From Instagram influencers to pay-per-click ads, franchises have more options than ever to create a buzz around their business. But deciding which one is right for you isn’t always easy
Rapidly evolving new media and technology are really shaking up the advertising world. You’re no longer limited to ads via TV, radio, newspapers, leaflets and business directories to get your name out there.
Nowadays you may be tempted to pay a popular Instagram influencer with over 100,000 followers £200 to write about your product or spend a fiver boosting a good Facebook post to reach a wider audience. Plus, with so many online and digital TV channels vying for advertisers, you can even get air time for a few hundred pounds as opposed to the thousands it once cost.
However, although the advertising landscape is evolving, one thing that hasn’t changed is the importance of ensuring your message remains constant. This is equally crucial if you’re part of a nationwide franchise.
The first step towards achieving this is to ensure the franchisor and every franchisee work side by side so they’re singing from the same song sheet. Put simply, everything from the font and colour of the company logo down to the ethos upon which your business is built must be complied with.
The franchisor will set out the ground rules for the network to follow. This starts with having a wide selection of advertising materials, which can be personalised for each franchised territory.
If a franchisee has plans for their own advertising campaign, it must be clearly understood it cannot go ahead without the approval of the franchisor. A franchisor will also have a good idea of what advertising methods will be effective and which ones fall on deaf ears.
There’s an old saying: “Half the money spent on advertising is wasted. The trouble is you don't know which half.” Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be like that anymore because now there are numerous ways in which the effectiveness of an advertisement can be accurately monitored. Of course, even with the help of precise conversion rate, data advertising is not a precise science. The situation isn't helped by the fact that Facebook and Google are hoovering up gigantic advertising revenues which can burn through your budget very quickly, often without delivering a satisfactory return. Also, there are countless numbers of pay-per-click and internet marketing charlatans out there who talk the talk but don't contribute to sales.
Fortunately, being a franchisee gives you the opportunity to avoid these pitfalls and plan effectively. In a well-managed franchise new advertising promotions will be devised and tested long before they are rolled out for franchisees to implement in their area.
One thing any new business owner must understand is advertising and promotion are essential and should be viewed as an investment rather than an avoidable cost. This is not as obvious as it sounds and over the years I have heard every excuse in the book from franchisees for not advertising in line with the company plan. “I can't afford it at the moment.” “I think that I'll wait until I come back from holiday.” “My sales are OK, so I'll leave it for a few months.”
When I hear that, my answer is always the same. “Please, please, just follow the plan. That is why you invested into the franchise.”