School of Rock leverages the Yext Location Cloud to engage local audiences and develop next generation of musicians
‘Yext has the vision and values to grow with School of Rock's expanding business, which makes our partnership with Yext something of a no-brainer. Business is about relationships, people and values and as a technology company Yext has exceeded my expectations on all three fronts.’
An education and entertainment company with over 180 franchise locations, School of Rock offers a unique performance-based approach to music instruction. Its students get to perform live at true rock shows in authentic and legendary music venues worldwide as well as at popular music festivals such as Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits. School of Rock runs 2,500 shows each year and employs 3,000 musicians as teachers and music directors in its schools. "We are a significant employer of artists in the United States," notes Dzana Homan, CEO. As an international brand, School of Rock leverages the Yext platform to keep its people and parts connected and harmonised. "Whether it’s our parents or families or artist-teachers, everybody in our network is hyper-astute when it comes to technology – they are constantly aware, plugged in and active," explains Homan.
"As an entertainment company, we are dedicated to our local, regional, national and international communities. We engage with them to create incredible events with kids and artists," says Homan. While School of Rock owns the brand, its franchisees make the brand successful. "As a franchise company spanning 32 states and 9 countries, technology really is the backbone that is critical in helping us stay connected, communicate effectively and remain true to our mission," explains Homan. In today’s hyper-connected world, a key focus is on mobile. Homan notes, "67% of our site visitors are using a mobile device. It is no longer a PC world, so we seek out platforms that are mobile ready. "One of the reasons for which we partnered with Yext is its savvy and focus on mobile search and how that plays into today’s uber-connected world," says Homan.
School of Rock initially incorporated Yext’s Listings product toward the immediate goal of claiming its business listings across the internet. It wanted to make sure its local presence was accurate and engaging wherever its mobile customers searched. Today, Yext’s proprietary integrations with 100+ app, map, search engine, directory and social media partners continue to let School of Rock easily manage and update its local listings in real time for all of its 180 locations across 9 different countries thereby helping School of Rock achieve its mission to maintain a consistent global brand message and strong connection at the local level. "A brand’s local online presence has a huge impact on its SEO rankings and therefore its visibility," notes Homan. For a music-education company that offers students such a rare and exciting opportunity to perform live at authentic venues as a central part of the curriculum, achieving high visibility in both branded and unbranded local searches is imperative to making sure its unique offering stands out and attracts new customers. "Maintaining correct listing information is necessary to make sure every franchise business can be found easily by search engines and customers. Yext makes it very easy for our operator franchisees to be recognised in that space," she adds.
After seeing such effective results through Yext Listings, School of Rock decided to expand its use of the Yext Location Cloud and launch the Pages product. Pages enhances the reach and visibility of its local school pages and campaigns. Explains Homan, "Our franchise businesses are tuned into numerous channels as a source for leads and internet channels are paramount. We have thus embedded Yext into just about every component of our internet presence."
Empowering franchisees and experiencing substantial bottom-line impact
Homan has embedded Yext’s platform into School of Rock’s marketing approach not just at the corporate level but also at the local franchisee level. School of Rock prides itself on an ethos of local franchisee empowerment, granting each franchise business a significant amount of control over the management and success of its individual school location. Yext’s platform allows for flexibility and deep customisation of access controls. "We empower every single franchisee with a login and then training on the Yext platform," says Homan.
Significant increases in online engagement and inbound leads are among the impressive results Homan and her team have seen since launching with Yext. "When you think of our year on year growth, which is ~20%, and there is a 30% growth of internet-related leads to School of Rock since using the platform, the power of Yext is clear," says Homan. "That sort of company growth and that amount of increased leads is driven by a great creative strategy and the superior platforms. We have seen a substantial impact on the bottom line at School of Rock since making the Yext Location Cloud part of our systemic approach to being visible and present online and then taking that visibility to the next level to enhance our local engagement and grow our business." Homan sums up, "Yext provides the proper infrastructure for us to be visible and for leads to flow through our system."
Pushing the envelope and envisioning the future
Homan values Yext for more than clicks and leads, of course. "Yext is visionary with technology", says Homan. "I am dedicated to organisations that see the future. Beyond having powerful technology, Yext has the vision and values to grow with School of Rock’s expanding business, which makes our partnership with Yext something of a no-brainer," she continues. "How Yext works with its customers is important to me as a CEO. Business is about relationships, people and values and Yext has exceeded my expectations on all three fronts." Homan also lauds her dedicated Yext team’s perseverance and commitment to doing whatever it takes to meet School of Rock’s needs. "We had some serious deadlines, brutal deadlines, and we asked a lot from Yext. And they always delivered," commends Homan. "I really respect partners that have that sort of commitment. I never got a ‘No’ when pushing the envelope with new things we wanted to try with Yext. Rather I got an, ‘Ok let’s see what we can do for you.’"