FRANCHISE MARKETING: Definition, Strategies & How It Works

Franchise marketing

With the franchising marketplace becoming increasingly competitive, enterprise business owners must build consistent franchise marketing strategies in order to effectively communicate a united brand message across locations and engage with their target audience. However, everything from lead generation and content marketing to social media marketing and reputation management has become more challenging with franchise marketing than it is with single-premise retail marketing.

In other words, franchises with disjointed digital marketing strategies risk having misaligned priorities, inconsistent brand messages, and an ineffective audience-targeting strategy. These factors add to the cost of enterprise marketing without yielding lucrative results across organizations.

So, how do you ensure brand consistency across your franchise network? How do you set up and enforce effective foolproof franchise marketing strategies? That leaves us the question, “How do we go about all of these?”

This franchise marketing guide delves into the primary issues and best practices in franchise digital marketing in order to assist you in developing cohesive digital marketing strategies for franchisees that drive maximum brand growth.

What is a Franchise Business?

Let’s start with the fundamentals. A franchise business is defined as an authority provided to an individual or group of individuals in a certain location for a specific period of time in exchange for royalties, profit sharing, or other compensation.

Franchise Marketing Definition

Franchise marketing refers to the strategies 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 of franchise marketing.

Note: The franchisor is the company that sells the license to use its brand and concept to others. The franchisee is a person who invests in the original company by obtaining the right to sell the franchisor's goods or services using the franchisor's existing business model and trademark.

Generally, a balance must be maintained between the franchisor and franchisees in order to properly advertise a franchise. The franchisor must develop a strong, identifiable, and successful brand with a simple business strategy that can be replicated. Meanwhile, in order to preserve brand consistency and profitability across the board, the franchisee must strictly comply with the franchisor’s marketing criteria.

On the other hand, you’re probably either trying to come up with a marketing strategy or having issues with your franchising marketing efforts, particularly your online presence. So essentially, you want to project a certain image at the corporate level, but you also have franchisees that have their own local objectives and outreach strategies.

Consistency is important, but as marketers, we also understand that context is king. Franchisees require the freedom to operate within their local market from time to time in order to engage with their local community.
The marketing of franchises can therefore be separated into two categories:

  • Operational franchise marketing refers to the marketing activities that you, as a franchisor, and your franchisees engage in to attract and keep customers.
  • Any marketing effort that you, as a franchisor, engage in an attempt to sell more franchise locations is known as franchise development marketing.

Now that we know what franchise marketing is, the next key question is: how do you do it?

How can franchisors and franchisees work together to develop a unified marketing strategy that benefits the brand as a whole?

We will get to these shortly…

Franchising Strategy Definition

Franchising is a business strategy for capturing market share, acquiring consumers, and retaining those customers’ connections. This type of system allows existing and potential clients to recognize the organization as a whole.

Franchising can be seen of as a strategic partnership, a web of connections that allows those participating to benefit from brand recognition, successful business operations, and an established distribution system.

Half the time, franchise companies are already “well-known,” adding to the attraction of a pre-existing reputation while avoiding the marketing challenges that new brands must overcome.

How Should Your Franchise Marketing Strategy Be Approached?

Franchises, like other businesses, are seeing a significant shift toward digital marketing. Within certain industries, traditional marketing tactics such as public relations, direct marketing, and advertising are becoming less relevant. In your franchise marketing strategy, creating digital marketing channels, having a strong online presence, and optimizing for SEO are all crucial.

On a local level, marketing is essential to the success of both the franchise as a whole and each individual franchisee. It’s your obligation as a franchisee to lay out a plan for expansion. Your marketing approach is a big element of that growth. And although brand awareness and visibility have a part in decision-making, a repeatable digital marketing strategy is required.

Simultaneously, you want to attract top-tier talent with whom you can build a special working connection. In franchising, people are everything, and finding someone who embodies your brand and enthusiasm is crucial for long-term success. To decide if they want to start a franchise, potential franchisees will analyze your digital presence, social media outlets, and marketing tactics. Top talent is on the lookout for creative brands at the forefront of the industry that can help them on their path to success.

Furtnermore, standardization and location-specific marketing are crucial when it comes to developing your franchise marketing plan and creating a roadmap for success. Telling your brand’s story will be at the center of all of your big marketing campaigns. But, to get the most out of your efforts, make sure your story, your brand, and the consumer experience are all consistent. Your marketing strategy must not only create brand awareness and establish market position, but also provide franchisees with a return on investment.

How to Market a Franchise

Due of the ever-increasing and innovative competition, marketing, let alone franchise marketing, is difficult. But, understanding the personas you’re targeting and employing the appropriate channels to reach each one in a lucrative manner is what distinguishes a successful franchise marketing effort from a failed one.

Franchise Marketing Types & Strategies

When developing your franchise marketing strategy, consider the following channels:

#1. Use of Social Media

It’s essential to go where your consumers, or in this case, franchisees, are spending their time, and social media is where many of them do so. As of 2017, Facebook has over 2 billion monthly active users, whereas LinkedIn had 10 million monthly active users, which is still a significant number.

Being active and engaging with your audiences on a personal and non-sales level will help you expand your reach and, as a result, your franchisee pipeline.

#2. SEO

Many people rely on Google to discover the appropriate answers to their questions, with little over 3.5 billion searches per day. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play in your franchise marketing strategy.

The difference between a continuous flow of leads and no visitors can be determined by optimizing and ranking for the right keyword.

#3. Website

Your website serves as a 24-hour salesperson, assisting both end customers and future franchisees in discovering your business, learning more about what you do, and eventually becoming a paying client.

Your website would drive franchisees through the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action) funnel when it comes to franchise development marketing. This necessitates:

  • Content that explains what it means to own one of your franchises.
  • Why someone might consider being a franchisee
  • Various conversion points to collect an email address
  • A site that is well-designed and simple to navigate on any device (desktop, tablet, mobile)

#4. Mailing Lists

Yes, direct mail is still effective, and it can help you expand your business. It should be strategically designed and closely monitored, just like any other marketing channel.

In other words, instead of a shotgun technique of praying and spraying, you can utilize a laser-focused approach of targeting potential franchisees who meet your requirements and tracking response rates with technologies like call tracking technology.

#5. PPC (Pay Per Click) Marketing

It’s crucial to be in front of the right person at the right moment, ahead of your competition, especially when the stakes are as high as they are with potential franchisees. PPC advertising allows you to accomplish just that.

You may target customers at every level of their research process when looking for a franchise to invest in by using search engine networks like Google AdWords and Bing. When layered on top of a display network like Google’s, which reaches 90% of internet users, your PPC campaign can become a lead generation powerhouse.

However, don’t simply rely on Google’s AdWords network to generate leads; also consider social media advertising. Facebook is a great example of a social media platform that allows you to target your adverts to the right people at the right moment.

#6. Exhibitions

Attending trade exhibitions, whether franchise-focused or industry-specific, is a terrific method to meet and interact with people who could become potential franchisees.

When attending, make sure to acquire email addresses and contact information in addition to business cards and sales materials. This allows you to not only continue to develop your leads into franchisees, but it also allows you to keep track of the effectiveness of each trade show you attend.

#7. Brokers

Working with franchise brokers like those in the Franchise Broker Association is a terrific method to quickly grow your franchisee pool. Working with brokers has the advantage of assisting you with your verification process, ensuring that you are only engaging with competent franchisees.

#8. Organization

Working with organizations like the International Franchise Association and the Canadian Franchise Association can benefit you in a variety of ways. It gives you credibility in comparison to other franchises that aren’t a part of it, as well as educational and professional development options like webinars, seminars, and conferences.

#9. Sponsorships

Sponsorship can aid with both operational and franchise development marketing; but that’s depending on the opportunity. So, consider targeting company and entrepreneurial sponsorship opportunities in local areas where you wish to expand for franchise development marketing.

What’s nice about sponsorships is that they not only help with franchise marketing, but they also aid with brand equity and SEO if the sponsorship includes a link.

#10. Automated Marketing

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 touch points at scale with careful planning and execution.

#11. Franchise Web Sites

Franchise portals are websites that have a database of numerous franchise opportunities based on various attributes such as investment amount, region, and sector. They can also help you build your franchise. You pay these websites a fee in exchange for franchise chances.

#12. Direct Sales

It’s not as flashy as marketing automation or pay-per-click advertising, but it gets the job done. Direct sales, whether it’s pounding the pavement and making cold calls or developing personal ties formed at a trade show, is a potent tool in the marketing arsenal for franchise development.

Franchise Marketing FAQs

What are the 4 types of franchising?

The 4 significant franchising types include the following;

  • Job or operator franchise
  • Management franchise.
  • Retail and fast-food franchises
  • Investment franchise

Why marketing process is important in franchising?

The notion of marketing is extremely beneficial to both the franchisor and the franchisees in terms of adding value to the franchising business and ensuring profitability. The franchise marketing strategy is tailored to understand and meet the needs and wants of the customers.

Is franchising a marketing strategy?

As a franchisor, your responsibility is to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy 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 strategy.

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As a franchisor, your responsibility is to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy 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 strategy.

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