Jumpstart your Franchise Business with Our Proven to Convert Franchise Marketing Services in Welcome
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.
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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
Franchise Marketing Plan
Is Your Franchise Marketing System Turning Profits Or Running You Out of Business?
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 Plan
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