New franchises have unique marketing requirements. They are not large, corporate brands with cohesive teams and multi-level budgets, nor are they small businesses that only focus on a local presence. Franchises fall between the two, needing a robust system that can push-out a marketing agenda across a network while maintaining the local independence of franchisees.
Below are 3 tips, ideas, and strategies that will help you structure your franchise marketing for a distributed model, starting with some advice from Franchise Marketing Executive Chris Pelle:
Franchise Marketing Tip #1: Use a Marketing Platform That Works Across Your Franchise Network
When it comes to digital marketing, having a software platform that centralizes management is vital. Not only will it allow you to design and implement your branding, it automates changes made across your network of sites.
When you use a consistent marketing platform for your franchise, it ties your efforts together in essential ways. Your designs, images, and copy will be consistent and accurate for all franchisees. You can set-up advertising campaigns that maintain your branding while being optimized for each local market.
And perhaps most importantly, a platform unifies your data resources, anchoring results in a common language. This let’s franchisors and franchisees look at trends, search marketing performance, conversion results and other marketing data and have an accurate point of reference for their dialogue. When disparate campaigns are run, on the other hand, it’s difficult to verify if the processes and materials used in one location will work in another.
The ability to push-out a successful idea from one franchisee to all of them is at the core of franchising success. When you discover a win, you need a systematic, automated way to get all your franchisees in on it.
Franchise Marketing Tip #2: All for One, One for All
As we said, franchises occupy a unique space. They are corporate, national-based organizations made-up of many hyper-localized businesses. You need a way to market a growing brand while giving franchisees the flexibility to market effectively as their local area dictates.
Marketing 360®, for example, is a marketing software platform controlled and overseen by the franchisor, which can still be managed and customized by each franchisee. It has data tracking, budget management, and CRM tools robust enough for an enterprise, but it’s simple enough a local businessperson new to digital marketing can implement it.
An “one for all” marketing software solution doesn’t put too much of the burden on the franchisor while still making it easy to maintain brand consistency. Likewise, it gives the franchisee independence to adjust to the local market without creating a divide that isolates them from the franchise.
Franchises should avoid an overly complex solution meant for central enterprise, or an overly simplistic one meant only to serve a small, local business.
Franchise Marketing Tip #3: Plan For Growth
As Chris alludes to in the video, it’s important to remain flexible, prepare for changes in technology, and plan for growth as your franchise spreads.
When you discover some channels and campaigns that work, you’ll be tempted to stay with them. The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. You hope the status quo will last forever.
It won’t. Not only do you have to consider the changes driven by new technology, but also how different it will be when you move from just a handful to dozens of franchisee locations.
As new technology and social media platforms arise, plan on uses for your franchise brand. At the same time, lend enough autonomy so that franchisees can use them effectively in their local market.
Discovery campaigns may lead to a powerful marketing channel you need to get every location to use. In other cases, you may find that a channel doesn’t fit for your brand, so you’ll need to steer franchisees away from it.
There is a central theme to all this. To create a marketing system that works across your network, you need marketing software and website template system that fits the unique needs of the franchise business model. The right combination of robust tools, automated functionality, and ease of use that scales for corporate management and hyper-local franchisees.
Marketing 360® certainly fits the bill. It is, at heart, a small business marketing solution built to be manageable for entrepreneurs and local SMBs that need to market agressively online.
But at the same time, it scales to a big data machine and an enterprise level CMS, making it possible to manage all the digital marketing assets of hundreds of franchise locations from a single platform.
Without this kind of system, you can’t keep local franchisees in line with your branding. They’ll go “rebel” on you and start marketing however they see fit.
Likewise, without this level of functionality, you won’t be able to grow as your franchise expands. Digital marketing is multi-faceted and subject to rapid change. You must have a way to integrate current tools and move with the latest trends with a high level of automation.
If your franchise concept is on the cusp of growth, please contact us for a free demo of the marketing software and website content management systems.
With one tool, you can get a multitude of marketing tasks completed, big and small. That’s the key to marketing a franchise in today’s online world.