Sparktank’s Founder Juliette is interviewed by Charlene Shirk from Daily Ad Brief to discuss Franchise Marketing.

Watch the interview above, read the full transcript below, or click here to listen on the Daily Ad Brief website.


Charlene Shirk: Hi, I’m Charlene Shirk, and welcome to Digital Champions, where we speak to some of the most innovative thinkers in the digital space. And joining us all the way from Vancouver, Canada is Juliet Schmerler from Sparktank Franchise Marketing. Julia, thank you so much for joining us today on Digital Champions.

Juliette Schmerler: Thanks for having me.

Charlene Shirk: So Sparktank. Love that. It kind of sounds like Shark Tank. Love it. Franchise marketing: So talk to us about franchise marketing.

Juliette Schmerler: Yeah, so franchise marketing, basically, we specialize in working with franchises, everything from fitness franchises to food franchises to senior care franchises, and we help them with their marketing. So we help them with finding new franchisees, so expanding their locations and helping with local marketing, as well.

Charlene Shirk: So now, from what I understand, when you come on and you are a franchise owner, there’s a certain amount of money you give back to the company, so that they assist you with marketing. Is that your role within the franchise operation?

Juliette Schmerler: Yeah, that’s one of the areas that we help with. So when a franchise is giving back some money to each location to do their marketing, they may work with an agency like ours to bring in more business to that specific location. So we might come up with some local marketing programs to help them bring more people through the door. And then another area that we help with is with the head office, the franchisor. We’ll help with them finding new franchisees, finding people who want to open up new locations.

Charlene Shirk: So what is the biggest challenge that your customers are facing that you are helping them with?

Juliette Schmerler: Good question. I would say finding people to open up new franchises is always a challenge, because it’s a big ask. I mean, you’re asking people to open a business. There’s often a large investment. It’s a big life change. And you also want to find people who are the right fit, so finding the right people and just finding people who are ready to make that kind of a decision in their life is challenging. So that’s where we have to get really creative and try to find innovative ways to find those people and share all the benefits that they would have, in terms of opening a franchise.

Charlene Shirk: In Jacksonville, Florida, we have a locally-grown franchise called Firehouse Subs. They just sold for one billion dollars. I’m sure you’re familiar with it; I’m sure it made all the franchise news. And one of my friends works there, and she said it was the corporate culture that they have that made them so attractive to this company to purchase them. So how do you communicate that corporate culture in the marketing in each local market? Or once it’s been established, like here in Jacksonville, that’s the messaging you carry through to even every state or city?

Juliette Schmerler: Yeah, I think it’s a combination. If there’s a large brand and they have a reputation behind them, it does make it easier to sell franchises, because people know the name; they trust it. It has a certain reputation. With a smaller franchise, where they may not be as well known, it’s really important when you send them to their franchise landing page that talks about the opportunity, to really share that exciting corporate culture, the beliefs, the mission statement, et cetera, that really makes somebody emotionally connect with the brand. So that’s the way that the franchises get that across.

Charlene Shirk: And I got to ask you this. We ask our guests: What’s the biggest change you see in marketing that’s going to impact your specific industry in the next couple of years? So I want to ask: In terms of marketing a franchise, what particular changes are you keeping an eye on that are coming up in the next year or two years?

Juliette Schmerler: I think one of the biggest things that I’m keeping an eye on is all the changes in the targeting that we are able and not able to do, because of privacy issues. So we do a lot of marketing on Facebook, and as you probably know, they’re been under a lot of scrutiny, and so we’ve become a little more limited, in terms of how much we can target people and what criteria we can use, et cetera. So I think for me, there’s always changes in marketing and there’s always a solution and a new opportunity that comes up, but that’s something I’m definitely keeping an eye on.

Charlene Shirk: All right, and we’ve got to wrap, but I got to ask: What’s your best tip for a franchise who is marketing?

Juliette Schmerler: I would say have really great marketing materials. If you’re talking about selling franchises, have a great website that talks about your opportunity, a great info kit, and just have a great sales team, combined with having really great lead generation. Those are some great ingredients that you need to have a successful campaign.

Charlene Shirk: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Julia, for taking the time to join us today here on Digital Champions.

Juliette Schmerler: My pleasure.

Charlene Shirk: And if you’d like to learn more about what they’re doing over there at Sparktank Franchise Marketing, you can check them out by going to Well, I’m your host Charlene Shirk. Thank you so much for joining us today for this episode of Digital Champions, and we look forward to learning something new with you next time.