2016 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference (FCMC) Takeaways


Last week I attended my first Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference (FCMC), and loved every bit of it. I loved the speakers, the numerous panel discussions and the great conversations I had networking along the way. This year was FCMC’s sixth year and had the highest number of brands in attendance, with 50 new first-time attendees.

When trying to find the best way to communicate all that was learned this year, I’m reminded of the following topics:

  • Live True To Who You Say You Are
  • Authenticity, Transparency and Immediacy
  • Make Time For Yourself

Live True To Who You Say You Are
By living true to who you say you are and putting the customer first, your likeliness of success is so much greater. For example, Jersey Mike’s “Month of Giving” plays an extremely important role in their brand. Jersey Mike’s believes that making a great sub sandwich and making a difference can be one in the same. To stand by their belief, their “Month of Giving” is 20-30% of their overall budget and before new franchisees are welcomed into the Jersey Mike’s family, they have a discussion around the importance of giving.

Authenticity, Transparency and Immediacy
Scott Stratten, president of Un-Marketing, also did a great job in reminding everyone that as important as a logo is to a brand, consumers couldn’t care less about the logo. In this day and age, the consumer is looking for authenticity, transparency and immediacy.

Throughout the conference, it was refreshing to see how many brands were already acting in support of what we heard from Stratten. The following are a few examples:

  • Being authentic – When Stratten stated, “the worst thing you can do in digital media is dabble,” it quickly confirmed that Uncle Maddie’s Pizza’s decision to only get involved in networks that they could manage correctly was the right decision.
  • Having Transparency – Stratten reminded attendees that “every franchisee influences the franchise,” which strengthened Great Clips’ recommendation to have think tanks with various team members to open up dialog and discover new ideas. Keeping franchisees involved in decisions that will affect them on the frontline not only lends to support long-term, but it also ensures that the decision will be carried out correctly to the frontline, otherwise known to the consumer as the face of the brand.
  • Acting with Immediacy – “I’d rather you reply in three minutes or not at all.” The longer a response requires, the more frustrated the situation can be to the customer. 

Make Time For Yourself
Closing keynote speaker, Curt Steinhorst, turned our attention to improving our own productivity by blocking out the noise, stating, “you don’t become great without being unreachable.” His number one recommendation is to determine a place to go every day for 25 to 40 minutes to focus only on the most important tasks at hand.

Another recommendation was to ensure everyone had the appropriate amount of time to process information before collaborating on a project. He informed everyone that “collaboration before isolation kills creativity” by allowing the loudest person involved in the conversation the chance to take control before anyone else has crystalized his or her thinking. Instead, include a short period of time prior to any discussion for people to process the questions or situation at hand.

These are just some of the attention-grabbing topics from this year’s event. To learn more about FCMC, please visit the Franchise Consumer Marketing site and be sure to save the dates for next year.

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