4 Big Takeaways From The 2015 Franchise Local Marketing Trends Report


Each year, over 4,000 franchise CEOs and marketing executives are surveyed to reveal the biggest trends happening in local franchise marketing across all industries.

The feedback is published in an annual report to give franchisors valuable insight into:

  • The most effective lead generation activities companies are utilizing
  • How much money companies are allocating to local marketing efforts
  • How businesses are measuring their return on investment
  • How well brands are utilizing emerging channels and media to reach more customers 

And most importantly:

  • Where the greatest local marketing challenges lie in 2015

Because of the size and scope of this year’s report, we’ve summarized the key takeaways franchisors need to focus on throughout the year.

1.  Local franchise marketing tools are allowing companies to keep corporate teams small

While it’s not surprising that 74% of franchisors with 26-100 units had less than four people on their corporate marketing teams, half of the biggest brands out there are managing hundreds of locations (101-499) with the same small-sized teams

How are they managing so many local campaigns with so few people? According to the report, they’re utilizing digital tools and platforms to manage “every aspect of their marketing programs” from a single place.

Local franchise marketing software systems have gained major traction recently as brands look for ways to make it easier to create locally-targeted campaigns for multiple locations.

These tools let corporate teams create the elements of marketing campaigns while giving franchisees the ability to customize the message to fit their local market, striking the perfect balance between efficiency and brand consistency.

2.  1 in 4 franchisors don’t have local marketing plans for their franchisees

Roughly 67% percent of those surveyed said their franchisees have local marketing plans. Apart from the 7.7% who weren’t sure, a surprising 25% still have not adopted a local marketing plan at all

Without any local outreach strategy in place, franchisees are kept in the dark to even the most simple best practices that can make a major impact on local sales.

Whether your marketing teams are simply too busy to plan and execute local campaigns or you have no effective way to coordinate with franchisees, local marketing tools like the ones I just described are designed to build a single bridge of communication and collaboration between you and your franchisees on the front line of the business.

Tools like these are the perfect solution for brands needing to generate more local awareness but lack the resources to execute consistently.   

3.  35% aren’t tracking the ROI of their local franchise marketing spend

Among those surveyed, 50% are tracking their ROI through one of three methods:

  • Email reports from franchisees: 21.2%
  • Invoices submissions from franchisees: 7.7%
  • Software reporting tools: 21.2%

Of the 50% who replied with "other," 70% said they were either not tracking local ROI on their marketing spend, or not monitoring it sufficiently. 

Tracking ROI effectively is the key to making your next franchise marketing campaign more successful than the last. Without the ability to compare the effectiveness of one message versus another, there’s virtually no way to know if what you’re doing is working. Even worse, you run the risk of blinding yourself to the initiatives that do generate the awareness you should be building on from month-to-month.

Local marketing tools act as an all-in-one storefront and reporting tool, tying all of your spend directly to the results you’re seeing at each of your locations––a simple way to reveal the trends that work, and which efforts are simply a waste of money.

4.  Franchisees are spending half of their time trying to generate more business 

One of the most striking results of the study revealed how franchisees are spending their time each day.

Roughly 1 in 4 franchisees are spending 50% of their time in business generation & customer acquisition. 

The takeaway here is clear: Franchisees are devoting so much time to reaching new customers, they’re forced to squeeze all of the other crucial responsibilities into just half of the working day.

With daily operations to oversee, teams to manage, and customers to engage with, when one task takes up so much time, it’s time to look for ways to be more efficient.

Local franchise marketing tools allow franchisees to log into their company’s system, view corporate initiatives and customize those pieces to resonate with local customers. Simple drag and drop editing tools make the process easy, even for the least tech-savvy among us.

Online storefronts allow owners to select exactly what they need, submit their order for approval, and get their materials sent directly from the printer––a system built specifically for efficiency when it’s needed most.

At Suttle-Straus, we’ve taken local franchise marketing systems to the next level by combining a powerful, user-friendly digital platform with professional in-house printing and distribution services. Our customized brand portals offer the ability to create customized marketing resources while enforcing brand control all within a single tool.

Want to learn how a customized marketing portal helped a major franchise transform their local store marketing and make a big impact on their bottom line? Download our Topper’s Pizza Case Study here

About the author

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Chrissy Knaak

Chrissy Knaak

As the former Marketing Director at Suttle-Straus, Chrissy oversaw all marketing projects, including website initiatives, print campaigns, conferences, and market research.
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Topics: Franchise Marketing, Technology