As technology evolves, franchise marketing teams must evolve as well in order to stay relevant and profitable.
Enticing customers to visit your locations requires a broad strategy that engages customers online, on their mobile phones, and in-store. In this article, we’ve rounded up five top tips for franchise marketing best practices that work across many different types of franchises.
1) Target mobile advertising to individual locations
With consumers’ ever-present smartphones, mobile advertising can be effectively used by franchisors to target local customers in the area of a particular franchise location.
Consider texting local in-store specials-for-a-day based on location software as well as promoting loyalty programs by store. Also share coupons directly to the smartphones of customers when they enter your locations.
Justin Mink, Senior Vice President of Sales at Scorpion, says:
One of the greatest benefits of mobile advertising is it allows you to serve your ads based on location—such as people within a certain city or mile radius around your franchise business. Whether you are running mobile pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Google or Bing or social media ads on sites and apps like Facebook, you can target online users who are most likely to convert into new customers—those who are a few minutes away from your franchise location.
2) Encourage loyal fans with in-store digital signage
Consumers enjoy being recognized for their patronage. With Enplug’s digital signage Social Media Wall App and Instagram App, customers in franchisor Creamistry’s locations can use hashtags to immediately see themselves on the store’s display screens.
Kenny Cho, Creamistry’s Marketing Director, says:
Enplug allows us to directly communicate with our customers across all our locations, encouraging social media engagement with our brand while also enhancing the overall in-store Creamistry experience.
3) Promote business with loyalty, reward and referral programs
Besides social recognition, tangible forms of recognition such as loyalty and reward programs offering social promotions and coupons can be effective franchise marketing practices.
You can reward customers for:
- how often they visit your location
- how often they share your hashtag(s) on social media
- how often they make purchases
Don Daszkowski, President and CEO of Business Mart, Inc. and the Franchise Buyers Network, says:
Referrals are always an important part of a marketing package. Referrals can be exchanged with other business owners or via existing clients. An incentive program with existing clients who refer new clients is one popular method of obtaining referrals.
4) Provide important social proof with online reviews and testimonials
Social proof is very important in today’s smartphone world. When a prospective customer checks out your franchise online, it is important to have positive reviews on numerous sites including testimonials on your own website. This positive social proof can then fuel increased foot traffic.
Adam Heitzman, Co-Founder, HigherVisibility, says:
Yelp, Amazon, and Google reviews are probably the most popular, but online reviews can also come from other search engines, the Better Business Bureau, a local directory, and more. Testimonials are a bit easier because you control the reviews you display on your site, but in either case they can make a big difference.
5) Share consistent brand messaging across all franchise locations
Effective franchise marketing creates a uniform company presentation across all locations. Just as a franchisor’s physical locations are designed to be uniform, so too must brand messaging at each location be consistent with a uniform brand appearance and message.
Hector Cabral, Executive Director at Inka Franchise Corp, describes how he connected his franchise locations using Enplug’s on-premise live social media walls:
Both customers and staff love seeing their posts on the screen along with posts from other locations, helping to link our brand across our nationwide locations.
In conclusion, effective franchise marketing across all locations requires providing prospective and current customers with consistent messaging and recognition for customer loyalty.