What is franchise marketing? Strategies for ROI across locations

Vicki Morillo
7 min read
Some additional information in one line

It takes a unique blend of strategic acumen and marketing finesse to elevate a fitness franchise business to its peak performance.

As a business owner, your journey to launching and expanding your franchise must be fueled by an effective franchise marketing strategy.

With the right balance of franchisor control and local franchisee resources, your business can achieve unprecedented growth while maintaining brand consistency. 

The world of franchise marketing may seem like an intricate maze but fear not. This article will guide you toward the most effective strategies, tools, and industry-specific practices to ensure your franchise thrives in a competitive landscape.

What is franchise marketing?what is franchise marketing

Franchise marketing refers to the strategies and tactics used by franchisors and franchisees to attract new customers, build brand awareness, and drive revenue for the franchise organization. 

It’s an essential aspect of franchising and plays a crucial role in the success of both the franchisor and franchisee.

Franchise marketing statistics

Franchising is a popular business model that allows entrepreneurs to expand their businesses with the help of an established brand and proven operating methods. 

Here are some relevant franchising statistics:

  • The franchise industry employs over 8 million people in the US, accounting for 5% of the US labor force. (Source)
  • Franchise businesses contribute about $674 billion to the US economy and provide approximately 5.6 million jobs. (Source)
  • The franchise industry is growing, with roughly 300 companies starting franchising every year. (Source)
  • Franchises account for roughly 2.5% of the country’s total economic output in 2022. (Source)
  • McDonald's is the world's biggest franchise, with more than 38,000 restaurants. (Source)
  • Franchises have a higher success rate than independent businesses, with 92% of franchisees still in business after two years, compared to 20% of independent businesses. (Source)
  • The franchise industry has a big market share in several different industries, with food companies representing the largest number of franchises. (Source)
  • Franchising is a less risky option for starting a business, as it allows entrepreneurs to own a business without starting it from scratch and to expand operations quickly into new geographic areas with limited capital investment. (Source)

What is the importance of maintaining brand consistency in your franchise business?

Brand consistency is the backbone of a successful franchise business. It's the glue that holds all the franchises together, creating a cohesive and potent image that resonates with customers.

Brand consistency ensures that no matter which franchise location a customer visits, the experience will be the same. 

Franchise marketing plan ideas

Franchise marketing involves strategies that increase brand awareness and generate high-quality leads. 

A well-crafted franchise marketing plan can mobilize your franchise network, balance control between franchisor and franchisees, and maintain brand consistency. 

Whether you're leveraging digital tools or traditional marketing methods, these strategies offer a solid foundation for your marketing efforts. 

Strategies for franchise marketing 

Effective franchise marketing is a dynamic process that requires a wide array of strategies. When used effectively, these strategies can pave the way for business growth and expansion. Here, we delve into 11 crucial strategies you should consider:

  1. Know your target audience: Understanding who your target audience is, can help you tailor your marketing strategies to meet their needs and interests.
  2. Social media marketing: Engage your audience and promote your brand on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
  3. Content marketing: Share valuable, relevant content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and position your franchise as an industry leader.
  4. Local SEO: Optimize your online presence to ensure that your business appears in local search results, making it easier for customers in your community to find you.
  5. Clear and consistent brand guidelines: Establishing clear brand guidelines is critical for maintaining consistency across all franchises. Make sure that every franchise is on the same page when it comes to representing the brand.
  6. Use PPC & paid advertising: Paid digital marketing, such as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, can help you reach a larger audience and drive more traffic to your website.
  7. Email marketing: While it may seem traditional, email marketing is a proven method that still yields effective results. Send personalized messages directly to your potential customers' inboxes.
  8. Personalized marketing: Personalized messages can make your customers feel special, while marketing automation can save you time and ensure no opportunity is missed.
  9. Tell your brand’s story: Sharing your brand's story can help customers feel more connected to your business and foster loyalty.
  10. Responsive website design: Ensure your website is user-friendly, mobile-responsive, and SEO-optimized to attract and retain potential customers.
  11. Partnerships and collaborations: Collaborating with non-competing businesses that share your target audience can lead to mutual growth and expansion.

How to measure the success of your franchise marketing efforts?

Measuring the success of your franchise marketing efforts' success is critical to any successful franchise operation. This allows you to determine what's working and what isn't, and make necessary adjustments to your marketing strategy. 

There are several key metrics and strategies you can use to measure the effectiveness of your franchise marketing. 

Key performance indicators (KPIs) 

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are quantifiable measures used to evaluate the success of an organization, employee, etc., in meeting objectives for performance. In franchise marketing, some common KPIs include: 

  • Revenue: This is the most basic KPI, but it's crucial. If your franchise units consistently generate revenue, your marketing strategy is likely working.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): This metric measures how much you spend to acquire a new customer. It's calculated by dividing the total cost of marketing and sales by the number of new customers acquired in a given period.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): This is an estimate of the total value of a customer to the business over the entirety of their relationship.
  • Conversion Rates: This measures how many leads your marketing efforts are turning into customers.

Franchisee feedback 

Another important way to measure the success of your franchise marketing efforts is through franchisee feedback. Regularly communicate with your franchisees to understand how the marketing strategies are working on the ground level. 

Note: It's vital to balance the feedback from your franchisees with the data from your KPIs. Some franchisees might have subjective opinions that could be influenced by factors other than the effectiveness of the marketing strategy.

Competitor benchmarking 

Finally, you should also compare your franchise's performance with that of your competitors. This can give you an idea of where you stand in the market and if your marketing efforts give you a competitive edge. 

Competitor

Revenue

Customer Acquisition Cost

Customer Lifetime Value

Conversion Rate

Competitor 1

$X

$Y

$Z

%A

Competitor 2

$X

$Y

$Z

%B

What are some common mistakes to avoid in franchise marketing?

 Some most common mistakes to avoid in franchise marketing includes:

  • Ignoring Local Marketing Efforts: While a franchisor provides the overall marketing strategy, local franchisee marketing efforts cannot be overlooked. Franchisees possess invaluable knowledge about their local market conditions and customer preferences. They should be empowered to adapt the larger marketing strategies to suit their local context.

  • Failure to Maintain Brand Consistency: In franchising, maintaining brand consistency is crucial for building consumer trust and loyalty. This includes everything from logos and taglines to the tone of voice in customer interactions. All franchisees must adhere to the brand guidelines provided by the franchisor.

  • Inadequate Training: Franchisees are the face of your brand at the local level, and their performance can directly affect your brand perception. Providing them with adequate training in marketing strategies and brand guidelines is not just an option, but an essential task.

  • Not Using the Right Tools: From customer relationship management (CRM) systems to social media platforms, the tools used in marketing can greatly impact your franchise's performance. Each franchise unit should have the right tools and resources to effectively reach their target audience.

  • Ignoring Online Presence: A strong online presence is essential for any business in today's digital age. Ignoring this can lead to missed opportunities for customer engagement and revenue growth. Every franchise unit should have a strong online presence that aligns with the overall brand image.
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