Our team has the chance to connect with brilliant marketers across the country and even internationally. We recently connected with our friend Juliette who works out of Vancouver, BC, for some insights on franchise marketing. We asked her a few questions we thought you’d find interesting, and here’s what she shared with us!
How is marketing for a franchise different than marketing for other types of businesses?
Two marketing areas in the franchise world have vastly different audiences – franchise consumer marketing and franchisee recruitment marketing. With consumer marketing, the goal is generally to encourage sales of the company’s product or service, which can be done with larger “brand building” campaigns that help build the client’s awareness and trust in a specific brand. These larger “brand awareness” campaigns are often conducted by the franchisor (ie head office of the franchise brand) to support all of their franchise locations.
Marketing a franchise opportunity (i.e., buying a franchise business and opening it in a specific location) is geared to would-be entrepreneurs looking for a new business opportunity. Buying a franchise is a much larger ticket item and tends to have a longer sales cycle than consumer sales.
What advice do you have for a new franchise owner to start marketing their new business?
- Expect to put time and money into your marketing because this investment can produce a great return on investment when done right. It’s essential to be consistent with your marketing during good times and bad so that your business stays top of mind with customers, and you avoid big ebbs and flows in your cash flow.
- There isn’t one “cookie cutter” way to market all businesses. Your marketing team needs to work with you to define your target market and how to best reach them. Take a coffee shop, for example. Coffee is more of an impulse purchase and is very location dependant. Direct mail and hyper-local marketing could be useful strategies for this kind of business. On the other hand, a daycare needs to reach parents at a specific stage in life – i.e., going back to work with a young child so tools like Google search, Facebook advertising, or traditional advertising could be great mediums to reach this audience. The key is to understand your audience, what their needs are, and where to reach them.
- Don’t forget to nurture relationships with existing customers. On average, it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than close an existing one, so you shouldn’t stop marketing once they’ve made a purchase. Your customers already know, like, and trust you, so make sure to invest in that relationship you worked hard to establish. Tools like email marketing, membership programs, and referral rewards programs should be a big part of a business’s marketing mix.
How does being part of a franchise benefit businesses when it comes to marketing?
One of the many benefits of buying a franchise is that the business already has an established set of branded marketing materials that can be customized for each location. Logos, web pages, and print materials are ready to go when you open your doors.
Many franchises collect a “marketing fund” from each franchisee that is used for marketing campaigns to build brand awareness across a larger territory. When there are many units in a franchise system, the ad fund can be quite significant, which allows the franchise to develop national campaigns that a single franchisee could never afford on their own. Franchisees benefit from their collective buying power. Many marketing agencies will provide group discounts to franchises due to the volume of business they require as a group.
4) Why do people buy franchises?
Starting and running a business can be challenging, and the franchise model offers a framework and proven business model that is very appealing for many would-be entrepreneurs. Franchises typically offer training, detailed operations manuals, marketing support, and even ongoing coaching, which can be a huge benefit compared to going at it alone as a new business owner. Many franchisees also enjoy the collaboration of being part of a larger group of business owners who can come together to share ideas and offer advice and support.
On the flipside, franchise ownership requires people who are comfortable following a set of systems and guidelines that the franchisor expects them to adhere to, so it’s important to go into it with that understanding. Another factor to be aware of is that a franchisor will collect a royalty fee for the entire duration of the business, which in most cases, is a percentage of the business’s gross sales. This percentage typically ranges from 5 to 7%, and there may be other franchise marketing fees on top of that.
If you’re interested in learning more about how we help business owners better invest their marketing dollars, you can reach us here.