Creating a truly effective franchise marketing plan can be a lot more difficult than it sounds...
Sure, you've got some good tips from the internet. And you know roughly how you're planning to drum up some more interest in your brand. Maybe how you're going to get some more likes on Facebook, or some more clicks through your website...
But how are you going to turn those likes and clicks into actual revenue?
This article will show you ways to improve upon your starting plan. It's the difference between filling in a random strategic marketing plan template - and getting half a dozen potential new franchisees signing up to your business:
Goals and Strategy
You've Got: A franchise marketing plan filled with the latest tactics
You Need: A strategy to make it actually work in the real world
After reading an article about the latest red-hot marketing tactic, it can be tempting to add it into your shiny new franchise marketing plan as-is. After all, it worked for someone else, right? But the big question is:
How does this tactic help you achieve your overall goals?
To help you build yours:
- Figure out where you are: writing a full business summary that includes a financial assessment of your company, your values, and even elements like challenges you've faced in the past, is the place to start.
- Decide where you want to be: what do you want to achieve with this campaign? A set number of additional franchise locations? A numeric % increase in sales? Set hard and fast numbers down for the goal you're trying to achieve.
- Work out how to get there: now comes the strategy part. We're not talking individual sales tactics here just yet - this is deciding on the big picture stuff. For example, a general conversion sequence from an initial interest of a potential client to actual sale... and how much you're willing to spend to get them there.
Working With Your Franchisees
You've Got: A franchise marketing plan that's great for your brand
You Need: A plan that's localised for different franchises
A standard digital marketing plan template simply doesn't leave space for your individual franchisees. But to achieve truly effective marketing for your franchises, you need to localise.
Build your marketing plan around franchisee success:
- Location, location, location: the part of your plan that deals with each individual franchisee need to be different because each franchisee has a different market.
- Listen to your franchisees' good ideas: do some of your franchisees outperform the rest? Talk to the ones that are succeeding and share their good practices with the others.
- Train your franchisees: you'll be giving your individual franchisees marketing tasks that they need to handle themselves. Make sure that they understand how to execute them.
Budget and Pricing
You've Got: A generally costed overall plan
You Need: To know how your marketing is going to make you money
When first filling out your online marketing plan template, you might have used an estimate based on last year's spend to work out your budget. That's a solid stop-gap measure, but now's the time for specifics...
You need to know exactly how your marketing is going to make you money.
- Look at your data: bring together all of your knowledge of previous Key Performance Indicators you've measured, exact figures showing how different marketing channels perform in your industry - all the data you have - and decide on the returns you can expect to see.
- Build a sales funnel: each part of your funnel should mesh with and reflect your entire budget's structure.
Action Plan and Implementation Schedule
You've Got: Ideas about which franchise marketing channels you're going to use
You Need: In-depth understanding of your market and end customer
As in any marketing, writing a marketing plan for a franchise will be the most effective when you know who your potential clients are.
You'll need to:
- Understand your end customer: one of the best exercises which will help you achieve this is creating a buyer persona. This fictional ideal client will help you customise your tactics for maximum engagement and conversion potential.
- Study your competitors: this isn't about actively stealing ideas, but monitoring what the competition is up to can help you avoid possible pitfalls when using different marketing channels.
- Prioritise your digital tactics and channels: we've finally reached individual tactics! Armed with you data, buyer persona, strategy, and end goals, you can now start to decide which marketing tactics will help you achieve your targets, and which channels will be most effective in doing so.
Measure, Monitor, and Respond
You've Got: A way to check if your plan is working somewhere along the line
You Need: To constantly monitor and track all feedback and data
When you're creating a franchise marketing plan there's one way to ensure you'll never know how well it works:
You don't have systems in place that will let you measure and monitor it...
Instead, you should actively measure all the data you get. Otherwise, how will you know if you're simply throwing money away?
- Involve all departments in tracking: sales, IT, accounting - all data that you receive needs to be collected so it can be properly analysed, and the effectiveness and performance of your plan monitored.
- Review and respond to needs: this data doesn't exist in a vacuum. Your feedback loop will help you make sure your plan is delivering what it needs to. At the very least, split your original timeframe into shorter checkpoint goals - then compare with your actual results to make sure you're on-target.
- Listen and adjust: do your figures show you that a certain marketing channel is failing to give you a decent ROI? It's time to adjust the way you're using it or to close it down to properly focus your budget on channels that are giving you the best value.
You've Got: A plan with all the trimmings
You Need: To put it into practice
Flawless execution is your goal. And it's within your reach:
You've gone from a basic strategic marketing plan example to a well-laid out plan with goal, strategic, and tactical levels. You've planned your budget, you know how to listen to your franchisees, and you've worked to understand your potential customers and what they'll see in your business.
Finally - and critically - you've decided how you're going to monitor your franchise marketing plan on all levels to make sure it's getting you the real results that you need.
When you're trying to perfect the work you did when you filled in your original sample marketing plan template, sometimes a little professional help goes a long way...
Chat to Local Fame today for FREE advice, and a FREE report on the current effectiveness of your franchise online marketing.