10 Things to Remind Yourself as a Franchise Marketer
By: Kristen Pechacek, Chief Growth Officer, MassageLuxe
We have all been there… Banging our heads against the wall trying to push local marketing adoption, knowing that in the end our franchisees will thank us. For those that like challenges, it’s the thrill of the chase. But even the thrill chasers need a little encouragement! Here are some things to remind yourself that will get you back in the game.
- Repeat. And then Repeat it Again: Just about the time you get sick of saying it, they hear it for the first time! Continually reinforce local marketing basics and best practices.
- Franchisees Didn’t get into Business to Do Marketing: Most franchisees aren’t marketers at their core. They got into business for the business which includes operations, human resources, finance, etc. Marketing is time-consuming and complicated. Either do marketing for them or provide an easy-to-follow playbook to do it themselves. I prefer a hybrid approach. If I can do it for them, without compromising the “local feel” to their business, I will. In other instances, like social media content, I do as much for them as I can and give them clear directions on the rest (i.e.: Film one of your employees talking about their favorite product).
- Data is your Friend: You don’t need fancy dashboards or giant spreadsheets to show the impact marketing has on the franchisees’ business, but you do need to show them. Remember to break it down into metrics they understand. ROI and ROAS are great for marketers, but for franchisees it will go in one ear and out the other. Talk about revenue, anticipated profit and the number of people who were impacted by the activity.
- Pick your Battles: As a marketer, protecting the brand is one of your top priorities. This, however, must be balanced with keeping franchisees happy. Happy franchisees sell more franchises. Not every franchisee marketing decision or piece of creative is going to align perfectly to your standards. Learn how to strike a balance you can live with.
- Find a Tribe: Whether it be a formal marketing advisory board or a group of franchisees you bounce ideas off, pull together the field to hear their perspective. You don’t have to have the answers to all the problems. Take something you are struggling with to a few franchisees and collect their input to help you arrive at a decision.
- Benchmark Success Stories: Don’t shy away from sharing franchisee marketing performance with the rest of the system. If something is working, show the rest of the field the numbers. Use peer influence by encouraging franchisees who have successfully embraced marketing to become advocates for those that are lagging.
- It’s Not Always “One Size Fits All”: I often hear “Well, my market is just different”. My first inclination is to roll my eyes, but I stop myself. There’s no denying that there are market differences and that a one-size-fits-all approach may not always be the best approach. While scalable, consumers in different areas do act differently and that needs to be accounted for. Acknowledge that franchisees often have a deep understanding of their local markets. Encourage them to provide insights and collaborate on local marketing efforts.
- Stay Informed and Evolve Carefully: Franchise marketers aren’t typically early adopters because of the complexity in scaling marketing initiatives. Many other sectors are further ahead in things like AI and emerging technologies. The marketing landscape is continually changing. Keep up with industry trends, emerging technologies, and consumer preferences. Adapt your strategies when needed, but also remind franchisees of the risks associated with being the first to adopt a new tactic. Let the others with bigger budgets be the first to jump on a bandwagon. If it pays off for them, then give it a try.
- Long-Term Strategy Over Quick Fixes: Encourage franchisees to adopt a long-term marketing mindset. Quick fixes may provide temporary results, but sustained success requires a strategic approach. Use what you know about your business to project profit potential for franchisees. Sometimes return can take a while, but give them an idea of what to come from their efforts with loose calculations.
- Celebrate Small Wins Together: Acknowledge and celebrate even the smallest marketing successes with franchisees. Whether it’s a well-executed local event or a positive customer review, these wins can boost morale and motivation for everyone involved.