This year was the 2nd Annual Franchise Innovation Awards. And what a year to raise the bar in creating and implementing original and successful innovation strategies and tactics! Thanks to COVID-19, franchises have had to use tremendous creativity and solution-focused thinking skills.

We have hand-picked some notable winners from the four major categories:

1. Marketing and branding

To stay relevant, be more accessible, and meet shifting user needs, digital marketing campaigns became even more relevant to franchises. With limited physical interaction, the public became even more hooked on technology to keep in touch and informed.

Winner of the best digital campaign, Epcon Franchising, created middle-of-the-funnel marketing video mailers to lead highly qualified prospects through the sales funnel.

Best PR campaign tie-winners, Snap Fitness, adapted to the pandemic by offering free 90-day global access to the market-leading virtual fitness platform. The results were astounding, with 999,063 total impressions, 17,056 link clicks, and 14,352 conversions on a $6,000 budget. Social media played a massive role, with Facebook campaigns driving 92% of conversions across all campaigns at an overall cost per click of $0.18.

2. Operations

Floor Coverings International, winners of most innovative consumer self-service tools, embraced marketing automation which resulted in a 40% upturn in their lead closure rate; 100% follow-up within 10 minutes; over 90% automation of scheduled calls; a 20%+ increase in monthly leads; and a reduction in staff complement by bypassing administrative personnel.

To overcome the restrictions and fear brought about by COVID-19, most innovative franchisee support winners, Wild Birds Unlimited, quickly moved more than 45 stores to their online platform to start. Using digital tools, communication systems, surveys, virtual training and conferences, and marketing campaigns have helped to onboard new franchisees in the middle of a recession.

3. Products and services

Most innovative service introduction winners, Fantastic Services, used their social media presence, email marketing, and digital PR campaigns to launch a new “antiviral sanitization service” to existing and new customers.

4. Human resources

Winner of the most innovative employee training category, Woofie’s, developed a professional pet grooming school to ensure that their franchisees were proficient and confident. It has also increased the number of new franchise owners in their group.

Why WSI? 

WSI won 13 prestigious Web Marketing Association’s (WMA) WebAwards in the 2020 competition, bringing our tally to over 115 WMA Awards since 2007! It’s no wonder, though, as we invest time in:

  • A comprehensive discovery process to ensure that the WSI opportunity is a good fit for you and that you are the right candidate for WSI.
  • In-depth online pre-training and an intense, weeklong hands-on training at our head office in Toronto, Ontario to build up your knowledge from the ground up.
  • Ongoing support and guidance every step of the way as you move through the various stages of your business. When you buy a WSI franchise, you become part of our family.

For more information on how to become part of the exciting world of digital marketing, contact WSI – the world’s largest digital marketing agency franchisor – today.