Bloom: The Skills That Matter
Bloom: The Skills That Matter

It seems that franchise industry may be in for another sea change.

A.G. Lafley, chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble Co., recently made a announcement that the company now spends up to 35 percent of its $4.8 billion annual marketing budget on digital.

Similarly, Chili’s has announced plans.....

It seems that franchise industry may be in for another sea change.

A.G. Lafley, chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble Co., recently made a announcement that the company now spends up to 35 percent of its $4.8 billion annual marketing budget on digital.

Similarly, Chili’s has announced plans to install 1,266 tabletop screens in the U.S. next year, which was followed closely by an announcement by Applebee’s that the company will install 100,000 tablets on every table and bar top within its 1,860 U.S. restaurants.

But, this trend is not limited to food or retail brands. Since its recent startup in 2002, LinkedIn has quickly become the leading B2B networking and professional lead generator and talent resource for thousands of companies, with 225 million members worldwide, and is now available in 20 languages.

The world has officially gone digital.

Now add to this potential paradigm shift an environment where success in business may be driven as much by communication and technology skills as by technical abilities. In other words, think about the potential impact of a surgeon that can operate remotely preforming robotic surgeries worldwide over the Internet, as opposed to one local surgeon that has great surgical skills, but is not comfortable leveraging those same technologies.

Many senior management teams in the franchise industry today are comprised of executives that grew up in an age where being hands-on, communicating over landlines, fax and FedEx was the norm, rather than operating in today’s highly mobile, socially oriented, 24-7, real-time big-data world. It is quickly becoming clear that while some companies and executives are nimbly strategizing and managing their way into the future, others are still completely dependent on “the tried and true” comfortable ways of the past.

Today, I work both for and with a number of incredibly talented executives who know no boundaries. They manage investments and companies both at home and worldwide. They have access to vast amounts of data and knowledge from a wide variety of industries and real time sources. And, they leverage that insight to outsmart the competition on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, the franchise industry has been notoriously behind in accepting and leveraging new technologies. This seems to show up even more prominently in the franchise development arena. There are once again great examples of companies and executives that are always testing and utilizing cutting-edge technologies and methodologies, actively participating and influencing social forums, managing and communicating through robust CRM platforms, constantly seeking information and testing SEO and data acquisition programs that fish in different ponds than the competition.

Conversely, the majority of B2B marketing dollars are still being spent in live trade shows, print media and web portals, with some dollars being allocated to satellite radio and cable buys.

If I had to recommend a few books that have provided some really interesting ideas on where things are potentially heading they would be:

If future success lies in correctly predicting the future needs, wants and trends of our customers, then knowledge and communication skills are the currency of the future.

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David Bloom currently serves as Senior Vice President of Strategic Development for Famous Brands Intl. David has a track record of accelerating the growth and business operations of a wide variety of brands and business models both nationally and internationally. Prior to joining Famous Brands, he was responsible for developing ground-breaking strategies, and executing accelerated development plans and programs across a number of brands in a variety of industries worldwide.

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