Franchising as a business model has been around for a long time, and some companies have spread all over the world using it. With this specific business model comes a specific type of marketing, the aptly named Franchise Marketing.
In this guide, we’ll answer some general questions about franchising, give examples of good, bad, and best practices, and tell you something about how Marvia’s Franchise Marketing Platform can help franchises streamline their marketing processes.
What is a Franchise and what is Franchise Marketing?
How to craft a winning Franchise Marketing Strategy
How to launch winning Franchise Marketing Campaigns
Easy Franchise Marketing Content: Dynamic Templates
How Marvia makes Franchise Marketing easy
What is a franchise and what is franchise marketing
Franchising is a business model where a franchisor licenses the use of its business model, brand, and products and services to a franchisee. The franchisee pays a fee to open a location using this information and the products.
Franchise companies come in different shapes and sizes. Some only have franchise locations, others have a combination of franchise locations and company-owned locations.
A very well-known example
One franchise that most of us will recognize immediately is McDonald’s. The company has footholds all over the world, and its strong branding makes every location recognizable as a McDonald's location. McDonalds is a very good example of a franchise that takes a strong brand and adapts it to its local customers, by creating dishes that are only available in certain countries or locations, using buildings that highlight local historical architecture, and by joining in on local events. In theory, every company can do these things, but because McDonald’s branding is so consistent, you recognize the brand in these different activities.
Good franchises are often experts in local marketing. Take a look at some examples of great local marketing in this blog, and get inspired!
Marketing a franchise
Marketing is paramount for a franchise. Franchises market both to their potential customers, operational franchise marketing, and to potential franchisees, franchise development marketing. These are usually two separate marketing flows, with their own goals and budget.
- Operational franchise marketing has a lot of overlap with how other business formulas market to their customers. The biggest difference is that franchise locations have the benefit of working within a larger marketing strategy created by the head office.
- Franchisee development marketing is usually a combination of employee marketing, HR, and regular marketing. The combination of stakeholders makes for a well-rounded approach and possible extra budget options.
This blog will focus on operational franchise marketing.
The many sides of Franchise Marketing
Franchise marketing requires you to pay attention to brand consistency over multiple locations and formats. No matter where you are, the experience with the business and product needs to be the same. This means that both the head office and the franchise locations need clear guidelines to ensure consistency.
An important element of franchise marketing is ensuring brand consistency. After all, your brand needs to be represented the same way across many locations so your customers can recognize you wherever they are. This requires a strong long-term brand strategy and guidelines, constant communication between franchisor and franchisees, and training on both sides to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Local marketing also comes into play in franchise marketing. Having a presence in various locations and communities is a great way to make contact with your local customers. It allows you to react quickly to what’s happening around a franchise location.
As your franchise (hopefully) keeps growing, you might run into problems with who tackles requests for marketing materials. The head office? The franchisees? A combination? It’s very important to consider how you divide workload when you want to scale up content production. If you don’t have adequate logistics in place, your marketing team will become overrun with requests and not have the means to deal with them.
In order to streamline processes, you need a good marketing strategy, campaign strategy, and software. Seems like a lot, but we’ll take you through everything in this blog.
How to craft a winning franchise marketing strategy
Establishing a marketing strategy as a franchise might seem easy. After all, there is a large and successful brand that has already done all the hard work, right? While that is true, it is only half of the story. A franchisee can’t just sit back and rely on the head office for all their marketing activities. Depending on the type of franchise, you might even be responsible for marketing your location without interference from the head office!
While one might feel it is more fun that way, it can also seem like an enormous undertaking to contribute to the marketing of a large brand, even if it is only for one branch. So, we’ve put together some tips on what a successful franchise marketing strategy looks like.
1. Make clear agreements
How involved franchisees are in marketing will depend on the type of franchise formula they operate under. Clear arrangements between the head office and franchisees are necessary to make sure everyone knows what to do. These will concern things like budget and spending, campaign calendar, and how free franchisees are in creating their own materials and getting involved in local events.
2. Establish a strong marketing strategy
The perfect franchise marketing strategy isn’t a matter of one size fits all. Every formula has its own strengths and customers, and so every formula has to decide what works for them. Crafting a winning marketing strategy ensures that you don’t invest in channels or activities that don’t serve you and your business and that everyone is on the same path towards success.
3. Don't forget local marketing
For franchise formulas, just having a strong (inter)national brand is no guarantee for success. You need a balance between national campaigns that help build brand awareness and local campaigns that reach customers and build trust on the ground.
4. Join forces with the head office
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: only when franchisors and franchisees work together, can a franchise truly succeed. The different perspectives on the company provide valuable input. Franchisees can also use the head office’s knowledge and experience to grow their own marketing capabilities.
5. Share best practices
Sharing is caring. Why invent the wheel every time you want to do something marketing-related, when you can employ other franchise locations and/or the head office to help you? The entire business will improve and grow when people share best practices, so don’t be afraid to celebrate your successes!
Crafting a franchise marketing strategy may seem like a daunting task, but with clear communication between the head office and franchise locations, everything should work out. Make sure to keep the interests of the (local and bigger) business in mind and to work together.
How to launch a successful franchise marketing campaign
Now that your strategy is set, let’s talk about actually employing a franchise marketing campaign. As with the franchise marketing strategy, this can seem daunting. Do you start at the head office or locally? And what if you have 0 marketing experience as a franchisee?
Take a look at the six steps below, they will help you get started.
Step 0. Find your concept.
Of course, before we can begin setting goals and determining channels, we need ideas! Use a combination of spontaneous ideas and creative brainstorming to create a balanced campaign calendar.
Step 1. Set your campaign goals
Use SMART goals to determine what you want to achieve and measure with your campaign. Collecting this data over time and campaigns can tell you a lot about how your franchise is doing locally and (inter)nationally.
Step 2. Focus on brand identity and consistency
Use the expertise from both the franchisor and franchisees to develop a strong brand identity. The brand book and messaging matrix for the base for this, using templates ensures that the things that need to stay consistent, do. From there, adapt to your local needs.
Step 3: Segment your audience
Define your ideal customer and find out as much as you can about them. Then, tailor your campaign to them, and make sure the campaign content adds value to their life!
Step 4. Leverage several marketing channels
Don’t spend all your time on one marketing channel, and don’t spread yourself too thin either. Find out which channels work the best for your franchise and invest in them.
Step 5. Make it real
Let’s get going! Use a campaign distribution software (bonus tip, Mariva has one!) to deploy your campaign and reach your target audience.
Step 6. Measure the results of your campaign
Make sure to look back at your campaign and evaluate if you’ve met (or exceeded) or missed your goals, why that happened, and what the main takeaways are to ensure an even better campaign next time.
All in all, launching a winning franchise marketing campaign can seem like an immense task at first, but remember that the combination of experience and knowledge from the head office and the local connections of the franchise locations makes for a powerful motor to drive your franchise marketing campaigns. It may sound a bit cheesy, but teamwork really does make the dream work!
Making content made easy: Dynamic Templates
Franchise formulas are in a unique position when it comes to content creation. Every location has its own needs and wants, and the head office has to keep company-wide campaigns in mind. This combination can lead to cluttered workflows and chaos behind the scenes. Then, there is the need to make sure all those campaigns correctly represent the brand’s identity.
One way that franchises can streamline the content creation process is by using Dynamic Templates. Dynamic templates are pre-designed, customizable assets that can create consistent brand messaging across all franchise locations. They provide a framework that enables franchisees to create their own on-brand content adapted to local market conditions.
Using templates has major advantages for franchises looking to scale up their content production. Let’s discuss the four main benefits:
1. Reduce content creation time
Simply put, you’re faster with templates. Skip having to find the correct formats, colors, fonts, etc. It’s all there. With a strong template software, waiting ages for a poster is a thing of the past as franchisees can make their own marketing materials instead of having to wait for the head office to process their request.
2. Adapt to local market conditions
Templates allow franchisees more flexibility and freedom to react to local events, whilst ensuring that the overall brand identity is still on point. The fact that content goes out quicker means that franchisees can react to local events when they are happening, adding to the business’ local relevance.
3. Increase consistency
As we said above, brand consistency is vital for franchise formulas. By providing a library of pre-approved templates, franchise brands can ensure that all franchise locations have the same brand appearance, even though messaging is different.
4. Streamline the approval process
And lastly, templates can greatly reduce workload for the headquarters’ marketing team. Setting parameters and boundaries beforehand means that not every piece of content has to be checked. This frees up time for the main marketing team, and shows franchisees that they are trusted by the head office.
Social Media for franchises
Social media plays a vital role for franchises, from driving sales to enabling direct contact with customers. Staying ahead of trends and best practices can be tiring, but it's essential if you want to use social media to your advantage. But first, you need to make sure your foundation is set right. It doesn't make sense to jump into the Latest Biggest TikTok Trend if you've not build your brand on that platform. We've put together some tips to make sure you're set up to go out into the world of social.
Find your audience and platform - It's important to understand your target audience on social media. They might have different characteristics than your brick-and-mortar audience. The next step is determining the right social media channel for your company. This is usually the one that your target audience is most active on.
Build your social brand - Building a strong social media brand presence is your next step. Focus on creating visual appeal and using consistent messaging. Look to your brand guidelines to inform these decisions and don't hesitate to ask for feedback from local partners.
Strategy and budget - A content strategy aimed at both sales and brand awareness is essential when building your brand presence. Make sure conversion and awareness are balanced, there's a good mix of corporate and local content, and that all content is authentic. You might have some budget allocated to social media. Paid social media campaigns can be especially useful for reaching new audiences. Partnering with influencers is another effective way to leverage paid advertising when they match your brand and audience.
Last but probably the least least - Social media is built for interaction. So, make sure that is what your do. Respond to comments and DM's, share user-generated content, express gratitude for support, and be authentic in all of it. Engage with your audience and form lasting relationships that turn your regulars into brand ambassadors.
How Marvia makes franchise marketing easy
Let’s talk about tools. Because you can’t run successful franchise marketing activities without the right tools. Your assets will get lost, content won’t be where it needs to be when it needs to be, and the approval process becomes an email-chain the likes of which we haven’t seen since the ‘90. So, you need software. Let’s go over the ways that franchises use marketing software, and why Marvia is the one-stop-shop for all your needs.
Most companies start with Digital Asset Management software (DAM). A DAM helps businesses simplify their business processes by providing a central online hub for creating, managing, sharing, and finding digital assets to help manage creative processes and maximize the value of assets.
The next step is content creation software. There are, of course, options in the Adobe Creative Suite, such as InDesign and Photoshop. Other platforms combine a DAM with content creation options. In Marvia’s Brand Platform, users can create content with Dynamic Templates. Dynamic Templates are a must-have for simplifying content creation and unifying brand identity through franchise locations.
Marvia also recently launched the Template Studio. The Template Studio allows users to transform InDesign files into editable templates. Your team or partners can effortlessly customize these templates to create consistent, on-brand content across various formats and channels, all without having to involve the head office’s marketing team for every single poster.
Getting the necessary marketing or campaign materials to your locations can also be handled by your software. Marvia’s 360° Campaign Distribution lets franchisees distribute localized campaigns quickly across offline and online channels in just a few clicks. This relieves the burden on the central marketing team, reduces administration and sends a consistent campaign message to your customers.
And, of course, you need to know how your marketing activities are performing. With Marvia’s Insights and Analytics, you gain (location-specific) intelligence to increase franchisee participation and optimize marketing campaigns. The dashboard also logs individual user activity and how assets and products are being viewed and used.
Marvia also works together with a growing number of partners that bring integrations to external software, or provide services such as localized printing.
Customer cases: Marvia <3 Franchises
We can tell you our brand platform is ideal for franchise formulas, but we can also let our satisfied customers speak for us.
Poké Perfect is currently the largest poké concept in the Netherlands and is looking to expand. The brand chose to focus on local marketing to reach their ambitious goals.
Poké Perfect was looking for a way to work on the day-to-day of the business while keeping an eye on the big picture. They were also looking for ways to empower enthusiastic franchisees to run localized campaigns to grow local visibility.
Now, everything is clear to everyone and it is easy to plan in advance. Franchisees have more space to run campaigns and offer their customers a personal and localized service while the process doesn’t cost more time and manpower.
New York Pizza
New York Pizza's marketing department wanted to reduce one-time requests and focus more on branding activities, since making marketing materials for the entire franchise was their responsibility and kept them from doing what they really wanted.
They were looking for a way to provide their franchisees with marketing materials, allow them to create their own materials and support their franchisees in doing so. They were also looking for easy storage of assets and easy distribution of materials.
After implementing Marvia, the marketing department was able to largely let go of local marketing. They still take care of supplying marketing materials, but franchisees are the ones designing materials such as posters, flyers, and social media content with their own message and distribute them directly using the Social Media and Door-to-Door leaflet integrations.
Fit20 was looking for a way to provide their franchisees with brand materials and to activate them to get more involved with marketing.
The brand was looking for a brand portal for their franchisees and partners, with a media library to organize assets, templates to let franchisees create their own promotional materials, and the possibility for franchisees to post directly to their social channels.
Marvia’s brand portal provided it all. Since implementing Marvia, Fit20’s content creation process has accelerated and their branding is more consistent over channels, whilst also becoming more localized.
Franchises <3 Marvia tooRead reviews from our happy customers below.
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