Franchise operations are set to continue growth for the eighth year in a row, according to a report by the International Franchise Association. However, a geographically dispersed network of franchisees presents a significant challenge to corporate and local marketers alike, increasing the importance of implementing effective marketing strategies to align franchise marketing initiatives.
Franchisors must manage nationwide campaigns, building and maintaining brand compliance across a vast network of distributed locations. Local franchisees must create local marketing initiatives, oversee sales and customer service, and respond to local needs within brand guidelines.
These demands create a complicated balancing act for franchisors and franchisees. Companies need to implement the most effective marketing strategies to help manage all the national and local priorities, which can differ and occasionally compete.
Best Marketing Tools For Franchises
1. Local Website
According to Google, nearly 2/3 of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from companies whose online presence is customized to their location. Fortunately, websites are easy to customize by location – the franchisor can create a standardized format and language, which can be partially tailored by franchisees. Brands maintain consistency with the look of the site, but all pertinent local information – especially location and contact information – can be customized for local customers.
2. Email Marketing
A recent study found that email marketing is 3x more effective at converting customers than social media and that customers converted by email spend 17% more than those that find products by other means.
A segmented, targeted email campaign can help a franchise to nurture existing leads, communicate with existing customers, distribute promotions, and drive ROI.
3. Quality Content
A franchise web page should include a learning center, where content relevant to your customers can be posted. This content can take the form of articles, videos, podcasts, infographics – whatever appeals to your customer base.
Quality content can help to improve a franchise’s rating in Google searches, which can help to drive business to the location. Approval or monitoring system at franchisor headquarters, or a centralized database of acceptable content, can help to preserve brand identity while promoting local business.
4. Optimize for Mobile
Mobile has surpassed desktop as the primary method of access to the internet worldwide, with mobile phones generating over 52% of web traffic. 95% of smartphone users have looked up local information on their phone and having done so, 61% called and 59% visited the location.
A negative mobile experience can have an adverse effect on sales: Google found that customers are 60% less likely to return to a brand after a single negative mobile experience. Optimizing local digital media for mobile is a critical concern for franchisors and franchisees.
5. Social Media
Franchise social media is an area where it can be the most difficult to maintain brand identity. Often, a social media account speaks directly with the customer – and defining and maintaining that voice is a primary concern for a business attempting to preserve a cohesive brand identity.
Social media marketing is an essential tool for franchises to interact with customers – communicating rather than selling, increasing customer engagement by forging a connection and building a relationship with current and prospective customers.
The franchisor/franchisee relationship is changing, but technology can help to solve specific challenges faced by each. By improving communications and creating a centralized source of materials to be used by franchises, both local and national franchise marketing campaigns can remain aligned in branding, further strengthening brand equity.
CampaignDrive is a distributed marketing platform that helps franchise businesses centralize marketing assets for improved collaboration and brand compliance between corporate and local marketing teams. CampaignDrive streamlines franchise marketing initiatives for enhanced efficiency and ease.
Learn how your franchise business can benefit from centralizing your franchise marketing efforts with CampaignDrive. Request a demo of our platform today.