There’s a lot that makes Hand and Stone's franchise opportunity stand out, but nothing more so than the care and attention continually devoted to its franchisees. When John Marco founded the brand in 2004, the physical therapist’s goal was to put entrepreneurs in the best position possible for success. His experience led him to recognize the necessity for an alternative to the traditional marketing practice employed by many franchisors.
Instead of outsourcing to and relying on an agency whose attention could never be fully directed toward any single band, why not become marketing experts themselves?
By establishing an in-house agency that designed marketing and advertising plans specifically for Hand and Stone, the brand could ensure franchisees that all of its efforts were crafted with a sole focus of benefitting their business.
This idea drove Leff to construct HSM in 2009 as Hand and Stone’s internal marketing compass, something that has arguably become the brand’s biggest differentiator in the competitive health and wellness service segment. The move has proven to be extremely effective in generating leads and gaining coverage on a local and national scale.
VP of marketing and advertising Jack Bachinsky explained how HSM supports franchisees through the opening process and beyond with a whole program of targeted campaigns across all media. “The key advantage to setting up an internal agency is being able to take all of the marketing and advertising concerns off of the franchisees’ plates,” Bachinsky said. HSM focuses on traditional TV and radio advertising for national coverage and utilizes all forms of media locally, including social media, SEO and paid search.
“We have integrated a very aggressive social media plan into our pre-opening campaign using Facebook primarily,” Bachinsky said. “We’ve been able to dramatically improve our first-year sales at new spas by building a customer email database through lead generation campaigns. We also set new spas up on “Google My Business” about a month prior to opening to ensure momentum with regards to their ranking,” he continued.
This extensive support leading up to opening puts Hand and Stone franchisees in a great position to succeed from the moment the doors to their spas open. HSM’s support doesn’t end there, however. Once a franchisee’s spa is up and running, HSM doubles down on providing marketing and advertising support. “We develop custom marketing plans for every franchisee based on our various tracking mechanisms, which helps adjust our efforts to concentrate only on those that are effective for that specific spa,” Bachinsky noted. “We are proactive in reaching out and analyzing the data to help them constantly improve their plan without having to invest their time and energy in pulling it all together,” he added.
The marketing and advertising assistance provided by HSM makes the Hand and Stone franchise opportunity that much more unique, primarily because it leverages the marketing expertise to its spa owners. “Working with an ad agency that is only interested in driving traffic to their spa and are agnostic to any particular media is really reassuring to prospects,” Bachinsky pointed out. "They like having a contact that is an expert not only in marketing, but in marketing spa services and in particular, the Hand and Stone brand,” he added.
“Being a single trusted source that our franchisees can turn to for any marketing and advertising questions brings a great amount of value to our brand and is a key part of what has led to increased growth and sustained success,” Bachinsky concluded.