Sylvan Learning's Sara Costello on On-Demand Marketing Systems
As the sophistication of direct marketing programs grows, firms are compelled to ensure their marketing efforts are integrated on numerous levels. Brands that are sold via a distributor network face the additional pressure of having to coordinate such messaging and tactics across a widely disparate group of stakeholders.
Such was the case for Sylvan Learning, which provides private tutoring for children in grades pre-K through 12 via a franchise network of more than 1,000 local operators. In early 2007 the company worked with QuantumDigital, an Austin, Texas-based online provider of direct mail, on-demand printing and e-marketing services, to implement an online on-demand marketing program for franchisees. Called 1:1 Direct Mail Service Bureau, this solution offers users access to print mail templates (postcards, letter packs and flyers) and e-mail templates that are customizable to the local level. Franchisees may change up offers, headlines and pictures to give a local market feel to a nationally branded campaign, says Sara Costello, director of direct mail and conversion marketing at Sylvan Learning. In addition, the tool offers users the ability to define audiences via visual mapping technology and integrate print and e-mail campaigns for better response.
According to Jamie Klemcke, marketing director at QuantumDigital, Sylvan's portal also provides marketing support to franchisees. A marketing calendar developed by Sylvan powers automated e-mail alerts to remind franchisees when promotions are ready for execution and take some of the guesswork out the marketing process for more novice operators.
Here, Costello discusses in more detail the reasons behind Sylvan's move to an on-demand marketing solution, the benefits of it and the results witnessed so far.
Target Marketing: What are the challenges of promoting a national brand via a local marketing approach?
Sara Costello: One of our biggest challenges is that moms in our communities really want to work with people that they're comfortable with, they're familiar with ... people from their own community [that] they really trust.