Discovery Maps Franchise Case Study
Discovery Map is a unique twist on the traditional territory-based advertising and sales franchise that was established by franchise industry stalwarts such as Valpak, Money Mailer and others. Although a bit more lighthearted than some comparable advertising service franchise brands, the model has significant merit in how well it has scaled and how established the brand has become over the years of successful franchise duplication.
Discovery Map is a business model that provides marketing and advertising services to companies by creating maps specific to a market which then allow the local businesses and venues to advertise where they are located on the map and throughout the area. In its truest form, Discovery Map is a marketing territory where a franchisee pays to have distribution rights and to be able to sell ads under the Discovery Map brand.
The organization grew consistently after the company’s founding through franchising primarily in tourist markets. The map concept made sense and had obvious appeal in areas where there was significant tourist traffic. Both the distribution of the maps and the willingness of businesses to advertise on the maps made these markets some of the first Discovery Map territories to be sold.
The business model, like many territory advertising sale franchises, created a lucrative opportunity for the franchise investor with a low initial investment, a home-based business opportunity and a lower cost of operations making for a strong Return on Investment for many of the early franchise investors.
As the business matured, the organization went through significant changes in ownership and leadership vision for the brand and business model. As the Discovery Map Franchise brand aged, so too did the relevance of the image, print marketing and overall concept. New leadership saw an opportunity for revitalization of the brand and instituted large-scale changes to the organization in 2012 to revamp the advertising franchise into a platform that could carry forward the established franchise network and leverage what had been developed up to that point.
In 2013, Discovery Maps hired Franchise Marketing Systems to support this implementation model and provide franchise consulting services related to the transition. Franchise Marketing Systems worked closely with management to develop a franchise management program, franchise sales models and a new value proposition to effectively recruit and retain new franchisees.
The organization transitioned to a supplementary digital platform where the maps could be viewed and accessed from portable devices and the entire image of Discovery Maps was pulled into the modern look and feel of what consumers were demanding. The target franchisees were redefined to focus recruitment on managers and business people who could develop sales teams within their territories and scale their business within the Discovery Map franchise model.
Franchise Marketing Systems provided sales support and direction to the organization by implementing a customized franchise sales process, franchise sales technology, lead generation and Franchise SEO. In 2016, the Discovery Map franchise is one of the largest within the advertising and territory sales franchise market with almost 150 franchises, was recently recognized as a top-performing franchise system by the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 and is a brand name that exemplifies the ability to make transitions and meet consumer demand.
Discovery Maps is an ideal example of a marketing and sales franchise that leveraged franchising to develop independently owned distribution and sales territories. The power of business ownership and entrepreneurship provided the organization with dedicated owner-operators who drove sales and results for the brand in markets throughout the U.S. and around the world.
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