The UnNoticed Entrepreneur - how to overcome being overlooked.

How Collective Intelligence Marketing can help franchisors run effective franchise advertising.

October 07, 2021 Jim James
The UnNoticed Entrepreneur - how to overcome being overlooked.
How Collective Intelligence Marketing can help franchisors run effective franchise advertising.
Show Notes Transcript

Franchisors and multi-market companies face the challenge of decentralization of social media campaigns whilst retaining control over brand identity. Adplorer provides an all in one solution for local, digital advertising campaigns across Google, YouTube, Bing, Facebook, Instagram and more. Joe Shultz explains how Adplore tackles this, and how he is getting sales leads using trade associations, Linkedin, and events.



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Jim_James:

Hello and welcome to this episode of the UnNoticed show today. I'm delighted to have Joe Schultz joining me from Malmo. just south of place called Lund in Sweden, Joe, how do you say hello in Swedish?

Joe Shultz:

you can say, Hey, I think that's the most normal way of easiest way to say, Hey.

Jim_James:

Okay. Even an Englishman like me can, can manage. Hey, Hey. So Joe Sweden is, is famous obviously for the, for the furniture stores, but you're working for a company called Adplorer and it sounds like it's got a really interesting solution to businesses and entrepreneurs running sort of multi-site multi-market marketing. Can you just tell us about Adplorer and how you help business owners to get noticed.

Joe Shultz:

Yeah, absolutely. Hey, Jim, really, really good to be here. so yes, I work for Adplorer which is a originally, originally a German company. but we now have offices in cologne where we founded in Paris, in France, Atlanta in the U S and then the bald guy working from Momo in, in Sweden. I'm quite new to the company, but I've worked for a number of different, different startups and quite excited about this opportunity with. but what we, what we tried to do is we try to help, especially, multi location businesses. a lot of our clients are franchise organizations, but also other multi location businesses to kind of maintain the same voice of the brand. In all the different markets that they work with so that you make sure that customers in different places, they get the same, feel, the same kind of brand guidelines that you live up to the brand guidelines, but also that you provide a level of freedom to the local business owners to run the lead generation the way they see fit. So they can focus on the kind of business areas where they see greatest potential. And, make sure that they can adapt to local competition or local culture and all these different things. and the reason I'm so passionate about it is because it allows the small local business owners to run, like state of the art marketing campaigns, but still at the very reasonable. because I've seen having been in this space for a while. I see that a lot of the small business owners, they go to a marketing agency and the marketing agency may very well be very good. And they're trying to do the best thing they can for the local business owner. But in this. Well, well, what it's kind of complex space, digital marketing. They need to spend an awful lot of time learning the business and setting up the campaigns before they can drive any kind of leads to these local business owners. The way our platform works is that we help the central unit to provide. Basically templated campaigns to the different local business owners that they can use, and they can self serve themselves and select what campaigns that they want to use and then adapt them as they see fit. And then start generating leads in a much more cost efficient way than they could if they didn't work with a platform like.

Jim_James:

Yes. That's really helpful for a company to say a franchise and franchisees and franchisors right. To sort of embrace all the corporate identity and the messaging and keep all the assets up to date. Right. Cause that's fonts change, colours change. Hero images, change. Can you give us an example of a customer Joe that is using ad floor and how they're using it?

Joe Shultz:

Yeah. So we work with everything from like some really large companies, like VW in Germany and some of the German banks, all the way down to some very small franchises, but only a handful of locations. One example is, is a, a German manufacturer of electrical bikes called emotion technologies. for obvious reasons, they've had a really good like growth journey in the last few years. but they were one of these companies who were really struggling with their local marketing in all the different markets where they started, and all the different local owners, they tried to find their own. Way of doing this, which meant that they started competing against each other and that they would, they would kind of like competing into national branding campaign and they were, they weren't seeing the right results that they wanted to see, and that's why they sourced the markets and found Adplorer and started working with us. And in quite quickly, I think about 90% of their franchisees jumped on board and started working with Adplorer and they, they continue to grow and, it's, it's, it's yeah, it's a typical client for us, but they, they see great value in it.

Jim_James:

Yeah, that's really nice. And I can see then, as you say, you don't get competition between franchises that have a territory don't they defined, but the internet isn't creating the same kind of borders as the, as the territory that they've got.

Joe Shultz:

No. And that's why you need to kind of work. Where did you geographical targeting, with your digital campaigns and your digital presence to make sure there's no, there's no overlap. because if there is overlap, the only people who. We kind of gain on that are Google and Facebook. And, even if they are partners, we, we don't necessarily want to give them more money than what they will be necessarily to give them. obviously our, our aim is to make sure that there is no competition so that the, every pound spent for a local business owner is spent on kind of maximizing the ROI all their marketing campaigns.

Jim_James:

so Joe, the company is called Adplorer. Just take us through, is it, a media buying platform or is it a digital asset delivery platform? How is it working from a practical point of view?

Joe Shultz:

Yeah. So I mean, the history of the businesses that in 2008, the current CEO and CTO are there, the founder of the business as a small agency. And they, at that time started selling digital advertising to small and medium size businesses because they were passionate about helping small businesses compete against the big, the big organization. but they quite quickly encountered scalability problems and they realized it wasn't that easy to manage hundreds of campaigns. So they start to building out kind of a technology that will automate part of the process and really help them to be more efficient. And then partly because Google found the platform and started introducing them to other like-minded agencies, they realized that there was a lot more potential in working with other kind of SMB agencies, and helping them with the technology then competing as agents and selling to this SMB's so that's how the company morphed into a technology company rather than an agency. and. Initially then focused on the SMB space. but then when we built out like a self-serving interface, we realized that that was perfect for franchises and other multi location businesses. and that's why. Now, I think we're growing quicker on their, on the multi location side than we do on the kind of SMB reseller side. So we basically have like two business areas. even if it's helping the local business owner drive marketing with really good ROI, is like the end game for both businesses.

Jim_James:

Yeah. Cause I can see existing platforms even just ad sense or Google AdWords can manage if you've got one location, but the multi location sort of franchise network, I can see there's really nothing to serve them. So what would happen. The parent company they've like the franchisor may have, or in the case of Volkswagen, for example, the brand owner, they have their own digital store of assets. Do they? And then just explain how the local partners with, you know, recall assets and decide which campaigns to run. And then how does it get sort of called back so that there are some analytics. Of which campaigns are working because presumably as this is all digital, that the franchise or the brand holder gets some amazing data about which campaigns are working and where.

Joe Shultz:

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. So what we typically do is either we, or one of our partners, cause meet increasingly and we work with partners on the multi location site as well. Work with the franchise store to develop these assets or templated campaigns, be it for Google search or Facebook advertising and display advertising or whatever. It's basically creating these kinds of templates. And then make those templates available, so that each franchise, if it's a, if it's a franchise system, each franchisee can log in to their own kind of dashboard and pick and choose between these different templates. and then the franchisee, can adapt the template more or less, depending on what the franchisor says that they should be able to do. And they're quite a difference and different scenario there. and then, the franchisee can allocate the budgets and the franchisor can then choose, like in the case of e-motion to subsidize, the marketing budget. so that you, you share the cost. Or the franchisee just paid for it, pays for it themselves. but typically we see that it works really well if you subsidize it, because then the franchisee is more keen to kind of log in and so then they, they pick and choose between the templates. They activate the campaigns. And then as soon as they do that, we through the API APIs, Google, Facebook Bing, and so forth, we generate the campaigns and then we manage the campaigns on an ongoing basis. and the franchisee will log in and they can see exactly what, what results that we have achieved. we, pride ourselves on, really like working closely with our clients so that we can integrate into their own systems. So if we integrate to their CRM system, then we can see exactly what kind of revenue that we can directly attribute back to the campaign and by doing that, we can automatically tweak. And so that we move the budget to the campaign elements that generates the best ROI. So for instance, if we see that a certain keyword generates a lot better value on search campaign, then other keywords, then we can steer more of the budget towards that And the beauty of them working with a, with a franchise system is that, that we have lots of very similar campaigns that we can work with. So instead of just looking at the. Post-click performance data that we call it for one location. We can aggregate all the data to get. And then we're much quicker at, responding to differences in search behavior or, different trends, like seasonalities and stuff, so that we make sure that, that all the different locations, they benefit from that, which is also good. When in your locations, if you have a brand new franchisee they go online, they haven't done any local marketing before. we can still then utilize all the learnings that we've done from all the other locations to better serve that new, dealer We call this "Collective intelligence marketing" and, when the CEO told me about that, that was one of the reasons why I felt like I really wanted to come look for, for Adplorer

Jim_James:

yeah, that's a great term "collective intelligence marketing". That's a fantastic term. And also for the franchisor it gives them a lot of confidence, doesn't it? That they're going to get ROI and the kind of support package to generate revenue quickly. What about, the clicks to the website. How does that work? Are the local franchise holders having their own local web pages or are the leads going to central and being fed back out because local franchisee won't want to spend all that money building up a brand and not having the leads.

Joe Shultz:

So that's very different, but, I would say in most cases, the, the local franchisee has some form of, of local websites. Like a standalone landing page or if it's a subdomain of the, the main website. but for obvious reasons, if I I'm a local consumer looking for a local business to help me with something, then it's good. If I land on a site that looks local to me. if I'm looking for a carpenter in Bristol, then it's quite nice. If I land on a page where there are images of Bristol and someone's talking about like carpentry in Bristol can see some reference cases that are local for.

Jim_James:

And let's just talk about language, Joe. Is this multi-lingual I mean, obviously it's from Germany. You're in Sweden. You've got the U S I'm assuming it can handle all characters can it.

Joe Shultz:

So we, we've had, we have clients in Greece for instance, and we've had to adapt to the Greek alphabet or had to, I mean, it's a privilege to get to work with an alphabet. So we've, we've we've adapted to the Greek. We have not yet worked with anyone in, in Arabic. so everything is kind of left to right rather than right to left. but I'm working hard to, to change that so that we need to adapt to, to Arabic as well. I mean to try find client who wants to work with us in that part of the that we, we need to do that. I don't think it's a big deal for our engineers. They're pretty good. But, but from a business development point of view, I'm working to, to make sure that can spend some time.

Jim_James:

So Joe, that sounds a really sensible need to solve this multi-site marketing. You've just come on to Adplorer business development. How is the company itself getting noticed? What, what marketing is working.

Joe Shultz:

I think that the best marketing for us is really word of mouth. so that's the best way to get the word out there and word of mouth. and we typically see. Well work in one organization, they get used to Adplorer, they moved to another organization, they bring Adplorer with them. but we also see that a lot of the franchisees, they are kind of like multiunit multibrand franchisees, which means that they may get to work with Adplorer through one of the franchisors they work with. and then they introduce us to the franchisor of the other kind of franchise system. so that's, that's also a very good way for us. and that work. In kind of the markets where we're actually have a precedence, but the downside is that it obviously that it takes a long time to build that, build that up. so in the UK, which is a very new market for us, we have, for instance, joined, the British franchise association. which is a really good organization. They kind of pull all the franchise systems or a large number of franchise systems together, and they try to support the, all the different franchise system. So they've been very welcoming to us and we look forward to, taking part in their annual event, in, in November, in London. And I think events, now hopefully this, whole pandemic is hopefully. Mostly behind us so that we can start attending events again, because events is, has always been, good, good for us, in the space that we're at, we can actually go there and you can meet, people and you can talk to people. You can connect with people. You can have a beer with people and talk about the problems they face and come up with solutions to those, those problems. So I really hope that we can start, going back to the events circus again.

Jim_James:

Yeah, I'm sure you can. And, there'll be more hybrid events. I think I've seen them now sort of taking place online for a week and in person for one or two days. But Joe, you and I met because an agency has sourced opportunities for you to go on to podcasts. Do you want to share. That strategy because the others are you know join associations, turn up to shows, but you've also got a more proactive, dedicated strategy. You could just share how that's working.

Joe Shultz:

Yeah. So it was actually an agency who reached out to me and I got a LinkedIn message, about the wanting to talk to me, but I get quite a few of those. So, so I didn't actually reply to the first. then a couple of days afterwards, I go to, I go to follow up to that on LinkedIn. And I thought that was, that was quite nice because I'm quite used to getting the first kind of LinkedIn message, but to actually get a follow up, that was targeted towards the first up. I thought that was, that was really. and he was done by the CEO of, this, this agency. And so I thought that was quite good. So I set up a call with him. but I ended up talking to someone else and it turns out that they were, they were using the CEO's LinkedIn profile to kind of do the outbound activities. And I thought that was quite nice. And they have a whole program that they use for kind of outbound qualifying prospects, and then doing the kind of outbounds and trying to generate calls. So that's something that we, that we work with. now. as well. and I think, I think that is, that is good. and you need to do you need to do something because the world is getting smaller and more and more crowded, so you need to do something to kind of stand out there. so I think. Being able to be personalized and persistent, is kind of like what, what, what counts. and they're also believed that you previously just talked about sales people and sales people managing the whole funnel. But as the world gets more crowded and sales get more and more specialized. I think it's important that your sales marketing people that they can specialize in the areas that they think that they are, or that they are best in. because I think it's rare to find salespeople who are really good all the way from kind of opening the door. And then all the way to kind of making it close and then working with the client afterwards. so myself, I'm not much of a door opener. so that's why it's good to surround yourself with people who are good door openers, whether they be via email or phone or events or whatever it is.

Jim_James:

Yeah, that's a really good, a really good point about sort of breaking up the whole marketing and sales process and bringing in the right people and the right technology, for each one those steps. Yeah. And I had CEO of a company called Prospectin on, on the show a little while ago, and two about how you can automate these outreaches through LinkedIn. And we use that as well. So Joe, if people want to find out more about you and about Adplorer, how can they do.

Joe Shultz:

I think the easiest way is to just get to a out of Florida call. and then we have a contact form there, or they just reach out directly to, to me, It's [email protected] Have to see if I can write that down somewhere and get that into the, the podcast somewhere. but otherwise www.adplorer.com and that's kind of where you, where you've read up about us and where you can reach out to us and contact us. We'd be willing and happy to talk.

Jim_James:

Joe thank you so much for joining me from Lund in Sweden, to talk about really collective intelligence marketing and how you can have a sort of multilevel franchise enabled ad marketing platform. It sounds a really, really useful in this day and age.

Joe Shultz:

Thanks a lot for having me, Jim. I really do.

Jim_James:

And it's been my pleasure. You've been listening to Joe Schultz of ad flora on the UnNoticed show. And until we meet again I wish you the best of health and that if you're going to do marketing, get the right tools in place because they really help you to amplify your message across multiple markets and Adplorer could just be a tool for you to use, to do that.