The Faces Behind BizCom x Brand J: Jack Monson, President of our Brand J Division

Jack Monson, President of BizCom’s Brand J Division, on franchise development and the company’s recent acquisition by BizCom Associates

Last month, BizCom was thrilled to make the announcement that we acquired franchise marketing and lead-generation firm Brand J. Two of franchising’s leading PR, lead generation and development marketing agencies have now joined forces to create franchising’s premier marketing firm. At the helm of the Brand J division is President Jack Monson.

Monson brings a wealth of experience and expertise, having previously held leadership positions at multiple marketing firms and hosting the industry-leading podcast, Social Geek. He holds a BA in Communications from Northern Illinois University and brings a diverse background in marketing, sales, and franchising. He is active in the International Franchise Association as a member of the Supplier Forum Advisory Board and the host of the IFA Franchise Voice podcast.

How have you seen franchising change throughout your career?

The candidates and how we find them have been the biggest change. A decade or more ago, everyone was chasing the “usual suspects.” It seems like every franchisor, agency and broker had the same list of the same 60,000 people.

The franchisees now come from more diverse backgrounds, are younger, and have grown up wanting to build an empire. If I sound optimistic about finding more franchisees who are most likely to succeed across the next decade, it’s because I am!

What excites you most about Brand J joining forces with BizCom? 

Our clients have been successful in paid, owned, and shared media. But the biggest opportunity in the future is garnering more earned media.

For so many brands, franchise development growth is about to explode via publicity, content marketing, influencer marketing and personal branding. I can’t pick just one area that excites me the most!

Also, as the owner of a small media company and podcast host, I get pitched every day by every PR firm in the industry. There’s a constant stream of generic and boring pitches out there with little compelling storytelling.

I’ve said for a few years that if I needed to get my story out, the only agency I would trust is BizCom. This team knows how to tell a story!

What are the opportunities in franchise development right now?

The biggest opportunity is to reach the next generation of potential franchisees who don’t do what candidates typically did a decade ago.

They may not fill out the usual forms, they don’t go to small franchise events, and they don’t look at portals. They do consume a TON of video on several platforms; that’s where we will reach them.

What are the challenges?

The cost of paid lead gen will likely continue to increase, so budgeting for Google, Meta, LinkedIn, and others will be a challenge.  Incorporating more organic tactics into your mix is going to be critical.

Where are your clients seeing the most success with sourcing franchise leads?

While other channels are leading an organic video surge, on the paid side, Google and Meta are still the top sources (for now!)

What strategies and initiatives has Brand J implemented to stay ahead of the curve with franchise development efforts?

Brand J is leading the franchise space in using short form videos to tell franchisors’ stories and to promote the personal brand of thought leaders in this space.  We’re publishing daily videos for dozens of brands on seven social media channels and getting huge returns.

We’re continuing to expand our clients’ storytelling via podcasts, and we don’t see that slowing down.

And we’re now doing more strategic marketing consulting for several brands who don’t have the senior level internal resources that they may have had in the past.

Note, none of these were services Brand J offered 2 years ago! And now we’re deep in research and discovery of how we will stay ahead of the curve for the next two years. 

Now for some lighter questions….

What is your ideal way to spend a weekend?

We bought a farm about a dozen years ago far outside of Chicago. So, if I’m not at a franchise conference, I’m playing in the dirt.

What are your favorite teams to cheer on?

I’m a lifelong Chicago Bears and Chicago Cubs fan. Please be kind.

What are 2-3 things others probably wouldn’t know about you or “fun facts”?

 I’m a terrible cook. The worst.

 I rarely read business books. After reading so many business articles and blogs every week, if I have time for a book, I want fiction (preferably a classic!).