Did you know that franchises contribute to more than three percent of the U.S. GDP? By combining effective company organization and excellent franchise marketing, you can contribute to this massive movement and help your franchise thrive.
Adopting a proactive franchise marketing strategy is every franchise owner’s first step toward successful franchise development. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how to market your franchise!
Table of Contents
What Is a Franchise Marketing Strategy?
First things first: in order to decide how to market your franchise, we first need to cover the basics. In short, franchise marketing consists of a combination of marketing strategies that help your franchise grow and gain more customers.
Developing a complete and concrete marketing strategy is the basis for any profitable franchise. Therefore, from your very first budget draft all the way to your rollout, your strategy is your guide. All of the best franchise marketing strategies incorporate both print and digital marketing, as well as extensive planning and a planned rollout. Whether you’re a franchisor or a potential franchisee, follow these steps to set your franchise up for success.
9 Franchise Marketing Strategies
Building a strong franchise marketing strategy takes some planning. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to help you build a solid plan that helps your franchise location grow.
1. Create a Budget
Every business initiative needs an air-tight budget. This is especially true for your franchise’s marketing, which should consist of seven to eight percent of your total budget. Such a large investment can lead to positive returns as long as you plan well and make smart decisions.
To start developing your budget, ask yourself, what are my goals and how do I achieve them? Answering this question will help you identify the kinds of strategies you need, and you can then create a suitable budget around them.
2. Develop a Cross-Brand Identity
Entrepreneur and CEO Ashley Friedlein says it best: “Brand is the sum total of how someone perceives a particular organization. Branding is about shaping that perception.” In other words, your branding determines how consumers understand your franchise.
Your brand identity incorporates the visual aspect of your brand, including color choice, logo, and design. Including your brand identity in all of your print and digital marketing from the very beginning increases positive associations with your brand, and maintaining a consistent brand is one of your most important tasks, as it provides a steady, anchored identity that consumers can understand.
Your branding keeps your company memorable, so it should be dynamic enough that all potential customers are left with a strong impression. In a world where branding is essential, a cohesive brand identity should be at the top of your list!
3. Ensure Brand Standardization
Everyone recognizes McDonald’s famed golden arches. Imagine if you went to the McDonald’s website and they used a different logo. That would be confusing, right? Luckily, due to McDonald’s methodical brand standardization, this situation doesn’t happen.
Brand standardization is the process of updating all of your materials with the same branding whether it be print marketing, email marketing, or content marketing. Marketing via various social media platforms, print materials, advertisements, and more makes brand standardization all the more important. Whenever you change your franchise’s font, redesign your logo, or tweak your color scheme, updating all of your materials simultaneously enforces a cohesive image for your brand.
4. Consider the Customer
We all know the saying that the customer is always right. Well, it’s true! Your franchise’s customer base holds the power to make a purchase or walk away, so center their experiences as you develop your franchise marketing plans.
Brainstorm what kind of marketing campaign strategies that specific types of customers may respond well to. Would targeted mailings be most effective? Or pay-per-click ads? Search engine optimization? Or something else? Once you tailor your marketing strategies to your customers, your marketing will become much more successful.
5. Determine Marketing Strategies to Implement
Who is your target audience? Knowing the audience you are trying to reach is the first step toward implementing effective strategies. Basically, pinpoint the demographic(s) you want to reach and target strategies that will support you most in those niches.
Here are some of the most important strategies to use:
- A frequently-updated website. When customers have questions about your franchise, they’ll turn to your website. If they can’t find the information they’re looking for, they will almost always turn to your competitor. Therefore, make sure that your website is informative, easy to use, and frequently updated so that readers can easily find what they need. Providing clear, useful information on your website also reassures customers and makes a great impression! Build your online presence starting with a high-quality website.
- Professional print marketing. When it comes to marketing, traditional is often best. While contemporary franchise marketing strategies frequently include digital marketing, print marketing is more stable, more consistent, and often more affordable. Strategies such as distributing flyers, stickers, car window clings, business cards, and other essential print marketing items raise your franchise’s profile in your target communities.
- An active and interactive social media presence. Did you know that social media is the top franchise marketing strategy for fifty-five percent of U.S. businesses? Maintain active Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles, where you provide regular updates and answer customers’ questions. Are you trying to reach a certain age group? Younger generations tend to be more on Instagram and Twitter. Pinterest is image-heavy, and LinkedIn targets professional communities. Use these specifics to your advantage for your social media marketing efforts.
- Well-chosen paid advertising. Purchasing ad space on Google can be expensive, but this form of marketing frequently returns effective results. And since consumers are four times more likely to click on a paid Google ad than a paid ad on any other platform, placing Google ads is frequently a beneficial strategy.
Don’t limit yourself to just a few things on this list! It’s important to use as many marketing tactics as possible.
Who has the most detailed knowledge about your franchise’s customer experience? Your customers, of course! Receiving regular customer feedback helps you continually improve your franchise operations and assures customers that you care about their satisfaction.
Encouraging online reviews is a highly effective franchise marketing strategy because ninety-seven percent of consumers consult online reviews when researching new businesses. When readers find positive reviews or referrals for your franchise or location, they’ll be more inclined to take the leap and try out your services.
7. Consider Location
Your franchise’s location can make or break your new endeavor. Therefore, when it’s time to market a new location, handing out flyers is a must. Distribute custom marketing materials such as yard signs and banners that help new locations announce their presence.
When developing a new franchise, create location guidelines. Would you like franchisees to build new freestanding units or convert existing spaces? Do you prefer to open new locations in malls, at intersections, or elsewhere? Think about who will be passing by the areas you’re considering, as this will influence who chooses to stop and enter your locations.
8. Identify Potential Setbacks
Not every franchise marketing strategy will work, so plan for failure. What does that mean?
First, identify any possible problems you foresee with the strategies you choose to implement and ask yourself: how can I overcome those setbacks or even prevent them from happening?
Next, consider when and how you rely on other groups and businesses for your marketing strategy, as they need to complete their tasks in order for your marketing plan to succeed. For example, working with an incompetent printing company could leave you stranded without the tools you need for both marketing and operations. Make sure that every business you work with will pull their weight and ensure their deliverables.
Lastly, keep in mind the goals you set at the beginning of the plan and make them your focus, rather than becoming sidetracked by minor issues.
9. Develop a Rollout Plan
Once you’ve formulated a new franchise marketing strategy, it’s time for the most exciting part: the rollout! A well-considered rollout plan will help you execute your strategy in the most effective way.
When you plan your expectations, formulate metrics, test scenarios, and maintain solid communication, you set your strategy up for maximal success. Breaking the rollout itself into steps with specific benchmarks for completion helps your entire team stay on the same page.
Rollout a Successful Franchise Marketing Strategy With The Print Authority
When it’s time to expand your franchise’s reach, contact The Print Authority! With over three decades of helping franchises of all sizes formulate and roll out successful marketing strategies, we’re ready to help you implement your plan.
To start your next franchise marketing strategy rollout, contact us online or give us a call at (615) 468-2679 today!