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 need to evolve 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 saw significant results from the program. Nearly half of the franchisees participated in the introductory webinars, and use of the hashtag #discoverymap exceeded 6,000 posts in just the first couple of months alone… no small feat for a hashtag not (yet) fully marketed to consumers!