Arming Franchisees of Discovery Map International for Sales and Marketing Success through Education

June 9, 2017

Those distinctly colorful, hand-drawn destination maps that you know and love are the poster child for the claim that “print is not dead.”  Indeed, more than 18 million maps are printed and used annually by curious travelers of all ages.  But with online powerhouse brands like Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor surging in popularity, the Discovery Map business model evolved to strategically blend online and offline marketing.

To do this holistically for the entire brand, it was vital to engage each individual franchisee who “owned” a Discovery Map.  Franchisees have been deeply entrenched in and experts at the print sales model, and introducing a suite of online marketing components was – literally – like handing them a guidebook in a foreign language.  And while unified in their connection to Discovery Map, the franchisees are as diverse a group of business owners as you could ever find, in geographic location, age, lifestyle, marketing expertise, personality, fluency with social media, and more.

The executives at Discovery Map asked us to address this challenge so the brand message would be shared both online and offline with consistency.

We kicked off the effort with engaging, interactive workshops at the Discovery Map International FranJam, its strategic franchise summit that gathers all stakeholders together.  The purpose of these presentations was to establish a baseline level of online marketing knowledge, and to identify key topics for additional, deeper training.

The discoveries at FranJam were then incorporated into a webinar training curriculum that gave franchisees the knowledge and confidence to weave online and print advertising tactics together, while supporting the core DMI brand message.  Offered free to all franchisees, we created and led webinars tailored to franchisee needs, including such topics as:

  • Developing a social media strategy
  • Facebook page management
  • Instagram page management
  • Public Relations 101
  • The secrets of digital analytics

The franchisees were thrilled to have access to such an expert resource for marketing guidance, and Discovery Map International has seen significant results from the program:  nearly half of the franchisees participated in the introductory webinars, and use of the hashtag #discoverymap went from zero to nearly 6,000 posts in just a few months.

Uniting the Leadership Team of Smugglers’ Notch Resort with Tailored Management Training

June 9, 2017

After Redpoint presented keynote motivational speeches at the Smugglers’ Notch employee rallies two years in a row, the Smuggs team developed a fondness for our distinctive brand of training, which is – in their words – “so much fun you don’t even realize you’re learning, and all of a sudden…BOOM…you’re smarter.”  They asked us to come back for a third year, and this time, they wanted us to lead custom management training for their resort managers and an executive briefing for their officers and directors.

Though we already were familiar with the resort operations and culture from our past research to craft employee motivation sessions, more concrete intelligence was needed to develop relevant training workshops that tied directly to their needs and goals.  In particular, the resort was about to launch an ongoing series of professional development discussions, and Redpoint’s workshop content needed to pair well with the future program.

We worked closely with the HR team and the leadership committee to understand the issues targeted for core training, and to place them in context within the resort’s infrastructure.  A robust day of management training was created, which included useful, interactive discussions around such topics as:

  • Nurturing positive communication skills
  • Building a strong team
  • Handling conflict and confrontation
  • Empowering employees and effective delegation techniques
  • Motivating employees…and yourself
  • Managing intergenerational staff

Redpoint’s knowledge of resort operations, guest service, and seasonal staff challenges was invaluable to this training day…participants discussed and analyzed real life examples to make learning easier and more memorable.

Of special note:  throughout the day, participants were given the chance to share private messages with the Redpoint leader…anonymous, candid thoughts on how each topic relates to Smuggs in both positive and negative ways.  These were then cataloged and compiled – and stripped of any possible nods that could be traced to their source – and shared with the resort’s officers and directors in a special Executive Briefing.  This precious knowledge was then used to make management and training decisions throughout the year.

Here’s another direct quote from a Smuggs executive following the completion of the management training:  “Every time you come here, you make us better.”  (we’re blushing)

Bringing Industry Education – and Entertainment – Out into the Field for Hospitality Newfoundland & Labrador

June 9, 2017

Following a successful keynote speaker appearance at their annual conference, Redpoint was asked by Hospitality Newfoundland & Labrador (HNL) to create and lead a one-day workshop that could be delivered road show style in multiple locations throughout the province.  This project sprung from dual mandates of both HNL and the province to improve the competitiveness, quality, and market readiness of their tourism industry.

Now…mandates are all well and good, but in order to inspire attendance and engage attendees, some unexpected fun needs to be added to the equation.

After sifting through the volumes of thorough provincial industry action plans, matrices, collaborative programs, and training materials, we identified and extracted core training topics that would meet the mandate requirements, deliver current trend information as teaching tools, AND provide an inspirational platform to bring joy out into the field.  These were united under the theme “Making Smart Business Choices: Spending Time & Money Wisely in the Tourism Industry.”

However…a full day (9am-4pm) of intense classroom learning is a tough ask for a bunch of operators who are used to being outdoors in a stunning destination like Newfoundland.  So, in each of the three locations, we planned a delicious surprise for attendees during the afternoon break…from cookie decorating, to liquor bar, to a pie-and-ice-cream buffet.

A spoonful of sugar (or liquor) surely does help the medicine go down, and in this case, attendees were riveted to the presentations right up until the very last slide. Material was custom-crafted to align with Newfoundland & Labrador tourism businesses, including sessions like Product Development with a Purpose – Setting Your Business Apart, Guest Relations – Make Relationships Not Transactions, Taming Cyberspace – Which Online Stuff Really Matters, and Creative Marketing – Think More, Spend Less.

Check out the promo video that HNL distributed in advance, during which Redpoint’s Newfoundland puffin mascot Sebastian makes his formal debut.