Multi-Unit Franchise Conference Recap: Become Obsessed With Numbers

You’re dealt a 7 and a 4. The dealer is showing 3. Do you double down?  Las Vegas has made a lot of money being on the right side of these gambles. But there’s always the safe play, and as I learned at a couple of recent franchising conferences, one of the safest bets is the growing demand for knowledge around technology and digital advances in the multi-unit and franchise space.

I recently attended two conferences back to back: The Multi-Unit Franchise Conference in Las Vegas, NV, and the Restaurant Franchise & Innovation Summit in Louisville, KY. Along with the excitement and energy coming from the betting tables in Vegas and the horse track at Churchill Downs (almost Derby time), there was a lot of enthusiasm around how technology is helping franchises and multi-unit companies scale and increase revenues and productivity.

There was a lot of great insight and discussion to digest, so I’ll do my best to share a couple of common themes throughout the two weeks

Advancements in Technology and Digital Marketing are Top of Mind for All Brands

Because there are so many choices, consumers require a pleasant, no-hassle experience, and there’s no greater factor in accomplishing this than technology.  Technology is helping customers quickly and accurately connect with their needs through personalized experiences, easy payment options, and rewards points and coupons.

One-third of all searches, and half of mobile searches, are local.  This makes a mobile-first web design a foundational factor in your brand’s overall digital strategy. In addition to a mobile-first web experience, brands should also be using the local boom to fine-tune their advertising, creating the convenient and personalized experience that the modern consumer requires.  As Fazoli’s VP of Marketing Jodie Conrad said,“You have to be all-in on digital.” 

Toppers Pizza VP Marketing Scott Iverson echoed Conrad’s focus on digital technology. Iverson says Toppers “leverages technology to even the playing field against the big guys and dominate the small local operators.” 

Become Obsessed With Numbers

I was encouraged with the explicit focus on data intelligence from many of the brands as it reflects our own approach at Location3. As Freshii founder Matthew Corrin said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it; become obsessed with numbers.”  Technological advances have put advanced analytics at the fingertips of more than just the “experts” these days. Franchisors, franchisees, and multi-unit owners are all using data to gauge marketing success, but the next step is using that data to drive business decisions.

At MUFC, multi-unit owners showed great enthusiasm and curiosity about LOCALACT, our proprietary platform that allows franchise systems and brands with a large brick-and-mortar footprint to scale and power digital marketing programs. With a customized reporting dashboard, conversion goal tracking, hyper-localized campaigns, online review management, and top-notch business listing management, I know where I’m putting my money.

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