Many people think it's easy being 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 strategy.
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 their 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 hard and soft franchises. 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. These are all things you have to make agreements about.
2. Establish a strong marketing campaign strategy
For those looking for the best franchise marketing campaign 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.
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 local campaigns let you reach your own customers much more specifically. So, local franchise marketing is essential if you want to grow your establishment. As a franchisee, you can choose to spend a large part of your local budget on the local implementation of 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. Responding to local events, for example, and localizing or personalizing 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.
4. Join forces with the head office
Many franchisors can feel unsure about leaving local marketing entirely to their 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, if 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 making a mistake 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 to steal something good than to invent something bad, 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!
Do you still have questions about franchise marketing questions? We've answered all of the most frequently franchise marketing questions for you in another blog. You can also read this blog all about franchise marketing.