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Running a successful franchise in multiple locations and optimizing each one for maximum engagement and recognition in their local markets is definitely one of the most difficult tasks for a business leaders. Yes, you should trust your franchisees to do a stellar job and manage their branches in an efficient and effective way, but only if you have done your part of the job beforehand.

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So, what is your job? As a franchisor, your job is to create a strong overarching marketing strategy that will help every branch maximize its marketing potential while ensuring brand consistency every step of the way. To that end, here are the most effective ways you can create a winning franchise marketing strategy.

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1. Create a Partnership with Other Non-Competition Businesses

Of the best things you can do during the slow season is find other stores or businesses who are in their fast season. As stated before, different industries and businesses have different slow times of year. If you can find someone with a fast season in your slow and a slow season in your fast, you may have just found your perfect business partner relationship. Talk to the other business owner, pull together a franchise marketing plan for two, and watch your business pick up.

2. Participate in Local Events

There are usually local events year round in most towns. This may come in the form of holiday-specific events like Halloween, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas events or they may come in seasonal, annual events like a cause-specific 5k or baseball league. Find what your city offers and try to participate somehow either as a sponsor or a human/company participant. This is a great way to put franchise marketing smack dab in the middle of your community as a contributing, visible, human member instead of just a brand name.

3. Offer Military Discounts and Run Contests

Everybody looks for businesses who are offering specials. Not only does offering military discounts bring in more customers, but it also looks good on your business as you support your country and your troops. You can design contests with free giveaways around specific events or times of year that are happening. Make sure your franchise marketing for these events is well stated that way people know something is going on.

4. Get More Involved in Social Media

Perhaps you have a social media account or maybe your business has never put stock into social media marketing before. If your business is slow, consider looking into alternative types of franchise marketing that you haven't taken advantage of yet. With the popularity of social media, there are few better ways to get your name out there than through social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. With the help of social media websites, you will be able to advertise your business on top of managing customer relations with real-time conversation. If you are not sure if you have the time or knowledge of social media marketing, don't worry, there are tons of companies out there that can help you with that too.

 

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ou know there are "right" customers and "wrong" customers and while you may not (yet) know how to tell them apart before they become your customer, you know that the "wrong" customers deliver the least value and create the majority of problems in your business.

Who is a customer?

Customers (or clients), by the way, are not just the people who buy your products and services. They also include your employees, and if you're a franchisor, they include your franchisees.

Be careful of expert advice!

So I read a passage on a blog that provided "some helpful hints on how you can spot a great franchise marketing system" and the first hint was this:

Customers are brought in the doors. This is what every business boils down to in the end, whether or not the marketing system brings in the customers. After all, that is where you make your profits.

Taking the express train to bankruptcy

And I thought to myself: Or that is where you lose your profits, your money and ultimately your business!

It's not enough to drive customers through the doors of a franchise, or any business. You've got to drive the "right" customers through the doors! Most businesses, and most marketing systems, do not fulfill that objective. And that's one reason why franchises struggle and fail.

So don't be fooled into thinking that a good franchise is one where "the marketing system" drives customers to the door!

Happy franchisees make the most money

To wit: Some years ago the new CEO of a major retail franchisor asked me to help his franchisees attract more customers and ultimately generate higher revenues so that (a) the franchisees would earn (and keep) more money, and (b) the franchisees would pay higher royalties. Since the beginning of franchising, franchisors have known that franchisees who make and keep the most money are the happiest franchisees!

So I spent several weeks working with a few franchisees to find out more about their customers. Here's what we discovered:

 

  • It cost the "average" franchisee $100 to get a new customer to come through the door (that included marketing costs and the required fee for the franchise advertising fund).
  • The "average" customer spent about $10.
  • No one knew if the customer would return - ever.
  • If the customer did return - no one could predict when or how often.
  • The "average" franchisee did little to nothing to bring the customer back again repeatedly (and you may be surprised to find out why).

Busy, busy, busy going out of business!

 

So while it appeared "the marketing system" was doing its job, e.g. the franchisees were busy serving customers throughout the day, in reality "the marketing system" was slowly running the franchisees out of business (and perhaps into an early grave)!

That and the fact that the franchisees were so busy, busy, busy taking care of all the customers "the marketing system" provided that they had no time to do the things that would have insured getting the maximum benefit out of their customers, i.e. increasing sales, increasing frequency, building rapport with key customers, gathering referrals, etc.

Who caused that fire?

As one franchisee told me, "From the time I open the door in the morning until I close it at the end of a long day, I don't have time to do anything but put out fires."

Upon examination, most of the "fires" were caused by customers and employees. Occasionally, even though they didn't know it, the franchisee caused some of the fires!

Blame it on the franchisor, of course

You can be sure the franchisor got blamed for the majority of the challenges the franchisees faced. Frankly, I would take the side of the franchisees on that issue (though it does no good to blame anyone, but rather to accept responsibility). The franchisor could have done a better job sooner! In other words, the CEO that hired me had only recently arrived at the company. To his credit, he quickly assessed "the marketing system" and knew that it was broken. However, this company had been operating for many years prior to hiring this CEO. Where were the marketing folks all those years? Where was the company's leadership?

Why doesn't this system work?

So what was wrong with "the marketing system" at this company?

Simply, it was producing the "wrong" customers for the franchisees!

Even among customers there are stars

Through our continued research we further discovered that not all customers were created equal! Some spent more money than others and never, ever complained or started a "fire"! Of course, those were "the right" customers.

Problem was, "the marketing system" produced too few "right" customers.

Revealing more about "right" customers

Without giving away too much information (and revealing the company), here's more of what we discovered about the "right" retail customers for this franchise business. They:

 

  • spent about twice as much as the average customer
  • returned 3 to 4 times a week
  • owned a business, which existed within 3.5 miles of the franchise location
  • were males (64%) and females (36%)
  • had partners in their business (46%); most often, a spouse
  • were between the ages of 32 and 62

 

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Businesses are realizing that they require a marketing agency that takes a holistic approach to their online web presence and digital marketing strategy.

Contact us today to learn more about Marketing your Franchise Business.


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Franchise PPC Marketing Financing Deals Welcome

Franchise PPC Marketing Financing Deals Welcome