We're in Your Mailbox
We're in Your Mailbox

With the societal shift by the consumer to capture news and all information through digital communications channels, many marketers have seen tried-and-true tactics and strategies become ineffective and obsolete. Much is the same for marketing in the franchise space, where reaching franchise prospec.....

With the societal shift by the consumer to capture news and all information through digital communications channels, many marketers have seen tried-and-true tactics and strategies become ineffective and obsolete. Much is the same for marketing in the franchise space, where reaching franchise prospects and consumers by any means necessary is paramount to growth and sales success.


But, one of the biggest mistakes made by marketers as they deal with the rising surge of digital advertising is by completely putting all their attention into this one element of a brand’s marketing mix. In a perfect world, marketing executives need to help digital succeed by supporting it with other forms of marketing such as traditional advertising, public relations, word-of-mouth, social media, direct mail, etc.  When all the silos of communication become aligned, true magic happens, and a company becomes more than a name, logo, product or service…it becomes a brand.
1851 connected with three national franchise brands, Toppers Pizza, Mosquito Joe and TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, to learn more from its marketing teams how their brands view advertising in traditional and other types of media, and how they have changed franchise marketing best practices in the coming digital age of communication.
With a shift towards digital media, are there traditional media outlets that work for your brand?
For the past 22 years, Toppers Pizza has stuck with a strong backbone of direct mailing our current customers repeatedly with full menus or oversized postcards featuring a menu on one side and offers on the other. We also use saturation mailings four times a year to the closest 10,000 or 20,000 households in the delivery areas around our stores. This method works in tandem with our direct mailings, and once we capture new customers, they are in our database to receive direct mailings every month.
[caption id="attachment_8341" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Bridget Keeler, Manager of Marketing and Public Relations for Toppers Pizza"][/caption]
Toppers culture also has a strong foundation of local store marketing. Our team members are always in their delivery areas driving trial by hanging door menus, participating in Toppers Times, a word-of-mouth and food drop campaign, where our partners drop off menu samples to parties, businesses, hotels, etc. As a growing franchise company, we open up out of the gates in new markets layering traditional advertising methods with other forms of media.
-- Bridget Keeler, Manager of Marketing and Public Relations for Toppers Pizza
Direct mail is still the largest source of new customers for our services. We are able to be extremely
targeted with who we send to, and in addition to that audience targeting, we focus on the timing and
[caption id="attachment_8343" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Angela Zerda, Director of Marketing for Mosquito Joe"][/caption]
messaging to increase response rates and drive awareness for our brand. In addition to direct mail, we participate in various industry-specific events annually, to generate new interest in our services. Finally, guerrilla and word-of-mouth marketing will always be an incredibly powerful tool. We hang door hangers, develop referral programs and provide pass-along content to get our customers talking about us with their family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and anyone else in their network.
--Angela Zerda, Director of Marketing for Mosquito Joe

TV has been a critical channel for many of our franchisees for several reasons. It continues to be a viable solution for building top-of-


mind awareness in the marketplace, while digital marketing takes more of a rifle versus shotgun approach. In other words, prospects are exposed to the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® brand farther up the marketing funnel instead of deeper in the funnel where digital marketing works best (e.g., retargeting advertising, cost-per-click advertising, independent review websites, our owned website properties).


From a marketing investment perspective, mid-sized markets offer affordable rates, and we’re able to target our core customer segments through buying space in programming, which draws that clientele. It also allows for multiple franchise owners in single media markets to work together and share a buy, allowing them more total reach and frequency horsepower.
[caption id="attachment_8344" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Shelby Reno, Director of Marketing & Communications, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc."][/caption]
Direct mail is also a key component within our marketing mix. Our program delivers consistent return on marketing investment, and we are constantly working to increase its return through modeling and scoring our data.
--Shelby Reno, Director of Marketing & Communications, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc.
What are the best practices for dealing with traditional media outlets? Are there better rates? Better campaigns? Added value?
Toppers best practice with direct mailings is to invade mailboxes over and over to create impressions and keep the brand top of mind. In the past few years, we have tested direct mailing campaigns layered in with traditional static outdoor boards and radio. We have found that a campaign with a strong backbone of outdoor and radio layered on top of frequent direct mailings helps create brand awareness in DMA markets with a strong Toppers presence.
In regards to radio, we have had success in added value by having on-air personalities give away gift cards during popular drive times with live Toppers mentions.
-- Bridget Keeler, Manager of Marketing and Public Relations for Toppers Pizza
The most important practice in dealing with traditional media outlets is to know your audience and be as targeted as possible with your marketing.  When it comes to mass media like television and newspaper, we focus on being part of the content through public relations efforts vs. advertising around it. But, if we were to advertise around it, we would ensure our positioning is near content relevant to our target audience (i.e. in the Home and Garden section next to the opening article). Think outside the box and get creative in your negotiations with traditional media representatives. Don't just focus on price, but think about added value and how that traditional media may live on in a digital extension.
--Angela Zerda, Director of Marketing for Mosquito Joe
A media buyer who does their homework is critical for best results. Did they take the time to understand our brand and our customer profile? Do they embrace media strategy, planning, and buying across TV and other traditional and digital landscapes? Can they effectively guide us toward the best way to approach media from a paid, owned, and earned perspective? If needed, are they able to activate our digital and traditional media campaigns through research, planning, negotiation, implementation, analytics, and optimization? If the answer is “yes” to these questions, I consider this buyer one who has transcended the old-school handshake-style to one who values the newest standards in accountability, metrics and results.
Relative to creative campaigns, there are many effective routes to take. The good part is you don’t have to stick with just one. We have developed “What we do” spots, and most recently, we’ve used the “why we do what we do” method to activate the human interest side of our brand.
--Shelby Reno, Director of Marketing & Communications, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc.
What types of advertising worked in the past but doesn’t work now?
We have found advertising in newspapers and yellow pages doesn’t have the same effect that it used to 20 years ago. With the shift of newspapers going digital, and the fact that most people have smartphones, tablets, or computers to search for phone numbers, we have shifted our dollars to direct mailings.
-- Bridget Keeler, Manager of Marketing and Public Relations for Toppers Pizza
One area that worked better in the past, but has lost relevance now is traditional newspaper advertising. So many people get their news online now (through digital newspaper subscriptions, social media feeds, etc.), which caused readership for print editions of newspapers to decline significantly.
--Angela Zerda, Director of Marketing for Mosquito Joe
Certainly yellow page/directory advertising was a mainstay before online options were viable. The proliferation of smart devices and mobile technology enabled these options to become more integral in reaching our core customer segments—and also more cost-effective.
--Shelby Reno, Director of Marketing & Communications, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc.
Does your company do digital advertising? If so, what are you doing? How has it worked?
In our various DMA markets, we have been testing the effect of digital advertising, such as Pandora banner ads, Facebook ads, Yelp pages, text messaging, and digital outdoor boards. We are still in testing and evaluation phases with these digital initiatives to learn what works and what we would implement moving forward.
-- Bridget Keeler, Manager of Marketing and Public Relations for Toppers Pizza
First and foremost, our website is our most important digital advertisement. We are constantly evaluating and re-imagining ways to improve the site - from design to user experience. We have an active social media presence year round in the places that make the most sense for our customers and target audience. In addition, throughout our service season, we use search engine marketing to drive awareness of our services. We are continuing to test new things digitally as our business grows and we expand into new locations. The world of digital advertising is constantly changing, and if you don't continue to test and learn, you can easily miss out on opportunities and be left behind.
--Angela Zerda, Director of Marketing for Mosquito Joe
Cost-per-click campaigns are deployed by almost every franchisee in our system. Over time, performance has improved because we work closely with our vendor to analyze key campaign metrics to drive the best results for each location. We have several locations who advertise on independent review sites, like Yelp. Claiming TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® in our local markets on the most popular review sites is also a no-brainer relative to search engine optimization. It’s also free, but without solid directory listings and a well-built local website, the total digital marketing strategy is not complete.
--Shelby Reno, Director of Marketing & Communications, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc.

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