When you are opening a new franchise, marketing needs to be one of your top priorities. Without successful marketing efforts, your franchise will be hard-pressed to survive its first year. In order to increase sales, you have to drive up customer interest, and this is done through marketing. Marketing a franchise isn’t hard, but you do need to make the effort to strategize and make sure your campaigns are relevant to your customer base.
1. Take the advice of your parent company.
If you are a new franchise owner, you are most likely paying fees to the parent company, and because of these fees, the parent company is there to give advice. Many parent franchises require a marketing fee for new franchises so it’s in your best interest to get your money’s worth and listen to what they are advising. Since franchises have multiple locations, the parent company is familiar with marketing campaigns that work and ones that don’t so you should listen to what they have to say. You should always check with your parent company on any marketing guidelines that you have to follow and make sure you are using the right logo, coloring, and fonts (if applicable).
2. Create a strategy and budget before beginning.
With anything involving money, it’s best to create a strategy and budget before beginning any part of your marketing campaign. To increase the exposure of your new franchise and entice customers, you should spend more in the beginning months, but it’s important to maintain marketing campaigns to keep your company’s name fresh on customers’ minds. When you have your marketing budget, you need to divide it out either monthly or quarterly so you don’t accidentally spend a whole year’s marketing budget in the first 3 months. After you have your budget, you can strategize about which marketing campaigns you want to try, and you should use analytical tools to help you track a campaign’s success. Marketing campaigns don’t have to be super expensive though; you can have a large success with a low-budget approach by using promotional products like pens and social media campaigns to help in your marketing efforts.
3. Give back to the local community.
Giving back to the local community is a smart use of your marketing dollars because it increases your franchise’s exposure to the community and shows that your franchise cares about the local community. You could sponsor a “dessert day” or “treat trolley” at a local school for teachers or hospital for nurses, or you could host a drive for a local nonprofit like school supplies, canned goods, winter clothing, and holiday presents for children. Not only are you increasing the name recognition of your franchise, but you are working to make your franchise’s community a better place.
4. Offer samples and give coupons to area businesses and organizations.
Offering samples and giving coupons to area businesses and organizations is a great way to market for your new franchise. If you own a food franchise, you could take samples to local businesses so employees can taste your food, or you could offer to bring in a free lunch for their employees. You could take items to local office buildings, banks, schools, doctors’ offices, the Chamber of Commerce, and any place where members of your target audience could be. People love free items, and they will be more likely to become and remain a customer of your franchise if you offer them something in the beginning.
5. Study the competition’s marketing efforts.
One of the most important marketing tips for a new franchise is to study the competition. You need to see what has worked or didn’t work for them so you know how to structure your marketing strategy. If social media was a huge success for them but radio ads weren’t very successful, you should take that into account when you are planning your marketing efforts. You should also be aware of their ongoing campaigns so you don’t plan anything too similar. If you both feature a mailout with similar wording, customers will assume they are the same company and not give it a second glance.
6. Have active social media platforms.
Having active social media platforms is a key part of your franchise’s marketing campaign because it allows you to engage with customers and serves as a communication tool for customers and potential customers. To engage with customers, you should respond to comments and react when you are tagged in a photo. To use social media as a form of communication, you need to make sure platforms are kept up-to-date with important information like phone numbers and store hours. To increase the exposure of your new franchise, you could even host a promotion where followers have to share your post with their followers to be entered into the contest. When you’re choosing what social media platforms to use, it’s important to know your target audience. Social media sites like Instagram appeal to the younger crowd while Facebook appeals to the older crowd.
Simple steps like running consistent social media platforms and creating a budget before beginning are essential ways to successfully market your new franchise business. Marketing your franchise doesn’t have to be hard, but you do need to put in the effort to see the results.