A quick-serve brand’s national marketing team is important, but the local-store marketing programs are essential to driving traffic to stores.
At an Independence Day parade this year, a Mustang convertible rolled down the route decked out in red, white, and blue—and lots of signage for frozen yogurt chain TCBY. As the car came into view, someone with trays of yogurt samples approached folks watching the parade and offered a taste.
“This was really pure genius,” says Greg Allison, director of marketing for Salt Lake City–based TCBY. “We have a program called Street Treat Sampling where we encourage franchisees to go out and sample people within a three-mile radius of their stores. This operator saw an opportunity that encompassed everything local-store marketing is supposed to be: hands on, community-oriented, and fun.”
While corporate marketing departments are staffed with professionals who can toss out statistical analyses of potential customers with ease, their work and brainpower aren’t enough to get a quick-serve brand moving in an individual marketplace.
“There’s a huge need for local-store marketing, now more than ever,” says Shane Vaughan, vice president of marketing for Balihoo, a Boise, Idaho–based marketing and advertising agency. “National marketing just can’t do it all. It’s the local owner/operator who knows if a two-for-one deal goes better in his market than a half-off-for-one offer, and he’s better equipped to address those needs.”