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Technology and Franchise Marketing: An Interview with Nick Simard of InspiriaMedia.

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FranchiseKnowHow wanted to get some answers about how social media, smart phones and mobile websites are impacting marketing strategies. We called upon InspiriaMedia a marketing firm located in White Plains, NY. The firm is owned by Nick Simard and Ronnie Ram, savvy entrepreneurs who focus on blending successful advertising and marketing practices with technological innovation. We interviewed Nick Simard.

FKH: Nick, provide some background about InspiriaMedia?

NS: InspiriaMedia is an advertising and marketing firm that caters to the broad-based needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Based in White Plains we are adjacent to New York City therefore many of our existing clients are based in the metro NY area. We provide creative design services, marketing strategy and execution, specialty media (outdoor and out-of-home), promotional, media buying, website development (including mobile-optimized websites) and much more. We developed our portfolio of services to cost-effectively accommodate the needs of clients.

FKH: What types of clients do you represent?

NS: InspiriaMedia's client base is spread across many industries including retail, food services, automotive, professional services, real estate, health & fitness and much more. We are strong in the restaurant field.

FKH: Any Franchisors?

NS: Yes. Some franchisors that we represent include: The Atlanta Bread Company, Golden Krust Bakeries and The Bread Factory.

FKH: Can you also service the needs of Franchisees?

NS: We offer comprehensive programs for existing franchisees especially in the midst of the concept phase. Our experience in the restaurant industry provides an edge to both franchisors and franchisees.

FKH: With the increased use of “smart” phones and mobile websites how do you see these impacting marketing?

NS: The efficient and relevant use of technology should be a major concern to the strategic development of businesses in all categories. If a business doesn’t innovate and prepare for the future it could easily be left behind. As an example, people are using their cell phones to find a restaurant, get directions and make reservations or order items for pick up. Within the next year or so changes will be even more dramatic. Consider someone in a certain location using their GPS enabled phone to not only find a place to eat but to receive a ranking of quality based upon a rating system. The Zagat mobile application is already in use.

FKH: Any predictions regarding how food franchises will be gaining new customers?

NS: Food franchises are uniquely positioned to grow as the economy reshapes. The BLS predictions for future job growth include jobs in the restaurant sector among the top 10. Look for ethnic themed concepts to take off.

FKH: Given the state of the economy, many small business owners are reluctant to spend money on marketing. How would you answer this situation?

NS: The hesitation is understandable. The last few years have wounded the confidence of business owners. Spending without a guarantee of return is certainly a risk and business owners must make decisions more critically than ever. As we all know, marketing and advertising represents a mix of branding and direct response. Branding is critical so your customers know about you when they need you, not when you need them. Direct response advertising such as promotions and offers is important to track return on investment and continue to build the business' pipeline.

A serious business plan includes substantial (as a percent of sales) and consistent deployment of advertising and marketing dollars. Our most successful clients who have survived one of the worst economic downturns in history maintained and even increased their marketing spending (in absolute dollar terms and percent of sales), despite business declines. Today, their competition has left the market in many cases and they are poised for substantial growth as economic recovery works through the system.

Given the critical nature of making every dollar contribute to the recovery, it is important to choose a marketing and advertising partner who is truly aligned with your goals and takes the time to create thoughtful integrated marketing and advertising recommendations.

FKH Nick thanks for taking the time to give us your thoughts about marketing/advertising and the changes taking place.

© 2010 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC

Ed Teixeira is the President of FranchiseKnowHow, LLC. He can be reached at franchiseknowhow@gmail.com

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