As a franchise owner or marketing manager of a local franchise, you inherently understand the challenges that come along with creating an effective marketing strategy for your franchise.
While many franchise owners rely solely on the marketing efforts of their corporate offices, the most successful franchises also market independently.
Think of your marketing strategy as a building. The pillars of the building that provide stability to the structure are sales, promotions, direct mail, public relations, advertising and online marketing. Successful franchise owners are able to define these six marketing pillars while assigning resources, tracking ROI and continuously fine-tuning varying results.
Here, we’ll break down the six most vital aspects of your franchise marketing strategy.
Without a highly impactful sales process, most franchises will fail. It’s vital that every single franchisee has a step-by-step, systematic sales process to follow that brings in new buyers.
The process needs to be simple and easy to understand. Sales methods for successful franchisees include:
- 1. Person-to-person sales. These are sales opportunities that can be found at trade shows or in unexpected day-to-day situations. As a franchise owner, you need to always be ready to sell your product or service when an opportunity arises.
- Telephone sales. These opportunities happen on an outgoing call basis or when calls are inbound. It’s important to have a dedicated and trained in-house expert who knows your business from top to bottom, and is able to present it on outgoing and incoming calls.
- Technology sales. Technology has vastly improved the process of sales for many franchise owners. Web presentations, texting, email, calendar syncing and social media (more on that later) are all as much of the overall sales process as traditional sales techniques.
Promotions, such as 24-hour sales, midnight madness, giveaways, sweepstakes, customer appreciation events and other special events are all incredible ways to attract new business and bring old customers back.
To succeed with promotions, it’s best to use a solid combination of promotions that use new technologies with promotions that are more traditional.
As an example, consider conducting a sweepstakes offer that’s heavily promoted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and other social media venues. At the same time, advertise the sweepstakes on traditional media like radio, television, print and billboards.
3. Direct Mail
Perhaps you still view direct mail as those promotional postcards you get in your mailbox almost every day. The truth is, this marketing strategy is still a highly viable and effective way to promote your business. But direct mail has grown beyond physical mailers.
Today’s direct mail marketing campaigns take advantage of technology through the effective use of email newsletters, drip campaigns (a short series of emails delivered to prospects over a predetermined period of time) and additional customer opt-in options that provide customers with information about your business.
Good PR remains the most under-valued marketing pillar for most franchise owners. In the past, marketing campaigns centered on PR included sending out press kits and press releases, sponsorships and getting involved in community-centered events. This is something that brands like Calgary Dream Centre have been adopting for some time to great effect.
In today’s digital age, good PR is created around positive online customer feedback, active and entertaining social media pages that inform the public, and the effective use of blog posts.
These methods are much more measurable than traditional PR methods and should be used to build a positive brand identity.
Local franchise advertising has always been a popular way to market. However, modern ads need to contain much more powerful calls-to-action than those of the past.
“Call now” is no longer getting the job done.
Instead, direct viewers or listeners to your website to learn more about who you are and what you do. Then they’ll be able to make an informed decision about bringing their business your way.
6. Marketing Online Via Social Media
Without a doubt, your franchise business needs an effective website. But where you’ll really build brand awareness is through the effective use of social media.
Just having social media pages isn’t enough anymore. You need to be active every single day on all of the most popular platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.
Your social strategy for each platform needs to be:
- Socially Conscious
Your audience lives on social media. Nearly 70% of adults have at least one social media account. The majority have more than six. The time you spend marketing your franchise on social media is never wasted.