Franchise Local Marketing Masterclass: Top-4 Pitfalls And Performance Tweaks
“Pay and spray” approaches to franchise local marketing fall flat in 2020. Today’s post discusses 4 common local marketing pitfalls for multi-location brands, and explains how to avoid them!
Why Franchise Local Marketing Isn’t Easy
Multi-location brands face unique marketing challenges. And that’s a very nice way of putting things–if you’ve ever tried franchise local marketing on your own, you know what we mean. SearchEngineLand columnist Andrew Shotland took a different tact in his 2016 article, “Franchise SEO: For Masochists Only.”
Therein, Shotland takes a no-holds-barred approach, meticulously detailing the pains and unique problems franchise owners face trying to get things right with their local marketing strategy.
“If you like getting repeatedly punched in the face with a boxing glove on a mechanical arm, then working on a local SEO program for multi-location franchises is the right job for you,” Shotland deadpans in the introduction.
Lucky for you, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Pitfalls And Performance Tweaks For Franchise Local Marketing
1. No Centralized Control Of Local Listings
You know that optimizing your listings (Facebook, Apple Maps, Google My Business, LinkedIn, Bing, Yelp, etc) is part of good franchise local marketing practice. But tracking down all the login and ownership information for a multi-location franchise is often a whole other can of worms.
With so many logins to jot down or try to remember these days, the average person has enough trouble trying to keep track of their personal accounts, let alone manage those of an entire franchise family. You might have to track this information down unit-by-unit. Or maybe all your logins and ownership information disappeared with an ex-employee.
Whatever the case may be, chances are your listings are a mess, and it’s going to be a pain to fix it.
Performance Tweak: Consider investing in secure cloud storage or private Intranet systems from FranchiseSoft to store franchise ownership info. That’s what we do. It makes it so much easier to correct NAP issues, update holiday hours, and standardize brand messages across accounts (especially since all of this info and ad copy can be stored on the same server), without spending days worth of work tracking down passwords.
2. Franchisees Don’t Agree On Franchise Local Marketing Strategy
Though they’re all under the same brand umbrella, most multi-location brands are not monolithic–every individual franchise owner has their own set of local marketing goals and objectives. That means rigid, inflexible approaches to franchise local marketing won’t suffice.
Performance Tweak: Your franchisees are onto something–stock franchise local marketing plans aren’t great. For best results, you’ll want to create a custom multi-level marketing plan–and no, we don’t mean a pyramid scheme! Our “multi-level marketing plan” combines the big-picture goals of the franchisor with individualized franchise local marketing tactics at the single unit-owner level. And don’t forget to listen to what your franchisees have to say–while franchisors know best how to market at the national level, ground-level franchisees often have solid insights about what tools and channels work best to reach local customers at a granular level.
On the flip side, if you need to convince some skeptical franchisees about the value of your proposed franchise local marketing strategy in order to get everyone on-board, reports are a powerful tool. Showing skeptics hard data highlighting the efficacy of your marketing strategy in other territories is the best way to foster an agreement and reduce conflicts. There’s franchise local marketing software out there that will generate and send these reports automatically, like FranchiseSoft.
3. National Presence Complicates Popular DPL Market Research Method
The “DPL method” refers to a popular way of understanding local audiences to improve targeted marketing outcomes. To know your customer, you consider their Demographic, Psychographics, and Location–that’s the DPL method in a nutshell.
Knowing the “what” (demographic information–age, gender, job title, household income), “why” (psychographic info–interests, hobbies, pain points), and “where” (location) makes for mighty cost-effective local marketing. But it doesn’t really work for national franchises–at least not in the same one-size-fits-all fashion.
Unfortunately, franchise local marketing decisions get based on flawed market research like this all the time.
Performance Tweak: Once again, the solution is to abandon the “one-size-fits-all” approach and invest in dedicated local market research, unit-by-unit goal-setting, and tailored marketing tactics. And yet once more, the answer lies in better reporting software, like FranchiseSoft, which lets users easily parse information and view market-specific DPL data.
4. Individual Franchise Owners Don’t Know Or Care About Local Marketing
Effectively engaging franchisees with local marketing information and activities is critical. But that’s often easier said than done.
Most franchise owners simply don’t have the time to become local marketing experts, nor should they. Instead, they need a system that allows them to quickly and easily launch local marketing campaigns, especially when they’re on the go. And of course, that system needs to work–they’re certainly not going to care about local marketing if they’re not seeing results.
So how do you engage individual franchise owners who may not know or care much about franchise local marketing?
- Simplify communication–Establish clear communication channels. Owners need to stay up to date with franchise local marketing changes and results, and they need to feel like they have your ear when they need it. Simple, user-friendly communications via email, SMS or push notifications make a good starting point.
- Provide ongoing training and resources–Chances are you’re already offering some sales and marketing training during start-up, but it’s a good idea to offer ongoing training in franchise local marketing. But remember: time is money. Look for quick-read guides, highly visual content, or small, digestible tips you can send to keep them learning without getting overwhelmed.
- Automate reporting–Anytime you can take a job off your franchisees to-do list, you should. Automating reporting frees up franchisees for more learning or selling, and also allows you to stay apprised of their local marketing results, so you can make any tweaks that may be necessary. Ask our team about setting up automated reporting with FranchiseSoft.
Free Franchise Local Marketing Consultation – Call 905-564-0020
We love talking shop, so hit us up for a free chat about your current franchise local marketing strategy and learn how we can help. You can also fill out the form on the ClickTecs Contact Us page to book online.