PuroClean's Tim Courtney on Franchise Marketing and System Growth
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PuroClean's Tim Courtney on Franchise Marketing and System Growth

PuroClean's Tim Courtney on Franchise Marketing and System Growth

In 2016, PuroClean made a major change in its franchise development and marketing strategies by shifting into digital marketing. By adopting this strategy and increasing its use of technology and data, the franchise has attracted a greater number of franchise candidates and doubled the number of units sold.

As a leading multi-brand restaurant franchisor, PuroClean is capitalizing on growth opportunities and consumer trends across the United States. In this insightful interview, Tim Courtney, vice president of franchise development at PuroClean, shares his thoughts on how the franchise has used analytics to manage development and chart growth, evaluate its marketing efforts, and support its franchisees. By focusing on the core beliefs of building a strong foundation, investing in relationships, and leveraging data, PuroClean plans on opening its 500th unit later this year.

What excites you the most about the future of “brand”? 

Courtney: What excites me is crossing the 500th open unit benchmark, which will happen this year. It has been one heck of a ride at PuroClean and I am proud to be a part of it. We are continuously breaking records year-over-year from systemwide revenues and a unit growth perspective. We currently hold one of the industry’s lowest failure rates. All because of our core values of “servant leadership, active collaboration, and extreme ownership”, which equate to responsible franchising.

Can you discuss the role of digital marketing and technology in your franchise development and marketing efforts, especially in the context of recent industry trends? 

Courtney: We decided it was time for a change in 2016 when 70 percent of the brand’s units sold came from brokers, which held a cost per acquisition way above the industry standard. We slowly weaned off some of our underperforming broker networks and invested in digital marketing. Today the integration of digital marketing and technology at PuroClean has significantly enhanced our franchise development and marketing efforts. By staying abreast of industry trends and adopting innovative tools and strategies, we continue to attract and engage potential franchisees effectively, positioning ourselves for sustained growth and success in the competitive restoration industry. We have doubled the number of units sold and reduced our dependence on broker groups by 50 percent.

What unique challenges and opportunities arise when working in both franchise development and marketing within the franchise industry? 

Courtney: Today’s franchise development leaders who are not lone wolves (performing all the roles from sales to marketing and closing by themselves) and are managing a team need to understand the metrics of both the sales and marketing sides. We can all talk close ratios until we’re blue in the face, or how quickly someone answers a phone (speed to lead), or if they even answer. These are all great base metrics and help drive efforts minimally. Today's frandev leaders need a slew of analytics to maintain sustained growth responsibly. We use web analysis, AI analytics, call center metrics, and even individual sales metrics to manage the development process effectively and ensure we are constantly moving forward.

How do you bridge the gap between franchise development and marketing? 

Courtney: Bridging the gap between franchise development and marketing is easy. Franchise development needs to own its dedicated marketing team, a marketing director or marketing coordinator, to help drive the franchise development leads effort and manage supplier relationships. Franchise development marketing differs significantly from how the consumer marketing teams source business for the franchise owners. This is why franchise development needs its own team for marketing.

How do you leverage your marketing efforts to attract new franchisees, while maintaining consistency with the existing brand identity? 

Courtney: Although we have our own franchise development marketing team, we still work closely with the consumer marketing teams and maintain our brand identity through all the policies and processes they have set forward. From time to time we will have combined consumer and franchise development marketing team meetings to make sure that we are still aligned with each other.

Building strong relationships with franchisees is crucial. How do your marketing efforts contribute to fostering such relationships, and what role does franchisee satisfaction play in growth? 

Courtney: Building strong relationships with franchisees is crucial for the success of any franchise system. At PuroClean, our marketing efforts play a significant role in fostering these relationships. By providing comprehensive marketing support, we empower our franchisees to effectively promote their businesses within their local communities. Our marketing team develops tailored campaigns, offers digital marketing tools, and provides ongoing training to ensure that each franchisee can maximize their reach and impact.

Our focus on marketing does more than just drive customer acquisition - it also demonstrates our commitment to the success of our franchisees. By investing in their growth and providing them with the tools they need to thrive, we build trust and loyalty within our network. Franchisee satisfaction is a cornerstone of our growth strategy because satisfied franchisees are more likely to stay with the brand long term, recommend our franchise to others, and contribute positively to the PuroClean community.

How do you ensure that your marketing strategies provide franchisees with the tools they need for growth?

Courtney: We stay on top of marketing changes and needs by working closely with our strategic partners to understand and predict marketing trends so we are better positioned to remain relevant. This understanding is what helps us create strategies to help our franchisees succeed. With this knowledge, we can plan for strategic changes and company and market growth. It gives us a close pulse on our network by having continuous feedback from regional directors and franchise owners.

How do you measure and track the effectiveness your marketing plans and the execution of the plans? 

Courtney: PuroClean utilizes a combination of metrics and feedback mechanisms to comprehensively evaluate our marketing efforts. We employ advanced analytics tools to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as lead generation, conversion rates, and return on investment (ROI) for our campaigns. By analyzing these metrics, we can determine which strategies drive the most traffic and generate the highest quality leads.

In addition to quantitative data, we also strongly emphasize qualitative feedback from our lead qualifiers and development directors in the field. This feedback is invaluable, as it helps us identify areas for improvement and ensures that our marketing initiatives align with the needs and expectations of what we are trying to do.

We also track the performance of individual marketing initiatives through detailed reporting. This includes monitoring the engagement and reach of our digital marketing efforts, such as social media campaigns and email marketing, and the effectiveness of traditional marketing methods. By continuously reviewing these reports, we can make real-time data-driven adjustments to our strategies.

What advice would you give to emerging franchise brands looking to establish a strong presence in both franchise development and marketing? 

Courtney: My advice is to focus on three key areas: building a solid foundation, investing in relationships, and leveraging data. Additionally, embrace innovation and be adaptable. The market is always evolving, and staying ahead of trends can give you a competitive edge. Whether adopting new technologies, exploring creative marketing channels, or adjusting your business model to meet changing demands, being flexible and forward-thinking is crucial.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a franchise system where franchisees feel supported, valued, and equipped to succeed. By building a strong foundation, investing in relationships, and leveraging data, emerging franchise brands can establish a solid presence and drive sustainable growth.

Published: June 4th, 2024

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