When I look around at vendors targeting the space of multi-location online marketing, they are few are far between.
Searching for the organically you find a lot vendors for telecommunications products or restaurant back office software for chains. But what I consider online marketing for multi-location businesses really focuses on the management of a business or brand that has many brick and mortar locations.
While that seems to be dominated by B2C, there are also many B2B companies out there with this same need.
So I’ve down research lately to identify those vendors who might be able to help those of us managing this unique challenge.
Expion is a SAAS that allows you to “dashboard” your individual location’s online presences. From one console you can manage multiple Facebook Pages, Twitter accounts etc. This saves you from having to copy your updates to each portal as well consolidating the monitoring of them.
Fishbowl is really a turnkey solution specifically for the restaurant space. Not only do they cover the trendy social media aspects of a multi-location business, they also incorporate email guest management with analytics thrown in as well. Depending on your restaurants’ other operational tools and how Fishbowl integrates with them (and therefore simplifies it for your frontline people), this could be a real silver bullet for you.
Similar to Expion, but really getting into the corporate workflow of auditing, approvals and multi-user involvement in the day-to-day management of a business’ online properties.
Valuevine really focuses in on the brand management of a business. Bringing in sentiment measurement and location-based aspects of monitoring their offering looks great for those who want to look at each location’s reputation and compare against each other.
I included this one here to help contrast one a different type of approach. With GramercyOne and its tools you can focus on integrating everything in one place: appointment book, membership & loyalty, point of sale, gift certificates and, oh yes, marketing. Facebook and Twitter are really a bolt-on to their turnkey solution. Rather than build around the relationship, monitoring and participation of social media, it approaches them merely as another marketing channel. Another outlet for your advertising campaign. Not the way I would approach it.
I’m sure there are more out there that compete with these vendors, but they haven’t hit my radar.
I am in no way associated with these vendors. I also have not used any of their products or services (yet!) myself. So I could be way off in my claims. If so, let me know and I’ll be glad to update it.
Do You Have This Problem?
I would love to know what the many franchisor/franchisees use to solve these problems. Likewise there are plenty of corporate-managed retail businesses that have either solved this problem in-house or use a similar product.
If that’s you, I’d love the hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments below.