In an industry that’s constantly evolving, keeping your brand relevant and ahead of the competition is often times no easy, or cheap, feat. That’s why 1851 Franchise Magazine recently spoke with Shauna Parisi, the director of marketing for Juice It Up!, a raw juice and smoothie bar franchise with over 80 locations across California, about the five best ways for brands to win big on small marketing changes.
Embrace your strength and devolve your weaknesses.
While you may be confident in your brand’s marketing strategy, chances are there are areas in which you could use a little help—and that’s okay! Rarely are marketers experts in every single aspect of the field. “You can't spread yourself too thin or struggle to stay above water or else you'll rarely get 100 percent of your projects to 100 percent completion. Invest in the right technology to help you and your team get the job done. It's all about technology in marketing today. Find the right partner(s) to help you accomplish your top three goals and see them all the way through” said Parisi.
Take advantage of brand partnerships.
Co-branding can be a great way to reach new audiences, garner press coverage and drive awareness. Think The Dodo and Samsung’s 2017 collaboration with photographer Sophie Garmond. The partnership resulted in a short video starring Garmond and her award-winning photographs of pitbulls in animal shelters wearing flowers to help change the stigma around the breed and help get them adopted. The video, shot on Samsung’s Galaxy S8, ended up being viewed more than 12 million times on The Dodo’s Facebook page. So, as you can see, brand partnerships can be the ultimate win-win situation.
Parisi shared, “People love to see their favorite brands working together, especially if they're in different industries or philanthropic in nature. You not only build your brand's equity, but you open your brand to an entirely new audience. Customer acquisition is expensive. Leveraging another brand's customers is much more cost-effective.”
Invest in social media.
While it may seem obvious by now, investing in social media and its different channels is absolutely vital to staying relevant in today’s tech-driven consumer world, proving itself especially valuable for brands working within a limited marketing budget. If not already doing so, brands should take full advantage of Facebook’s targeting and retargeting ad capabilities, which are second to none due to its robust parameters to target audiences based on location, age, education, interests and more.
Parisi and Juice It Up!’s marketing strategy focuses heavily on social media advertising due to its trackability and effectiveness when it comes to identifying which ads are resonating the best with customers. “When dealing with a small budget, it's absolutely imperative to utilize tactics that are trackable. It may mean investing a little more on the technology side, but as you build your brand and revenue early on, it's important to quickly find out what's working and what's not. Entire companies have built themselves on social media platforms alone, so it shouldn't be overlooked,” said Parisi.
Utilize positive PR.
The power of PR is all about earning third-party validation and building brand trust among consumers because when it comes down to it, people trust people, not advertisements. Some ways to garner positive media coverage can include anything from partnering with a local non-profit organization or participating in community events to celebrating national holidays such as Dunkin Donuts’ National Donut Day tradition of offering a free donut to every customer.
“All of these things will not only strengthen your brand in the eyes of the communities you serve, but are also usually covered by local, sometimes national, media. Never underestimate the power of a good story,” said Parisi.
Really know your customer.
If you don’t have a clear picture of who your audience is, you run the risk of your messaging falling on deaf ears. Truly great marketing is all about understanding your customer and knowing how to engage and be of value to them. Parisi advises, “Do the proper research to find out who your customers are, what they are purchasing from you and how often, and where else they shop.”
While it may be costly up front, investing in customer data is an invaluable resource that will only help strengthen your brand’s capability of getting your message in front of the right audience.