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How to score big with franchise marketing

Written by James Thomas on Thursday, 02 July 2020. Posted in Sales & Marketing

I don’t know about you but I’m pretty excited about football returning to our screens!

How to score big with franchise marketing

I don’t know about you but I’m pretty excited about football returning to our screens! However, sport resuming has required some detailed and careful planning. For businesses, it’s important to apply the same logic.  Proper planning is critical in any business situation but with the economic challenges we currently face, it’s never been as important as it is right now. 

To get to where we want to be, the starting point has to be a solid, well-researched and well-thought-out business plan.  In other words, we need to be aiming right between those goal posts!

Today, I want to talk mainly about the marketing element of your business plan. You might think: What has this to do with writing a financial column? Well everything! If your marketing plan is hit and miss, sales will fail to meet targets, revenue will be down and this could threaten the future of your franchise. 

Marketing cost will be one of your biggest outlays in the first few months, to enable you to ensure every penny counts you need to pinpoint your demographic and target them with specific relevant content to win them over. This means profiling your clients – where do they receive their information, what platform, how old are they, where do they work, how/where do they buy? 

Further you need to profile your competition to make sure you’re pricing your products within a parameter of competition: too high and they will go elsewhere, too low and you won’t meet breakeven or struggle to make any profits whatsoever! Establish what makes your service or product different or more convenient? In this way, you can develop, emphasise and channel your unique selling points compared with your competitors.

Finding out about other businesses in the area where you can team-up to share marketing is also worthwhile research. Partnerships can create a win-win situation where each organisation can piggyback on the marketing and client base of the other. For example, one of our clients had a coffee shop franchise below a kids’ dance studio. Customers were encouraged to stay and have a coffee while they waited for their children.

Adam Lovelock, director and head of online marketing at Coconut Creatives adds: “When thinking about your marketing plan for the next 12 months, consider how the world has changed. Messaging that was relevant six months ago will probably not work right now”

“Usually marketeers are focused on satisfying customers’ psychological needs, aiming to make them feel they are loved, they belong or to sell solutions to build their self-esteem. However, the lockdown suddenly forced our most basic needs such as food, safety (and toilet roll!) to become priorities.  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as illustrated in the diagram seems particularly relevant” We’ve all moved down a rung or two on the ladder.


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

 “Therefore, franchises looking at attracting customers back in the short term, need to ensure they are overcoming the fear element.  It’s not to say brands can one day go back to where they were, but right now, more than anything, messaging needs to show how those dance classes are a really super-safe environment for children.

“The other important change which needs to be worked into marketing plans is the digital element.  There was a great statistic reported recently: the average adult is now scrolling the length of the Statue of Liberty (around 100 meters) per day! The fact is that we are all now spending far more time online. On the one hand, this offers a great way to target customers but on the other, it’s tough to stand out.  It’s a constant competition for your customers’ attention. Videos or animated content can help cut through all that mindless scrolling.

“The digital landscape has also altered.  For the first time Facebook doesn’t feature in the top five social channels. Zoom and Microsoft Teams are the top contenders and interestingly the video platform tick tock is now up there too. The trends and rapid speed of change can be bewildering when franchise companies are also trying to focus on the day job. Working with an experienced digital media agency can help create a balance and gain an understanding of where to put effort in, in addition to helping monitor results and aligning this feedback for future campaigns.”

Whether you’ve run your franchise for some time, or you are new to the industry, the way marketing is undertaken moving forwards certainly needs some fresh thinking and careful planning. As with the beautiful game, success often comes down to the team effort, so if you want to score big with your marketing, research, analyse and partner to be ready to win.

For further information about business planning please see: https://www.team-dt.com/ 

About the Author

James Thomas

James Thomas

Having worked within the franchise industry as an operations coordinator in the past, Thomas has developed experience of facilitating the relationship between franchisor and franchise network, which led him to become franchise relationship manager at d&t chartered accountants

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