Marketing for franchises isn’t as complicated as you might think.
The marketing plan really has two objectives: build a strong brand so that you can recruit more customers. But building a strong brand is dependent upon the franchisor and franchisees sending a consistent and “on brand” message.
This is why franchisors in well-designed systems like ActionCOACH® set rules for the use of trademarks and brand standards, which are to be used in all marketing and advertising materials.
The plain truth is that misuse of trademarks or ignoring brand standards can damage the brand and also jeopardize the franchisee’s franchise.
There are franchisors which provide a ready-to-roll marketing plan, from Advertising to Social Media, which must be adhered to by the letter and is the same no matter where it is implemented. McDonald’s, for example, would be such a franchise. Not much room for creativity or personalization.
Working with a franchise that provides brand standards and support but allows you to create a local marketing plan for your franchise does require that you do homework to create an effective marketing plan. You have to know your target customer as a friend. Here are some questions you should ask yourself during the process:
- Who is your competition?
- What types of services do they offer?
- What makes your service unique when compared with that of your competitors?
- Where, geographically, can you find your customer base?
- What are the specific needs and concerns of those customers? How can you fulfill them? They have a problem. You have a solution. That is where your advertising and marketing efforts should begin.
While you may need to create a localized marketing plan for your franchise, it is essential to maintain brand standards and reach out to the franchisor’s marketing department when you have questions. Often, the team at the corporate offices is more than happy to provide insights and aid when called upon.