Smokin’ Oak Wood-Fired Pizza takes marketing support very seriously with every Franchisee and when building the brand in every market we go into.
We have partnered with a full service marketing agency that helps to develop our brand, tone, and messaging to ensure that when we enter a new market or open additional locations in an existing market, that we’re doing it in a way that will ensure we’re building the brand and anticipation of a new restaurant opening.
Approximately 90 days prior to the Franchisee’s restaurant opening, we have a kick-off call with the Franchisee and the marketing company. Although the marketing agency certainly has best practices from previous openings, it’s far from a cookie cutter approach. On the first couple of calls they are understanding the nuances of the market and how involved the Franchisee intends to be in the business. They’re also researching the type of location it is (strip mall vs. stand alone, for example) and what motivates a consumer in that particular market.
From there, a detailed project plan with milestones is developed. All Franchisees have their own social media pages, and the marketing company will set those up along with Google My Business and Apple Maps to ensure the business is visible. “Local Search Engine Optimization” is important so that if a Guest types in “Pizza Near Me”, Smokin’ Oak Wood-Fired Pizza appears near the top of the search.
Other services the marketing agency provides during grand opening are graphic support, email strategies and public relations (PR). We use PR heavily during the grand opening of a new restaurant, as it’s a cost effective way to generate interest both on and off social media. They also manage all social media engagement, responding to new guests questions across all social media platforms.
As it gets closer to the grand opening, and when the Franchisee is busy managing their pizza franchise build out, hiring new Team Members and going through training, it’s important to have a marketing agency working hard on your behalf to be managing all the details to ensure a great grand opening. A comprehensive social media calendar, using both corporate and local content, is closely followed to build the brand, introduce the pizzas to the local market, and to also introduce the Franchisees. They’re also coordinating the initial ordering of items (t-shirts, hats, etc.) and along with the Franchisee, putting together the guest list for the soft opening and VIP event and ensuring invitations are sent out.
During grand opening, they’re often on-site to ensure the finer details of a grand opening go off without a hitch.
It’s ultimately up to the Franchisee who to utilize for marketing after grand opening, but many of our Franchisees continue to utilize our marketing company as they are able to keep their cost down by working with Franchisees across the franchise system and rolling out new marketing programs nationwide.