As a franchisor, how do you help your franchisees be successful in their markets? The answer is through local marketing. While large corporate-driven campaigns are great for consistency and brand awareness, they often lack the personal touch and relevance that only local marketing can deliver. In this article, we’ll explore ways to help drive local marketing engagement.
Because local marketing occurs at the franchisee level, it’s important that you find the right franchisee – one who is passionate about their community and well connected. They should be outgoing and not afraid to engage with others. Inform them (and your current franchisees) of the benefits of local marketing. Among them, consider how it can:
- Provide a more relevant customer experience
- Heighten brand reputation
- Create partnerships within the community
All of these can lead to one thing: more business for your franchisees.
So, how can you best support franchisees in this initiative? Provide them the tools and assistance necessary to be successful. Make it as easy as possible for them to plan, execute and track their local campaigns.
Teach your franchisees how to plan ahead and create a local marketing calendar. Have them research events going on in the area and brainstorm ways to get involved. Look at local marketing trends to gain insight into shifts in demographics and behaviors (is there a new subdivision being built, is school about to start, etc). Don’t overcomplicate things, which can often lead to unnecessary expense. Compare how the local marketing calendar aligns with the corporate marketing strategy and determine if there are areas that need more or less messaging and confirm that all offers are correct.
Provide your franchisees the means to execute on their local marketing plans with the right tools. Often, this involves using a customized brand portal. With technology in place, franchisees can easily log in to the system and customize brand-right marketing materials for their local marketing efforts. By providing a central hub for marketing collateral, they’ll have access to everything they need – from posters and business cards to brochures and direct mailers. Have a unique event coming up? With the proper planning, you can make the right products available when your franchisees need them most.
As with any marketing initiative, it’s necessary to track ROI. You can’t make progress unless you know what’s working or needs improvement. Whether you use technology or spreadsheets, it’s important to track metrics, and review them often. This allows for faster course correction, if necessary.
When your franchisees maximize their local marketing potential, it’s a win-win for all. They operate more smoothly and remain competitive in their market, and you experience brand growth and increased market share. Work with your franchisees to understand what they need to be successful and provide them the tools and support necessary to do so.
Do you have a customized brand portal in place at your franchise yet? Or, is your current system not able to keep up with demand?
Content from this article was inspired by a presentation at the 2016 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference in Atlanta, GA.