When you own your own business, there is one thing you always need more of: time. More time to focus on your customers. More time to grow the business. More time to spend with family.
Part of the attraction of being a franchisee is the independence that comes with running your own business. About the last thing busy business owners want to do is spend their precious time constantly managing their marketing communications.
Enter campaign management tools. Campaign management tools give you the wherewithal to market to the right customer, in the right channel, at the right time. They free you up to work on the business rather than in the business.
What else can campaign management tools do?
- Create and deliver 1:1 direct mail, email and mobile promotions based on individual customer purchase behaviors and stated preferences
- Customize offers to key segments based on RFM (Recency, Frequency, Monetary Value) and demographics
- Launch unique promotions based around charitable endeavors
- And much, much more
Just as important, they let you “set it and forget it.” You set up your criteria once … and the tools take it from there. No need to constantly keep your finger on the “go” button.
What types of campaign management tools are most valuable to independent business owners?
- Marketing automation tools — These enable you to send relevant mail, email and mobile messages based on customers’ actions. They take the guesswork out of trying to figure out what to send and when
- Reporting tools — Campaign tracking, business performance reports and business intelligence that help you understand how marketing programs affect your business results
- Address improvement tools — These help you increase the size of your mailing universe by weeding out incomplete or invalid postal and email addresses
What criteria should you use to evaluate tools you’re considering? Here are a few tips:
- One tool to rule them all — Think of the time you’d save if you only had one tool to manage all your marketing campaigns
- Ease of use — If your five-year-old nephew can create an entire city on your tablet in 20 minutes, you should be able to easily set up and manage campaigns with just as little effort … AND send out targeted communications to your customers to keep them coming back
- Multichannel — Any tool you choose should provide the option to send more than just email communications. It should be able to integrate multiple channels — mail, SMS (text messaging) and social media. Customers feel very strongly about how they want to be communicated with. It’s important to offer all the options they want and use to increase their engagement
Whether you own a franchise (or are thinking about buying one) or you’re a non-franchised business … you know the importance of putting time on your side. If you’re thinking of investing in a campaign management tool, be sure you clearly understand what each can or cannot provide. Test-drive it first to make sure it’s as easy to use as the sales literature says. Most important: With all that extra time on your hands, don’t forget to make reservations at that fancy little French place down the road. Your significant other(s) will thank you for it.
Meghan specializes in project management, strategic planning, campaign analysis and management, and franchise marketing. She has built franchise relationships for ten years at Catalyst, and prior to that she led print, broadcast, direct and digital marketing accounts at Saatchi & Saatchi.