Creating a strong and effective franchise marketing plan can help franchisees and the entire organization flourish. However, creating this type of plan isn’t easy. Whether you’re in the process of creating a franchise marketing strategy or are concerned that your current plan has some significant issues, there are quite a few pitfalls that can come up during the planning and execution of marketing. Through our franchise marketing services, we’ve had direct experience seeing and helping to resolve many of these pitfalls. That’s why we want to share four red flags you’ll want to watch out for with your own franchise marketing efforts:
One of the advantages franchises have is the ability to use their scale to continue growing their brand. However, many franchises miss out on making the most of this advantage. This is because they don’t create a consistent experience across their entire brand. A surprising finding of a franchisee survey was that 49% of franchisees “are not required to follow specific corporate recommendations on marketing strategy.” So even though it is helpful to get input from franchisees about what’s working best and which areas need improvement, your marketing plan should ensure consistency across all operators.
2. Scattered Campaigns
Both direct mail and email are channels that can work well for franchise marketing. While plenty of franchises are aware of these channels, they often make a significant mistake when trying to use them. That mistake is not managing these efforts through an integrated platform. Not having a centralized platform will increase marketing costs and decrease the efficiency of campaigns.
3. Lack of Budget
With marketing channels like social media, it’s possible to get more bang for your buck by creating campaigns and content that gain organic momentum. Although increasing marketing ROI is great, getting campaigns up and running still requires having a budget. So if a marketing plan doesn’t include getting at least some financial support from franchisees, chances are very good that it’s going to significantly hamper results.
4. Forgetting About Personalization
As a franchise, you probably want your presence to spread well beyond your home base. It’s normal to have aspirations to create an established presence on a national or even international scale. One important thing to keep in mind as your franchise is opened in more locations is marketing efforts should be personalized to the area. When franchises don’t take regional or cultural differences into account, they miss out on a big opportunity to tailor their marketing efforts in a way that helps them to resonate even more (while still maintaining a consistent brand image).
To get even more help with your marketing and other franchise operations, be sure to take a look at our franchisor services.
At the start of this year, analysts found that there were 2.8 billion active social media users around the globe. To put that number in perspective, 2.8 billion was the entire population of the world in 1955. This figure marks a global penetration of thirty-seven percent. What may come as an even bigger surprise is social media grew by twenty-two percent last year.
Based on those figures, it’s safe to say that just about anyone your business may want to reach is on social media. Of the billions of active social media users, 28% are on just one platform and another 24% are on two platforms. Active users of three platforms drop to 16%, then 8% for four platforms and only 4% for five. What those percentages show is when people find a platform they like, they’re going to stick with it. This is the first big lesson for franchises that want to utilize social media marketing. You need a clear idea of exactly who you’re trying to reach so you can find the one or two platforms where most of those individuals are spending their time online.
Getting Your Audience’s Attention
When Facebook made a big change to their algorithm a few years ago, they explained that anytime someone visited their News Feed, there were over 1,500 possible stories that Facebook could show. Since then, the rate at which social media content is produced has only continued to grow. While social media usage (especially on mobile devices) has also continued to increase, competition for attention is fierce. Because major media publications and businesses of all sizes want to get their content in front of people on social media, identifying exactly who you want to reach and how to get their attention is an essential component of a successful franchise social media marketing strategy.
From Social Media to Customers
Once you have the attention of your target audience on social media, you’ll want to provide them with consistent value in the form of great content. By delivering value, you’ll establish a trusted relationship with your audience. Having this level of trust will then allow you to make compelling offers that successfully convert a meaningful percentage of your audience into customers.
How to Get An “Unfair” Advantage
Even though we only skimmed the surface of social media marketing, it’s clear that developing and executing an effective strategy requires a lot of work. If you know that you want to utilize social media to market your franchise but aren’t sure where to start, take a look at how expert franchise marketing services from Franchise Success Team can put your organization on a path to online success.
Most franchises are already aware that they need a strong marketing message. However, there’s often a significant disconnect between crafting the right message and having an audience to deliver it to. The reality of the franchise industry is very few sales happen by accident. Instead, the types of franchisors that are able to consistently sell new franchises do so by having a clear marketing plan that’s carefully crafted to attract a specific type of prospect.
In order to craft this kind of marketing plan, there are some essential elements that need to be in place. We’re going to cover all four of those elements right now, along with the role they play in a franchise marketing plan:
The reason this element is first on our list is even the best marketing plan is only going to succeed if there’s a budget to support it. When it comes to choosing your budget, setting clear growth goals and then working backward is the best strategy. This will give you a ballpark estimate that you can then compare against industry averages. Once your marketing budget is set, you’ll be able to use it to check the feasibility of other steps in your marketing process.
2. Focused Market
Making the market you want to target as tight as possible has two significant advantages. First, you’ll be able to craft a message that truly resonates with these individuals. And second, you’ll reduce the amount of money you waste trying to reach people who aren’t ultimately the right fit for purchasing a franchise. In addition to using your intuition, you’ll want to use resources like primary research to really drill down into your target market.
Although marketing funnels aren’t a new concept, many franchisors still fail to utilize them. Creating a marketing funnel will make it much easier to track all the metrics related to your marketing. A well-defined funnel will also improve the effectiveness of your marketing activities. And by knowing each step in your funnel, you’ll be able to pinpoint areas that are underperforming and then invest in optimizing them.
If the franchise you’re selling has a seasonal element to it, this is something your marketing plan should take into account. But even if seasonality isn’t an issue, it’s important to know that franchise sales are at their peak between January and March, with November and December being the months when these types of sales crawl to a halt. By taking these and other timing factors into account, you’ll be able to choose the optimal times to ramp up marketing spend.
While the four elements we covered above will help guide your marketing efforts, fully crafting an optimal franchise marketing plan and then executing it on an ongoing basis still requires a lot of work. If you would like a knowledgeable expert who can help with these kinds of tasks, be sure to take a look at the franchise marketing services we offer.
June 22-24, 2017 in Orlando, FL
Join an exhilarating mix of content creators, social media stars, entrepreneurs, top brands, activists and fans at #BlogHer17!
You’ll experience inspiring keynotes, sessions where you’ll learn the latest techniques, and find opportunities to network with YOUR community.
BlogHer was founded in 2005 by Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page, and Jory Des Jardins to answer the question, “Where are the women bloggers?” Since then, BlogHer has become an unstoppable movement, inspiring women to find their voices and turn their passions into content, community, and commerce, attracting some of the web’s best talent and top social sites, in topics from food and fashion to politics and parenting.
Today, the BlogHer conference is the largest annual celebration of women online content creators, social media influencers, entrepreneurs, media makers and brand marketers. BlogHer is a member of the SheKnows Media family, a mission-driven women’s media company, and the number-one women’s lifestyle digital media company, with 79 million unique visitors per month. Our mission is simple: Women inspiring women.
Check out this 2-minute compilation of last year’s conference to see what to expect: https://goo.gl/DR2UGK
Want To Learn How Social Media Can Help Your Business Increase Sales And Generate Leads?
RSVP to our event!
“How To Successfully Grow Your Business With Social Media”
Presented by: Michelle Hummel, CEO of Web Strategy Plus
Join us for a fun networking and learn session where we will show you exactly how to grow your business with proven Social Media Marketing techniques you can implement right away!
Dinner will be provided so bring yourself, a friend, business cards and your think tank to this fun and engaging learning session. We will be giving away Door Prizes and one lucky winner will receive a $1,500 value Social Media Makeover!
Over the course of just a few years, many changes have occurred across the marketing landscape. These changes are just as relevant to franchises as they are to any other type of business that’s trying to reach new customers. Since marketing has a big impact on how well a franchise is able to do and grow, we want to highlight four essentials of any solid franchise marketing strategy:
1. Tell a Story
When it comes to making your franchise stand out from any competitors, having a compelling story to tell can be a significant advantage. By building your brand around a story that resonates with target customers, you can make them feel far more connected to your business. Once you’ve crafted a great story for your franchise, it’s important to look at each marketing outlet and come up with a strategy for the best way to communicate your story.
2. Utilize Customer Reviews
Receiving a great review from a customer always feels good. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you should do with this kind of content. Not only can customer reviews boost the visibility of your franchise in local search engine results, but you can use them in a variety of ways. Whether it’s sharing them through your social media profiles or putting them directly on your website, reviews and any other types of content that customers create are marketing gold mines.
3. Don’t Overlook Email
Because social media has become such a popular form of online marketing, it’s easy to overlook other channels. But not taking advantage of options like email can be a big mistake. By using social media to drive leads to sign up for your email list, you will be in an optimal position to build a relationship with those prospects and ultimately convert them into customers. One of the advantages for franchises that make email marketing a priority is their ability to segment and target their list of email subscribers.
4. Empower Franchisees
Marketing works best when it runs through an entire organization. This fact is why the franchises that are most successful at marketing actively empower their individual owners. By not only creating a marketing system that can be utilized by every franchisee, but also giving them the ability to try new marketing channels and share their results with the rest of the organization, you will create a culture that allows marketing efforts to thrive.
While the essentials covered above will help you build a solid foundation for your franchise marketing efforts, there’s still a lot of ongoing work required for successfully executing this type of plan. If you would like expert, hands-on help with this work, be sure to take a look at the franchise marketing services we offer.
Marketing programs are an important part of franchising. Collecting funds from the different franchisees in a system can lead to greater marketing power. On the other hand, this type of policy can cause tension if some people feel that the money is not being spent the way it should be. That is why you need to make sure that your company’s marketing system is rock solid. Here are some key qualities of a great franchise marketing program:
For the franchise to be successful, the marketing program should attract lots of customers. If the franchise can consistently do this, all conflicts will be easily taken care of.
The Franchise Is Taken Into Consideration
The most successful franchise marketing programs give franchisees the opportunity to voice their opinions. While the franchiser will make the final decision, it’s important to give everyone a chance to add some input. Don’t forget that the franchisees are the people who frequently interact with customers.
Smart Allocation of Funds
Most franchises spend their marketing fund dollars on a few important things. They may cover any costs incurred during a specific marketing effort. This money can cover the costs of producing different types of marketing materials. Fund dollars are often also used to make media buys. It’s hard to spend enough money on all three areas, which is why there are often complaints about too much money being spent in one area, while neglecting others. That’s why it is important to maintain a good balance among all the areas.
Ask the franchisees how well the marketing program is working. You should receive honest and direct feedback. Ask how well the marketing plan is working in regards to attracting customers. Ask if they feel that they are getting good value for their contributions to the marketing fund. If the franchisees are happy about the marketing program, things will run smoothly and any potential problems may be avoided.
The Program Is Well Documented
Any strategic franchise marketing program should be documented by the franchiser. While you probably won’t have all of the marketing documentation, you should have some type of manual. This will help you look at the strategies to market effectively.
Marketing is a critical component of creating an appealing franchise opportunity, which is why you should dedicate a lot of time and energy towards it. A solid marketing program needs to have good materials, effective systems and easily attract new customers into the business. The more work you put into developing a great marketing program, the happier you will be with the results. And if you want to be sure you’re on the right track from the beginning, our franchise marketing services can help.
Since all franchise owners want this year to be more successful than the last, the question is how best to make this happen. The key to success is with your marketing strategy, and as is true with any marketing effort, you want to continue to build your brand while at the same time bring in new leads. The following are three areas you should focus your attention to achieve both brand building and lead generation: Continue reading
Regardless of their specific industry, most businesses have come to the realization that they need to utilize social media. While that rule of thumb holds true for franchises, it’s important to note that they do present some unique challenges. Although it’s important to be aware of the considerations that apply directly to franchisee social media usage, the good news is once you know about those specific issues, you can adapt and ensure you’re making the most of your marketing strategy.
Be Aware of Applicable Regulations Continue reading