The Role of Marketing in a Franchise Business
How to Handle Marketing As a Franchise Operator
When it comes to running a successful franchise, marketing is crucial to help drive more customers into the business.
While most franchisors do offer some support when it comes to marketing, all franchise operators need to have strong marketing knowledge in order to successfully market their franchises.
To help you understand what goes into marketing a franchise, this article will review all of the different types of marketing you should utilize along with the reasons you should never neglect the marketing side of running your business.
What Is a Franchise?
A franchise is a type of business that is owned and operated by an individual business owner (known as a franchisor) but falls under the umbrella and branding of a larger corporation, known as a franchise.
Examples of successful franchises include:
- Gorilla Bins
- Tim Hortons
Do I Need to Market My Franchise?
One of the main benefits of operating a franchise is that you have built-in brand recognition and an existing loyal customer base. For these reasons, many franchise operators don’t focus enough attention on marketing their franchises, which can be a costly mistake.
Just like with any business, marketing your franchise is crucial as it helps generate more sales and send more customers into your storefront, improves engagement, and gives you a competitive edge.
Let’s say your franchise is a fast-food establishment. With so many other fast food restaurants for a customer to choose from, marketing your franchise helps your business stand out while boosting the brand recognition you already have.
What Type of Marketing Support Does a Franchisor Offer?
Franchises are great businesses to invest in because you often receive lots of support from the franchisor in many different areas. One area franchisors often get help with is marketing.
While franchise operators are typically responsible for marketing their own business, franchisors will run their own national, regional, and international marketing campaigns. They also often provide their franchise operators with guidance and advice on how to market the franchise along with branding guidelines to follow. In fact, many franchises will even provide you with a written marketing plan that outlines how to market your franchise.
It’s important to note that the level of marketing support you receive is different from franchise to franchise. Always consult your franchise agreement and ask your franchisor how they will support your marketing efforts before committing to franchising with them.
How to Market Your Franchise
With franchises, there are two main types of marketing to focus on:
Franchise Development Marketing
The goal of Franchise Development Marketing is to market a franchise to prospective franchise owners in order to generate more franchise locations.
Operational Franchise Marketing
The goal of this type of marketing is to find and attract more customers in order to increase sales and grow your business. This is the type of marketing individual franchise operators need to focus on.
When it comes to Operational Franchise Marketing, here are some specific ways you can market your franchise:
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, otherwise known as SEO, is the process of making improvements to your website in order to get your site to appear at the top of search engine rankings. This is one of the most effective digital marketing tools for generating new leads.
Here’s how it works: Let’s say you own a franchise pizza restaurant. If someone in your area searches on Google for a pizza restaurant, the website that best meets all of Google’s SEO recommendations will appear first, second, or third. If you don’t follow Google’s recommendations, your website will appear much later in search results, potentially on the second, third, or fourth page of results.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is a great way to engage customers in your community. Ideas for boosting engagement on social media include:
- Announcing contests or giveaways
- Posting about sales and promotions
- Sharing photos of the day-to-day business operations
- Sharing posts that talk about your products or services
As a business, your website is one of your most important assets. It’s where customers can find information regarding your:
- Business hours
- Products and services
- And more
If a customer is unable to find this information or has so much trouble using your website that they don’t even bother looking for it, you will end up losing sales. Therefore, it’s incredibly important that you have a UX-friendly website that has simple navigation, is well written, easy to read content, and is mobile-friendly.
Pay-Per-Click marketing, otherwise known as PPC, is when you pay to get your website to appear at the top of search engine rankings in the form of an ad.
PPC is an incredibly effective tool as it often produces strong results. The only downside is that it is not as cost-effective as other marketing tools.
Many prospective customers will look at reviews to decide whether or not they want to give a franchise their business. Therefore, if your business doesn’t already have reviews, encourage customers to leave them. You can do this by offering incentives or simply asking them.
When customers do leave reviews, try your best to respond to as many as possible – even the negative ones. When responding to negative reviews, try to keep your messaging positive and offer a resolution to smooth things over. This shows customers that you take feedback seriously.
Work With a Franchise That Offers Marketing Support
Looking to start your franchise but are concerned about marketing it?
Consider partnering with a franchise like Gorilla Bins that offers lots of marketing support.
Gorilla Bins is Ontario’s leading waste management business with several locations across the Greater Toronto Area.
We provide our franchisor operators with the marketing they need to ensure their franchise is successful so they can focus on day-to-day operations. This includes sales consultations by industry experts.