A Definitive Guide to Franchise Marketing (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 23, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Marketing professionals often use unique strategies to attract new customers to a franchise location and increase awareness about a franchise brand. Franchise marketing refers to the methods that franchisors use to create and maintain profitable brand identities. Understanding this marketing segment can help you learn techniques that add value to a franchise's marketing department. In this article, we discuss what franchise marketing is, why it's important and how to conduct it effectively.

What is franchise marketing?

Franchise marketing is any activity that a franchise's marketing team performs to advertise its locations or develop its online image. Each individual franchise location often has a specific online marketing strategy due to differences in population demographics, local competition and market area. Operational franchise marketing refers to activities that acquire and retain customers, while franchise development marketing involves selling more franchise locations. Franchise marketing activities include commercials, content marketing, pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, search engine optimization and trade shows. You can break down franchise marketing into different categories, such as sales promotions, advertising, public relations and online marketing.

Related: How To Create a Marketing Plan (With Tips and a Template)

Why is franchise marketing important?

Franchise marketing is important for franchisors to maintain brand consistency across each individual franchise location. It helps the owners of each franchise location maintain the brand's reputation and adapt to local conditions. Franchise marketing is critical for reaching a large number of customers and promoting new products, services and offers. It helps position the brand and franchise leadership team to attract investors and potential location owners to the franchise. One of the major goals of franchise marketing is to persuade customers to buy from individual locations.

Related: What Is a Franchise? Plus Tips on Purchasing Your Own

How to conduct effective franchise marketing

Review this list of steps for conducting effective franchise marketing:

1. Determine the goals of a marketing campaign

Franchise marketing campaigns combine the goals of the entire franchise with the desires of each individual franchise owner. It's important to determine the objectives of your marketing campaign to ensure that it addresses the needs of both stakeholders. You might create a campaign to attract new customers, spread awareness about a promotion or develop the franchise's brand identity. For example, if a franchise has three locations in Texas, you may consider directing the campaign to customers in this area and the surrounding states.

Identify how you can keep track of the campaign's progress and organize the results for each location. You might determine the budget for the campaign, although many franchises pay for the marketing of individual locations.

2. Establish a consistent brand identity

A consistent brand identity is an important part of a successful franchise marketing campaign. This ensures that customers have the same experience with the franchise for each of its locations. You might consult the franchise's marketing brand handbook to research expectations for each branch. This can help you present a unified brand message in your campaign and follow the same marketing initiative process for the individual franchises.

3. Identify your customer base

Identifying your target audience can help you create customized advertisements. Advertisements that target a specific type of customer may prove more effective in generating sales and improving engagement. You might research and understand the characteristics of a franchise's target consumers and the ideal ways to communicate with them.

4. Implement the marketing campaign

Determine which marketing channels you want to use for your campaign. You might rely on different channels for campaigns at the global and local levels. Some common marketing channels include:

  • Website: A franchise's website can help potential customers and location owners learn more about the brand. The website might include content about owning a franchise location and also gather contact information from customers.

  • Social media marketing: A franchise may create a global template for individual locations to use when marketing on social media platforms.

  • Search engine optimization content: You can use SEO to increase the visibility of the entire franchise or individual locations in search results, location pages and online maps. The franchise can customize its website based on SEO results to improve its performance.

  • Email marketing: Email marketing allows a franchisee to contact potential customers with relevant messaging. Each franchise location may have contact lists with customer information and can use the same images, templates and logos in its messages to maintain brand consistency.

  • Pay-per-click advertising: Franchisees can use pay-per-click advertisements to promote the brand name, attract sales and reach a defined audience in a cost-effective manner. Individual locations may customers these advertisements to make the messaging relevant to their local audience.

  • Trade shows: Attending franchise-focused trade shows or industry events can allow you to market a brand to potential location owners. You might hand out business cards and sales materials and collect contact information.

  • Sponsorships: Sponsorships can help a franchise improve its brand image, reach target customers and increase its credibility. You might research the movements that your target audience cares about and partner with relevant organizations.

5. Assess the results

Review the progress of your campaign and the results once it's complete. You can use a digital tool to monitor the initiative and interpret the end data. Determine how many leads came from each franchise location, the analytics for location-specific webpages and how you can improve in future global and local campaigns. Consider communicating these results to the franchise and each location's owner.

Related: 20 Marketing Tactics for a Successful Marketing Campaign

Tips for franchise marketing

Here are some useful tips you can use when creating marketing campaigns for a franchise:

  • Create social media policies: Establishing social media policies helps franchise location owners market on social media effectively. They can follow expectations for appropriate online behavior, such as engaging with customers and using the right social media marketing strategies.

  • Keep content updated: Whether you use social media, the franchise's website or paid advertisements for your marketing campaigns, be sure to use the most up-to-date content. You might include updated promotions, policies and products in these campaigns.

  • Use relevant software: Digital tools can help the marketing team create effective campaigns. Consider using software for social media management, content creation, social display and social analytics.

  • Provide email sign-up opportunities: To reach your target audience through email, they might first need to sign up for a franchise's emailing list. Find opportunities to promote sign-up opportunities on the franchise's website, social media platforms and other marketing channels.

  • Use key performance indicators: You can use key performance indicators to measure the success of your marketing campaigns. Consider using key performance indicators to set goals for follower growth, website visitors, social media engagement and return on investment.

Related: How To Create an Effective Brand Marketing Campaign

Franchise marketing examples

Below are some examples of successful franchise marketing campaigns:

  • Red Robin: Red Robin often introduces new menu items and limited-time offers at each of its locations for the holiday season.

  • AAMCO: AAMCO is an automotive franchise that markets its services by offering unique promotions, discounts and coupons at each of its individual locations.

  • Subway: The food franchise has created a brand image as a healthy alternative to fast food and relies on its identity in its marketing campaigns.

  • The Chicago Bulls: The sports franchise provides customers with interactive features and opportunities to ask questions and receive advice on its website.

  • Holiday Inn: The hospitality franchise encourages individual branches to promote services through customized social media posts. These specialized posts often include relevant elements for the location and customer base of each hotel but maintain the franchise's overall image.

  • Color World Housepainting: This franchise relies on video marketing to introduce its brand house painting services to customers.

  • Domino's Pizza: Domino's pizza uses interactive features on its website to advertise its food products to consumers. Some of the franchise's locations use their social media profiles to manage and resolve customer issues.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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