5 Questions for Handyman Connection’s VP of Marketing on Adapting to Covid-19
As part of our ongoing coverage of Covid-19 and its impact on franchising, we will ask franchise executives what they are doing to help their franchisees with consumer marketing during the crisis. That said Marci Kleinsasser, Vice President Marketing at Handyman Connection and longstanding member of our Advisory Board of the Franchise Marketing Leadership Conference. We sincerely hope it helps. If you have a story to tell about what you’re doing to support your franchisees, please email us at [email protected]
What are you doing differently with your marketing program after Covid-19?
We are all on deck working with each office / owner to make sure they remain relevant and helpful to their clients during this uncertain time. Most of the offices are located in a community where they are labeled “essential business”. Some are not or have made a decision to stop operations. Our marketing program for these Covid-19 times primarily includes free / low cost channels that offer the highest conversion opportunity, e.g. B. Email campaigns promoting outdoor work, safety and maintenance, repairs, etc. to the best of our ability, most loyal customers; Then focus digital channels and campaigns on these services too and use Google Trends to make decisions. We have updated key messages and topics to read, “Our craftsmen are here to help you stay safe in your home.” Outbound assertive campaigns were created both over the phone and text to our best clients. We have also made text campaigns available to our franchisees to send to their craftsmen to remind them of our Covid-19 logs for safety on a daily or regular basis.
What are your plans for the next 60 days (April & May)?
We have 1-on-1 coaching calls with each owner. Our ops team creates what if financial plans, and our marketing team has a coordinated marketing plan for each office – a Covid-19 Customized Plan and a Post-Covid-19 Plan that specify how You can then recover. Internal communication has also increased. We started weekly system-wide calls every Thursday at 3 p.m. Three calls have been made so far. Today’s call was a franchisee panel led by our operations manager that allowed franchisees to ask questions of their colleagues across the system.
We have also set up 6 working groups – 3 leadership groups and 3 “Thrive, Not Survive” groups – with 8 to 10 franchisees and 2 home office team moderators per group. Each group meets weekly for 30 to 45 minutes in a video conference. We have changed our monthly marketing newsletter <(Friday Marketing Connection)> too weekly – and sometimes biweekly or even more often than necessary
What are your plans for the next 90 days (June, July and August)?
As mentioned earlier, we will be working on individual local marketing plans with each owner / office to get them back to their work order number goals as soon as possible. We will continue calling the franchisee group as needed until the franchisees tell us they find no value in them.
Have you made significant changes to your marketing or media programs? How did you determine which ones should be changed?
As mentioned earlier, Google Trends helped us determine which services paid media should focus on even after budgets were pulled. We’ve ramped up social media marketing in most of the offices and quickly changed the content calendar to support the new topics and ideas relevant to each office, its status and the changing times. We also looked at each marketing program and channel and determined which would likely have the fastest impact to keep demand going during this time, depending on the status of each office – major business units or not.
To have she Made changes to your team’s roles or tasks?
No changes. We simply made all members of our team available virtually 24/7, relying on our partners to do the same. When we presented a relief plan to our owners for March and April, we asked almost all of our key partners to involve our franchisees in some way to help.