As a new franchisee, it can be overwhelming to look at all the things you need to do. Fortunately, you’ve chosen a franchise instead of starting your own business, which means that there are already some resources in place to assist with marketing and advertising. However, there will also be some marketing that you’ll want (and need) to do on your own.
In this guide, we’ll talk about the common requirements and marketing elements offered by the franchisor, along with seven fundamentals for success with your own marketing efforts.
Typically, franchisors will have marketing plans in place for the franchise as a whole. Their national plan will be set in stone and will include things like television and radio ads, digital advertising campaigns, social media efforts, and more. They may even have public relations and direct mail campaigns in place.
Some franchisors don’t have a national-level or franchise-level marketing plan. If that’s the case, you’ll have a lot more to do on your own. However, you’ll also have to make sure that you’re doing it within the parameters of their marketing guidelines and restrictions.
Marketing plans usually have to be submitted to the franchisor for your annual marketing, as well as your grand opening or when you first hit the market. Some franchisors will work with you to develop these plans as a joint effort. You’ll also have to discuss which local marketing efforts you’re allowed to undertake.
Most campaigns and initiatives require approval from the franchisor, to some degree. Other franchises might simply require that you use their approved marketing materials and messages, and then you can do with them as you wish. There may also be a requirement that you need to spend a certain amount of your sales on marketing, so be sure to check into that, too.
To help you get started, here are seven fundamental elements that you need to keep in mind when it comes to franchise marketing.
This should always be the first step in any marketing or outreach campaigns. Blanket marketing is not effective and with the digital tools available today, there’s no need to waste time and effort on it. Instead, utilize the tools that you have to zero in on your target audience(s) for each marketing campaign. Then, you will know that the right people are always getting the message.
No marketing campaign will be successful without a solid foundation to stand upon. You should choose a franchisor that also helps with this so that you have the best chances of success. Start by determining what you can and can’t do, as well as how to set up a foundation for success even within the limits that you have. Then, you can get to creating the strategy that will take you there.
The process of creating the marketing plan is perhaps one of the most important in the process. You have to collect the right information, plan a campaign, implement it effectively, and have a strategy for reviewing and analyzing the results of your efforts. Fortunately, it’s not any more complex than you make it, so it could be a lot simpler if you desire.
This is part of planning, but it’s also something that needs to be done as a process of its own. Consider all the different platforms that you can use for marketing: social media, search engine optimization (SEO), digital ads, PPC campaigns, and so many other efforts are rife with opportunities. Of course, you’ll also want to consider direct mail and other “traditional” efforts because they can still prove to be quite effective.
Consider grassroots marketing, too, which is more about getting referrals and building business by participating in various local events and creating a strong reputation for your company.
Speaking of referrals, you need to make sure that you take advantage of these when you can. By building loyalty with your followers and drawing new audiences to the business through your advertising efforts, you’ll generate a lot of repeat business. You’ll also create a lot of customers who are happy to speak on your behalf about the quality of service they experienced and so forth.
Once you’ve implemented your marketing efforts, you’ll need to make sure that you are monitoring them. The analytics and reporting tools that are available for the modern business can help you gather a lot of valuable insight about your marketing and which campaigns are most effective. You can even use these metrics to run test campaigns or engage in A/B testing by deploying different marketing materials and seeing which fare better.
Perhaps one of the best things that a franchisee can do to secure their success is to create campaigns and larger strategies that are agile, scalable, and able to flex with the needs of the business. While you’ll have less total control here (which makes it a bit easier), it’s still going to be up to you to determine how ready you are to switch gears if something isn’t working as it should.
Now that you’ve got a solid marketing plan in place and you know how to proceed, who’s going to be fielding all those incoming leads? At the very least, you need to implement the assistance of a 24/7 answering service so you never miss a single call. When you partner with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, you’ll get that along with solutions to manage lead intake, appointment scheduling, and even live website chat.
Plus, it all comes with a custom-tailored strategy to ensure that we don’t miss any of the details, no matter how big or small your needs might be. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to email@example.com to find out how our virtual receptionists can help your franchise thrive.