I’m looking forward to the International Franchise Association’s Marketing Innovation & Technology Conference Oct 17 – 19! I am honored to serve as a co-chair and the emcee of this year’s festivities.
The above quote from Steve Jobs reminds me that the marketers and technology pros joining us next week in Austin at #MITCon are truly the leaders in the Franchise space. They may think they’re coming to listen and learn. But by participating in this very engaging format of discussions, panels, and workshops, they will actually start innovating their own processes, brands, and industries while we’re there! They’ll start innovating before they even now it.
If they weren’t interested in innovation, they wouldn’t go.
If they weren’t interested in getting ahead of their competitors, they wouldn’t go.
If they weren’t interested in being thought leaders in this crazy business, they wouldn’t go.
If they weren’t interested in networking with really smart people, they wouldn’t go.
It would be easy to stay home and not go to such events. But Innovation ain’t easy! #InnovationAintEasy
There’s still time to step up and join us next week in Austin! Registration and details for #MITCon are available now via The IFA website.
And, for some great tips on getting the most from this conference and any conference, download this week’s Social Geek Radio episode. Angela Cote of Cultivate Advisors joined me to share her Top 3 Networking Hacks!
What’s more important: driving traffic to a website or driving traffic into your store? Increasing some vanity metric or increasing sales? These questions lead to a future filled with successful social media marketing programs for retailers!
We’ll share today’s best practices and results from brands, franchises, and small businesses as well as tomorrow’s tactics for which retailers need to plan. We’ll cover:
Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference
I’m thrilled to be moderating a timely panel at next week’s #FCMCon titled, Build Your Budget to Meet the Customer’s Changing Consumption.
Joining me are two Rock Stars in the franchise marketing space who will share their ideas and experiences in building marketing budgets with an eye on changing consumer media consumption:
Terri Snyder is the EVP, CMO, and Board Member at Checkers & Rally’s and has an impressive history of leading marketing at franchise and global brands such as Dominos, Pizza Hut, and TGIFridays. I had the pleasure of interviewing Terri recently for my Social Geek Radio podcast and found her insights and trend-spotting abilities in the restaurant space to be second to none!
Sally Facinelli is the Vice President of Strategic Growth at Silvercrest Advertising and has been working in franchising for 22 years. Growing hundreds – if not thousands – of franchise brands and businesses means Sally will have fantastic ideas to share on marketing budgets in this changing space.
Please join us on Wednesday, June 20 at 3pm at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buckhead in the Hope 1-2 rooms. For more details or to register for the conference, please check out Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference.
Pre-Game with the WFN!
On the eve before the FCMCon, the Atlanta Chapter of The IFA Women’s Franchise Network is hosting an event that you won’t want to miss. The topic is “Training within Franchise Systems”, the speakers are excellent, and the networking opportunities will be fantastic!
The Atlanta WFN is the biggest and best chapter in the nation with an executive team that puts together great educational programs and community service events all year!
Get details and register now. See you there!
Last week I took a leap forward with the Social Geek Radio podcast. I will be hosting TWO shows per week.
I have recently met so many interesting marketers and franchise industry pros with fascinating stories that one show per week just isn’t enough! And I have a few other people to thank for inspiring me to take Social Geek Radio Season Nine to the next level:
THANKS to my new team at Social Joey for feeding my brain with all kinds of new ideas that are ripe for podcast discussions. The founders of Social Joey remind me that the most important thing in any business is the serve your audience and customers. I hope I am providing some value to anyone who listens.
THANKS to the three smartest digital marketers I know: Mike McDowell, Liane Caruso, and Jim Buckley. These three keep me informed (and honest!) about the latest trends in social media, digital marketing, and franchise marketing.
Mike, Liane, and Jim will be a big part of the new Social Geek Radio as regular contributors, alias The Digital Marketing All-Stars. Any success I’ve had in life or business is due to surrounding myself with the best and brightest people. I could not be more fortunate to have such great friends who are willing to jump into these conversations and keep it fun.
Lastly, THANKS to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook for always giving us something new and controversial to discuss.
Check out the latest show where we analyze last week’s Zuckerberg testimony and make some predictions on Facebook’s future!
Social Geek Radio wants to hear your story!
Do you have a great story about your brand, marketing strategy, or use of technology? We would love to talk to you on the number one podcast in the franchise space!
Every week, we interview marketing, tech, and franchise industry leaders sharing their brands’ stories and views on trends in their space. Want to join us?
Who else loves the week before the big annual conference in your industry? It’s the time to connect with old friends, reach out to new ones, and plan on meeting potential business partners. For me, this week is all about preparing for The International Franchise Association’s Annual Convention. Here are a few tips to have a great show!
1. Reach out NOW. The networking before the show can be as fun and productive as the networking at the show. Pick up the phone or send message today and get on someone’s radar before you both arrive.
2. Pack your business cards. Far too often I hear people at conferences say, “Oh, I forgot cards.” Sure, everyone can connect via email, text, Facebook, or LinkedIn after they converse. But be memorable in the moment and hand the person with whom you’re networking a physical card.
4. Plan your sessions and roundtables. There are so many speakers and panels that you want to hear that you should plan ahead to optimize your time. Shameless plug #2: please join me at the Roundtables that I have the privilege to facilitate:
5. Download the App. A good way to keep track of your schedule, track the exhibitors you need to see, and synch your calendar is by using the official IFA Events app.
6. Check out Deb Evans’ videos. Deb has spent the last few weeks interviewing IFA members to find out what their plans for the convention are and what they’re most excited about doing there.
7. Pack comfortable shoes. I had the pleasure of visiting the Phoenix convention center and the surrounding hotels in November. Be ready to walk, and perhaps walk many blocks depending on which of the official conference hotels you booked!
The recent changes at Facebook announced by Mark Zuckerberg have caused panic and meltdowns by some so-called social media “experts.” These one-trick marketers think it’s the end of the world for Facebook and are spreading false fear to brands. I hope your competitors listen to this insanity.
Please share this terrible advice with your competitors:
Let your competitors lose their heads. If they’re going to pull back on Facebook due to decreased space, that’s more space for the rest of us!
I’m not sure if any of these social media “gurus” really believe Facebook is falling, are just trying to get noticed, or have a deep resentment of Facebook’s success and are looking to celebrate a decline. But make no mistake – the only failure here will be made by those not constantly adapting and capitalizing on changes in social media.
What to Do
Here are my three recommendations in dealing with these changes on Facebook:
1. Double down on Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads. Will ad rates go up? Of course they will. Facebook ads are more effective and more efficient than any other ads available today. Prepare for a year where the US economy will grow 3-4% (finally!). So yes, ad rates will go up and so will your revenue if new customers can find you and can engage with you.
2. Create even better, more sharable content. The value of organic content is no longer about hitting many current fans with a message. The real value comes from getting a few fans or customers to share your content or their experience with their friends. As per last week’s news feed changes, these shared posts by friends will dominate screens.
3. Consult a professional. Do you really want to spend your entire day navigating these increasingly complicated waters?
We’ve read many articles and posts with tips on maximizing our networking at or before an industry conference. But what do you do after a conference to follow-up with the people you just met?
Most people have two go-to moves: send an email or invite them to connect on LinkedIn. Here are five ideas that expand on those two moves that might make networking with you more appealing:
1. Connect on LinkedIn with a personalized note.
The personalized notes you add to LinkedIn invitations now look like LinkedIn Messages when received. Until recently, these notes were not as easily noticed. When users made the exodus to the LinkedIn mobile app, they didn’t see the notes at all. But now your recipient will receive an alert that he or she has a message making the customized notes are even more important.
2. Change the timing of your email
Everyone sends a follow-up email the Monday after a conference. Why not connect the same day? Show the person you met that they are still top of mind later in the day or evening. If you can’t send a note while at the show, how about waiting one week? If there’s a real connection there, it’s worth waiting.
Either way, avoid getting lost in all the Monday morning emails and fires.
3. Hand-written note
My new “old” favorite. Emails, texts, and LI messages are quick and easy. For the most important new connections, take the time to write a note by hand and mail it. Your new contact will love receiving real mail.
4. Phone call
Pick up the phone when possible! But, when they don’t answer, don’t leave a voicemail. This is when you should send the email. No one wants to wade through their voicemail to hear your message. No one.
5. Share on Social
Share your pics from the event, the organizers’ links to handouts, or other sharable content immediately after the show. Use the conference’s hashtag so more people find the posts. Other attendees will find this helpful!
Tis the season for conferences in the franchise space! Here are some excellent opportunities in the coming months for CEOs, marketing & sales executives, and others to learn about innovations and network with peers:
FisherZucker / Fishman PR / Entrepreneur
Franchise Leadership and Development Conference
Franchise Update Media
Franchise Innovation Conference (aka FranTech)
International Franchise Association
Franchise Expo West
Emerging Franchisor Conference
International Franchise Association
Please let me know if you’ll be at any of these great conferences.
I would love to connect!