Franchisors – you know best about the significance of franchisee training in marketing your franchise. A well-structured training programme is the cornerstone of successful franchise marketing. The benefits are enormous. When your franchisees market your brand effectively, the entire business benefits. It doesn’t matter if you carry out marketing at headquarters or your franchisees do their own marketing. There will always be a need for tools and skills to ensure brand consistency. For this reason, effective training is essential.
The foundation of effective marketing
You’ve spent years building your brand. After franchising your business, you now rely on your franchisees to maintain the brand standards. However, all it takes is one wrong move to dilute your brand. That’s the last thing you need because brand consistency is the pillar of consumer trust. Lost trust leads to loss in customers and sales. And this is why you must ensure that your franchisees are on the same page.
Tailoring training to marketing needs
Although a large part of your franchisee training will focus on the operational aspects of the business, you need a dedicated and customised marketing training programme. Such programmes should be specific to your franchise to ensure no deviation from the main marketing strategy. In some cases, you’ll need to train your franchisees to use digital marketing tools while in other cases, you may need more traditional ones or even a combination of both. It all depends on the context your franchise operates in.
Digital marketing proficiency
The statistics regarding digital marketing are staggering. There are 66.11 million internet users in the UK, which comprises around 98% of the population. Whether through desktop or mobile devices, it is fundamental for your franchise business to be online. With a myriad of online platforms, your franchisees must be trained in and have access to tools that enable them to carry out social media marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO) and paid advertising.
Localised marketing strategies
There’s something special to be said about local SEO. It is critical for franchises because it drives a significant amount of traffic to your physical store. With “near me” searches amounting to around 50% of all Google searches, your business is missing out if your local marketing isn’t optimised. For strong local SEO results, your training methods should encompass understanding and targeting of local demographics through Google My Business. Your franchisees will also need to collect and respond to reviews, post on the listing, upload images and ensure consistency of online franchise information.
Effective use of marketing tools
But training doesn’t stop at digital and local marketing strategies. Your franchisees need training in customer relationship management (CRM) systems, email marketing, understanding reporting and analytics plus why this is essential for the marketing success of their franchise units.
Brand reputation management
Brand reputation management is another piece of the marketing puzzle. Maintaining a positive brand image consistently is important. It’s a way to ensure that customers can expect the same quality of product or service offering from your brand at any location. Every franchise unit must maintain marketing standards to the same level to ensure no brand dilution or loss of customers and loss of trust in your brand.
Sometimes, things can and do go wrong. Your franchisees should be trained to handle marketing crises. They’ll need to be equipped with skills that provide quick responses and carry out damage control when it’s needed.
Continuous training and support
Finally, because of the changing nature of digital marketing, you must offer your franchisees continuous training and support. You can do so through refresher courses as continued learning can only mean that all your franchisees are on the same page at the same time.
The role of franchisee training in successful franchise marketing cannot be overstated. And you are strongly encouraged to invest in robust training programmes, even if you do the majority of your marketing initiatives at headquarters. It takes one franchisee to either damage or lift the brand making training essential. Assess your current training programmes and see if they align with your objectives. Alternatively, consult with the experts to enhance your franchisee training efforts. There are great free online webinars for this purpose. It’s simply a matter of signing up.