Across a multitude of locations, and with contrasting aims and goals, we know it can be hard for semi-autonomous outlets and franchisors to align to run digital performance activity to the best of their ability. Below we have pulled together some top-level tips for this unique set of clients, whose needs and goals make first-in-class digital performance marketing hard to nail on the head.
One of the most important things to get right when working with franchisees and small individual budgets, is the ability to accurately apply learnings from one to the larger group. When working with franchisees it is not uncommon for operations across the group to be fragmented: varying goals, incomplete data, and duplicate content. With smaller budgets at each individual franchise level, the risk is a lack of learnings.
To combat this, franchises should look to develop a culture of shared learnings to look at data accumulatively across the group. This will help the franchise to identify trends and insights to help optimise activity a national level whilst still tailoring activity to individual markets. Consistency, shared data and insights are fundamental to drive efficiencies for all franchisees and allow the business to build solid foundations for growth.
Shared learnings allow us to identify which local businesses are driving fewer conversions than others. Once we have a consistent website experience, we know that either quality of service or competitiveness of pricing is impacting performance. This speeds up the process for finding weaknesses and addressing them.
While both the brand and the local franchise will be keen to incorporate awareness into their marketing plans, if a framework for responsibilities and strategy isn’t clearly outlined then we can see a waste of spend and a confusing message to the user.
National should focus on driving brand-led awareness using an insight driven targeting framework at the top of the funnel. At a local level, you should focus on converting these warm leads by employing hyper-localised campaigns for remarketing with relevant messages, and eventually displaying price-based messaging from franchises at the bottom of the funnel. To ensure that ads are relevant at a local level, layer location radius targeting onto audience profiling to ensure the right message is reaching the right user at the right time.
There is often a disconnect between what the national brand talks about and local execution. A national double-glazing retailer can talk about quality, longevity and ease of installation, but if the door-to-door salesman or local dealers have different ideas then the whole thing falls apart. Franchisors should work with local branches to define branding and unified marketing messages to form a set of concrete brand and marketing guidelines. Then individual branches can follow these, in order to remain aligned, but with the ability to create unique content that will gain them search traffic in their specific location.
Once you have a consistent strategy and approach across all franchises you can turn this into a playbook. The franchise owner can then incorporate this into their franchise prospectus. This helps them bring more franchises on board because they have an out-of-the-box solution to growth via digital.
A franchise network will always face the challenge of operating in multiple locations, with nuanced audience needs, differing demand and competition. These are just some of the long list of tips we’ve got for how you can make a single marketing approach meet the specific goals of each franchisee whilst aligning to the overall brand vision and KPIs.