The main purpose of franchise marketing is to raise the awareness of the franchise between potential franchisees, to induce their interest in a franchise and encourage them to acquire it. You should bear in mind, that franchise marketing must be separated from your usual marketing activities, aimed at increasing awareness about your franchised business and motivating end-customers to buy your products or services. Although, franchise marketing and the marketing of franchised business may supplement each other, you should plan, implement and evaluate these two marketing activities independently from one another.
Since majority of franchises are created on a foundation of B2C (business-to-customer) businesses, it is quite common for novice franchisors to apply their B2C marketing skills in promoting their franchise. However, franchise marketing is usually a B2B (business-to-business) marketing. Therefore, you will need to have specific B2B marketing skills to market your franchise properly.
To start with, we recommend you to develop a simple marketing strategy and action plan. There are many methodologies and tools for preparing a marketing strategy. You might choose any of them if it will allow defining the basic elements of the franchise strategy fully, effectively and clearly. You need to define strategic marketing choices (goals, type of strategy, target segment, differentiation and competitive advantages, positioning, etc.), the marketing complex (products or services, place, pricing, promotion, process, people and physical obviousness) and tools for monitoring and evaluation execution of the strategy. Since the marketing strategy is usually prepared for the medium to long term, you will also need to develop its short-term execution action plan. You will need to outline particular marketing activities, measures and channels as well as responsible people, resources required, schedule and targets you want to achieve by implementing short-term action plan. A well-formed marketing action plan should not only clearly define the implementation of the marketing activities, but also show the relation of every marketing measure with the provisions of the marketing strategy.
Although, depending on the franchisor, franchise marketing measures may differ. However, the following are the most common: a brief franchise brochure, a detailed franchise brochure, a franchise exhibition stand, a website, etc. These measures constitute a minimal set of essential franchise marketing measures, which if needed, may be supplemented by other measures.
There are certain channels, which are very popular in franchising:
- The Internet. You should present exhaustive information about franchise on a dedicated website. You should use personalization, gamification and other modern trends of user-engagement to make visiting your franchise website as thrilling and attractive as possible. You also should exploit possibilities of SEO and internet advertising to divert as much potential candidates as possible to your website.
- Social networks. You should create franchise profiles in major social networks and apply social marketing techniques wisely and regularly. You should communicate with your followers, provide them with catchy content, engage them into discussions, games, etc.
- Franchises exhibitions and other similar events. Franchises exhibitions, business missions and other similar events, aimed to facilitate direct contact with potential franchisees, are still very powerful tool in franchise marketing. You should identify major franchising events in your target development market, prepare yourself thoroughly, participate and follow-up on contacts established during the events.
- Franchises catalogues. In most markets, internet-based franchise catalogues have replaced printed versions long time ago. In many countries, being present in local online franchise directory is a “must” for franchises willing to expand in the market. Moreover, many operators of such franchise catalogues maintain strong databases of prospective franchisees that could be used to promote your franchise.
- Specialized media. If you want to find a franchisee who is passionate about your business field, try to use specific media channels (websites, magazines, newspapers, forums, blogs, etc.), dedicated to your business field. For example, advertising fine-dining restaurant franchise in gourmet magazine could be a good idea.
- Your current franchisees. You should exploit your franchisee’s contacts as much as possible for marketing your franchise. Satisfied franchisee recommending a tested franchise is a best possible mean of attracting new candidates. You should equip your franchisees with simple marketing tools and incentivize them to spread “the word” about your franchise opportunity.
- Franchise brokers. Franchise brokers, acting on commercial grounds, are a rather effective tool for generating franchise sales leads. Brokers, who are successfully working in the market for a long time, may generate a high flow of qualified leads within a short period due to contacts of prospective franchisees in their possession. You might want to identify such brokers in your target development market and evaluate the feasibility of collaborating with them.
- Franchising associations or similar NGO’s. Franchising associations and other equivalent organizations, dedicated to promotion of franchising, exist in almost every country. Belonging to such association or becoming its partner will increase your credibility and enable you to use their communication channels for your franchise marketing.
The described list of marketing channels is indefinite. Every franchisor may use other channels for communication of its franchise value proposition to a target segment of potential franchisees. Anyway, the most important aim of any franchise marketing activity is to create preconditions for growth of a number of enquiries and an increase in the quality of sales leads.
After designing your franchise marketing, that would generate you constant flow of sales leads, it is time to learn how to handle these leads properly to ensure as high conversion rate as possible. You can read more about preparation for franchisee recruitment here >>>>