What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We’ve had outstanding growth in our regions over the last 25 years, and we’re expecting this year to be our best yet. We’re well over an 11% increase in sales nationwide—Calfornia, in particular, is up 7%–8%. We’ve gone from six stores when I started to 35, and we’re planning to open more before the year is up.
Our online presence is where we get the majority of our customers, but the promotions they run are also very effective. We have promotions every quarter, so there’s always something being advertised both inside and outside of the stores. These help with our operation goal of collecting more emails, because people have to provide an email when they sign up to try and win a prize.
The promotions are also very creative. They’ve used logos from major oil companies in some of our print ads, which helps our partnerships with them. All of the promotions have been very successful.
It’s difficult to gauge ROI from sports advertising, but we have a senior marketing person who does a lot of analysis on that. Our partnerships with sports teams, both in Dallas and San Francisco, have been huge drivers in terms of customers and sales. JStokes does an incredible job of showcasing SpeeDee as more than just an oil change place.
They’ve come up with creative slogans and images to use so that people will think of us as a complete auto service repair facility. Some of their ads will have a technician working on a brake job, for example.
When we’re looking at increased sales, we’re not just focusing on new customers. We’re also seeing more sales from customers that we already have. JStokes has increased our overall customer count, as well as the tickets per person from returning customers. Their methods have been effective in tapping into our existing customer base.
Also, the value for the money that we get is enormous, because there’s so much added-value stuff. When the Warriors won the championship, all of my franchisees called me the next day to tell me that they saw our logo when the team was lifting the trophy. That wasn’t part of the plan; it was just a result of JStokes having a partnership with the team. All of the feedback about JStokes from my franchisees has been outstanding as well, and they are the real clients in the partnership.
How did JStokes Agency perform from a project management standpoint?
They’ve done an excellent job, both in terms of being on time and using the right resources for our work. I had to manage a commercial shoot that we were doing with some technicians and actors, and JStokes was on top of everything. They took care of hiring the right actors for us, which was a huge help.
Our VP of marketing is more so the point person for these projects, but I’ve worked closely with JSTokes on implementing the advertising plans with each franchisee. I’ve been presenting the plans for quite some time, usually during our regional meetings.
JStokes reviews the plan with each franchisee. If there’s ever any adjustments they want to make, JStokes is on it. They’ve always been flexible about making changes for individual ad plans based on the specific store.
We appreciate how they make sure each franchisee has a clear understanding of what’s going on. JStokes is responsive as well; they have an open-door policy for questions. Overall, the team has been very systematic, and the progress has been great.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Communication with franchisees is probably the most impressive aspects. They’re constantly brainstorming new ideas to create more revenue for each franchise. This is important because, as I said earlier, the franchisees are the real customers in this partnership.
JStokes has been around so long that most of us treat them like family. Other agencies have come and gone, but we’ve always had pretty good reasons for keeping JStokes on as a partner. Other companies would be charging us five times as much for the same services. The bang for the buck that we get is outstanding.
Are there any areas they could improve?
That's a tough question. They’ve always surpassed what I’ve expected them to do, and they come up with new ideas all the time, so I’m not sure. I can’t think of any problems off the top of my head. There might’ve been an expiration date that was off on a coupon at one point, but that’s about it.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
It’s important to have a relationship with them. Treat them as the kind of partner where you can pick up the phone whenever. I would highly recommend them, and I feel like all of our franchisees are engaged with them.
They cover a lot of different companies. They’re not just an automotive advertising firm. JStokes fits particularly well for us, but they’re well-versed in advertising for almost any kind of business.