Marketing to the “20-Somethings” of the World

I have been reading recently about a hot topic in marketing and advertising – targeting the Millennial generation. Who is the Millennial generation, you may ask? While there has been some debate over when the generation starts and stops, generally, it is considered those born between 1977 and 1995. Larger than the baby boomers’ 76 million, there are an estimated 80 million Millennials in this group of 18 to 34 year olds.

So from a marketing perspective, how do we target this generation of people ranging from college students to young parents? First off, we must recognize that most Millennials are technology dependent. There are several tips that Susan Glosby from FIT4MOM offered in this past month’s issue of Franchising World magazine offers some advice.

1. Offer ease of access to your information

Most Millennials use their smartphones and other similar electronic devices to access webpages. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and is easy to read for those accessing info via a smartphone. Additionally, make sure you have all the information people are seeking on your site – contact information, sales information, costs of goods – if they can’t find it quickly, they may take their business elsewhere.

2. A sense of involvement and purpose

Millennials are said to care about the purpose and identity of the brands they support more than generations of the past. What does your brand do to make the world a better place? This generation wants to know. Do you promote local volunteering with your franchisees and employees? Do you help educate your community? Do you donate to certain causes as a company? They want to know those things, and are more likely to be a repeat customer if your ideals are in line with their own.

3. Peer value

Use social media to provide peer endorsements! Millennials have the sense that when using technology, they are never truly alone – their peers are always with them. Having Instagram tags, a Facebook page, a twitter account, allows this generation to easily do some of the advertising for you among their friends.


What other ways can we appeal to our 20-somethings? Leave your marketing tips in the comments below!

Traditional Media and Content Marketing

It probably comes as no surprise that the printed newspaper and magazine industries are shrinking. Less and less people are reading printed articles, and more and more are turning to online media for their news. It is interesting to learn in recent studies that the trust of your targeted audience may be diminishing as well. Recently in a article, an executive from Chipotle said that Millennials “are skeptical of brands that perpetuate themselves.”

There is a decreasing number of future customers who have no desire to see commercials or ads that they don’t believe are true. Traditional marketing strategies as a whole just don’t seem to be getting the job done anymore when it comes to younger generations. With social media, we are bombarded daily with a surplus of news, opinions, and advertisements. The key to successful public relations strategies now is understanding what to share and how to share it.

Which leads to content marketing.  Content marketing is created when a company develops its own content in the form of articles, blogs, or videos featuring the business. The content must be professional, honest, and not self-serving. Bloggers, specifically, are becoming increasingly credible and popular influencers and can help drive products while not appearing as self-promoting as other forms of advertising.

What is your business doing to reach you target audience? Leave comments below!

Being Mobile-Friendly and Why It’s Important

Mobile communication is now an imperative part of a business’s marketing strategy. People are using smart phones and other mobile devices now more than ever. They are using their mobile technology to find shops, restaurants, and services in their area, and it’s important that when they search, they find your business.

If your website is not mobile-friendly, it will most likely lose you business. Anyone searching your business from their smart phone wants to quickly and conveniently access your contact information, purchase your products, or both. If the customer can’t find information, or the layout of your site isn’t compatible with his or her technology, they may become frustrated and bring their business elsewhere.

Additionally, your emails and newsletters must also be mobile-friendly. If people are reading your communications on-the-go, they want to be able to read the email free of excessive scrolling, pinching, and squinting at their touch-screen device. An annoying-to-read email will quickly be sent to the trash bin, or worse, unsubscribed from.

By creating a shorter, more condensed version of your website for mobile-users, you keep current customers happy and new customers coming. You can find more information about making a mobile friendly site in Franchising World’s current online magazine, found here.

How to Utilize Social Media to Market Your Franchise

Though every franchise business is different, every successful franchise has one thing in common: an effective and pervasive marketing strategy.

And while much can be said for classic marketing materials (from billboards to print ads to television commercials), social media has begun to transform the entire face of franchise marketing. From Twitter to Facebook to Tumblr to Vine, social media has created a universal and easily accessible platform upon which committed franchise businesses can both broaden their reach and establish their brands.


Here are three ways that your business can utilize social media to market your franchise brand:

1. Match your franchise to the network: Start by learning all you can about each social media platform to help you decide which specific networks will benefit your business the most. Then, choose only three. It may be tempting to incorporate them all, but when it comes to social media, your goal should always be to do fewer better.

2.  Establish a presence: Once you’ve selected your platforms, work on establishing a presence. Make sure that when you start posting or tweeting, you do it regularly: create a schedule and stay consistent. Consider who your audience is, what your brand is built upon, and aim to engage.

3. Never forget your brand: Any franchise consulting professional will tell you: always stay true to your brand. While some of your franchise locations may have different social media teams, make sure that every profile – from Google+ to Instagram – is representative of your brand as a whole. Above all, ensure that every post, tweet, and picture portrays your business in a positive, appropriate, and kind light.


When you make the decision to incorporate social media into your franchise marketing plan, you’re taking a definitive step toward developing and fostering an impressive online presence – one which will help you successfully establish your brand. Learn how to create a successful marketing plan alongside a dependable franchise consulting firm today! 


Hyperlocal Marketing: What is it and how can it help your business?

There has been a lot of talk recently in the marketing world about a new concept: hyperlocal marketing technology. Hyperlocal marketing uses the GPS feature and a mobile app on your smartphone to send targeted messages from a nearby franchise. The marketing is hyperlocal because the messages are for a small, specific area. This specific area can be specified through setting virtual perimeters around a specific location, an action referred to as “geofenching”.

Geofencing technology allows businesses to track when customers enter a defined area nearby their location through the GPS software on a person’s smartphone.

This technology means big things for a franchise.

Say you’re a Papa Murphy’s franchise in the Charleston,SC area. You can set up specific perimeters around your location so that when someone enters your virtual “fence”, you can send that discounted pizza coupon directly to them via their mobile phone. As they are within say one mile of your business, they will receive an alert on their phone with the pizza coupon and, hopefully, stop in at your shop. The key here is that these are also customers who have opted-in to receive offers; therefore, you are reaching a market of people who are already interested in special deals and offers.

The rapid growth of smartphone technology has delivered an entirely new platform to marketers. Businesses are now reaching customers in ways never thought possible in the past. How can this be translated to your business?

What are your opinions on hyperlocal marketing? Do you think that this could lead to an overflow of information to customers, causing them to become disenchanted, or is it an effective marketing tool that has an ever-growing presence in our future?

Franchise Profile: The Grout Medic


The Grout Medic, in response to exploding customer demand, was founded under the commitment that their company could provide customers a viable, long term, cost effective, alternative to replacing tile and grout.


The Grout Medic is the leading grout & tile restoration franchise with over 40 locations across the US. Their franchise owners come from all walks of life, but they all have the same common goals; to gain control over their future and provide a better lifestyle and opportunity for themselves and their families.


At The Grout Medic™ their goal is simple – To create an opportunity to allow motivated, hardworking, business-minded individuals a low cost, high margin path to success. In doing so, The Grout Medic™ has become a leading grout and tile repair service with a cost effective, highly profitable, operating system offering a valuable service to their customers with very little competition. The Company’s foundation is based on solid business principles, extensive training and post operating support and, most of all, their experienced and dedicated people.



The Grout Medic Difference:
The Grout Medic has an industry leading approach to grout and tile restoration which has been one of the major factors in its success. They use exclusive equipment including their vapor machine and electric grout removal tools, as well as techniques and exclusive product lines to position The Grout Medic as the leader in the industry. The Grout Medic also employs a number of “green” practices in line with the current consumer demand.


To find out more about this amazing franchise opportunity, please visit the following link: An online form may also be submitted for more detailed information.

Could a Sports Franchise Have the Answer to Funding After School Sports?

A franchise might just have the solution as to how America can put its youth back on the global playing field– literally.


The education system has seen its share of cutbacks thanks to the Great Recession. A report released last year indicates that cuts to education funding has led to:


  • reduction in early childhood education programs
  • increases in class size
  • termination of art, music, physical education, and other elective classes
  • elimination of Advanced Placement courses, extracurricular activities, special science, foreign language, and technology programs

To some, sports might not be a “subject” but that’s not to say that sports don’t have their place in the education system. The disintegration of organized sports in America’s school systems is a major problem, as a recent study of 317 middle school students commissioned by the American College of Sports Medicine found that:


  • The fittest group of students scored almost 30% higher on standardized tests than the least fit group;
  • The least fit group had grades in four core classes that were 13-20% lower than the fittest group.


So, what do we do? As it turns out, the franchise Sports Image might just have an answer.

As a marketing consulting agency for grassroots sports teams that are in need, Sports Image solicits sponsorships from various businesses– large and small– for teams that need everything from new uniforms to a new scoreboard.


As President and CEO Eric Hortsman puts it, “Sports Image is a booster club on steroids.”


To date, Sports Image has given over $10 million in equipment and $1 million in cash to elementary school, middle school, high school, public recreation department, religious organization, Division II college, and Division III college teams.


Unsurprisingly, Sports Image has watched the need for its services rise considerably since the Great Recession. Then again, the public and not for profit sectors always need financial help, something that the franchisees of Sports Image are happy to give.


“A lot of companies do good and charitable work. Sports Image, at its core, is helping others,” says Hortsman.


Tom Carmichael, a Sports Image franchisee in Virginia, loves what Sports Image does for communities, as he’s “really been taken aback by how schools are hurting.”


“Being a Sports Image franchisee means having your own business but also being able to understand the wants and needs of a school, and then being able to go out and get it for them,” he says.


As for the sponsors, “They love it,” he says. “They get good advertising from it.”


Prior to becoming a Sports Image franchisee, Tom spent 33 years working his way up the corporate ladder at the same company, which he admits was a wonderful opportunity. He noticed that fewer and fewer new hires had a “team mentality”, something that had been instilled in him as a youth sports player.


During his college years, Tom played baseball and basketball despite being legally blind in one eye. He credits his coaches with giving him confidence in his abilities despite his handicap. In addition, he’s still best friends with his teammates from his college years.


“It’s like putting on an old jacket; it just fits me really well.”


For more information on becoming a Sports Image franchisee visit the Franchise Clique website.

Why Small Businesses (And Franchises) Need Social Media

If you think social media isn’t important, you’re wrong. Take a look at the scandal surrounding former Rep. Weiner and you’ll see the impact social media can have. Take a look at Lady Gaga, and you’ve got a picture perfect example of your Twitter feed’s potential power.


Regardless of whether or not you believe Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn can respectively sustain their current level of success, everyone around you is using social media. So, why aren’t you using it to gain a competitive edge against big businesses? Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great resources because they’re inexpensive (read: free), user-friendly, fun and fast.


Social media is inexpensive. For the small business owner, any free marketing tool should be cause enough for celebration. Small businesses are having trouble enough securing loans to open up their doors let alone finding extra funds to devote to marketing initiatives.


You shouldn’t be surprised that social media platforms are user-friendly; your customers are (probably) using it. If you’re afraid of technology or unfamiliar with how any of the popular social media platforms operate, don’t be. It will not take you more than a few days, at most, to navigate the social media waters. You can always ask a coworker or employee to help you if you need it—which I doubt you will.


Social media can be an effective way to connect with customers, when used correctly. Don’t ever forget that social media is about conversing and engaging with your audience. Once you start pushing your product or service they’ll shut you out.


If a customer likes something you do or make ask them to tweet about it or write on your Facebook wall. Respond to them, thank them the same way you would if they said these things in person. Also, for your fans on Facebook, let them know about upcoming events, specials or sales before others.


Conversely, if your customer is unhappy, social media can also be an effective way to begin to handle the situation. Responding to a tweet or Facebook message is easier for the customer and for you—it’s fast.


Say, for example, you’re a pizza restaurant that delivers. A customer tweets, “Was looking forward to my Hawaiian pizza from @LovinInTheOven but got pepperoni instead. #disappointed” and includes a picture of the pepperoni pie. Even if you catch the mistake the next day (and presumably the customer eats the pizza anyway) tweet the customer an apology and offer to make it right. For a small business, this is a great way to show you care. Bonus points if you can secure a photo and/or a tweet of the customer eating a slice of Hawaiian.


What if you find yourself in a United Airlines-style situation? Well, presumably as a small business your customer’s dissatisfaction won’t get to that level. Due to your size, you’re closer to your customers and don’t have as many bureaucratic hoops to jump through. Just in case you accidentally do break a customer’s guitar and give them the runaround in fixing the issue, here’s how I would assuage the sticky situation after he’s posted a YouTube video:

United Breaks Guitars

  1. Apologize first in an official capacity (standard operating procedure).
  2. Say you’re sorry in a creative way. Perhaps you can post a YouTube video as a response. Picture United personnel singing the tune of “Why Can’t We Be Friends” featuring a new Taylor guitar identical to the one you ruined that somehow finds its way being delivered to the unhappy customer.


Aside from apologizing to customers and getting positive feedback for your business, social media is also a fun way to share your business’ culture. Do you always host a tacky Christmas sweater party? Share these embarrassing photos with your customers. Your customers are people first and foremost and social media is one way to maintain a fun, light-hearted connection with them outside of your business’ four walls.  Did you find a funny video you that brightened your day? Share! Chances are if something made you smile it will do the same for them—they’ll like you for it.


Take a look at our social media platforms for inspiration




Lead Generation 101

In between unpacking boxes and putting away belongings my home telephone rang. I reached to answer it thinking it was probably my mother. I kicked myself as I realized even she didn’t have my new number yet.

“No thank you,” I said, “I’m really not interested.” The call was, of course, from a solicitor. Despite her encouragement to support a worthwhile charity by purchasing magazine subscriptions, I refrained. I was more concerned with how this woman got my telephone number.

Cold calling is a (very annoying) marketing tool that often yields poor results for one simple reason: you’re calling an uninterested prospect.

Lead generation is a marketing term that refers to the process of generating prospective consumer interest or inquiry into products or services of a business. Quite simply, lead generation identifies the people who want to talk to you.

Used by companies large and small for a variety of reasons, lead generation is a solid and effective marketing tool. The goal of lead generation is to generate quality leads. Quality leads are determined by a prospect’s inclination to take their inquiry or interest to the next level. A quality lead expresses interest and then, due to your excellent sales technique, turns that interest into an investment or a purchase in your product, business or service.

Lead generation methods and techniques are numerous and most businesses use a combination of several methods as part of their marketing strategy. The most important lead generation methods are those that work (i.e. generate quality leads). While no best methodology or technique exists there are best practices for each method. Keep your end goal in mind when choosing lead generation techniques for your marketing campaign.

When the term lead generation is mentioned, it often brings to mind online marketing and advertising – a very commonly used method. Franchise Clique’s expertise falls under this category. Due to the fact that the Internet is like a storefront that is always open, online advertising is a cost-effective approach to lead generation. Through search engine optimization, organic search engine results, paid search engine results and a laundry list of other ways, you are able to generate leads literally in your sleep.

Common Lead Generation Methods

1. Branding – Involves the use of sponsorships, advertising, associations, newsletters and events to produce leads.

2. Public Relations – Involves the use of editorials, news releases, public speaking engagements, news coverage (radio, broadcast, print and online), article placement, and content generation to produce leads.

3. Website – Involves search engine optimization (SEO), podcasts, blogging, RSS feeds and unique URL landing pages to produce leads.

4. Phone Calls – Involves developing relationships, gaining internal referrals, identifying business shortcomings and needs, opt-in for content notification, re-engaging with previously missed opportunities, identifying and/or verifying contacts and inviting contacts to events in order to produce leads. *Please note the difference between this marketing approach and cold calling. This is about developing and not establishing relationships.

5. Email – Involves using one-to-one messages or one-to-many messages to produce leads.

6. Online Marketing – This is probably the most popular and widely known lead generation method. It involves using organic search engine results, paid search engine results, webinars, newsletter sponsorships, banners, portals and online directories to produce leads.

7. Direct Mail – Involves using postcards, personal letters, dimensional mail (this is exactly what you would imagine it to be—something other than a normally shaped piece of mail), and self-mailers to produce leads.

8. Events – Involves going to and/or hosting one or more of the following: seminars, workshops, webinars, conferences, executive briefings, and tradeshows.

9. Referrals – One of my favorite methods. Referrals work because of how much we believe the opinions and experiences of those we trust. Using referrals as a lead generation technique involves using vendors, consultants, customers and partners and their trusted experiences.

For more information, I suggest you read The B2B Refinery by Green and Saylor, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale by Carroll and Marketing for Dummies.