A marketing expert who specialises in turning businesses into big names in their own localities is joining Mathnasium to give even greater support to its network of franchisees.
Alice Winton, Mathnasium UK’s new Head of Marketing, has a strong track record of both local marketing and national branding and will be using her expertise to help franchisees get the best return on their local marketing.
Yet, of all the tools she can draw upon, the ones she expects to depend on most will be her ears.
“I don’t want to step on any toes,” she says. “I want to listen and get an idea of what individual franchisees see as marketing.
“Then I’ll research the area to get an idea of the most effective use of their local marketing budget, whether that might be pay-per-click, digital advertising through social media, or a postcard-drop.
“Some people may have a problem about reaching out or putting together a letter, so I want to offer that sort of support to them.
“They own their own business and they don’t want to be told things or bossed around. Marketing’s really about relationship-building.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know them and their needs and finding out how much support they want.
“I want to build a bespoke marketing strategy with each of them, and a timeline, because it’s very easy to sit down and come up with all these ideas but you need to know how and when to implement them.”
A firm believer in sharing success stories around a network, Alice will be meeting all of the franchisees at an internal Mathnasium franchisee event then touring the centres to meet them individually.
Amidst her many successes in years of working in marketing, both at an agency and in-house, Alice is most proud of helping turn the restaurant chain Hawksmoor’s breakfasts from a mere meal into an event.
“Hawksmoor had three restaurants at the time, but its breakfast trade was dire,” she recalls. “Sometimes they were only doing six covers, which wasn’t sustainable.
“So we took a 360 approach, as marketing isn’t about doing one thing like PR, or entering for an award. That’s not going to solve it.
“The results were phenomenal. The restaurants were fully booked and turning people away. Hawksmoor had always had a great offering, but people just didn’t know about it.”
In certain parts of the capital, breakfast at Hawksmoor became almost as much of an institution as tea at The Ritz or lunch at The Ivy. And the renown was followed by awards.
Another restaurant she promoted using a similar local marketing approach went from six hotel referrals a month to more than 200, so she has high hopes for making a difference at Mathnasium.
And she’s relishing the prospect.
“I’d been in the hospitality sector for 13 years and was ready for a new challenge,” she says. “To do something so different yet still be doing marketing has got me really excited again.”