Marketing as a Franchisee: Expectations vs. Reality
If you’re exploring opportunities to market your franchise, it’s time to get the facts straight.
Franchise owners are community-centered individuals. There’s a reason you chose to keep your business in your location (or locations), right?
So it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that you know your community, you know your business and you know how to market effectively there.
But we’re here to help you understand that with a little guidance, your do-it-yourself attitude can go a lot further toward helping your business stand out locally and reaching your larger business goals.
Here are some of the most common misconceptions surrounding franchise marketing when putting your strategy together as a franchisee:
Expectation: My franchisor will handle all my marketing and advertising needs.
As a franchisee, you can lean on corporate for a lot. Hopefully, they started you on the right foot with training and business operations development. But that support typically doesn’t carry over into marketing planning and development.
While corporate should have a budget for marketing at the national level, your individual franchise might not be factored into that equation. With sometimes hundreds of franchisees under one brand, it makes sense.
For example, is corporate running paid advertisements in every franchise location? Or only certain markets? Have they optimized your franchisee website for search? Do you have the freedom to run a promotion in your area, or would it be competing with a national paid strategy already in place by corporate?
The point is, you are responsible for marketing your individual franchise(s) in a way that aligns your local strategy with the national platform. To compete in your own neighborhood, you need to, well, compete in your own neighborhood. Having a local marketing strategy in place as a franchisee is key.
Expectation: I can use my friends and family for everything.
We get it. As a franchisee, you’re probably used to doing things DIY. We understand that and, quite frankly, we admire it. Still, it’s important to know your limits.
Running an engaging social media campaign or local television commercial probably requires more skill than that of your 19-year-old nephew (or his friend) who took some graphic design classes.
When operating your own franchise, there are definitely times to be resourceful, but if your nephew is truly an expert, you’re incredibly lucky. Most often, a successful franchise marketing strategy needs professionals working on each component.
Aside from hoping your DIY advertisement is so bad you go viral, your best option is to leave it to professionals.
Expectation: Franchise marketing is best served direct.
We promise, we aren’t just saying this because we specialize in digital marketing. Direct mail marketing isn’t all you need to get customers. Increasingly, your customers are trying to find you online and simply mailing them a postcard is limiting your efforts.
A survey showed that 42 percent of franchisees feel traditional marketing (including but not limited to direct mail) isn’t meeting their needs and think it’s not worth the effort.
On top of that, direct mail is expensive; and letters and other leaflets get lost or delayed all the time, and the response rate is nearly zero. Relying solely on direct mail to bring new leads means you’re limiting your marketing efforts to one avenue.
That’s not to say there isn’t a place for direct mail advertising in your franchise marketing plan. You can always pair direct mail advertising with digital and get the most bang for your buck.
The Reality Is …
Almost all the time, marketing as an individual franchisee is best left to professional marketers. Looking for a partner? PointA offers solutions to meet any price point. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out to see how PointA can help you stand out in your local market and achieve your larger business goals.
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