When it comes to marketing your new franchise, your franchisor should be able to provide you with invaluable advice and support. However, instead of limiting yourself to their suggested generic marketing blueprint, take the initiative to compile your own detailed marketing plan.
Related: Finding the Right Franchise Fit
This is not to say that you should discount the franchisor’s advice and assistance, as this is something they will have acquired over numerous years’ of experience, but rather leverage from it by combining their marketing insights and initiatives with your own to obtain the best results.
Below are few frequently asked questions about making your marketing plan work for you.
1. What type of marketing support can I expect from my franchisor?
- Generic large-scale media advertising.
- Assistance with marketing material design and discounted or preferential small printing rates.
- Opening promotions.
- Special offer promotions for certain times of the year.
- Advice on what could work in certain areas or not.
- Collective area joint store advertising campaigns.
2. What elements should I include in my franchisee marketing plan?
- Your marketing objectives.
- An environmental analysis or STEP analysis: The impact that: Socio-economic (S), technological (T), economic (E), and political / legal (P) factors might have on the business.
- A competitive analysis: The strengths and weaknesses of your main competitors
- A detailed SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
- An outline of your marketing mix: Product, price, place (location and distribution channels) and promotions strategy.
- Your market segmentation strategy: Divide your broad target market into subsets of consumers, groups or businesses that have common needs, interests and priorities, and then design a strategy that targets them.
- Your market positioning strategy: After selecting a target market, decide how you want to position yourself within that segment, ie. how you want consumers to see your product/s or service.
- Your customer value proposition, unique selling proposition and competitive product advantages.
- A detailed explanation of your promotional strategy, including: advertising, public relations, sales promotions, personal selling, direct marketing and social media, or digital marketing techniques.
- A detailed marketing budget outlining the projected sales per month and marketing expenditure items.
- A poor, average, good and excellent scenario analysis.
3. What other marketing activities can franchisees engage in on their own?
- Flyers in their own areas.
- Promotions in their own areas: Cocktail parties, breakfasts, cheese and wine information evenings.
- Competitions in local newspapers.
- Sponsorships of events at local schools, businesses, or community projects.
- Social media.
4. What common pitfalls should franchisees avoid when embarking on marketing their business?
- Spending little on marketing and just expecting clients to walk in and buy.
- Focusing on big expensive ad placements that may not even work. Rather get advice from other franchisees and the franchisor to ensure you don’t waste money.
- Only doing marketing in the quiet months and neglecting the busy months. It must be a consistent effort all year round.
- Paying consultants for things you can do.
5. How can franchisees best leverage from their franchisor’s marketing support?
- Make the franchisor’s marketing manager your best ally for advice. Allow them to try out new marketing techniques on your store, and they will be more likely to prioritise your requirements over less active franchisees.
- Send them all positive customer feedback and they will usually be willing to assist with your requests.
- Remember, making the effort to market your franchise properly will translate directly into increased sales.