Many franchise businesses plan tactically for how they'll spend their marketing budget. Successful franchise businesses have overall goals and strategies for things like pricing, sales, distribution, and customer retention. Your goals should always be quantitative numeric figures that can be measured. In all aspects of execution, the overall stated goals of your marketing plan should be borne in mind. Use the below checklist to make sure you are consistent and thorough when deploying your franchise marketing strategy.
Budget and Pricing
Until you have designated your campaign's needs to get precise numbers, an estimated budget based on your previous year can be a suitable stand-in.
Timeframes Resources Contingency Budget Plan
Establish clear and realistic timeframes for when goals should be achieved, e.g. "30 additional franchises within a year."
You should also designate short-term goals which show when you will check your progress towards your long-term objectives, e.g. "7 additional franchises in two months."
Smart allocation of resources will make even a plan with limited goals beneficial. Likewise, a large amount of resources should not be viewed as the route to automatic success. Plan how you will allocate your budget, teams, equipment - even organisational aspects like the office space required to house your customer service team.
Understanding your own resources will let you make the decision as to whether your franchise marketing plan can be achieved in-house.
Your franchise plan has failed. What do you do? Designate a clear contingency budget for use in the event of unforeseen problems.
Choosing the right channels to market your franchise is an ongoing process. Base your initial decision on market research and KPIs you've monitored in the past. Every type of franchise business will require a unique, tailored solution. All use of channels should be matched to the overall goals you want to achieve.
Curation of Content
Your content creation plan is vital to the success of your franchise online marketing campaign. New content needs to be fresh, and to engage with your audience. Content also needs to be monitored and its effectiveness measured.
Choose your online marketing channels based on what you know works best for your industry and audience. These could include email campaigns, social media campaigns, website content creation for SEO, or mobile marketing.
Select your offline marketing channels based on what you know works best for your industry and audience. These could include direct mail campaigns, telemarketing, or trade shows and events.
Goals and Objectives
Setting quantifiable and measurable goals and objectives is key to a successfully executed marketing plan.
Your Key Performance Indicators are measures like sales growth or customer lifetime value which provide accurate indications of whether your plan is on-track to achieve your goals.
Calculating your Return On Investment lets you find out which channels are performing the best. You can then choose whether to support more popular and effective channels, or to re-plan or terminate less effective ones. A figure which represents the value of building your brand should also usually be included in your ROI calculations.
Anything else that can be measured, should be. Correct decisions relating to the execution of your campaign can only be achieved via a full set of data.
In franchise marketing, your potential client pool is smaller than average, but you generally need far fewer successful prospects in order to produce equivalent or significantly greater revenue. For this reason each team must be fully aware of their responsibilities, how these relate to the areas of control of other teams, and your marketing funnel. Designating an Internal Communication Manager with experience in all fields is highly recommended.
SEO & Social
Your SEO and social media teams create and monitor the effectiveness of your online content. This content should link with and work towards the stated goals of your marketing plan.
They can nurture long-term prospects by providing information, and can also be used to target potential prospects in specific demographics or locations.
Marketing & Paid Ads
Paid ad campaigns offer immediate engagement with a target audience, as well as access to a ROI figure which can easily be calculated. You will rely on your paid ads marketing team when expanding your franchise into new areas.
IT & Design
The work of your IT & Design team should reflect the values and focus on the goals laid out in your marketing plan. They will likely work closely with all of your other teams, making clear communication abilities essential.
Your sales team interfaces directly with your customers, and should represent the qualities your franchise brand positioning focuses on.
Correct planning of incentive strategies will mean you can get your sales team to focus on the right targets, be they lead acquisition or existing franchise management. Realistic quotas for incentive or compensation goals are vital to maintaining staff morale.
Like your sales team, your account management team will interact directly with customers. This means they should be recruited with the qualities inherent in your brand positioning in mind. Do you project yourself as a light-hearted brand, or a straight-talking sales magnet?
Your website is perhaps the most vital weapon you have available. Your website catches traffic from search engines, promotes and clarifies your brand for visitors, and allows you to generate leads, communicate, and sell.
For this reason, content on your website - and the websites of your individual franchisees - should be designed with selling, readability, and best SEO practices in mind. Your website as a whole should reflect your overall strategy.
Your Customer Relationship Management system allows you to link revenue that's generated to a specific marketing campaign. This makes it vital in tracking your progress towards your goals.
Best practice means using a single CRM system to track all your franchises. This means sales metrics, customer growth numbers, customer satisfaction indicators, and other reports will have access to the most data. Your CRM should be designed to match your overall strategy.
Accounts & Profiles
Both your overall brand and individual franchise locations will need individual accounts and profiles on all of the online directories and social media platforms you've selected as your primary franchise marketing channels.
Sales growth and customer retention are two sides of the same coin. Proper planning of your franchise sales process is key. All your teams should be highly knowledgeable about your sales funnel.
How will your customers buy from you? Will they be able to access a purchase mechanism directly through your website? Will you institute cold calling, email, or door to door sales techniques? What portion of your budget will each channel have available?
Measuring your sales through your KPIs will always be vital to determining whether your plan is working. Make sure to designate which analytics and other systems you're going to use to measure your sales, as well as what figures will indicate you're on-target.Retention Strategy
Your retention strategy should link your brand and market placement. Support your position as the premier service with outstanding customer service, or your position as the sensible budget option with automation of systems to reduce costs, for example.
Contingency plans are critical to any franchise marketing plan. If Google acted to kill your rankings tomorrow, could your campaign survive? What if your website crashes? What will you do then?
Outline at least one backup plan for use in situations where you need to keep leads coming in, but your primary franchise marketing channels have been obstructed.