Martha O’Gorman: Putting Fun into Taxes
Quick, what’s the first word that comes to mind when you hear the words tax office?
I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that you didn’t say fun. But there is one unique retail tax preparation firm that was founded on the idea of creating an atmosphere of fun in its franchises, and the creative marketing campaign they employ complements this idea – while establishing brand recognition that outshines the competition.
Martha O’Gorman has been in the retail tax business for over 25 years. She spent seven years as the Director of Communications for Jackson Hewitt before co-founding Liberty Tax in 1997. She has served as the CMO for the past 18 years, leading their unique, community-minded marketing strategy to build Liberty’s customer base and recruit new franchisees. O’Gorman mentors franchise owners to market their small business on a budget, and the Liberty Tax wavers appear not just on busy streets during tax season, but also at community events like fairs and festivals to keep the brand in the public eye throughout the year.
Liberty Tax has 4,000 offices in the United States and Canada, and they prepare more than two million tax returns annually. The company’s distinct approach to franchising offers a time-tested system of best practices to ensure the success of its franchisees and the satisfaction of its customers. Liberty has been ranked as one of the top franchises on Entrepreneur magazine’s annual Franchise 500 list every year since 1998, earning a Best of the Best distinction in 2016. Today O’Gorman explains the shared philosophy of fun of the Liberty Tax founders and how it led to the company’s continued success. She also covers the details of the Liberty Tax creative marketing strategy, why its franchise model is ideal for moms and husband-wife teams, and how it supports its franchisees via a roadmap of proven systems.
Key Interview Takeaways
Find something that you love to do and throw passion at it. O’Gorman attributes the success of Liberty Tax to this tenant of its founders.
The best marketing tactics often happen by mistake. The Liberty Tax wavers originated when a franchisee asked to borrow the Statue of Liberty costume used in a commercial to attract customers. The wavers are an integral part of the Liberty Tax marketing strategy, bringing in one customer every two hours!
Liberty Tax seeks to put the fun back in taxes. Customers respond to the image of the startup as a comfortable place to get your taxes done in an environment less intimidating than the traditional tax office.
The Liberty Tax franchisee model is ideal for moms and husband-wife teams. The flexibility afforded by the model along with the seasonal nature of the work allows franchisees to work very hard from January through April (while children are in school), then spend time with their families in the summer.
Being a franchisee gives entrepreneurs a roadmap. Liberty Tax eliminates the guesswork for its franchisees, providing the systems necessary to be successful.
The creative marketing campaign employed by Liberty Tax keeps the company in the public eye all year long and contributes to its brand recognition. The Liberty Tax wavers do appearances at fairs, festivals and even schools, giving presentations about the Statue of Liberty.
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