Franchise Update Magazine Issue II, 2017 - Page 29

the single greatest consumer benefit and leverage that. For example, for Mosquito Squad, the mantra is, “The only good mosquito is a dead one.” What else needs to be said after that? As for the brand phi- losophy, extreme consistency in all ways, at all times, in every thinkable channel. This feeling of “all for one and one for all” becomes extremely convincing when franchise candidates go through our dis- covery process, see our assets, and get personal validation from live calls from our units across the country, now some 200-plus strong. Describe your marketing team and the role each of them plays. Karin Harrison, brand marketing manager, is the Big Kahuna for Mosquito Squad. Karin sets the tone for what objectives need to be determined (in concert with Amy Lawhorne, brand leader, and “The Squad” team: Nelson Stammer, Dylan Cohan, and Clayton “Buzz” Holznagel), and then works with the marketing team and me: Steven Nguyen, senior graphic design (all brands); Erica Mirra, creative development and marketing coordinator dedicated to the Mosquito Squad brand; Jane Campbell, inbound marketing man- ager (all brands); and Carolina Rudge, in- bound marketing coordinator (all brands). What ways/tools do you rely on to do this? We have a robust set of franchise recruitment tools including our website, an information-rich and easy-to-use fran- chise discovery portal. Why is it so important for the market- ing department to have a “personal touch” when it comes to helping the brand connect with franchise pros- pects? My mantra is “have fun, work hard, and make money.” If you don’t love what you’re doing, you should be doing something else. Franchisees invest in a brand because they typically would not have the rigorous skill set needed to hit the ground running and grow a business. Being mentored by members of the mar- keting team with a “personal touch” com- mands extreme respect (especially when the franchisee is unaware of the topic or procedure at hand). How does this help your franchise sales and development effort? Mos- quito Squad is the biggest “family” I have ever seen. Our franchisees love the brand, love the support team, love the product, love our mascot Dread Skeeter, and are totally engaged. On rare occasions when I need to reach out to them collectively or individually for special requests (like contacting Brent Tatum to help with find- ing locations for our latest set of social media videos with licensed contractor and TV host Jason Cameron) you only have to ask once. When I first contacted Brent, who had yet to meet me in person, his reply was, “Anything for The Squad.” Do today’s prospects expect more from the franchise marketing de- partment? What, and how do you provide it? I have been familiar with multiple franchise operations over the years and I have never seen a franchisor as thorough, committed, and dedicated as The Squad. And I mean it. We try to re- spond to franchise queries within minutes, if possible, in every phase of our operation. Our being continually named a world-class franchise attests to the satisfaction level of our franchisees with their support teams. How is technology changing the way franchise marketing is done in terms of one-on-one contact? By en- couraging us to produce digital versions of face-to-face communications, like videos and highly personalized outbound com- munications. How is today’s consumer and market- ing data helping you fine-tune your marketing initiatives? Simply put, by knowing what works and what doesn’t, based on lead generation responses and the bottom line. Describe the evolving role of social media in your brand’s marketing ef- forts. Championing the use of social me- dia as far back as 2008, Mosquito Squad is committed to maintaining the leading share of voice in the mosquito control and mosquito elimination field—being the founder and original mosquito treat- ment franchise as far back as 2005. Not only does our marketing team orchestrate multiple channels of social media and digital, we also assist our franchisees with turnkey programs and individual, custom- ized attention to their daily social needs. For some franchisees, we also recommend the services of digital social companies for both content penetration and search engine optimization. We also maintain a close strategic relationship with Google. How are you assisting your existing franchisees with more contact and transparency? At the risk of sound- ing simplistic, virtually anything they need. By the time new Mosquito Squad franchisees finish training, they have es- sentially everything they need to hit the ground running, tu rning to Karin Har- rison to channel special requests, which are then fed to the appropriate marketing team members. How do you work with other internal departments and does technology help? Seamlessly, especially with tech- nology. Amanda Berdeen, our manager of IT training, support, and development, is the finest in her field. She is faithfully sup- ported by her team, London McKnight and Andrea Nagle, with additional out- side support from C5 Communications. How do you manage costs and bud- gets for the marketing department? I don’t, my brand marketing managers do. They tell me how much I can spend and I do just that. Do you see vendors as business part- ners? Why/why not? Yes. They are critical to supporting the marketing and communications needs of our five brands with our extensive schedule of on-time deliverables—again, across all channels. We treat them as we wish to be treated, as a trusted friend and ally. How have marketing strategies/ tools changed over the past decade? How have you adapted? What hasn’t changed? The magic formula used to be grassroots, door-to-door selling, local spot TV, and radio and newspaper. Today, typically both homeowners are working, so no one is at home during the day. And thanks to technology, many people work to some degree at every waking hour. We encourage a strong position in digital and social media: well-targeted direct market- ing with innovative strategies and high- impact creative messaging and delivery. What advice would you offer to as- piring marketing executives? Hire people younger and smarter than you are. n Franchiseupdate I SSUE I I , 2017  27