Bluebird Care has won the Gold Award for ‘Outstanding Franchise Marketing’ at the Approved Franchise Association (AFA) Awards.
The home care provider was recognised for implementing “game-changing” initiatives to improve engagement with potential franchisees and consumers.
Bluebird Care said its main website had stagnated, in terms of its visitors, for several years, with little uplift in enquiry or application volumes, so the team wanted to implement some new initiatives.
National marketing manager, Dean Martin, orchestrated the launch of the live chat service, offering visitor engagement across the website 24/7.
The care provider used franchise industry experts to deliver the live chat tool, and generated nearly 20,000 chat engagements in the first six months.
Bluebird Care has also hired three new regional marketing managers, who work on a local basis in branded vehicles to “take marketing to the people”.
The field-marketing experts take regular, programmed face-to-face visits to understand what franchise owners are looking to achieve. They also help identify local PR stories that can generate enquiries, as well as implementing social media recruitment campaigns.
The judging panel at the AFA Awards commended Bluebird Care on its “committed approach” to marketing.
They said: “Bluebird Care demonstrated strong commitment and good balance to support and grow the franchisees and care for the users of their services. They also demonstrated good use of social platforms, and strong and relevant press/media coverage.”
The judges were also impressed as Bluebird Care reached its marketing targets well ahead of schedule. Within six months of the new National Marketing Strategy implementation, it had already completed its marketing aims for the year. Since 2019, Bluebird Care has successfully increased website traffic by 230%, customer enquiries are up by 340% and applications to jobs at Bluebird Care have increased by 250%.
Marketing and Communications director at Bluebird Care, Hannah Banfield, said: “We are honoured to win the AFA Award for our outstanding franchise marketing. It was also great to be highly commended for our franchise support. This year has undoubtedly been a challenge, however, thanks to a great team and an innovative strategy we have been able to market our care services more effectively than ever.”
Bluebird Care was also highly commended in the ‘Best Franchise Support’ category at the AFA Awards.