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How to Mix and Match Your Digital Marketing Media

With the latest ad tools, marketers can target their message based on the user’s location, time and device.

heler1What do you do when you have a question, need to reach someone, or want to find out more about a product? You probably reach for a nearby device to get the answer, get in touch or make a purchase.

Now more than ever, we rely on technology to help us learn, connect and get things done. Having the information you need at your fingertips at any given time has become a basic expectation of the constantly connected world. From today’s weather, to where to go to lunch or how to repair a washing machine, whatever our daily challenges are, we want information and answers. And we expect it in real time.

We live in a multi-screen world where many of us carry at least one device, all the time, every day and we use our devices interchangeably depending on our situation, seamlessly transitioning between them. What does this mean for businesses like yours? It means the time has come to mix and match how franchisors and franchisees market in traditional channels and online. There are two keys that we’ll cover in this article. But first, let’s understand how marketing is changing.

Consumers Signal Moments that Matter

heler2Historically, if a business wanted to reach a customer, it developed a message and identified the channels best suited to reach the chosen audience. The message was sent out – on radio, TV, through direct mail – and it was “hoped” the message would make an impression on someone who was receptive at that moment, spurring him to act.

With ever-changing technology and devices, consumers now signal the moments that matter. They proactively show interest, as if raising their hands for information they desire then and there, wherever they are, on whatever device they are using. With today’s technology and tools, businesses can respond immediately with the message most relevant to that person. This ability for consumers to choose and signal the moments that matter has turned marketing upside down, shifting performance marketing messages from outbound sales pitches to responsive service and information provision at the precise moment when consumers show interest.

These moments, signaled across devices, across the world, and across time zones, are happening in the billions. With the latest ad tools, marketers can target their message based on the user’s location, time and device. With the added consumer insight and these new tools, it’s easier than ever to reach the right person, at the right time, in the right place, with the right message.

Understand Your Value Proposition

heler3How do marketers need to adapt and change to take advantage of this new reality? The first key point for brands is to understand their value proposition for different consumer moments and align their messaging behind that. For a retailer, that might mean different ads during store hours (such as phone number, real-time offers or store locator) versus after-hours ads (that could include product information, online customer service or open hours the next day).

When promoting the store locator in its mobile ads, RadioShack estimated that 40 percent to 60 percent saw the online store locator then visited a store, with 85 percent of those customers making a purchase. For a pizza chain, it might mean tailoring smartphone ads for convenient click-to-call ordering or including directions to nearby locations.

heler4Digital advertising can offer much greater measurability, which can make it easier to quantify a tangible ROI. It is important that franchisors and franchisees evaluate the marketing channels and mix those, both online and offline, that best meet their business needs and provide the best results.

The new model of marketing includes a stimulus such as a TV ad that a franchisor launches to promote its brand in conjunction with a YouTube campaign to reach a wider audience at very low cost. Also crucial is what’s called the “zero moment of truth,” when consumers see the ad and then go online to search for more information.

Provide Ample Information

Chel Heler is the strategic partner manager focused on the franchise industry

Chel Heler is the strategic partner manager focused on the franchise industry

The second key point is to provide as much information as possible to potential customers when they first hear about your business. This could be the difference between a sale, when a searcher finds information about you, and a lost customer, which happens if a person doesn’t find what he’s looking for or finds a competitor instead.

With this model in mind, franchisors and franchisees can clearly benefit from working together on a cohesive online marketing strategy. They can leverage each other to create more brand awareness, drive more local sales and take as much real estate on Google search page as possible with free organic results and paid search. A study titled “Search Ads Pause” was published by Google showing that when paid search ads were paused and only organic ads were shown, businesses missed 89 percent of incremental clicks.

The answer for today’s franchisor is to mix and match the best marketing channels for them. Franchisors and franchisees should work together on their strategy and should use both offline and online media to ensure that their message reaches the right people, at the right time, in the right place. Then the next time a potential customer reaches for a device, he will find your business.

Jenya Denissova is the head of channel sales, traditional media and franchising in North America for Google

Jenya Denissova is the head of channel sales, traditional media and franchising in North America for Google

Last year Google hosted the first educational event specifically for the franchise industry, called GIFA, which stands for Google International Franchise Assembly. At GIFA, about 150 attendees (franchisors and partners) learned about how Google is working with the franchise space, high-level trends for the next coming years, shared best practices with peers, and investigated new products and solutions specifically for franchising.

Chel Heler is the strategic partner manager focused on the franchise industry and Jenya Denissova is the head of channel sales, traditional media and franchising in North America for Google. Heler is a member of the IFA Marketing and Technology Committee. Find them at fransocial.franchise.org via the directory.

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