As we approach another new year, franchise business owners are presented with a golden opportunity to reassess and rejuvenate their marketing strategies. In a rapidly evolving business landscape, where customer behaviours and market trends are in constant flux, staying ahead requires a proactive approach.
You should therefore take a step back at this time of the year to analyse your current marketing strategies; reviewing what has worked during the current calendar year, in order to identify areas that need refinement or innovation.
This self-assessment sets the stage for a revitalised approach that aligns with the ever-changing dynamics of the market. Here are seven key areas that we believe you should consider, to ultimately help set you up for the new year ahead with an invigorated and fresh approach:
Market and consumer research: Understanding emerging trends
It’s so important to keep up to date on new and emerging trends in the markets your business operates in. In-depth market and customer research therefore serves as the foundation for any successful marketing campaign. It should be your bread and butter! As we enter 2024, we recommend that you invest time into understanding emerging market trends from comprehensive research. Review the market research data you have. Is it up to date? Do you need access to an existing report or to commission a bespoke report. Analysing data is crucial in allowing businesses to stay ahead of the curve, aligning products and services with evolving customer preferences.
Customer personas: Tailoring messages effectively
Customer personas are invaluable tools for crafting targeted marketing messages. We recommend that you should periodically review and refresh your customer personas to ensure that your messages resonate effectively. Understanding the nuances of the target audience enables the creation of personalised and compelling content, which establishes a deeper connection with customers. It’s important to review personas every couple of years or after a consumer shift.
Competitor analysis: Identifying gaps and opportunities
Remaining competitive requires a keen awareness of the market landscape. Conducting regular competitor analyses ensures that you are up to speed on the latest industry trends, who is saying or doing what, and identifies potential ‘gaps’ or opportunities. Also, by learning from competitors’ successes and shortcomings, you can fine-tune your strategies for maximum impact. It’s a very valuable exercise which is worth conducting at least annually to keep ahead of your long-term competition while tracking new market entrants.
There are a range of tools you can use to help with competitor analysis from SEO tools like Ahref to understand competitor website and digital performance to Benchmark to identify how your competitors are performing on social media and Feedly to keep up to date with competitor news.
Execution of strategies: Embrace the omni-channel!
As we know, the modern consumer engages with brands through various channels, both online and offline. As we move into 2024, franchise owners should consider adopting an omni-channel marketing strategy to ensure a consistent and seamless brand experience across all touchpoints. From online platforms to in-store interactions, a cohesive approach enhances visibility and engagement. Review how successful your brand has been with an omni-channel approach in 2023 and how can hone your implementation in 2024. What tools and platforms do you need to develop to help your franchisees align to an omni-channel strategy? Do they have access to full brand visual guidelines and marketing templates. Do they have seasonal campaign creative that they can roll out at a local level?
Regional strategy: Tailoring campaigns by region
Not all markets are created equal and a one-size-fits-all approach may fall short! You may benefit from evaluating whether a tailored marketing campaign is needed by region. Understanding regional nuances allows for the customisation of strategies to meet specific needs, enhancing connection with local audiences; always worth taking into consideration.
Customer engagement and loyalty: Don’t forget existing customers!
While attracting new customers is of course vital, maintaining and nurturing existing relationships should never be overlooked. You should prioritise customer engagement and loyalty by staying in regular contact, implementing loyalty programs, and personalising messages. Cultivating strong connections with existing customers can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth, so take stock on what you’re doing to stay engaged with existing (or former) customers and what you can improve on for 2024. Make sure you have the right customer relationship platform to stay in touch there is now a huge range available with multiple integrations to suit your business.
Measurement: Using data analytics for success tracking
In the data-driven era, success is measurable. Take advantage of data analytics to track the results of your marketing efforts. By understanding what works and what doesn’t, you can make informed decisions, enhance existing strategies, and ultimately ensure a higher return on investment. After all, ‘if you always do, what you’ve always done, you’ll always get, what you always got’! Review, assess analytics and pivot where necessary.
Prioritise your marketing resolutions for a successful 2024 – and beyond!
These resolutions should not be mere aspirations but should help form the foundation of a comprehensive marketing plan for 2024 and beyond.
By reviewing these essential elements with a fresh pair of eyes as one year draws to a close, you can navigate the dynamic marketing landscape with confidence, ensuring your brand remains relevant with your target audiences.
Embrace the new year with a commitment to take stock, assess previous successes, pivot, adapt and innovate! Happy New Year.