Sylvan Learning's Sara Costello on On-Demand Marketing Systems
And we have great advantages [due to] the size of our organization because it brings back great resources, increases our collective capabilities ... We have a lot of strong points, but a big challenge is you have to translate that brand into a local community business, and that local community business needs to be integrated with those families ... working with those families directly.
So it's one of those things that if you have advertising/marketing materials that are well-branded but not localized or personalized, they can come across as impersonal and not relevant to the local community. But yet if you have things that are all about the local business but not enough brand substance, they don't resonate with moms. You have to strike a really good balance so that you can bring about all the best assets of your brand into the local community.
TM: Why did you survey your franchisees about their marketing activities?
SC: The reason why we decided to survey our franchises is purely, selfishly we wanted to provide a solution that they would use. Because when you to try to organize a direct marketing solution for your community, but nobody ends up using it, it's not only poorly spent resource from a corporate level, but it also creates a ton of extra work on the part of the franchisees because they have to then go outside of the system and figure out how to do what they need to do.
So it was really crucial for us to understand, when it came to direct marketing ... some of the needs that they had—Where are they getting filled? Why were they using what they were using? What were they trying to achieve?—so that we could figure out the best way to deliver what they were looking for.