4 Things Franchise Marketing Systems Must Have
One of the greatest strengths of franchising is the mandatory centralized marketing programs, or franchise marketing systems. There is much greater marketing power when the funds from all of the franchises in a system are pooled. Things that no single franchisee could do, such as run a worldwide ad campaign, are now possible with money from the central fund. Also, an individual owner could not create the level of quality and impact of the advertising materials produced when the franchisor enlists the help of experts, such as ClickTecs. Since franchisees sometimes feel that the pooled funds are not being spent the way they feel they should be, this money can also become a source of conflict. In any franchise marketing systems, this can be a big issue. And, this issue is often compounded when consumer confidence is low and all advertising is producing less of a return on investment. This makes it essential for a franchisor to have outstanding franchise marketing systems in place to keep the confidence of current franchise owners and to attract new ones. To help you with this, ClickTecs has put together this list of 4 qualities present in a good franchise marketing program.
Get the Splits Right
There are three things that marketing fund money is primarily used for. The costs of producing advertising materials, such as direct mail, television and radio ads, website content, guest blog content, etc., are covered. Next, placing advertisements in various media for the benefit of the contributing franchisees is paid for. Finally, the administration of the marketing effort by internally or by an agency is covered. Not enough money being spent in one of these areas and too much in another is a common complaint from franchisees. High quality promotional materials, for example, must be produced
from the fund. Issues arise however when there is not enough money left to deliver beautifully crafted materials to consumers after all of the money is spent on production. These two needs clearly need to have a reasonable balance. The amount spent on advertisement to attract customers versus the amount spent on advertisements to build the brand can be another source for conflict. Franchisees strongly favor attracting customers, whereas marketing department executives want to build the brand. Having franchise marketing systems in place that balance all of the above needs will keep conflict to a minimum.
Start asking franchisees what they think of the franchise marketing systems if you want to get an idea of how happy they are. There are few things closer to the franchise ownerâ€™s heart than marketing, so they will be very forthcoming on the topic. To find out what they specifically think, ask pointed questions that get at how they think the marketing is helping bring customers through the door and what they think of the brand. For the required marketing fund, ask franchisees if they believe they are getting good value. If not, ask why not. You can safely assume some changes need to be made if you consistently hear about the same issues and concerns from the franchisees. Before you hurt your brand and scare off new franchise owners, make those changes. Of course, it is also great to hear that the franchisees are happy with how their marketing funds are being spent, and this is often the case. But, it is also important to take the time to make sure the franchisees are happy because they are essentially your customers.
Clearly Document Your Efforts
The franchisor must carefully document the elements of their franchise marketing systems. Since this is what franchisees are going to be looking at most closely, you need to be able to show them where their money is going. Also, a less confidential version of your marketing documentation should be available to share with potential franchisees. Well-documented franchise marketing systems include not only how much was spent on various strategies, but it should also include performance markers showing how effective each campaign was. If a campaign or strategy was ineffective, then that should be noted and there should be a plan for the future.
Use the Latest Technology
It seems like new technologies are popping up just about every day to help you and your franchisees stretch their marketing dollars. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not staying on top of these trends and taking advantage of them. After all, franchisors who do not change with the times often go out of business.
For example, to most of us, it is a no brainer that if you are in business you have a website. In addition, you should have websites for each of the franchisees to assist them with their local marketing. A national vendor can handle the barebones portion of getting the website up and running, but it also needs to cater to the local market. One method used in franchise marketing systems is to give each franchisee a subdomain of the main corporate site. For example, if ClickTecs were to have a franchise location in Vancouver, the address for the subdomain may be www.vancouver.clicktecs.com. ClickTecs has many years of experience creating websites for the franchisor and franchisees. Part of our process is to make sure that the sites are optimized for search engines (SEO) and for social media (SMO). Our experts closely follow and test what works and what does not when it comes to getting your website to show up high in the search rankings. One method that is very successful is filling your website with rich, original content, such as blog posts or articles, that users will find useful. ClickTecs has a knowledgeable team of writers who have master the art of writing to appeal to users and search engines alike. Not only that, they can incorporate your franchise into their content and make you look good no matter what industry you are in. Make your franchisees happy and building your brand by making ClickTecs an integral part of your franchise marketing system.