren't our franchisees doing more marketing why aren't they joining the chamber why aren't they doing business connections etc um the reality is because they simply don't know how or they don't have time they don't want to right they didn't do this business for that one of the things that i really like to do in my marketing teams is to hire what i refer to as unicorns which easier said than done but in a merging brand we don't have the luxury of having specialized departments in every area in which we need coverage and marketing so we have to hire people who know a little bit about a lot of things and are really smart about bringing in partners where necessary to fill the gaps and in a shoestring budget which most of us have in the emerging space you have to be very selective around when and how you bring in partners and when and how you bring in the staff in order to fill the needs that your business needs we also similar to julie operate a little bit like an internal agency in that we are doing a lot of the media placement on behalf of our franchisees either internally or through some partnerships we're doing a lot of that social media content as much as we possibly can for the franchisees we're doing a lot of the playbooks and the scripting and the of course creative and branding that our franchisees need in order to be successful so that they don't have to absolutely and davao what about for you how is um what is your ethos to setting up a structured a marketing team well i was going to say something i agree with everything of course that's been said but something um that julie said about sort of having those third-party vendors um and making sure that they're doing the most for you um anytime that we sign on with a new vendor that's the marketing vendor we make sure that you know our rep clicks with the team um you know that's essentially an extension of our in-house marketing team um because like kristen said we have to create everything they did not sign up to be marketers they are small business owners who are still also learning how to be a small business owner um so tacking on that local studio marketing or that's what we call it so sorry local business marketing um that you know it can be really overwhelming and so those vendors really do heavy lifting for us in terms of digital media social media you know um all of the creative asset development um you know we can sort of do it in-house but then we lean on those vendors to help distribute it in a way that's palatable uh to our franchisees and easy to use absolutely and i think that's a really interesting point in which every organization's um goes through whether you're emerging or quite established whether you're kind of weighing the balance of head count internally versus going to a vendor partner so seeing um how you're structuring that and making sure that the vendor partner is an extension of your team is a really great point because you do want to that who you're working with and do they match what you are trying to achieve as well don you do have a unique perspective in this sense and that you've been at some like large established organizations and you were brought in to an emerging brand to try and grow it to the same success that you have previously with your other brands can you share kind of the recipe for success that you've experienced as far in terms of setting up a structured marketing team yeah you know um i would agree with kristin there there is no perfect way it doesn't it's not a one-size-fits-all um i think where i differ is i'm not always looking for the unicorns i'm looking for people who are really just bought in and i'm looking for people that are smarter than me i'm always looking for somebody who knows the space or understands exactly what it is they're going to contribute obviously you have people who are newer that come onto the team that are going to grow and you want to foster an environment where they can continue to grow and and kind of pattern out the things that you've built and you've maybe done in your own career that's gotten you to where you are um but i feel like one of the places that i'm always looking is having teams that understand really what they're contributing and and knowing that we've hired the right person specifically for that and to that extent you know again would agree with everybody on here talking about you know hiring and having the right vendors in place they are an extension of of our team and it's fun for me to be on calls like this because i tell people that when i have consulted in the past when i built these brands um and been part of these great teams that start out as nothing with no budget right as kristin said you don't really you're you're on a shoestring right you don't always have a huge budget so you really have to you know hire a little lean um and get people who are are bought in um and for to that extent really just having vendors at your table that understand what needs to be accomplished um what i loved about this is i i would tell people all the time you have to get people who are an extension of your team and it sounds unique to them right they're like huh that's interesting right they will work for me and they will be an extension and they will fill in but everybody here gets it because they've all gone through it so you can hire a really great vendor but if they have no skin in the game if they don't understand what you're doing it makes it a little bit more difficult as you get to be a bigger and bigger brand you have to have vendors that will grow with you because starting to peel them away and pry them out of the hands of your franchisees who've gotten used to using them is inherently more difficult right so those are the things that i've found have served me well as hire smart know the positions that you need to fill for each brand not every brand is going to have the same needs i wish even in the same building i could tell you that i've moved from brand to brand to brand this is now my third brand my second and third branded expo um that that it's a one size fits all and it's not it's not each need is different for sure absolutely um i think that's a really interesting point as well versus um you know that right fit at the right time for the like um an inch deep and a mile wide versus vice versa in the different stages of the organizations that you're all in so where this question is really talking about structure and how to get that foundational team set so i would love to hear and anyone can jump in um as you please about what you think like the core you know that for a second higher like what marketing specialist do you need immediately from the get-go besides yourself sorry kristen no that's okay um i think it kind of depends on what your own personal strengths are and then you need something that balances out that if you're very strong on social media and really feel like okay i've got this then maybe you need to bring in somebody that's a little more um strategic or has more of the the big picture of you and vice versa um you know being in this role i inherited a few folks a couple of years ago when i started and we were kind of coming out of the phase where everybody worked on everything because it was a very small team everybody had to have a part in it and now we're much more um siloed so i guess you know starting off you do need some of those people who can balance you out and then also um you know know a little bit about a lot of different things have maybe some good writing skills and can help out a little bit in pr world and writing some of your content yeah there's a lot of different um areas out there you just have to find the one that balances you and is the biggest need for your group at that particular time i was going to say the same thing wherever your weakness lies higher for that if you're a data marketer hire a creative marketer if you're a visionary marketer hire a strategic marketer um match with somebody who can help you bring things to life that you wouldn't be able to bring to life on your own absolutely um i i definitely agree with that so just kind of the last question summing up the the personnel aspect of a marketing team is what would be your go-to sources for finding the top talent in the franchise space don would you like to highlight because i know you've had such um great experience as well i've spent the last year trying to hire for every position imaginable on my teams um it has been horrible um you know truthfully linkedin is a great resource we all have great connections i think when you get to um the the top of the org chart in uh in franchising or in your field reaching out to people that you know and that you've met along the way and people that maybe you knew you know somebody that was very early stages five years ago 10 years ago they might be exactly that that person that you need right now so reaching out to your network's great i've tried a variety of different online sites definitely i can tell you when you're going higher up on the food on the food chart definitely looking to get in the right recruiter is important and that again depends if you're looking director level or above vp your cmos that really should go through and it's a worthwhile investment because you really need somebody who's going to drive strategy and going to drive the numbers for your business um and that that's sometimes difficult to find right in your network i wouldn't say that you can't always find that um but one of the other things that i always recommend is to start building a network early especially as you know whether it's men or women but again women in franchising since we're all on the panel um coincidentally or not right it's reaching out and building your own network too so that i'm going to get job opportunities that any number of women on this call could be qualified for and when a recruiter calls me and it's not the right fit for me for whatever reason geography or structure or the industry knowing somebody that you've sat on a panel with knowing somebody that you've met at business meetings that has a good reputation that's tied into your network is also another really great way right to introduce so knowing the right recruiters for your industry super important that also is really important a lot of people will call and say you know i've got something for you in the restaurant space and that's awesome but i have no restaurant experience don't call me for that right it doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't translate but it might not be an interest so i think always knowing somebody um in those spaces um is really just the best way to get good quality people um the rest of it's a crap shoot doesn't mean you're not gonna get great people um but i do feel like it's a little bit like online dating you're doing a lot of swiping before you find that person um so yeah that that would be my my best suggestion would be tapping into a network building a network being connected keeping your eye on who's in the industry and who the key players are yeah thank you for sharing and we have had um a few questions come through regarding the hiring aspect so i'll just ask um one of them and we can save the rest for after the period but i think this one's really um interesting given we highlighted um kristin having her unicorn aspect and dawn preferring um like the specialized niche um so we do have a question from the field about um when you're hiring someone that needs to know a little bit about everything do you look for a specific resume format or how do you not overwhelm marketing specialists so krista maybe since this is more unicorn focused could you highlight how you yeah higher i mean i you know the resume format i i don't really have a preference in regard to how you structure your resume what i look for is i love people with franchising experience because that is a huge hurdle to teach but when you are hiring for an entry level position that can be really difficult to find because most people don't have franchising experience until they get into a franchise and have a job but what i look for people who i love agency folks love them for entry level positions or even middle management positions the reality of franchising is that we somewhat act like an agency or a consultant so people who have consulted on the side or maybe started their own little marketing thing while they were in college i love that because i know that they're going to bring some customer service experience they're also going to bring a little bit of a sales experience and whether we want to believe it or not even if we're not officially on the sales side of the business we're selling to our franchisees every day we're selling our ideas our beliefs our um playbooks and so i like that those people come in with some experience as to how to talk to franchisees and typically those people they work really hard you're coming from an agency or you're coming from running your own practice you know how to put in the work and so i know that you're going to be able to flex and push in multiple areas i don't worry so much about the unicorn in the sense of oh they got seo they've got creative they've got data analysis etc i worry about or look at people who are unicorns from a standpoint that they can flex into multiple areas by self teaching and by coaching thank you for sharing that's great feedback um so as mentioned any questions our audience does have please feel free to throw it into the question answer box we can bring in the questions like this if they're relevant or we can answer everything at the end so definitely keep them coming and then as you can see some of our panels are answering them on the go which is amazing so you'll always get um your questions answered so shifting to point number two we highlighted this from quite a few of our panelists today about vendors how are you managing that like what does the relationship look like at what point are you bringing them in so we can um i think would be great to peel back the onion so to speak on what are the golden rules from managing vendor relationships i think debo had a really interesting one about i need to make sure they gel with our team so maybe do you want to highlight um you can kick off the questions just kind of building from there sure so we we do a lot of team building with our vendors um we communicate with them regularly uh you know the golden rule really is just to have open respectable communication um you know and and part of that transparency is whether or not you know that vendor is still making sense for you to use you know and constantly keeping the open mind that you might be adapting uh like kristen said it is inherently awful to or maybe dawn said this so sorry to switch vendors um in terms of the franchise you know sort of education piece with that um you know it seems that a lot of times once you get the system really accustomed and you know you have your those adoption rates up um and then you go and sort of pull that rug from under them and switch vendors then um that could sometimes do more damage than good but it's important especially with the way that technology is evolving and especially with the way that the new workforce is coming up you know gen z is entering into those um entry level positions and they are they function completely different they are unicorns but not in the millennial sense um in a whole different way that we can't even fathom um because they've been using you know technology and their brains just were different and so a lot of those vendor relationships count reps and everything will be within that millennial generation space i mean ginzi generation space um and so it's it's a lot about honesty and authenticity in terms of making sure that those relationships stay good um i actually was reading a statistic about or maybe it was like an argument that we were having about the different generational divides and i'm pretty sure all of us are millennials on the call today where we can we were the last generation to have a childhood without technology like point blank so i think that's really unique because we look back with nostalgia but as you said like the people that grew up with literally screens and phones and tablets in their hands they have such a different set of skills than what we have and can adapt so much quicker because that's all they know um so that's a really interesting point and julie i would love to hear what your golden rules are for managing these vendor relationships yeah going back to something dubo said about um changing them um you know in the two years that i've been at tazikis we've really changed almost every major marketing vendor that we have and some of them have been more painful than others um and really the the best way to kind of facilitate that and kind of my golden rule is that we always need to be an advocate for our vendors with our franchise community so um we we can't you know the vendors are the ones that we chose uh for the most part so we need to be their advocate if something goes wrong if a franchisee is not happy with something we need to be to go between and kind of fall on that proverbial sword for them thankfully i really haven't had that many experiences in that type of situation um and in changing the vendors it's been a really pretty smooth process in some of the ways we've had some franchisees were extremely hesitant for example we changed public relations vendors and the person who was doing our pr when i first got here she had gotten to know a lot of the franchisees very well she had always attended our conferences had formed those personal relationships and they would actually go straight to her for things instead of coming through the corporate office so when it was announced that we were switching vendors there was a lot of immediate kind of oh no how are we going to survive um and i think what we've done since we changed um you know first of all when we did make the change we laid out a very simple process and you know told everybody very transparently this is why we're doing it this is who we're going with and this is why um and then we've celebrated those successes with the new vendor all along the way so that all of the franchisee system is very aware of the new things that we're doing in charlotte north carolina and the things that are happening in dallas and the things that are happening happening in louisville kentucky so they can see and feel comfortable with our new vendor because there are so many things that we've been able to champion and to really celebrate over the past few months that we've had that new vendor so that's um definitely how i deal with that and um really do just uh i think like dubose said treat them like an extension of our team as well so we have regular phone calls um you know weekly and then bi-monthly with our other major vendors and really include them on everything that we're doing so they do feel very included and very much a part of our team just an extension of it absolutely thank you sharing i'm done i'd love to hear what your golden rules are um both at established organizations or emerging organizations yeah you know they're they're the same for me um it's it's again we're we're all focused on that extension of your team but in order to do that that again i i would agree with julie that you have to have full transparency they need to know what it is you're doing we do marketing symposiums on once a year with our marketing fund committee where we'll introduce the vendors to them and also share with the vendors what it is that we have on the horizon for the coming year what are my objectives what do we need to accomplish at the local store level um and how are they going to do that right again if they're an extension of your team they have to work like they're part of your team and so if the franchisees are requiring you know their assistance with digital or um you know some automations or whatever that might be having them understand what it is we're trying to achieve in the coming year is vital so i share with them my marketing calendar what the strategy is um so they understand where the franchisees are right they're gonna be franchisee-facing um so i do set some um you know baseline understanding of what communication looks like i'm pretty transparent um with all of my franchises and vendors where i let the vendors know if your performance isn't where it needs to be and a franchise asks me to leave you to go to another digital vendor i don't want them bouncing from one to the other and they're not always going to get better results but if you don't have that relationship if you haven't earned that franchisee's trust they're not going to spend money with you and that is going to prevent them from making their goals and me making mine so i want there to be that shared team win but i also want there to be honesty and and open communication um at exponential we all have a shared number as a portfolio company of vendors that we utilize each brand is fortunate to have autonomy in picking and each marketing department can choose who they're going to utilize which is great however there's all these shared learnings right and so what might be a great fit for one brand and one franchisee who's come from one system into another just might not be a great fit for this brand right um and so again transparency having them understand why right they're a good fit for and incorporating them when i came here and we had like i think we had almost 10 vendors for digital available to 10 at the time there were eight brands when i came during pandemic and we you know we sifted through is this person a good fit for is this brand a good fit for can they scale some of the bigger ones are really really great for bigger systems because they have more people but maybe they're not that same level of customer service some of the brands were spending a lot more so and didn't maybe have that same time and attention or they were bigger and they had more time and attention because they have more people on their team to interface with that vendor so what we did was unify and just level that playing field i required all of my digital vendors to be on one call together instead of those weekly calls i would have our bi-weekly calls i don't have time for that i don't have time for that i can read the numbers i don't need you explaining them to me right um so i think the more important thing was what best practices do they have to share so they have to have skin in the game they have to have skin in the game they have to be willing to do things that other vendors aren't always going to be they have to step up when we need them to they have to be responsive to the franchisees needs they have to treat these businesses as if they are their own and they have to be open and honest in their communication because we don't really have time to kind of figure out right the the conversation rather than like here's the problem we can or cannot fix it we need help here the franchisee is being unreasonable or they're being reasonable i'm the best sales person for my vendors i'm either going to require a vendor be utilized in some cases or heavily right recommend and so if that's the case and i'm putting my neck on the line they've got to do the same right they've got to be willing to do the same for my franchise owner so that's really my golden rule is kind of due on to others right you want to treat our franchisees really well because there's not a lot of selling in it once a network has a larger number of their franchisees with a vendor it's about caretaking that relationship so that's really where my focus is primarily it's relationship driven um consistency and some of those results you don't always get that with digital vendors especially you're not going to get consistency all the time but i think that buying into that relationship and and making sure that it's mutually beneficial is absolutely my minimum requirement absolutely i think that was really really well said and it leads us to kind of a sub question of this question that i will open up to everyone um but we've all touched upon it a little bit um but maybe kristen you can start us off on what is the best way to control and oversee the performance of your outsourced teams and you've all highlighted that maybe you've switched from them because it wasn't working well or maybe you need to meet with them weekly or bi-weekly or or you need to just measure that performance so how do you kind of control that so the ball is in your court and the driver yes i think the first thing and everyone's really hit on it but you got to treat your partners and i use partner because vendor just i don't know partners like they're employees of yours which means you need to build trust with them and you need to build a personal relationship so that when the performance that you talked about isn't going well the conversation can be candid but one in which that's still trusting and um you know has a coaching element to it and so the first thing that i want to do is make sure that once a partner is brought on which is kind of a lengthy process for me just because i want to make sure that we do build that trust and that we do have an understanding that we can have really tough conversations that don't result in um you know a breakup in the relationship it's just kind of business at that point but we're still friends and um we can still talk through the good things that are happening as well i like things in a central place so when we're doing data we're typically working um to roll out like tableau right now so that we can pull everything together um so that we aren't going to a million spreadsheets and we are being very clear about what we are looking at and can start to trend that data the other thing that was sort of brought up um by dawn is i think that it's important to have partners talk to each other especially as you grow when you grow you're gonna have potentially a pr agency a digital marketing agency you might have a creative agency you have all of these people doing different things but the reality is if you're about ready to launch a digital marketing campaign centered on x y or z and your pr company isn't hearing the elements of that campaign you may be missing an opportunity to tie things together so it's really important to make sure that you're pulling your partners together i love the idea of a partner summit where every year um to don's point about not having a ton of time you're like hey here's the strategic direction for the business here's how the marketing team is going to support that business here are our growth goals and our big campaigns and our big milestones for the year let's chat about how to come together to make this all happen i think that's really uh really interesting and i've um how the vendor summit's really intriguing to me um has anyone on the panel done one before yeah yes yeah um and massage lux you know i mean it's uh we're small enough here where you know we can kind of translate for and work together to make sure everything's synchronized but um you know prior to massage locks i spent five years with a brand with 5000 locations and with 5000 locations you need a lot of partners and it is impossible to start to translate between those partners and many times different leaders are leading each of those partner relationships so you'll have a you know a digital vp and a creative vp and a you know so on and so forth and those people are having to talk to each other who are then having to translate to partners and it is a lot of red tape that can be cut by just pulling everybody together in a room and starting to talk about how to bring things to life the closest that we've done to that has been more of an informal session when we've had our big conferences which we just had one this past may for the first time since 2019 of course but that's really a time that everybody does get to come together and those vendors get to talk and know each other and um you know get to hear about what we're doing from a corporate strategic standpoint but i love the idea of doing a summit at the beginning of the year to kind of set the table for the rest of the year so i think i'm going to incorporate that into our plans coming up this fourth quarter i mean that's exactly why you know we're here to take ideas and see what works and what doesn't so that's really interesting and really helpful um so moving on to our last and final question um i did want to open it up about creating synergy between your marketing team and franchisees i also saw a question come through about you know how are you managing being the coach mentor friend family etc to your franchisees and we know you're playing a lot of roles um and as kristin has said you're also selling to them because you're selling the value of what you're doing as a marketing team so this is quite the balancing act that you have to do when you're supporting the franchisees so um i would love to open it up maybe it's about you could kick us off and we can kind of jump around from there sure so we rely very heavily on our fac so our franchise advisory council um you know we make sure that we're taking um ideas from them and they each have a region they were they were voted in by their peers within the system and so they already hold some influence and trust over those peers and so part of that is including them on all of our decision making essentially you know um when it comes down to it we do have the last word but um you know we make sure that they're involved in all the strategic processes especially with vendor selection um you know and that the national marketing calendar everything we have meetings monthly with our fac um just to make sure that we are in the going the right track um and then they become advocates for us and they help sort of get everyone excited um there's a lot of enthusiasm i luckily work for a brand that's all about fun and art um and so everything is really kind of exciting and enthusiastic on its own um but i really i rely on those on those fac members and then also just franchisees that i've become close with as well um to help kind of you know influence other other franchisees to either adopt a platform or start a new promotion of something you know things like that i've seen a huge increase in adoption with a lot of different platforms national promotions things like that over the past two years than we saw before absolutely um don could you share how you're creating synergy between corporate marketing team and franchisees um yeah absolutely um i would i would agree with debo that you know that utilizing and leveraging that relationship that you have with um you know the fac or your mfc in order to tap into the things that they are focused on um to be able to get is is vital um what i would say though is that um probably the the biggest focus that i have with my teams on in creating synergy you have come into places where i've had to do turnarounds and there was a lot of discord i've been in some places where franchisees were no longer bought in or really just sort of throwing their hands in the air or selling their locations we just came out of a pandemic right and i just came in and was just like hi you know i know everybody went out and bought a peloton you know your cycle bar is going to be fine how do you build that credibility and a lot of that is you know that synergy um between the team and the franchisees has to be focused on a shared plan you have to be clear about what the shared focus is we are in this together right um and i think that synergy really comes from making sure they understand what your objectives are and that they are aligned with what the franchisee needs from your team right how do they get to those goals what are the goals are they shared goals how are we going to get there so being sure that you have a plan i've been part of teams look my greatest success at massage envy we threw a lot of stuff up against the wall i didn't know anything i was um i i was a millennial then it was a long time ago but i appreciate you thinking that i'm part of that so i'm gonna feel good all day um but i i think that um back then you know i i think that the focus was um you know just try to kind of get through it here's the plan work the plan because the plan works and franchisors always have that mindset i always have that mindset if i see somebody that's strained too far from the path it's get back on the path this is what you bought franchising is a recipe a little bit more salt a little bit more pepper you know you're okay or a little salt and a little sugar right you can you can do a little pinch of one or a little more of another but when you replace one with the other you get a totally different recipe and so building that synergy really comes from making sure they understand what that shared goal is and also if you can structure your team you know if you have performance marketers then focusing them on that shared goal around auv so if you're trying to build a successful financial model and stronger system-wide sales then your team needs to be bought in not just on driving lead gen or demand gen or even brand awareness but driving revenue through those doors and so if there is a way to incentivize your team on average unit volume that gets everybody really on that same page um and and again bought into shared goals yeah to piggyback on what don was saying um you know about making sure that everybody understands the goals and is bought in we do two different quarterly webinars one is more operationally focused and we'll we'll talk a little bit of marketing in it but we'll probably only have two or three slides kind of going over the big um emphasis for the next quarter and then um we do specifically for the marketing community and we have about 100 units right now so um you know there's a pretty good group of marketing folks we do a separate webinar just with them once a quarter that really goes in depth on all of the goals what we're trying to achieve and so that way they know how to plan their local marketing based around what we're doing and making sure that they're not doing anything that's going to conflict or compete with the messaging that we're putting out from a corporate standpoint i think the other really important thing is honesty and transparency like listen at the end of the day like i said to start there's no perfect rule book or perfect recipe for success with this stuff and i think it's okay that the franchisees know that um often you have franchisees who are on different sides of the spectrum believing different things one wants to go low price one wants to go high price one wants this the other one's that and it's okay to say hey guys you got somebody over here wanting this you got somebody over here wanting this we're stuck in the middle trying to stay scalable and consistent as a franchise and we're back against the wall what would you do in our scenarios and most the time you're gonna get a and they start to realize really quickly that we are in a role in which we are trying to make the best decision for the brand and the bulk of the franchisees and that's really important and there are two kind of things i wish i could coin these i did not come up with these i learned them i heard them at some conference somewhere someone really smart said these two things and i try to keep them in my head at all times number one when a franchisee is successful it's because of the franchisee when the franchisee is not successful it's corporate's fault it's a franchisor's fault number two just about the time you get sick of saying it the franchisee is hearing it for the first time which means repeat repeat repeat until you're blue in the face and eventually you will gain some ground not all the ground but little by little you will gain some ground some trust um and some progress and so stick with it franchising can be kind of a thankless job at times but then when you do get those things they make up for the 100 times that you didn't i couldn't agree more it's everything those two things um you know repeat repeat repeat so you know we do monthly webinars with our system we have a weekly um you know newsletter that goes out we have a facebook group that's private that we post every update you know and all the links and you know we do still get questions at the end of every month hey where is this or have you released this yet you know and it's and you know hundreds of touches up until that point but it's they're seeing it for the first time so it is you have to consistently repeat um and it's because they're busy goes back to the whole thing of their small business owners not marketers um you know they're not thinking about the social media holidays at the end of the quarter you know like i'm thinking about them um you know and things like that so i completely agree i will be taking those with me kristen i love that thank you all right so um our panel has been really great and insightful and everyone shared different ways either achieving their goals and every organization's a different industry we have fitness food and so on and we are so thankful to have learned from you all today um just a little bit of context of primary public we're a local marketing platform that helps manage social media brand integrity and find ability on line um for multilocation brands specifically we work with amazing franchise partners of our own and so that's a little bit about us which you can always contact us for um but more importantly our panelists so if you have any questions that maybe you weren't um answered today you can always scan right here all of our panelists as dawn said the franchising industry is a small tight-knit family so we're all here to help one another with the remaining uh five to ten minutes that we do have left i will open it up to question because we did get some really valuable ones come through um and if you're still on with us feel free to ask because now we're doing the live q a and so i think we can start with one that ties into what we were discussing earlier about um hiring and finding that right fit to join your team and this was answered in some context but i do want to kind of maybe take a poll on um do you believe having prior franchise experience um is necessary in today's market um so maybe julie i see your inquisitive face if you want to want to share yeah i mean it depends on what level person that you're talking about if it's mid-level or below probably not i think that in today's hiring climate you're putting yourself too much in a box if you're requiring that um but it certainly is helpful for someone that has any kind of franchising background for some of those upper level positions for certain um i actually had somebody on my team that i hired in a digital marketing role and she didn't have direct franchise experience but she had worked for a large travel group and they had independent consultants and so she was doing a lot of the same type of things so it wasn't direct franchise experience but she still could take enough of that type of knowledge and transfer it into our uh system so you know i i think you're probably need to expand your horizons um franchising is a big hurdle but it can be taught so i would look even outside of the franchising community thank you for sharing anyone else have thoughts on whether you think the franchise experience is needed or maybe um different yeah sorry go ahead don no go ahead go ahead i agree with julian that you know um i would say upper management director roles it would be a huge plus for franchising experience just because there's such a different workflow but entry level now you know you'll miss out on tons of people um that would be great at franchising you know if that was a requirement i think so i was just echoing julie i totally agree i had done um yeah no i i would agree the same um to echo both of those sentiments that depends on the level um i think that there are a couple of other factors to consider too number one how good are you at training that right if you're really good at franchising you can even get a director or vp level to do that job and to wear that many those many hats right i saw the question coming about mentor and coach and right and um you know if you're putting out good results and and you are credible um and you are hiring people who are bought in and want to do the right work for franchise owners and have the ability to do that in their areas of responsibility then i think that that can be taught it's relationship building i mean look there are a lot of moving pieces around making things scalable but again it depends on the level of the individual that you're bringing in and and that level of emotional intelligence that level of understanding that somebody has invested their children's college education into a business that they're hoping will flourish or they're building something that they believe is a legacy so that they can cut the chains from a corporate lifestyle right a corporate work environment and be their own boss if you're not sensitive to that it doesn't matter who you hire and the other thing is that if you're looking for somebody with franchise experience i would caution you to look at somebody with relative or successful franchise experience we all too often are like this person was in a franchise well that's great you could be part of a really large franchise system and never have had to consult that level so it's great if you're like hey this person was at mcdonald's they're brilliant they have that name i can't tell you how many people call me and they're like massage envy and it was big hey it was 33 locations right when we started and just because i've grown doesn't mean that i'm not just as tactical as i am strategic i've worn every hat in that department and that makes me more valuable here because they didn't come up siloed right into a single place so knowing what it is again going back to that core rule of what are you looking for what hole do you need to fill in your team and is franchising experience entirely necessary for that or is it relevant experience um and i think that going all the way back to the beginning i thought chris made such a great point about that you know the the resume structure the format not necessarily important i like to see those things bubble up that show that you have a diverse background regardless of what level you're coming in at and so as she pointed out having somebody with agency experience right could translate really really well for any level of because they're working with clients because they're bought into the success of the client because they want to win that account again it really just depends on on where you are what your specific needs are um i feel like at this point i can teach anybody franchising i can't teach everybody to be a great marketer that's really well said and thank you all for sharing your feedback um i think the last question will be kind of a quick one maybe in my head to close out because i feel like everyone might have the same answer but this is a good question the question is how long did it take until you feel like you figured it out yeah that's exactly what i thought it would be god i don't know that it'll ever be truly figured out right um i think that we get better every single day and i think that that's part of the thrill of the chase right we always want our franchisees to make more money we always want the franchise to grow we always want the people who are working at the franchise lower level to grow and to exceed and um i think you know we've said it there's no perfect there's no perfect bullet to this right it's like there's no magic bullet it's um you know you keep trying every single day as it relates to then i'm looking at the question like in in relation to processes and vendors um you know i think i'm a big fan of building the skateboard while building the car right and so that there's like you do a little bit maybe you had a wheel and then you you had another wheel and another wheel and and then eventually you've turned a skateboard into a car but then you may want a truck so you just keep going and going and going until um you know you have to build a second car i agree i mean i don't have it figured out i've i have found that the more i learn the less i know um you know and especially back to what dawn said about having that emotional intelligence you know every franchisee has so many layers and so many things that motivate them and how they want to run their business that you know it just adds that extra layer to whatever strategy is and how they're going to execute it so hopefully one day you know we'll have it figured out so i i at first when you asked the question i was like shoot we're supposed to have it all figured out we're in trouble um we're all we're all gonna crash and burn um so i would say i've done this for a long time um i'm at that age and just turned 50 last week humbling and i can tell you that i do feel like i have this pretty well figured out and i know what i'm gonna know there's always a day where i come in and i learn something new about marketing is never changing landscape right um but i feel like i got this job i figured this out i know how to do this and the number one thing that i figured out was i don't have all the answers my job is to have all the questions my job is to remove the obstacles from my team my job is to come and ask all the questions you're never gonna have all the answers for every scenario because there is so much diversity in franchising and ownership and business owner needs in different scenarios right i've got owners that have taken over businesses for their kids that they've invested in um and i've got people that are you know going through a divorce and they had a partnership and they're splitting up their assets and their assets are the business that you're trying to build right your franchise ownership so you know you just never know what the day's going to bring and the marketing landscape that changes right one minute you're pushing everything out on reels the next minute your videos get shoved into reels right like who even knows right um algorithms change my job is to ask the questions i know at this point in my career all the different stones to turn over and i feel like that's really our jobs right what stone do you look under what do you turn over where do you find the answers if you don't have them really well said thank you all uh we're right at time which is great and i have pulled up on the screen everyone's um qr codes once again because i know this has been such an inspiring conversation and really helpful for everyone on today's panel as well as our amazing attendees who've been really um asking great questions so with that thank you all for joining today was really great to um speak with you all thank you thank you so much thanks so much for having us of course of course have a great day everyone and we'll see you on the next one

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