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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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How to Franchise - Marketing a Franchise Successfully

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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Franchise Marketing - Step it Up a Notch!

Franchises benefit from corporate advertising such as television and radio spots, coupons, newspaper inserts and more. But individual franchisees can't expect to succeed by resting on the efforts of others or broad-sweeping efforts performed in a catchall fashion. It's up to you, as the local franchise owner, to coordinate and implement marketing campaigns that will rally favor with the community.

Because they are flexible, customizable and proven to work, inflatables have always had a natural affinity with franchise sales and marketing. Here are just a few ways incorporating inflatables into your plans can pay off.

1. Promotional Item Giveaways - Inflatable key chains, balls, picture frames and more can be branded with your logo and location. Since everybody likes to win something, have regular drawings for prizes or offer to give promotional items to the first X number of visitors every Tuesday during certain times. You generate good will and provide a way to remind customers to visit your store again soon.

2. Inflatable Product Replicas - Want to stop traffic in the streets and on the sidewalk? Place an inflatable product replica in your parking lot or on your roof. As if their size wasn't enough of a showstopper, giant inflatables also give a lift to franchise marketing because they are colorful. Since they are exact replicas of your products (just much larger!) and not something typically seen every day, curiosity takes hold and customers can't help but walk in to see what's going on.

3. Inflatable Mascots - Similar in size and function to inflatable product replicas, these are giant, identical representations of your corporate mascot. Due to the emotional connection mascots make with customers, these inflatables have a big draw with franchise sales and marketing campaigns.

4. Inflatable Costumes - They walk, they talk, they shake customers' hands. Inflatable costumes add life to any promotion. A combination of inflatable, mascot and costume, these are inflatables you can wear. A built-in fan gives the costume its shape and keeps the person inside cool.

5. Advertising Blimps - Want to see sales soar? Take flight with inflatable advertising blimps. This familiar shape is customized with your franchise's colors and logo, then anchored outside your location. Customers will be able to spot you from miles away.

Because inflatables are easy to set up, deflate, pack up and move, they work wonderfully for use at multiple locations.

Want to kick your franchise marketing up a notch? Inflatables do the job for quick-service food restaurants, tax-preparation offices, auto-parts stores, hair salons and many others. Check out the wide variety of available options that can boost traffic to your store.

 

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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