FRANCHISE MARKETING PLAN: How to Develop an Effective Plan

One of the most difficult responsibilities for a business manager/owner is to run a successful franchise in numerous locations and optimize each one for maximum engagement and awareness in their local markets. Yes, you should put your faith in your franchisees to perform an excellent job and operate their branches efficiently and effectively, but only if you have done your bit. So, here’s the deal; as a franchisor, your responsibility is to develop a comprehensive marketing plan that will enable each branch to maximize its marketing potential while maintaining brand consistency along the way. To that end, here are the most efficient methods for developing a successful franchise marketing plan/strategy.


There is no greater ending for a company venture for an entrepreneur than to watch it expand into a valuable franchise. When that happens, the company may undergo a new phase of expansion in which it expands to several cities and states, eventually becoming a household name. However, the original owner will most likely require years operating several sites and fine-tuning all areas of the business’ operations before that can happen. As a result, any other entrepreneur seeking for a ready-made, successful company opportunity will be able to afford the franchise rights.

One of the first and most important tasks for a franchise owner is to establish and implement a solid franchise marketing plan that will promote the business in the regions where it operates and expose the brand to the audience that will drive the franchise’s growth. It’s one of the biggest problems every franchisee encounters, and it’s not simple to succeed. After all, not every company has the potential to become the next McDonald’s or Marriott, but with the correct marketing plan/strategy, they can.

How to Plan and Prepare for a Successful Franchise Marketing Strategy

Here is an overview of preparations to make and the four fundamentals of establishing a franchise marketing plan that will enhance brand awareness and create solid growth to assist franchise owners and entrepreneurs interested in setting up or growing a new franchise.

Laying a Strong Foundation

Before tackling the challenge of creating a franchise marketing plan, it’s vital to lay the necessary groundwork to ensure that the plan can be implemented. In practice, this entails growing the company to the point where it functions like a well-oiled machine and earns enough income to fund a large-scale marketing campaign. The first stage in that approach is to standardize all existing franchise sites’ merchandise and operating methods. This will provide you with the consistency you need to build a brand image, which is an important aspect of any successful franchise marketing strategy or plan.

But how do you go about this?

Start by establishing the specific products and services that will make up the franchise’s brand. This endeavor should include a guidebook with step-by-step instructions to guarantee that every site provides a consistent, repeatable client experience.

Starbucks’ beverage manual is an excellent example, as it has detailed instructions on how to make every single product the company sells, including topping patterns and how to properly add whipped cream to a cup. As a result, it becomes possible to provide every customer with the exact identical experience, every time, in every place.

Read Also: FRANCHISE MARKETING: Definition, Strategies & How It Works

What is the next step?

Basically, once standards have been established, the next step is to ensure that the personnel responsible for upholding those standards understand how to collaborate in order to preserve those standards in all aspects of operations. This necessitates thorough training for all front-line employees, as well as the creation of a collaborative culture that promotes teamwork and a collective effort to maintain excellence.

These efforts will also serve as the foundation for a franchisee training system, which will assist in the production of successful new owners capable of running additional sites that meet the same high standards as the original.

The Four Tenets of Successful Franchise Marketing

It’s okay to start building a franchise marketing plan if the business is in a position to support a large marketing campaign. It’s, however, vital to note that a franchise marketing strategy/plan has two goals:

  • To promote the brand in the consumer’s consciousness and
  • To recruit future franchisees.

The following four fundamental tenets can help you achieve those two goals at the same time.

#1. The Importance of Brand Consistency Cannot Be Overstated

All main efforts in franchise marketing will focus on delivering a story to the consumer in order to develop a brand identity and inspire involvement. Consumers must have a uniform experience at every touchpoint, regardless of the franchise location, to optimize the effects of such efforts. That is why operational consistency was previously mentioned as a critical factor.

The same may be said for marketing activities. Creating a thorough brand book that franchisees can follow is essential to presenting a consistent brand message. This helps to keep individual franchisees from going off the rails in an attempt to set themselves apart from the larger brand. It also entails building a procedure via which individual franchisees can contribute to the development of corporate marketing strategies/plans. This will assist buy-ins and open the door to brand innovations, which will keep things interesting and fresh.

#2. Social Media Is an Important Marketing Tool

Like no other medium, social media provides franchisees with a direct channel of connection to specific audiences. It assists the franchise in developing a brand personality and establishes two-way communication with customers, allowing for important feedback and customized messaging. As a result, it’s vital for franchises to prioritize their social media presence in order to maximize what has become the primary marketing platform.

Let’s consider the fast-food chain Wendy’s to illustrate the idea.

It competes in a market with some of the most well-known and well-known companies in the world, but it has carved out a distinct brand position based on its social media presence. Their marketing campaign demonstrates how creating a relationship with customers can overcome a slew of other market hurdles, allowing a franchise to outperform its peers in terms of exposure and market share.

#3. Personalized Marketing Based on Location

Although it’s vital to maintain brand consistency throughout the franchise, there should still be an opportunity for personalization in the franchise marketing strategy/plan. Giving franchisees the tools and information they need to operate their own location-specific email marketing campaigns and direct consumer outreach operations is one of the adequate ways to embrace personalization.

Most of the time, this is best accomplished by selecting and implementing a turnkey CRM system that allows individual locations to track and engage their customers.

Meanwhile, when picking a platform to build on, keep in mind that the given systems will need to work together as well as independently (to enable franchise-wide marketing initiatives) (for location-specific marketing).

In addition, it’s vital to urge franchisees to use as much marketing automation as possible to keep each location’s total cost of ownership low and appealing.

Keap is an example of a platform that enables high levels of marketing process automation while also offering back-end business support and data analysis.

#4. Marketing Must Provide a Clear Return on Investment for Franchisees

When developing a franchise marketing plan, keep in mind that it must serve multiple purposes. The first goal is to promote the brand and build market positioning, as we’ve already stated. The second goal is to provide a constant and measurable return on investment (ROI) to franchisees, who will be the primary underwriters of the marketing effort through a monthly fee structure. The continuous value of the marketing plan must be obvious and quantifiable, as most franchisees will integrate ongoing marketing fees into their franchise finance plans.

Tracking marketing ROI is more difficult for franchisees because the results aren’t always fairly distributed around locations and are influenced by the franchisee’s local efforts. It’s critical to have a clear coding system that enables the tracking of overall results in order to demonstrate the ROI of major marketing initiatives.

Franchise-wide sales, as well as any coupons associated with them, should, for example, have embedded tracking information to allow for extensive analysis of results. As a result, the company can give franchisees with monthly data that tells them exactly where their marketing expenditures are spent and how it affects their bottom line.

Tips for Designing a Perfect Marketing Plan

The following are effective tips for creating an effective marketing strategy;

#1. Ensure That the Franchise’s Brand Is Consistent

Smart marketing begins with the creation of a brand. After all, if you don’t have a strong brand identity and a compelling story to tell, what does your marketing plan have to say to your target demographic? Remember that your marketing strategy’s goal is to spread your brand and everything it stands for throughout the internet and offline worlds, therefore you must first establish something worth sharing; basically, an identity that will connect with your target audience emotionally.

However, lack of brand consistency in local markets is one of the primary challenges for franchises.

#2. Use Content to Help Your Local Franchises Develop

The name of the game in digital marketing is content marketing. Not only is content marketing crucial for audience engagement, but SEO-friendly content is also the key to ranking at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). To rank higher in local searches and establish the brand as the authority in the local market, each of your branches should, of course, take content marketing seriously.

Focus on the following to assist your franchises in creating fantastic content:

  • Keywords that are appropriate to each local market
  • Create headlines for articles that are relevant to the people in your area.
  • Encourage local franchises to write intriguing and in-depth articles that will help local readers while also being SEO friendly.
  • Ensure that all branches diversify their content offerings by producing written, audio, and video content, as well as attractive imagery and infographics that are properly optimized.

All of these content formats can help to drive your local franchises’ email marketing, social media accounts, and, of course, blog pages.

#3. Place a Premium on Word-Of-Mouth Marketing

One of the most potent tools in any marketer’s or franchisor’s arsenal is word-of-mouth marketing. Incentivizing and encouraging people to spread the word about your business is a surefire approach to increase brand awareness and recognition, as well as establish a trustworthy relationship with your target market. And, as you probably well know, in order to make a purchase, the modern consumer must have faith in you.

Furthermore, potential franchisees investigating how to choose a franchise will base their final decision on a variety of variables, the most essential of which will be honest testimonials from consumers and franchise employees. Rest assured that potential customers and franchisees will seek out your employees for candid feedback on the brand, so make sure they are happy in every manner.

Basically, the quality of your products, customer service, and company culture, both internally and internationally, will all play a role in developing a powerful word-of-mouth marketing plan. When you combine these successful elements with savvy influencer marketing, you’ve got yourself a solid WOM marketing plan to propel your business forward.

#4. Every Branch Should Have Its Own Email Marketing Plan

Many marketers and business experts believed that email would eventually fade out and be replaced by new, more polished modes of communication as the digital revolution gained more ground in the previous couple of decades. They had no idea that email marketing would not only survive but also thrive in the present period as one of the most promising marketing platforms.

Email is the most direct way to communicate with your target audience. It’s an effective technique to maintain relationships with current customers while also attracting new ones to your brand. Here’s how you can improve your email marketing strategy:

  • Each branch has a one-of-a-kind opportunity to develop its own email strategy.
  • Local market insights should be used by your franchisees to develop email content that is relevant to their population.
  • Every branch can adapt their email campaigns to appeal to local preferences and support the local culture by leveraging relevant data from social media.
  • Every branch has the option to reestablish communication with their potential clients and incentivize them to return and make a purchase using retargeting techniques.

Email offers a lot of promise for franchise growth in general, and it should be a big part of your overall marketing approach.

#5. Establish a Social Media Presence

Finally, it’s essential to remember that social media serves as a portal to a global audience. More especially for a franchise, social media is a portal to numerous local markets – a method to find and understand the tiny details that distinguish a market from others, as well as to influence local trends.

As you can see, a franchise benefits more than any other business structure from social media marketing and management. With this in mind, encourage each branch to manage their own social media profiles while adhering to the overall brand guidelines. You’ll have built a large network and expanded your reach in a cost-effective manner this way.

And because there are several aspects to consider and numerous techniques to follow in each region, franchise marketing differs significantly from traditional business marketing. If you make a single blunder, your entire brand could suffer. These marketing tips help to develop a thorough franchise marketing strategy that will aid in the overall growth of your franchise.

Putting Everything Together

Any business owner who ensures that their franchise is built on solid foundations and creates a franchise marketing plan that adheres to the four tenets and tips outlined here will have a good chance of establishing their brand in the minds of consumers while also creating an appealing opportunity for potential franchisees. Of course, as the firm grows, so will the franchise marketing plan, which will have to extend to accommodate other sites with their own unique demands and situations.

A tax preparation franchise, for example, can contain sites that don’t require a yearly marketing push for state-specific tax items since they’re located in an area where no such tax is imposed. These types of geographical variables add complexity to master franchise marketing strategies/plans, but they may be managed if the planner considers them and adjusts accordingly. When this happens, it’s critical to modify the marketing expenses paid by individual franchisees accordingly, based on the marketing efforts undertaken on their behalf.

Overall, a great franchise marketing strategy/plan is complicated, but it is unavoidable. Business owners can, however, set their franchise on the route to long-term growth by combining brand messaging, consistency, and high standards, and creating success stories wherever their business can reach. At the end of the day, that should be the ultimate goal of any franchise marketing plan—and it’s one that’s well within reach if addressed in the manner shown here.

Franchise Marketing Plan FAQs

How do you create a marketing plan for a franchise?

To create an effective franchise marketing plan, you’d need to;

  • Ensure that the brand is consistent throughout the franchise.
  • To expand your local franchises, use content.
  • Emphasize word-of-mouth advertising.
  • Each branch should have its own email strategy.
  • Establish a social media presence.

What is franchise marketing strategy?

Franchise marketing refers to the techniques and methods used by franchisors and franchisees to attract new clients or consumers and increase income for their franchise company. Digital marketing now accounts for nearly all franchise marketing.

What is the best type of franchise marketing?

According to a lot of experts, marketing automation is one of the most effective marketing strategies you should employ in your franchise marketing campaign. It allows you to nurture each potential franchisee by offering timely and personalized touchpoints at scale with careful planning and execution.

How do marketing plan helps franchise business?

It aids in narrowing the scope of your franchise prospects, focusing your message, and advertising in outlets with fewer franchise competitors. While intuition might be a good place to start, the best marketers back up their instincts with primary research.

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It aids in narrowing the scope of your franchise prospects, focusing your message, and advertising in outlets with fewer franchise competitors. While intuition might be a good place to start, the best marketers back up their instincts with primary research.

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