Compulsory centralized marketing programs are probably one of the supreme strengths of franchising. Pooling funds from all of the franchisees in a system gives them communally much greater marketing power. This fundamental fund can be used to do things that no individual franchisee could afford. The fund can also be used to hire professionals to produce advertising materials of far better superiority than what an individual owner could create. It is essential for anyone considering a franchise investment to know prior to becoming a Franchisee that the Franchisor's marketing system is a good one. The essential qualities of a good franchise marketing program include these actions.
The first priority in any marketing system is knowing that the results will be more people using the products or services of the Franchise.
Second, allow franchisees to offer their opinions. They work in the market in which they operate and know what works and what does not. The final decision can be made by the franchisor, but franchisees will appreciate your allowing them to become involved. Create a franchise advisory group consisting of representatives of all of your franchisees. They should meet with the franchisor's marketing group and provide input into future projects and campaigns.
Marketing funds should be directed primarily toward covering the costs of controlling the marketing effort (internal expenses, agency fees, etc.). Next they cover the expense of producing advertising resources (print, direct mail, radio and television ads, etc.). Finally, they pay for media purchases to place these advertisements for the advantage of the contributing franchisees. A frequent franchisee criticism is that too much is being spent in one of these area and not enough in another. Clearly there must be a practical balance between these needs.
Don't spend more on brand advertising than on efforts to bring in more customers. Building the brand is very important but so is bringing in customers. A powerful brand is only as good as the customers in brings in. The marketing system should be carefully documented. A franchisor most likely won't provide all of their proprietary internal marketing documentation, but you can ask for at least the table of contents of the marketing support manuals they provide to franchisees. This will give you a good idea of the extent of the strategies they provide in training franchisees to market successfully. It will also validate that they have improved their systems to the point where they have record them in manuals and other support and training tools.
The undisputable way to determine how the marketing program is working is to start asking the existing franchisees. You'll find that they will be very accommodating on this topic since few things are closer to their hearts than marketing. Be precise and ask them how well the marketing works in terms of bringing customers to their business. Also ask if they think they're steadily getting good value from their contributions to any required marketing fund. If you find a franchise system where the greater parts of the existing franchisees are unhappy about the way their marketing dollars are being administered, you can presume that others will be unhappy as well. If most of the franchisees are satisfied with the way the marketing fund is handled then you will often find that franchisees are happy about most other factors in their business as well.
Franchise Marketing Ideas for Explosive Growth To expand your franchise you must use marketing techniques which will help to reach your target audience. Franchise marketing involves two areas. Customers are first and of course Franchisees. Both can benefit from the same marketing ideas and techniques, but the results differ significantly. Unfortunately, many franchise companies miss this little fact and focus their marketing methods too heavily on one cause over the other.
Search Engine Marketing (PPC & SEO) Search engine marketing means bringing increased traffic to your company on search engines through paid search billboards or other ads as well as natural search earned through SEO practices. Distinguishing between how this helps your franchise grow and how consumers will react is an important difference: Consumer: PPC and SEO techniques will help drive eligible traffic to your franchisee's local page. This eventually helps you generate more leads or sales because your franchisee location or information pages will hopefully be shown to a direct and relevant audience that is most likely to become a long-term client or customer. It saves consumers time because they are instantly taken to the page that means the most to them because of your ads and to SEO efforts.
Franchise Development: Each type of marketing will help drive traffic to your website which in turn will help create more leads. This essentially benefits franchise development the same way as with consumers. Your ads and organic search submissions are optimized for this audience and deliver prospects attracted to starting a franchise.
Encourage Online Testimonials. Testimonials are a strong method for showing your success and satisfaction amongst franchisees and customers. Because you manage the reviews you display on your site nevertheless they can make a big difference: • Consumer: Testimonials provide opinions submitted by satisfied customers and it is important to include them on your site. • Franchise Development: Testimonials are important to franchise development because they permit prospective franchisees to see how current franchisees' businesses are functioning as well as their experiences with the corporate office. Franchise Development The objective is to invite franchises in the locations where you don't already have a franchise. Social media can help make this a likelihood by showing the opportunities your business offers next to your target market. Those who are seeing your social media crusade are your target market; consequently your products and services as well as those who relate are all in one place. Once you see who is the most active on social media, you can start generating more personalized content and emails to ultimately start up a conversation. Build familiarity in the media. This is one facet of franchise marketing that has become more imperative in recent years. Building familiarity of your brand in the media is a great way to find that stability for your two goals: • Consumer: Local newspapers and TV stations want to know what's happening in the neighborhoods they cover. Connecting with publishers, editors and producers with press releases of anything newsworthy at your business will always be of interest to media professionals. Offer to write a free column that benefits a news outlet's viewers. Many local media sources will show interest in your business. Always make sure you're offering pertinent information and have something you can offer back to these media outlets. • Franchise Development: Build relationships with media outlets and provide them with in-house research performed about the industry you operate in and how the franchise system operates in general. The information you provide should be valuable and interesting that the general public. Infographics An infographic is an eye-pleasing portrayal of intricate data. Gather your data, and statistics, and create an infographic to transmit your company messages. They can be used in print, on blogs or on social media platforms. Preparing Your Message Create a budget to make your infographic. When creating an infographic, using various free programs and templates is not a bad idea. The collecting of data and creating charts and graphs can be time consuming. However, the payout could be substantial. Choose your message. The infographic should provide details about your business while not being overly complicated. Keep away from messages that are sales-focused. Buy our product is not a good communication to present. Stating how a product expands quality of life or helps to improve business is a better choice. Non-profits, universities and individuals can profit from infographics, in addition to companies. Infographics can present a story to potential customers more easily than you can by speaking. Assemble data that sustains your message. Choose between assembling your own data or finding reliable data from other sources. The following are good places to find statistics if you can't collect them yourself: • StatPlanet provides worldwide statistics. • Search government websites such as the US Bureau of Labor Statistics or the EPA to get dependable statistics. • Trade journals and scientific studies provide study-based data. • Make sure to list your source(s) for your statistics at the bottom of each graphic section. Use the most trustworthy sources that you can find. • Use industry reports from Ibisworld.com. Input your data into an Excel spreadsheet. The data that you gather can be entered into an Excel spreadsheet where you can create charts of varying types to use in your infographic. Choosing Infographic Tools A graphic designer. If you want a fully personalized infographic, you should consider hiring someone who can produce it. Rates vary by designer so make sure your budget is adjusted accordingly. If you want to use your final infographic to improve web traffic or social media content, then you should hire a graphic designer. A graphic designer with experience will be extremely beneficial. Use a large headline. Don't try to save space by making the font smaller. Use a big font that is easy to read, so that it catches the reader's eye. Use your logo. If you want your website found, make sure your logo, website and social media URLs are prominent in your infographic. If you have a general message that you want to go viral, you can skip this step. Use photographs. If you prefer you can use photos over illustrations. Use between one and six photographs. Make sure to leave plenty of room to separate the images and add text.
David G Komatz is a seasoned leader and manager and has studied franchising extensively. He is versed in the many aspects of franchising including preparing the manuals and policies used in new franchises. Be sure to obtain his book "Franchising" available at https://www.amazon.com/author/dgkomatz.
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