Empowering Your Franchisees for Digital Marketing Success

The relationship between franchisors and franchisees is generally a straightforward arrangement. Franchisees pay an initial investment and ongoing royalties for the right to use a franchisor’s brand and to sell their products. In return, the franchisor provides ongoing operational support, including marketing.

One common challenge franchisors face is how to support their franchisees’ digital communications, such as email and SMS, to ensure the experience is both authentic and effective at a local level, while practical and compliant from an operational perspective. From already strained resources to inefficient processes, to complex technologies and confusing privacy rules—never mind the potential for mistakes—Sageflo can help tackle all these issues and more.

Our distributed marketing platform is an easy-to-use, web-based tool that empowers local teams to create professional, on-brand marketing campaigns quickly and easily, without needing corporate support. It works in tandem with almost every marketing platform on the market and has the necessary built-in functions and guardrails to minimize errors, all while ensuring a consistent experience aligned with global brand guidelines.

Pet Supplies Plus, a franchise-based pet supplies brand and Sageflo customer recently shared their experience using our solution:

Sageflo took our franchise marketing to another level.

Before Sageflo, our franchisees were required to create individual emails for every store owned, making the process of sending community-focused emails incredibly inefficient. Performance reporting on those emails was limited to standard email engagement metrics and again, there was one report for each store!

Sageflo streamlined our franchisees’ marketing efforts, making it easy to communicate with their stores at multiple levels, including district and whole ownership group, and providing access to more robust reporting. At the same time, it has improved the alignment between our corporate marketing team and franchise owners through standardized templates, shared marketing calendars, and targeted segment types.

Sageflo is one of the highlights of our franchise marketing platform at Pet Supplies Plus!”

-Craig Clark, Director of Neighbor Relationship Marketing & Data Analytics, Pet Supplies Plus

If you’re curious to learn more about how we helped Pet Supplies Plus, please read our case study highlighting how Sageflo made an immediate, meaningful, and measurable impact on their franchisee marketing approach.

One of our goals is to make the lives of our customers better. Once up and running, we’re confident your franchisees will thank you for ensuring they have the tools and support they need to thrive. In addition, as the franchisor, it’s a great investment that will help save time and money while adding additional value to the ongoing royalties your franchisees pay to you. Sounds like a win-win to us!

Whether you’re a franchise-based business or need help supporting your through-channel marketing across local teams and partners, Sageflo can help set everyone up for collective success.

Posted by Julian Scott

Per’s Pearls: Longer hours don’t equal more production or better results

“We sell email, if we screw up, no one’s gonna die.”

I’m going to take a swipe at looking down the path a bit ahead and seeing what may happen with a techie’s lens. Argue with me, call me an idiot, but let’s try and keep to a data-driven discussion.

What do we owe our jobs?

When I was interviewing with Aaron Smith, our CEO, for the CRO position, we had several deep discussions on what work meant to us and what sort of company we wanted to build. One thing we were in violent agreement on, was longer hours don’t equal more production or better results. Sageflo has a half-day Friday and no work on the last Friday of the month policy that is, not shockingly, very popular. Do I peel out at the stroke of 12 every Friday? Uhhhh, no. I’m in sales and have a ton of work to do, but I will leave after I’ve gotten done what I can and then I hard unplug for the weekend.

Do The Math

Aaron had tracked performance and found that despite an 11.2% decrease in time expectations (this took me a half-hour to figure out, please don’t make me share the math), productivity was in line or above what was expected. Which tracks with several larger sample size studies.

An Icelandic study, over four years, tracked 2,500 employees whose 35-36 workweeks showed productivity stayed the same or improved, while the researchers found that “worker wellbeing dramatically increased across a range of indicators, from perceived stress and burnout to health and work-life balance.“, according to the Autonomy findings.

A Microsoft Japan study from 2019 (pre-pandemic) found that reducing the workweek by one day led to a 40% increase in productivity, increased employee happiness, and resulted in a 23% decrease in electricity usage.

Finally, in 2018, Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand trust management company, announced a 20% gain in employee productivity and a 45% increase in employee work-life balance after a trial of paying people their regular salary for working four days. The company made the policy permanent.

Cognitive Studies

Hungarian-American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined the term “Flow” in 1975 to describe those moments when you’re completely absorbed in a challenging but doable task. Think of this heuristic technique in relation to your workday. What percentage of your time is focused on activities that will progress your work and drive your company forward? Wouldn’t it be better that when we’re at work, we’re focused on work; and when we’re off work, we’re present for ourselves, our families, our interests, our passions?  There are a host of studies that show that we’re only able to focus for so long on a task before we’re running on empty and just taking up space.

One of my colleagues used to say, “we sell email, if we screw up, no one’s gonna die”. It was his way of not taking ourselves too seriously. Now I think of two of my college roommates who are doctors. If they screw up at work, people die.  And yet, the medical field still holds onto this bizarre fascination with driving residents to work 70-80 hours per week during hospital rotations and 40-50 hours per week on outpatient clinic rotations. Lawyers on a partner track routinely work 60-80 hours as do the wall street bros. One must ask, is it any wonder that drug and alcohol abuse is rampant in these industries; and what is slipping between the cracks due to cognitive failure?

Goal vs. Hours

As a good manager, business owner, or employee think of the Outcomes for which your work strives. Mine is simple- grow Sageflo to a +$50MM in sales company over the next five years. To achieve this goal, I need to break down everything into manageable bits and work every hour of the workweek to accomplish the steps to the end goal. What is your high-level goal, and what are the steps you need to take to reach them? Do I think about work when I’m away from my computer? Absolutely! The best time for me is when I’m on my yoga mat or in my garden weeding. My brain can roam, the wheels can turn freely, and then BAM! Big idea, or small realization, or recollection that I need to send out that email. But none of that would be possible if I’m perennially exhausted from looking busy.

Contact Per with any questions or comments: per@sageflo.com

Posted by percaroe

Per’s Pearls: Where are we 2-years after our 6-week lockdown and the great migration?

This is the first in a series where I’ll be taking a swipe at looking down the path a bit ahead and seeing what may happen through a techie’s lens. Argue with me, call me an idiot, but let’s try and keep to a data-driven discussion.

It’s been two years since we started our quick, six-week lock-down. Covid cases in the US have fallen almost as fast as people’s willingness to keep our lives on hold. Though the Washington Post today leads with a story of Europe seeing a spike in Omicron cases, EU regulators continue to relax their requirements. Timehop reminded me that two years ago today I stated we will remember this time as BC and AC- before and after Covid. I stand behind that statement, but more importantly, what does AC mean and look like?

Housing in Urban centers

Two years ago, the press was filled with stories of high-wage tech workers fleeing San Francisco for rural settings. So where are we with that? Though we did see rental costs in major metro’s (SF, NYC, Boston, and DC) crater by up to 30%, they’re now inching back to BC levels. Instead of rushing out to Wisconsin or rural Nebraska, untethered workers mainly stayed within 150 miles around the Bay Area, according to research done on Post Office and Census data. This, along with historically low-interest rates, explains the spike in housing prices in Sacramento.

Office Space and Work from Home

Will we go back to the office? Yes and no seems to be the safe answer. Most of my coworkers have been free of the office for years, so this is an acceleration of a trend vs a new phenomenon. Some people, not me, but some people like an office. Sageflo’s CEO likes to have a space outside of the home, but skateboard-ably close, to separate workspace from home space. We had the opportunity to build an office when we remodeled our house, so I can close a door and leave work behind.

What data shows us, is that people work longer and are far more productive when they can work from home. Part of this bleeds into the conversation being had (sadly mainly just in Europe so far) about contacting employees outside of work hours. VW made a big deal about this for their staff a few years back and Portugal has recently passed a law forbidding bosses to reach out after their normal working hours.

Finally, on this point, I feel it’s a sign of poor management to want to “keep an eye on my people”. Most jobs are metric-driven and very traceable through work tools. Instead of making people commute so you can eye-ball them, try hiring good people, pay them well, and work to make them understand what is expected of them and how you will be monitoring performance. But give them access to what they need to succeed, and that may be an office space or a good chair for the home office.

Trade shows

I’m a big fan of face-to-face, and I enjoy working trade shows, so there is my bias. But after recently attending eTail West (and prepping for Shoptalk), I likened the mood to the moment after a champaign cork pops. People were hugging each other and vigorously shaking hands. The bar at the JW Marriott turned into “the pit” where people crowded so close a friend stated,” I couldn’t see hands but could see shoulders, so that was too close for comfort”. Some of us are triple shotted with a floater of active covid (I took part in the January surge with a stuffy nose), so I feel very comfortable to mingle. Others do not share my endemic laissez-faire attitude, and that’s completely understandable. Provided this spike in Europe doesn’t hit the US too hard, I suspect it will be a banner year for events.

Wrapping up, I think we’ll see an absolutely fundamental shift in how we do business and I feel so bad for the students and newly employed young people who have had to start their careers under these extraordinarily weird circumstances. If anyone has tried to access mental health services (anticipate huge waits), if you moved to Springfield and discover that they don’t have decent Chinese food, or if you’re debating what to do about that huge lease you can’t get out of… try and take a breath, the market will shift like it always does. We’ll see a surge of new people going into mental health services, restaurants will open as the market for great food moves from the cities to the rural regions and maybe, just maybe, major metros will start converting office space into living space.

Contact Per with any questions or comments: per@sageflo.com

Posted by percaroe

Helping our customers wisely find their flow, aka Sageflo

If you know us, you likely know we’re passionate about driving innovative, easy-to-use, customer-centric marketing technology solutions. What you may not know is why we do what we do.

We’ve collectively been around the block more than once and believe a great suite of products are not enough—we need a reason to get up every morning and keep striving to deliver more. For us, that reason is simple—we want to make life better for everyone who works with us, from our fellow employees, to our partners and to most of all, our loyal customers.

What does this mean for our customers? We know they already have more than enough complicated solutions, competitive challenges, and corporate pressures to face each day. We want to be the company that makes their day a little bit easier, whether it’s a friendly face ready to help out, or one of our solutions doing exactly as promised. We’re their partner working to make sure they achieve their objectives, cost-effectively and worry-free. This way, they can focus on their other not-so-easy-to-solve problems or maybe even leave work on time confidently knowing we’ve got them covered.

The Sageflo team has been fantastic to work with – they have gone above and beyond to accommodate our business needs, and in the event something isn’t possible, we work together to find the best solution. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with them.”

-Social & Digital,Senior Marketing Manager @ Major Restaurant Franchise with 800+ locations across the US

We help folks think more clearly about problem solving, i.e. working smarter not harder, which is where the “sage” in our name comes from. So that they can better manage their work, which is where the “flow” comes in. Bring those together and you have Sageflo. From our distributed marketing platform to our digital marketing communication archive, our solutions will save money, boost productivity, improve customer experience and ultimately make life better for all involved in our own unique way—and that’s why we get up every morning and do what we do.

Curious to explore how we can help make YOUR work life better? Let’s talk!

Posted by Julian Scott

How Team Collaboration Can Enhance The Customer Experience

As marketers, we tend to focus on supporting customers up to the point of sale but then pass the customer experience baton to other teams once a sale is complete. This is a missed opportunity to not only drive more sales but enhance the overall customer experience and foster ongoing customer loyalty throughout their entire journey.

All one has to do is look at the comments section of any commerce website to see that, when an issue arises, there is often a significant disconnect between the intended customer experience and actual customer satisfaction. While customers are often happy to share on social media and talk about purchased products and related brand experiences, unfortunately, it’s even more so the case when something goes wrong. Whether they express their dissatisfaction through ratings, reviews or word-of-mouth, once the damage is done, it is hard to undo, even if the issue is ultimately resolved to their satisfaction.

It’s often said that people are much more likely to mention a bad experience with a brand to others than they are to talk about a good experience.

This means marketing and customer experience teams must work together to get ahead of poor customer interactions. As an example, one particularly neglected area by marketers is what happens when something goes wrong with a marketing touchpoint, such as when a customer cannot find a promo code they were sent, needs a confirmation email re-sent or has a question about a specific marketing communication — whether text, email or direct mail. Despite many advancements of the major marketing platforms, the simple task of retrieving a previously sent personalized marketing communication within the contact center is remarkably hard to accomplish, despite there being tools readily available to do just this. The issue in simplest terms is specific to dynamic personalization. A brand may send out one campaign to a million subscribers using just one template, but each of those subscribers will receive a completely unique version based on personalized dynamic content. It’s a bit of a needle in a haystack when you are trying to track down one email among millions without the right tools and processes in place. Often brands have to re-create the email based on the data that drove the personalization just to figure out the issue.

However, by coordinating with your customer care and experience peers across your organization, you can start to jointly tackle these types of customer issues. Here are three recommendations based on my company’s experience and interactions with brands: 

1. Work together to create a consistent experience across all interactions and channels.

Customers don’t differentiate between internal department hierarchies, and neither should you. From social media, website, physical locations and customer care, it’s only one team to them, and any one of them can negate all the hard work of the others. This means that teams should not only check in with each other, but they should actively work together toward common goals and benchmarks that ensure a consistent customer experience that creates joint accountability.

2. Errors and issues are inevitable — it’s how you jointly handle them that makes all the difference.

Map out the most common customer pain points across your organization and create processes and guidelines to not only mitigate but effectively and efficiently resolve common issues. This will help to empower your colleagues across the organization and ensure increased customer satisfaction and future sales.

3. Investing in the right tools can make all the difference.

The reality for most marketers is that they are already overwhelmed with too many technical solutions that are costly and often poorly utilized. However, there are a lot of up-and-coming solutions out there that are reasonably priced, easy to use and complement your current technology stack, which warrants the initial research and investment. The right investments in your customer experience will always pay off.

Here’s the bottom line: It’s very expensive to retain existing customers, but even more costly to acquire new ones. The smart money is spent on ensuring a positive and consistent customer experience across all channels so when something does go wrong, it’s an opportunity to deepen the relationship. New processes, guidelines and technical solutions are almost useless without team collaboration leading the way. Breaking old corporate habits and barriers is not easy, but once you collectively agree that a consistent customer experience must come first, it will be that much easier to then work together and make the necessary changes. Another benefit aside from improved customer experiences and sales is that when you break down the artificial barriers between internal teams, everyone across the board tends to be more engaged, motivated and ultimately successful.

As they say, happy employees mean happy customers!

Previously published on Forbes.com as a Forbes Agency Council Post.

Posted by Julian Scott

Sageflo’s 3×3 Podcast: Episode 5

John Evans of Trilogy Group of Companies and OPUS Hotel Corporation

In the latest episode of our 3×3 Podcast, Julian sits down with John Evans, President and Founder of Trilogy Group of Companies and OPUS Hotel Corporation, to discuss how he developed his businesses and how digital marketing impacts the hotel industry. 

Podcast Excerpts

Julian Scott: We’re very lucky to welcome John Evans, CEO and Founder of the Trilogy Group of Companies and the OPUS Hotel Corporation. John, would you introduce yourself please?

John Evans: I’m a real estate developer, probably now getting close to 40 plus years. I’ve been in the real estate development business based in Vancouver. OPUS Hotel Vancouver is now in its 21st year of operation. We’ve just opened in Richmond another 100-room property right beside Vancouver International Airport, called Versante. And I’m now and have been for the last year, living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico working on OPUS Riviera Nayarit, my first hotel development in this country. 

Julian Scott: One of the things that I think would be interesting for people to know is the model of hotels and hotel management and hotel development. I think a lot of people think, “If it’s a Hilton, the Hilton bought it, the Hilton owns it, the Hilton manages it and runs it day to day”. And that’s not necessarily the case.

John Evans: There are basically three aspects to the business. There is development and ownership. Typically, the development will be undertaken by the ultimate owner of the business. The second and often not the same party is management. The hotel management business is a very significant global business. In many cases, the hotel management companies do not have ownership. And the third piece, which is often misunderstood, is the franchise or licensing of brand or flag. So, you have three district distinct areas in the hotel business: ownership, management, and what I’ll call licensing or franchise. 

In fact, we’re three of three because we build our own hotels with partners in the world, we’re in the hotel management business, and I also own the OPUS Hotel brand so the OPUS brand is franchised and is available for license. 

Julian Scott: It goes without saying that the past two years have been incredibly challenging for so many businesses, but particularly the hospitality industry which has been severely impacted by travel restrictions and customer sentiment of worry of traveling and so forth. For your businesses, what have you had to do to pivot to get through this time?

John Evans: We had never seen a situation where essentially your businesses were closed. We were fortunate that the Canadian Federal Government stepped up for businesses and we were able to have a significant portion of the salary component for our hotel management groups covered. That subsidy has essentially, for I think virtually every hotel owner in Canada, kept them afloat. We only reopened OPUS Hotel Vancouver in August. We were closed for 16 months. And if you had told me that that was possible, I would never have believed that there would be anything that could cause that to occur. Every hotel owner has worked very hard to stay afloat. And the good news is the majority have. Everybody creatively found a way to weather the storm and to try and live through it.

Julian Scott: From your perspective and looking back so far, have you felt that there were any learnings that will stick with us as you head down into the future?

John Evans: We sort of lived through it in the 2009, 10, 11 eras when there was a dramatic fall in demand. And you know we’re not in the commodity business. There are those in the hotel business who really are a commodity. We sell lifestyle. We’re a lifestyle brand and a lifestyle brand is basically more niched, it’s more expensive, and it is more sought after. The good news is that the millennial world is going to travel in many cases before the older segments of the market will travel. So, we’re always focused on lifestyle brands. Our big customers: Lululemon, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, you know those are our big customers. So, we understand that market and those companies. Many of them have done very well through the pandemic, but we will continue to cross-market with those international lifestyle brands. 

Julian Scott: One thing we wanted to ask is, from your perspective, the role of digital marketing. Obviously, it was important before the pandemic and probably even more so now. How has digital marketing impacted the hotel industry and what role do you see it playing as we navigate forward?

John Evans: Well, it’s been the topic of conversation for the last month in every way, shape, and form. My view is that digital advertising, the digital world relative to hotels, will become virtually the single and soul way in which hotels are marketed and sold. I cannot put enough importance on it. It is my daily focus.  

It is how we are going to restore the OPUS Vancouver business and it is how we are going to grow the Versante hotel business, and it is how I’m going to launch the OPUS Riviera brand. As I come into the high-end Mexican resort business, it’s everything.  

I think the limitation is, I’m just not sure how many people are well trained and brilliant at executing. So, it’s an area where we need more talent, we need more individuals. Not just big agencies, but individuals who can join the team, because they now are a critical part of the management group. 

View the full podcast episode here to hear more of John Evans’ hotel development and industry insights.  

Posted by Aaron Smith

How To Create Brand Experiences That Encourage An Emotional Connection And Word Of Mouth

Digital transformation is accelerating faster than ever before, resulting in a race to not only keep up but also come out ahead of the competition. From what I’ve seen, many brands are struggling to differentiate the shopping experience and meet their customers’ evolving needs and expectations — and they risk eroding loyalty for their brand.

As consumers assert more control over their preferences and how brands interact with them, not only is it essential to keep them engaged, but brands also have an opportunity to turn their customers into advocates to drive ongoing organic growth. The ultimate sign of customer loyalty is when customers share their excitement for the brand with their families, friends and colleagues. According to Nielsen, recommendations from people we know and trust are the most credible form of advertising.

One tactic to sustain and grow your customer relationships is developing an emotional connection with your customers. It’s been said that brands that get this right receive three times as much word of mouth as less emotionally connected brands. The key is to be authentic, helpful and timely.

Here are three ways to create brand experiences that foster an emotional connection and encourage word of mouth:

1. Provide an experience beyond the conversion. Move away from the traditional “shop and stop” attitude and start creating post-purchase experiences that drive longer-term connections and enable peer-to-peer activity. For example, consider creating an automated email series that goes above and beyond the order confirmation or “complete the look” type cross-selling. Think videos or illustrations on personalized product care or how to use and get the most out of products. And be sure to make them shareable. Referral offers and competitions are another great way to get customers engaged and talking with their peers.

2. Get the customer involved. User-generated content is one of the most trusted forms of marketing content and can have scalable marketing benefits for any brand. UGC can be a fun way for brands to emotionally connect with their customers and at the same time humanize the brand or product, drive awareness to prospects and ultimately get the conversation going. Consider going a step further than ratings and reviews or customer satisfaction surveys, and allow customers to offer online advice and feedback on products or services in real time.

3. Make customers feel good about themselves. Publish editorial content across your digital platforms that informs consumers about what you’re doing to make positive changes in the world. This could include a range of content that aims to drive awareness of the positive environmental impact of purchasing from your business. Consider actively pushing content that describes ways in which people can make a difference in their everyday lives. This strategy can help you inspire people to support a cause and generate feel-good sharable moments. Sometimes it can be tough to motivate customers to get involved, so consider gamifying the experience. Create a fun, interactive environment for consumers to calculate their own eco-friendly scores when they purchase products that are environmentally friendly or if they recycle or trade in old products at the point of purchase. You can use this initiative to automate cross-channel messaging that provides updates, encouragement and rewards, while at the same time building emotional momentum that’s worth talking about.

Many brands may already have some of these strategies in their toolbox, but just don’t realize it. Some marketers tend to focus on selling when they should focus on sharing. When you create opportunities for customers to engage with you by providing content and experiences that are worth sharing, those same customers will often take it upon themselves to advocate on your behalf.

The brands that understand the value in building these connections will reap the benefits, and those that ignore this opportunity do so at their own peril. The pace of digital transformation will likely only increase in the years ahead, but it’s not too late to catch up if you can pivot to creating authentic emotional connections that foster both customer loyalty and word of mouth.

Previously published on Forbes.com as a Forbes Agency Council Post.

Posted by Julian Scott

Sageflo’s 3×3 Podcast: Episode 4

Lori Joyce of Betterwith Ice Cream

In the latest episode of our 3×3 Podcast, Julian sits down with Lori Joyce, Founder and CEO of Betterwith Ice Cream, to discuss the struggles she has overcome and the strategies she has implemented in order to grow her company to where it is today.  

Podcast Excerpts

Julian Scott: You have a really interesting history and fascinating backstory about how you got started working in the world of desserts. Do you mind sharing your story and where you started and where you are now?  

Lori Joyce: I started my first food business with my best friend. We always talked about starting a new business together and not working for the big guy. In 2002, we made that come true with opening Cupcakes. We opened 15 locations, we turned it into a franchise, we then had a TV show that went global. After we’d had Cupcakes for about 12 years, one of the things that really drove me crazy about Cupcakes is that it wasn’t a product that could easily scale. And when I became a mom and I had to make food choices for my two growing babies, the idea and the reflection of the upbringing that I had on my family farm became very important to me all of a sudden.  

One day when I was buying ice cream for my kids and I discovered that it wasn’t anywhere on the package called ice cream and it was called frozen dessert, I was very confused and I felt very betrayed as a consumer. Being an entrepreneur already, I saw this as a tremendous opportunity. Taking the lessons of everything that my parents taught me about food accountability, sustainability, and freshness, I just immediately in the aisle right there saw this as an opportunity to make an all-Canadian dairy, real wholesome, real clean label, full-fat dairy ice cream unlike any other. And as they say, the rest is history.  

Julian Scott: What have been your most successful strategies to attract and retain long-term customers? What are some of the marketing initiatives that you’ve implemented that align with your company philosophy?   

Lori Joyce: Today, the biggest difference that I can say, is really utilizing what I didn’t have in the days of Cupcakes: digital social media platforms. When I first launched, I was doing demos. That was my opportunity to create the experience and that generated tremendous engagement with the consumer that I could connect with. But there’s only one of me and there are 2,000 stores that I should be in, in just this local market, so that wasn’t scalable. I had to go and say, “How can more people experience my message and the brand values and what it stands for faster and at a much bigger level?”  

Here I am stranded on a five-acre organic farm during a pandemic and that actually turned into a magical opportunity. I took that as an opportunity to narrate, go into further detail about the values of Betterwith and really communicate the message that when you eat whole and you eat real and we live sustainably, we can produce better foods and we can create those products in CPG for the consumer. I think social media and digital advertising for that reason is an exceptional tool for startups and entrepreneurs that are creating new products that are better for you, that actually have a strong purpose. 

Julian Scott: As you now look ahead, how will the learnings of the past shape what you do moving forward?  

Lori Joyce: The pandemic really made me appreciate the real purpose and act that out in a way so that we can grow a company that truly has real authentic purpose. For me, it’s just honing into why food sustainability is important and continuing on harder and louder with that message. And the consumer is responding to it. I think more people want to learn and want to know where their food comes from and that’s the whole big goal of Betterwith, with traceability. Being on the forefront of that and making sure the marketplace knows your values and what you’re bringing to the market and why consumers should care, are all really important points and messages that will as I said continue to resonate over time.  

Julian ScottAs you look back, anything you would change? Any mistakes you would sweep under the carpet and try again?  

Lori Joyce: Even during a pandemic, the whole point of being an entrepreneur is resiliency and if you don’t have resiliency, you can’t survive in this. I wish I really understood how hard the CPG industry is. It is not what it is from a consumer’s perspective. I didn’t know that you had to pay to play. That took me years to understand. As I said, I invested a lot of money in a beautiful brand package. I shouldn’t have done this. It’s not the prettiest brands that are the biggest, it’s not even necessarily the best food products that are the biggest, right? I think we can all admit that. The strategy, the planning behind it, having people sooner, all of those things could have really helped me. And either way, I’m here today and I’m listening to the things that I need to do and I’m adapting to them. We’re growing together as a team and I’m really excited about that.  

View the full podcast episode here to hear how Betterwith Ice Cream strives to stand out in the CPG industry and communicate its message to customers.  

Posted by Aaron Smith

Activating Your Company Superpowers by Getting Data into the Hands of the Right People

It’s no secret that you should be using data to make decisions and enhance your customer experience; however, not everyone is sure of the best way to enable your organization to be data-driven. The first step is to take a more holistic approach to data accessibility. In many cases, it starts by centeralizing data and removing data siloes. It’s essential to have data scientists and technical roles utilizing your company’s data, but getting data into the hands of non-technical roles such as marketers, CSM, and in-store reps is just as important. 

The problem with data is that it only tells part of the story. Data is very good at capturing quantifiable metrics but can’t grasp the intangible qualitative bits that are often needed to understand the whole picture. It is vital to give people in non technical roles access to the right data, enabling them to use their domain expertise to not just make informed decisions but also to drive operations. For marketing this means data-driven segmentation and personalization. informed decisions but also to drive operations. For marketing this means data-driven segmentation and personalization. That’s the real superpower of unlocking your customer data.

Marketing Superpower- Super Speed

One of the things a CDP like Simon Data does beautifully is get data into the hands of non-technical roles so they can use their domain expertise to make data-driven decisions. We see this problem often in marketers wanting to get campaigns up and running quickly but need to rely on other teams for segmentation based on customer data. 

There are a few problems with this scenario. First, relying on teams outside of marketing to create segments means you are counting on someone who does not understand the customer and segment base as well as the marketer. It is difficult to make last-minute adjustments or changes based on the data. The marketing team creates a request, and the data team answers it in asked capacity. 
Another problem in relying on other teams is the speed it takes to answer these requests. No matter how quickly a data team can answer a segment request, it will never be as fast as having customer data in the right people’s hands to make decisions. Giving data access to the marketing team allows them to be more agile and get campaigns to market faster.

Customer Service Superpower- Intuitive Aptitude

Another perfect example of putting the right data into the right people’s hands is empowering customer success/support. Data models alone help to a certain point. They can tell you who is likely to churn, but contextualizing this data gives a true understanding of what makes a customer churn. 

However, you have to address the data access issue before a  CS rep can give context to who will churn. CS reps have the specialized knowledge to answer these questions; never the less, there tends to be an issue of data pooling from multiple sources and integrating into a single view that isn’t always quickly addressed. So, the first step is getting the right data into their hands so they can have a full view of their customer and their behaviors. Once they have the data, they can start contextualizing problems. No matter how good your data is, it will understand the customer as well as their CSM. Data is there to help CS get the extra boost to understanding their customer on a deeper level. 

In-store Rep Superpower- Omniscience

Customers’ expectations of in-store interactions have greatly increased. Not only do customers expect the same experience they receive at their home store at any other location they travel to, but now there is a layer of complexity. The expectation has become any store rep must know a customer’s digital and in-store history. Sageflo Archiver + Simon allows visibility into content viewed, online purchases, and all in-store activity in one place.  This access to data helps with three key things:

  • Relationship building: Get a clear picture of your customer instantaneously and maintain that customer relationship even if that’s not their home store.
  • Customer-centric approach: Allow any brand to create a high-end white glove customer experience  regardless of level
  • Brand loyalty: Both the factors above feed into what makes a customer loyal to a brand- going that extra step to make the customer feel special

Here’s an example of the types of experiences data access can enable. Have you ever received a coupon via email, but when you go to the store, you can’t locate the offer? These offers drive customers into storefronts and often only exist in the digital form. By getting data into the hands of in-store reps via Archiver, an associate can look up all messages sent to the customer and find the offer. 

Enabling unique omnichannel experiences from digital to in-store and having the customer feel truly known is a powerful experience getting data into the hands of the right people creates.


Putting customer data into the hands of the right people can be a powerful action that enables your organization to be more data-driven. Companies looking to be more data-centric are breaking down data silos and heightening accessibility. Therefore, it’s not just about having the right data, but how to use that data more effectively by getting it into the hands of the right people. What superpowers can you unlock by giving data access to your whole organization?

Learn more about Simon Data here.

Learn more about Sageflo Archiver here.

Posted by Mary Louke of Simon Data
Empower Local Teams and Improve Customer Experience with Sageflo

Empower Local Teams and Improve Customer Experience with Sageflo

Though our ability to collect data and thoughtfully target customers has jumped leaps and bounds over the years; the reality is most brands don’t break down their approach at a truly local level as they simply don’t have the time or resources. This represents a missed opportunity to both nurture authentic relationships and create a more seamless customer experience.

Enabling your local teams, such as store managers, district managers, franchise owners or field staff to deploy select marketing messages can help scale marketing reach and support your over-arching corporate strategies, all while injecting regional nuance and touchpoints into your messages, providing a more personal connection to subscribers.

Common examples of local marketing messages, whether email, text or direct mail, include the following:

  1. Invitations to visit the nearest store
  2. Introducing the local team/new team members
  3. Invitations to upcoming local events
  4. Sharing local-only products, services or offers
  5. Sharing community support initiatives and updates

Nobody knows local markets better than the team members based in those markets, and giving them the ability to contribute and be a part of the greater marketing team pays huge dividends in customer engagement and retention. Campaigns sent by local teams are typically twice as engaging as promotional campaigns sent at the nation level, and are particularly effective at driving in-store visits.

Though implementing a distributed marketing approach may sound complicated — Sageflo not only makes it possible, but practical. It’s an easy-to-use, web-based tool that empowers local teams to quickly and easily create professional, on-brand marketing campaigns without needing corporate support. It works in tandem with almost every marketing platform on the market and has the necessary built-in functions and guardrails to minimize errors, all while ensuring a consistent experience aligned with global brand guidelines.

Utilizing a distributed marketing solution with your local teams provides marketers with the ability to scale influence and audience reach, without needing to increase the size of their team. It’s like having dozens (or even hundreds) of new members on the marketing team with no corresponding increase in headcount cost.

Equally important, it’s a great way to enhance the customer experience by better connecting the many ways your customers may be interacting with your brand across channels. Your customers are craving authenticity, consistency and connection; and local, personalized marketing is one of the best ways to make this happen.

Click here to learn more or schedule a demo.

Posted by Julian Scott