A Recipe for Sales Success

When we do audits of a franchisor’s sales efforts, one of the most difficult issues to address in identifying the source of a problem, is the inherent conflict between sales and marketing.

When a salesperson fails to produce the expected results, they will invariably point to marketing, and often vice versa.  In this Franchise Times article, iFranchise Group CEO Mark Siebert addresses the elephant usually in the room – the relationship between sales and marketing.

When deals aren’t happening, which direction should a franchisor look? The answer may surprise you. This article takes you through the different angles for checks and balances between the sales and marketing teams, as well as steps to evaluate the overall concept itself. And while marketing professionals sometimes are at odds with the sales team, the best franchisors will recognize that both concept and sales process must be a part of the overall marketing plan for everyone to succeed.

Too Few Cooks Making Your Broth?

In this Franchise Times article, iFranchise Group CEO Mark Siebert explains the pros and cons of working with franchise brokers as part of your overall marketing strategy. He tells you why brokers, or consultants as they like to call themselves, should never be a franchisor’s exclusive franchise marketing strategy, but adds that on the flipside they may provide an entirely new lead flow that will freshen up any marketing plan. It takes just the right mix of ingredients for a perfect recipe.

Franchise brokerage networks today, by some estimates, account for more than ten percent (10%) of franchise sales, depending on the industry or individual brand. A good marketing strategy is made up of many ingredients. With an overwhelming amount of franchising information online for candidates to make their way through, increasingly, brokers are being relied upon to help people navigate their way through the complex world of franchising.  The real question, however, is when are their too many cooks in the kitchen? Siebert takes you through the steps to “broaden the menu” as you take your concept to market.

Top Tips to Success in Franchising: Podcast Interview

Mark Siebert, CEO and Franchise Consultant at iFranchise Group, is interviewed in this episode of the Money Matters: Top Tips to Success podcast. The podcast introduces Mark, his background, and presents iFranchise Group as a franchise development and consulting firm that provides a variety of services to start-up franchisors, established franchisors, and other companies. Mark also discusses the criteria for assessing franchising readiness and the important considerations to keep in mind when franchising a business.


Give your franchise show story the happily ever after ending it needs

In this Franchise Times article, iFranchise Group CEO Mark Siebert explains how every good story has a beginning, a middle and an end, and that utilizing trade shows as part of your marketing strategy is no different.

Sound like ancient history? Not today’s trade shows. They are more exciting, glamorous and full of expert resources than ever before. In our business, the International Franchise Expo is the epitome of all things shiny and new in the franchising industry, where hundreds of concepts and vendors gather to be discussed and discovered. That’s why for this piece, Siebert features Tom Portesy, CEO of MFV Expositions who puts on over 70 shows per year. Between the two of them, find out the important three-part process that places your own marketing efforts on solid ground for a happily ever after trade show experience of your own.

What is essential that you do while planning the show? What should your booth look like? Who from your organization should you send to pitch your brand, and what is the best way to follow-up with leads you receive while you’re there? That’s just the beginning of what you’ll learn in this useful trade show how-to guide that you can put to work for your organization today!

Dog Days of Summer: Marketing from the Inside Out

Think about how harmful it would be to your business if your brand messaging changed over time without your knowledge. You provide messaging for your franchisees – but how can you be sure it maintains integrity as it travels?

In this Franchise Times article, iFranchise Group CEO Mark Siebert explains how the dog days of summer aren’t for easing up where brand marketing is concerned. The bigger the network – a measure of success in itself – the more chances for messaging to get lost in translation from franchisor to franchisee, and then from employee to the consumer. Add social media to the mix and the message you began with turns into a tweet that is utterly unrecognizable.

The good news is there is a way to improve the odds of your marketing message staying intact: Internal marketing – in other words, from the inside out. In this concise piece, Mark explains the benefits of marketing inwardly by demonstrating how internal marketing and network engagement can make all the difference in maintaining brand story integrity. Internal marketing doesn’t look like a typical marketing strategy on paper but should be an integral part of any overall marketing campaign. Read this article to learn things like where to begin, how to craft a message with staying power and move it through your network, and which tools are recommended to help you keep your team engaged.

Internal marketing is imperative to marketing strategy success. While you are enjoying your own dog days of summer, kick back and couple your refreshing lemonade with a piece of good advice in this article.

A Three-Point Strategy for Damage Control of Negative Feedback

In this Franchise Times article, iFranchise Group CEO Mark Siebert explains three simple but effective methods to get in front of bad press. In an era of social media, with opportunities for brand crises in all corners of the Internet, it is more important than ever for companies to stay vigilant, then handle an incident in a way that helps find a resolution, without making things worse.

No matter the size or budget of your company, Siebert shares tools to aid in social listening and response across the web, and reveals where the disgruntled may gather. Most important, he walks you through three distinct steps that explain just how to react to negative press online, whether it’s a nasty tweet, an inflammatory review, or an entire blogpost that smears your brand.

PR crises aren’t like they used to be when the accused had a full 24-hour news cycle to prepare a response. In today’s technological world, crises happen in the public eye, in real time, with the potential to escalate quickly.

Don’t miss out on this thorough, specific bit of advice to help recover your brand’s reputation through timing, integrity and authenticity.

When Influencing, We Don’t Want Nobody Nobody Sent

In this Franchise Times article, iFranchise Group CEO Mark Siebert explains how influencer marketing is here to stay. Frankly, it has been here all along anyway. Siebert also shares his unique perspective growing up close to the Chicago political scene and the lessons it offered for his career in franchise consulting.

The court of public opinion…

Most franchise candidates have already set a goal to become business owners and are ready to begin the sales process. It’s here the first acts of influencing begin.

Influencer marketing is as old as government.  Think about it, how long have candidates for public office been leaning on the opinions and endorsements of others to get themselves elected? It may seem like government and businesses are worlds apart, but this isn’t the case. In this article, Siebert tells you that everyone is watching, everywhere, all the time. It may sound sinister, but as far as franchise marketing is concerned, it means opportunity is all around us.

Franchise marketing recognizes that the prospective franchisee is not making the decision to buy alone. They are most certainly influenced by others like their spouse, their business associates, bankers, lawyers and suppliers, to name a few. And, of course, other franchisees in the system are influencers themselves. Whether your prospect is being influenced by the media, their banker, their spouse, or other franchisees, the bottom line comes down to trustworthiness. In this article, learn how to earn the trust of those who are influencing the candidates you want in your network.

Looking Abroad May Help Franchisors Spread American Dream

In this Franchise Times article, iFranchise Group CEO Mark Siebert guides franchisors through the unique challenges and opportunities in marketing to international prospects looking to purchase franchises in the United States.  While it isn’t appropriate for all franchise systems, for many it makes sense for franchisors to look outside of their own borders to find their next generation of successful franchise owners.

Navigating policy

If marketing to international candidates feels right for a brand, franchisors will first need to understand the opportunities available for international candidates to own and operate franchises in the US. Two federal programs in particular, the E-2 and EB-5 visa programs are designed precisely for this type of prospect. The two programs differ greatly, and any franchisor will be smart to seek the guidance of a franchise attorney who specializes in this very field. In this article, Siebert talks with Angie Rupert, an E2 visa attorney out of Los Angeles for her expertise on the subject.  Rupert notes there are savvy entrepreneurs seeking franchises in the US from a wide range of industries. While the process may seem daunting, with careful expert consultation, it need not be.

Marketing to international prospects

As with any marketing, iFranchise Group consultants advise franchisors to tailor their marketing strategies based on their audience. In addition to language considerations (don’t leave it to Google translate!) consideration must be given to the marketing avenues available. For example, social media options in China look very different from social media options in the US. Learn more from Siebert as he explains key elements to pitching international franchise candidates, in a way that compliments the visa programs available for candidates coming from different countries.

When to Race, When to Slow Down

In this edition of Franchise Times, iFranchise Group CEO Mark Siebert reflects on the renowned fable about the Tortoise and the Hare, and how franchise marketers should keep this story in mind when planning their marketing strategies:

Life in the fast lane…or the slow one?

In the first part of the article, Siebert’s focus is on strategies that resemble the actions of the hare. What types of franchise marketing provide quick, real time data? In a world of instant gratification, it is no surprise that the marketing industry has caught on to where to find the speediest and most efficient feedback to help monitor and adjust their campaigns. As impatient as we are to reap the rewards of a new social media or email campaign, is it enough to be fast?

Next, Siebert relates marketing strategies to those of the hare. What other marketing methods, in addition to SEO, take time to nurture, and are they worth the wait? Franchise consultants crafting marketing plans know to include both short-term and long-term strategies for a well-rounded approach. In franchise marketing, SEO, PPC, social media, publication marketing, direct marketing, content marketing and trade shows all have their place in the race. And for all franchise marketing initiatives, it is vital to measure results and adjust campaigns accordingly. For example, talk to trade show prospects about their backgrounds and compare to the Franchisor’s targeted prospect and messaging.

The moral of the story may be that each franchise marketing campaign needs to adopt a lesson from both the tortoise and the hare, depending on the target audience and the long-term marketing goals. This article gives guidance to the marketer who is undecided about how to run the race.

Going local, saying no puts rhyme and reason into franchising plan

In this edition of Franchise Times, iFranchise Group CEO Mark Siebert discusses the benefits of a local franchise expansion strategy.

Going local, saying no puts rhyme and reason into franchising plan

There is nothing more exciting for a franchisor than knowing prospects are clamoring to represent the brand. The question to ask is why? Is it because there is a reputation for unprecedented home office support and training? An impressive leadership team? Successful franchisees praising the brand? In this article Siebert explains how the retail concept of shopping local can apply to franchise expansion strategies as well.

Successful franchisors make the grade because they are accessible to their franchisees. From a close distance a franchisor can  nurture and help groom the future leaders and ambassadors of their brand – especially in the beginning of their franchise journey. Fear of losing a potential sale and misunderstanding their role in the franchise support function may lead franchisors to market more broadly than they should.

In this article, Siebert reminds us that franchise prospects are not finite. Find out what he means by referring to them as a “manufactured resource,” and learn how a compelling marketing message can actually help create franchise candidates. . Siebert offers real life, hands-on tools to help you create local franchise marketing campaigns to capture leads where you want them.

How should you target your SEO approach? What’s the best way to use social media? Are print advertising and direct contact marketing still worth your time and money? It’s all here to help the franchisor see the benefits of local marketing, before launching coast to coast. Follow Siebert as he helps keep franchisors focused on regional marketing strategies with tips on how to successfully market to prospective franchisees on a local level.