Sylvan Learning's Sara Costello on On-Demand Marketing Systems
TM: How long have you been using the Web-to-print solution? Are all of your franchises using the system?
SC: We have been live since January 2007. Our year one versus our old program, I want to say, we had a several hundred percent increase in usage over previous program volume.
We do not have 100 percent usage across the system because it's not a required solution; we don't require [franchisees] to use direct mail. But we know based on continuously increasing usage that we are adding users every month that we're open. And we always do outreach activity to make sure that people are educated about the fact that it is there, how they should use direct marketing, and now that we've got e-marketing on-board, we've gotten even more users signed on.
TM: What benefits have you gained from implementing the Web-to-print solution?
SC: A key benefit that we have here at the home office is that this solution does not need a lot of management and oversight. So if you're looking at something that is a more traditional process that requires a lot of intervention points, this [system] is not it. We have a very light department here; there's myself and another person, Brent ... and we have to cover a lot of bases, this only being one small part of what we need to manage and direct. So moving to this type of solution has meant a tremendous relief in terms of managing pain points, managing actual runs that go through the system ...
For franchisees, they appreciate the flexibility that they get now and they appreciate the capability that they have to speak to their local markets because the materials are so customizable and available to them. I think that they've just accepted now that, "Oh, we have 25 template to choose from" ... I'm kind of making this up, but we're always going to have integrated materials. Whereas before it was, "Hmm, we have three things and they're the same three things we've had over the last 12 months." So they're just beginning to see this standard as status quo, which is a vastly improved standard. We're really excited about that.