How Sylvan Learning Sets its Franchisees Up to Win with a Marketing Toolbox
The Sylvan corporate team has a “create once, use often” mentality and encourages franchisees to share best practices for systemwide success
For many franchisees, starting a business can be daunting. From finding real estate to hiring staff to building a customer base, there’s a lot to do to get a business off the ground. In the more than 40 years since its inception, Sylvan Learning has been cultivating resources for franchisees to tap into throughout every step of their journey as business owners.
According to Sylvan Learning Chief Marketing Officer Amy Przywara, who has been with Sylvan Learning for 17 of its 40 years, the goal of the corporate marketing team is to do everything they can on behalf of the franchisee to allow them the time to do the things that corporate can’t do for them.
‘We can’t sit in front of a customer and have a conversation, but we can send emails, create local marketing materials and place paid search ads for our franchisees. If we can be more efficient at an enterprise level, that provides the franchisee with the tools and the time to execute the things that we can’t do on their behalf,” said Przywara. “Plus, our franchisees share what marketing programs worked in their local markets with the rest of the system, so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Our philosophy is to create once, and use often.”
For franchisees Sarah Miller and Kent Kolbow, who own 11 Sylvan Learning locations in Indiana, that communication within the franchise network as well as access to a local store marketing representative have been key factors in their success and growth with the brand.
“Our local marketing representative listens to any ideas we have, and she helps flesh them out,” said Miller, explaining that her representative lets her know what resources are available from the corporate team, as well as what other franchisees in the system are doing in their markets.
Because of this access to other franchisees’ successful programs, Miller and Kolbow have been able to develop an incredibly successful Black Friday promotion.
“We were able to review what other franchisees had done for Black Friday in the past, and tweak it to work for our markets,” said Miller. “From there, we developed a one-day sale, and with the help of the corporate team, honed it over three years. Each year, we’ve seen an increase in revenue of up to 75% each year, and shared how we executed the program with the rest of the system. We are lucky to have a corporate team that is always willing to listen and partner with the franchisees to find the best solution for all of us to be successful.”