School of Rock leverages the Yext Location Cloud to engage local audiences and develop next generation of musicians
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 uses Yext Listings and Pages to manage the public facts about its brand. The Yext Knowledge Engine enables brands like School of Rock to manage the digital knowledge about their people, places and products across their websites, mobile apps, internal systems and the entire PowerListings® Network — over 100 maps, apps, search engines, GPS systems and social networks including Google, Apple, Facebook, Bing and Yahoo.
"A brand’s local search 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.
Explains Homan, "Maintaining correct listing information is necessary to make sure every franchise business can easily be found by search engines and customers. Yext makes it very easy for our operator franchisees to be recognised in that space. Our franchise businesses are tuned into numerous channels as a source for leads and internet channels are paramount. We have embedded Yext into just about every component of our online 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 are seeing substantial impact on the bottom line since making the Yext Knowledge Engine 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. 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.’"