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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.
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.
Franchise Marketing - Step it Up a Notch!
If you want to make a business successful you should advertise for it as much as possible locally but keep it simple. The same is true for a franchise business. When you just open your franchise, how are people supposed to know you are there unless you let them know. Or if you have already been opened for some time, how will keep existing customers and attract the new customers? The key to this is advertising for your franchise locally. Yes, your franchisor may offer a great marketing plan, but you want to add to it to increase sales. Or, your franchise may not offer a marketing plan at all. Either way there are several ways you can advertise for you franchise to generate business and stay successful from the beginning!
One great way to advertise is how you present yourself. You should present yourself so that you stand out and people remember you, in a good way of course. Also represent your franchise business. If you own a surf ware franchise, you would not really be able to promote it in a suit. If you support what you sell or provide you will attract others to check it out. If someone complements you on something, how great would it be to say "Thanks, I actually sell this at...., you should come check it out". This is such a simple way to advertise your franchise.
Also, get business cards with your name and location and be personable. I remember being on a plane ride home alone. A nice man, dressed professionally was sitting next to me. He started a conversation with me about our destination and other small talk. After we had talked about why we going there for some time (I was going home and he was on business) he handed me his business card and said he was opening a new restaurant in my area and to come by and check it out. He also gave me a coupon for a free appetizer. Well, I did go to his restaurant and I told many people about it since I enjoyed the experience. This brings out two other ways you can advertise locally for your business. Offering something for free or discounted and word of mouth!
People love free stuff! So, if you can think of something to offer or a great deal you can attract people to come in. Even if it is something small like a free drink on certain days. Sometimes you have to give a little to get a lot! You still have to let people know it is there. So like the guy above did be personable and promote yourself!
The other key thing is word of mouth advertising. This can be a great way to get new customers into your franchise and it is FREE! If someone has a good experience they will share it with others and then they will want to check things out also. However, keep in mind this can be turned around quickly, so make sure you are only giving people good things to talk about.
Franchise Marketing Systems Implementation
Franchise Marketing Strategies to Bring in Clients During the Slow Season
If you are an internal or external small business consultant for a franchise organization, you are constantly looking for ways to help your clients improve their marketing efforts in order to increase revenues.
The value of marketing efforts for franchises should be measured by both their cost-effectiveness and their results in terms of increased sales for the organization. Improved cost-effectiveness can be achieved by implementing better marketing systems. Such systems need to be designed to minimize the time required by the corporate office to oversee the management of local franchisee marketing campaigns, while at the same time they need to contribute towards an increase in the corporate office's visibility into the campaigns and towards increased brand consistency across the organization.
Here are 5 tips for small business consulting franchise marketing made easy:
Tip #1: Unify your brand image across all franchise locations by using consistent collateral: Fast-growing franchise organizations often find themselves quickly outgoing their own marketing systems that worked so well during the early stages of growth. The modus operandi for marketing within a franchise organization must necessarily change when the organization goes from 10 locations to 50 or more, but unfortunately many organizations fail to keep pace with their own growth. One of the riskiest consequences of this type of rapid growth is the loss of control over the organization's brand image due to individual franchisees taking on the task of managing their own campaigns using inconsistent marketing collateral. Therefore, it is important to advise your client to find ways to unify the company's brand image across the entire organization.
Tip #2: Put the power of ordering direct mail and promotional goods directly into the hands of franchisees: By letting individual franchisees control their own, independent direct mail campaigns, you give them the power to mail to whom they want, when they want. However, at the same time by doing so you may be giving up the economies of scale associated with centralizing your direct mail and promotional goods sourcing. The best bet for your client's growing business, then, is for them to continue to empower their franchisees to remain in control of their own direct campaigns, but at the same time you need to help your client find to streamline the fulfillment of direct mail through a single source.
Tip #3: Contract directly with vendors at the corporate level in order to leverage volume buying opportunities: By advising your client to contract directly with vendors who will fulfill promotional goods and print-related orders, you are helping your client to lower operational costs by giving them the ability to leverage volume buying opportunities.
Tip #4: Centralize mailing list generation for maximum quality control: Many individual franchisees have very specific ideas about how and to whom they want to mail coupons and other offers. And, by all rights, they should retain control of this process. At the same time, franchisees tend to have varying degrees of aptitude for list management. And, often mailing list data that is locally sourced is of poor quality, full of errors and outdated. By centralizing the generation of mailing lists but at the same time allowing franchisees to choose their list quantities and demographic selects, your client's organization will enjoy better ease of list generation and higher response rates.
Tip #5: Automate the entire ordering process to minimize the delays and errors associated with human interaction: Finally, your client will also benefit from setting up an Internet-mediated, automated system that enables franchisees to execute customized direct mail and promotional goods campaigns the features only corporate-approved collateral. Such a centralized system gives your client's corporate office full control and visibility into the ordering habits of individual franchisees, but it also safely leaves the decision-making authority about the specifics of each local campaign in the hands of franchisees.
When conducting small business consulting for franchise organizations in the area of marketing, it is important to advise your clients on how to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of organization-wide marketing. At the same time, your recommendations should find ways to empower franchisees at the local level to run their marketing campaigns on their own terms.
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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