Julie van Strien 26.01.2021 16 min read

Everything you need to know about franchise marketing

Many people think it's easy to be a franchisee, especially when it comes to marketing. After all, you have a large and successful brand behind you that has already arranged everything in terms of marketing: a strong national corporate identity, national marketing campaigns and so on. But anyone who thinks that te franchisee can sit back and rely on the marketing strategy of the head office is wrong: in a competitive market it is very important for franchisees to be active in marketing. How do you get the most out of your marketing budget? We explain everything about franchise marketing and give you some tips for a successful franchise marketing plan. 

The marketing fund: national vs local

First things first; what about that marketing budget? The marketing budget of franchise formulas often consists of two funds: the national marketing fund and the local marketing budget. The national marketing fund consists of a payment from all local franchisees, also known as the advertising contribution. This is spent by the franchisor on, among other things, national marketing campaigns. The local marketing budget is the amount that the franchisee invests in the marketing of his or her own branche. 

1. Make clear agreements

Before starting with a franchise marketing plan, it is important to know what the expectations are from the head office and how free you are as a franchisee. This mainly depends on which franchise form the franchisor uses. With a hard franchise, the rules are often strict and there is little room for your own interpretation. You are often completely spared in marketing, and the local budget may only be spent on the local implementation of national campaigns. With the other form, soft franchise, franchisees have much more room for individual entrepreneurship and are freer in matters concerning marketing and purchasing.

Yet there are often still many differences within the hard and soft franchise. Therefore, it is important to discuss with the franchisor what marketing materials may be used and how to access marketing resources. Think of photos, logos, videos and other things you need to get started with marketing. Are you supposed to only use images of the head office, or can you also use your own photos? These are all things you have to make agreements about.

2. Establish a strong marketing strategy

For those looking for the best franchise marketing strategy, we will be right to the point: it doesn't exist. Every formula has a different audience and every audience wants to be addressed in a different way. Besides, there are many regional differences. If you want to spend the marketing budget well, it is important to focus on methods that are relevant to your audience. In other words: you have to find your own unique approach. The first step in this is to create customer personas to get a good picture of your audience. What ties in with this is finding the right marketing channels. Don't let the endless supply of channels and resources fool you, and try not to be visible on all channels. Only choose the channels that suit your company and your audience. This way you avoid spending your budget on channels that don't work anyway.

franchise marketing strategy

3. Don't forget local marketing

As we said, a strong national brand is no guarantee of success. National marketing campaigns can help you build brand awareness, but with local campaigns you reach your own customers much more specifically. So, if you want to grow your establishment, then local franchise marketing is essential. As a franchisee, you can choose to spend a large part of your local budget on the local implementation of the national campaigns. However, local marketing goes much further than that. As a franchisee, you know your customers best and chances are that you are full of good marketing ideas. For example, respond to local events and localize or personalize the content on your own social media channel. This way you convey a much more personal message to your own customers. Although you have made clear agreements in advance about the use of the corporate identity and branding materials, implementation can be difficult. With a Franchise Marketing Software, all brand materials are centralized and every franchisee can easily create localized marketing materials and content with the help of dynamic branded templates.

Think global, act local

4. Join forces with the head office

Many franchisors find it exciting to leave local marketing entirely to the branches. Because: how do you ensure that all franchisees keep their marketing activities in line with the carefully constructed brand identity? This can be frustrating for you as a franchisee. On the other hand, the head office may have more expertise in certain areas that can help you as franchisee. For example, ff you work well with the head office, you can join forces and think together about how to approach a local email marketing strategy. This way you can still get started with local marketing, but you do not run the risk of going completely wrong and wasting your local marketing budget.

5. Share best practices 

It is not only important to join forces with the head office, it is also very useful to share knowledge with other branches. Perhaps that one location has carried out a very original marketing campaign with good results, which could also work for your branche. Therefore, sharing so-called “best practices” could be very useful. Better nicked than badly conceived, right?

In short:  in order to achieve a successful franchise marketing plan, it is important to find the ideal combination of national and local marketing campaigns, always taking your own customers into account. Once you have found this combination, your franchise is ready for success!