Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

This Harvard Business Review blog article offered pearls of wisdom from Goddard Systems’ CEO, Joe Schumacher, on why midsize companies should set priorities and avoid procrastination. Read the full article here.

 

“Social media for the business generation is not ‘one size fits all.’ It is not the silver bullet, cure-all or magic elixir. It is, nevertheless, imperative to the livelihood of franchise brands.” – Ashley Betzendahl, Manager, Interactive Media, Goddard Systems, Inc.

Read Ashley’s full article in Franchising World.

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchisor of The Goddard School®, a leader in franchised educational childcare for 25 years, is pleased to announce the appointment of Maureen Corneal as Vice President of Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations.

Ms. Corneal, a seasoned marketing and strategic communications professional, will focus on the strategic direction and implementation of the company’s marketing, advertising, public relations and market research efforts on behalf of its network of nearly 400 franchised Goddard School locations across the nation. She will serve as part of the company’s senior leadership team and will report to GSI Chief Operating Officer (COO) Dzana Homan.

“We are thrilled to have Maureen join our team,” said Dzana Homan. “Her experience across the spectrum of grade levels will help us communicate that learning is a lifelong process, and it starts with the decisions and commitments made in early childhood education.”

“A large part of my role with GSI will be to further the brand’s stellar reputation as a trusted industry leader. Goddard is poised for smart, strategic growth, and our marketing initiatives will focus on repeatable, optimal and sustainable results, much of which is based on research and analytics and understanding our customers,” said Ms. Corneal. “Goddard is all about families, relationships, and meaningful communication; we want to stay in close touch with parents’ interests, behaviors and ideals on what is important for their children.”

Ms. Corneal’s background includes advertising agency, franchising, market research and analytics experience. She started her career at Sylvan Learning Centers where she first established her focus on education organizations and gained experience with franchise marketing communications.

Prior to joining GSI, Ms. Corneal served five years as Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Initiatives and four years as Executive Director of Marketing and Brand Communication for Laureate Education, Inc., a worldwide network of higher education institutions.

For more information, visit www.goddardschool.com.

Publicity – Connect and Communicate

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Public relations (PR) is a marketing tool and a form of communication that businesses can use to reach consumers. Positive PR can help develop goodwill and strengthen the credibility of a business or brand. By conveying who you are, what you do and how you make a difference, you can influence the public’s perception and opinion. PR can work to a business’s advantage or disadvantage, so a wise company or business owner is proactive in their PR strategy. Taking advantage of the opportunity to get as much positive information out to the public as possible and anticipating challenging situations can help to create a buffer and a balance to public conception if a problem arises.

Publicity is part of PR and encompasses media coverage including news stories, interviews, editorials and reviews. You can garner publicity through effective media relations. Publicity is one of the best ways to generate word of mouth, which is a well-known and powerful form of PR. Creating a strategy that includes a regular schedule of planned PR activities and following up with editors and journalists builds relationships and is very important.  The audience views publicity with less skepticism than advertising, and therefore publicity is likely to have a greater impact on the audience. This credibility makes publicity incredibly valuable – publicity is said to be seven times more effective than advertising.

Unlike advertising, PR and publicity are not guaranteed and do not have a clear price tag attached or a hard and fast way to measure ROI. The term “free publicity” is a little misleading as hiring an expert costs money and placing publicity often takes a lot of time and effort. Successful marketing strategies should contain a mix of advertising and public relations efforts to help keep your business in front of your customer.

Nation’s No. 1 Childcare Franchise Continues Growth with ‘Best in Class’ Social Media Interaction Program

Throughout 2011, Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), continued to establish itself as a “Best in Class” Social Media leader in the childcare industry by launching several integrated Social Media campaigns, including Goddard Community Games Virtual Tour 2011 and 2012, Goddard School Block Party Campaign and Application, The Goddard Cares Project, and Choose for Charity campaign. For its efforts, GSI was officially recognized with a Social Media Star Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal.

“We were thrilled to be recognized as a Social Media leader by the Philadelphia Business Journal,” said Ashley Betzendahl, Social Web Communications Manager of Goddard Systems, Inc. “This award recognizes us in our beginning stages. As our campaigns continue to mature, we hope to continue to build strong connections with our parents and fans.”

The Philadelphia Business Journal’s Social Media Stars Awards, created in 2011, celebrates the achievements of individuals and businesses in the greater Philadelphia area in the world of social networking.

The Philadelphia Business Journal notes that this award is not simply for having the most followers or likes. In contrast, this award is for the true stars, which are the ones that have built an engaged audience and can show results on their efforts.  All nominees must be based in the greater Philadelphia area (Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, Camden, Burlington and Gloucester Counties), but national campaigns originating from the area can be included.

To visit Goddard Systems, Inc.’s Facebook Fan Page, visit facebook.com/goddardschool. To visit Goddard Systems, Inc.’s Twitter Page, visit twitter.com/goddardschool.

Public Relations: Practical and Effective

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Public relations (PR) is one of the most cost-effective methods of connecting with customers. Small businesses should follow the example of big companies with substantial marketing and advertising budgets by allocating significant resources to PR. Positive PR placement helps businesses by allowing them to attract customers without the expense of advertising. Companies can increase the demand for their product or service through PR while enhancing the brand’s credibility. Coverage can also create goodwill in your community, giving your business an edge over your competition.

PR is a valuable tool for creating interest, increasing sales and building brand awareness. It is often overlooked and is often an afterthought. PR can produce tremendous results, so your strategies for all your campaigns should incorporate clearly defined objectives and activities. To achieve the best results, coordinate your approach and communicate your key messages through marketing, advertising and public relations.

Great Moments to Create Word of Mouth

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Originally published by GasPedal
August 16, 2011

Some moments are just naturally better opportunities to create conversations than others. If you can improve your timing, you’ll get a lot more word of mouth for the same effort. Moments to focus on:

1. After the sale
2. After the support
3. After the check-in

After the sale

The moment of purchase can be an exciting experience — and it can make for a great opportunity to get people talking. You can help them do it with simple forms or social media links to tell friends about their purchase, coupons they can share, or catalogs, stickers, and brand gear they can take with them. A new, happy customer has great talking potential, but only if you put the tools in their hands to do it.

After the support

Thrilling a customer with great support can be a fantastic word of mouth moment. After you’ve saved the day, ask for feedback, a referral, or try pointing them to review sites. This is also a good time to be on the lookout for incoming praise from customers and to politely ask if you can use it in your marketing materials.

After the check-in

Do you do regular check-ins with clients? Not only can it be a great customer service program, but it can also be a great way to reconnect and restart conversations. Smart car dealerships do this with follow-ups to make sure everything is still running well, and Zappos is famous for emailing to make sure you’re still happy with your shoes a year after your original purchase.

The Importance of Public Relations

Friday, June 17th, 2011

A press release is the most under-rated form of promotion.  Why?  Because it’s free, and, moreover, a press editorial is perceived by the audience as true; whereas advertising tends to imply skepticism.

  • All newspapers need press releases to help fill their pages.
  • Local newspapers need news submitted by their local community – or they have to pay more for journalists to go out and ‘get’ news.
  • Press release publicity carries more credibility than paid-for advertising.
  • People are largely unaware that much of what they read in the local newspapers is in fact carefully planned PR.  They are, therefore, more receptive towards it and believe that it is without question.
  • A photograph improves press release pick-up by 100%.

Complete a press release today!

Telephone Smile

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Are you answering your phone with a SMILE???

This is the oldest sales technique in the book – and for good reason – it works.  Your customers can hear (sense) your smile because a smile alters the tone of your voice. A smile may be the most cost effective marketing tool you possess!

Regardless of the momentary stress you may be feeling…take a deep breath, smile and then answer the phone!

Press Releases: Follow Up!

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Distributing a press release is only half the effort — the other half is the follow up.

How do you follow up with media contacts?

Prepare for your phone call.

  • Read the press release
  • Understand the key message; what is important to the reader?
  • Formulate a five-second summary. Why should the media be interested?

Know your contact.

  • Review your media distribution list.
  • Know when and how the release was distributed.

Be sensitive to reporters’ schedules, especially when they are on a deadline.

  • Avoid calling the press after 2 p.m. Contact weekly publications on Thursdays or Fridays, when they are likely beginning new stories.
  • Avoid calling radio and TV stations an hour before their broadcast.
  • If a journalist calls you, contact them immediately – or you may lose a story.

Be polite, professional and brief.

  • Say hello, your name and why you are calling – in two sentences.
  • Ask them if they received your release.
  • Provide your five-second summary if they want to know what the release is about.
  • Ask if there is any interest in doing a story.
  • Offer to answer any questions they may have.
  • Offer to leave your contact information.

Remember that reporters are people, too.

  • They work for a living.
  • They operate under strict deadlines.
  • They receive dozens of “did-you-receive-my-press-release” calls per day.

Above all, be a resource not a pest.

  • Your media contacts will be receiving more press releases from you in the future.
  • You will want to maintain a good relationship with your media contacts.