Marketing Advice For The Franchise Owner

Franchise owners know one thing, either they are receiving enough marketing support from corporate or they need to take matters into their own hands. Unfortunately, the latter is usually the case. In today’s era of budget cut backs, marketing is typically the one line item in the corporate budget with the bull’s-eye on its back. Franchisees need to take matters into their own hands and deploy marketing strategies that Fortune 500 companies are executing … at a fraction of the cost.

Create an Online Presence

Most franchisers already have a website that lists their franchisees. They generally restrict franchisees from creating a new website for fear of losing brand control. If you own a franchise and are allowed to create a new website, then create one towards marketing to your target demographic. However, if you already have a website and are restricted in creating a new one, then see if your franchiser will allow you to create a Blog or separate landing pages. These are great alternatives to websites and can accomplish the mission of brand recognition and promotion.

Social Media Counts

Every franchise should be using social media on a daily basis to their benefit. Think about some of these statistics concerning social media:

  • Facebook has 200+ million users adding 600,000 users per day (www.insidefacebook.com)
  • LinkedIn has more than 40 million users / 12.4 unique visitors per month (Techcrunch)
  • Social Media book marketing website, Digg, receives 21 million unique visitors each month (Quantcast)
  • In 2010 Twitter is projected to have 18 million users (www.eMarketer.com)

Based upon these statistics, your target market is using some form of social media. They are having conversations about every topic known to man, chances are, your franchise is being mentioned. Shouldn’t you take part in that conversation? You can easily build value and share information about your business. Social media gives us a real-time public relations engine. Join the conversation, add value, and see leads being generated.

Online Advertising

Just from looking at Social Media’s statistics, we know that consumers are using the Internet to communicate. 1&1 Internet conducted research and discovered that nearly two-thirds of online shoppers carry out internet-based research about retailers before making a purchase. From pay-per click advertising on Google, Bing or Yahoo to niche specific websites like Business.com and even Facebook, online advertising is a great way to promote your business and give it the added exposure to increase brand awareness and drive new leads.

Don’t Forget About Email Marketing

You talk to customers everyday, do you get their email addresses so you can enroll them in your monthly (or weekly) newsletter for promotional coupons or to catch up on special events? Why not? Email is the best way to take an existing customer and get them to buy more and at a higher frequency. Instead of throwing out another statistic like, the small business administration states that for every dollar spent on email marketing, you get $57 in return, I would much rather tell you a personal story. I live in the suburbs of Washington, DC and needless to say, we were pounded with snow this past winter. In between snows, I received an email from my favorite local wine store. The subject of the email said, “Beat the snow and save 20%”. I hurriedly opened the email. Save 20% on any wine they had in stock? Done deal! I ordered a case of my favorite wine and saved about $100. I fell prey to email marketing, and why not? I saved money. Your customers will feel the same way. So go ahead and ask for their email and start a routine email campaign.

Online Brochures

Most franchisers will supply you with all the corporate literature you need. But most will not provide you with an online PDF brochure that has your specific location and contact information on them. Not to worry, ask corporate if they can supply you with the graphic files and get a graphic designer to customize that brochure to your specific needs. It’s the perfect sales tool when someone calls and inquires about your services. Online PDF brochures are a great and inexpensive promotional tool that your business needs to have.

Don’t Be Beholden To Anyone

Most franchises do contribute to a marketing fund as part of their franchise agreement. The help from corporate is always appreciated but don’t assume that’s all you can do. You have many options at your fingertips to generate leads and penetrate existing sales channels. Look for ways to promote your brand and spread the message that you have a product/service that needs to be bought. Let marketing be your growth engine. Use these tools and others to make you successful. Happy Marketing!

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