When you have a franchise business, you are a part of a larger network of similar businesses, yet at the same time, you are located in a certain area with its own unique characteristics. This makes a franchise a unique business: global, national or regional, yet local at the same time. To market the business successfully, you want to use all the advantages that you have. This article will introduce you to five ways to market a local franchise.
1. Use the power of association
Typically, a franchise business has a proven business model, systems, processes, and has been around for some time. You want to use all of this in your advertising. Point out for how long the company has been in business, how many happy customers it has, and whatever other benefits and values it brings to the marketplace. All of these are elements that non-franchise businesses in your area will most likely not have. Many franchises sponsor national and regional sports events and this gives you an opportunity to talk to fans in a way that a business with one location simply can’t use.
2. Use the power of local
At the same time, a franchise is located in a local area and you should be using this fact, too. You can create joint ventures with other local businesses and become an expert in your field, no matter what the field is. For example, if you have a coffee franchise, you can run a survey of the local residents about their favorite coffee flavors in the summer versus the winter and get free publicity by talking about coffee tastes of people who live in your geographic area. You can also use your brick-and-mortar location as a hub for your customers. If you have a lot of parents with kids as clients, you can organize events for parents and kids.
3. Build a list of customers and prospects
It is likely that your company will be running its own marketing campaigns, but the issue with these campaigns is that the company simply has to create campaigns that will work for all the franchises, which means that the campaigns by definition will be generic.
You run the business in your area and this gives you unique insights into your customers and their preferences. For this reason, one of the best things you can do is build a list of your customers and your prospects and market to them directly. To get started building a list, you need to create an attractive offer that you will give to your customers when they provide you with their information. It is quite possible that other franchise owners have tried such offers and know what works and what doesn’t. Ideally, you would like to have as much information about your customers as possible, including email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses. Having this information would allow you to market to the prospects in a number of ways, including email blasts, direct mail, and ringless voicemails.
4. Follow up
As a company that combines the power of local and regional or national, you have a lot of opportunities to follow up with unique interesting content and offers. You can talk about what is going on in your area locally, yet at the same time, you can tie your name to the big names that your franchise works with.
You may think that the connection between you, and, say, a national league that your franchise is sponsoring, is far-fetched, but you need to remember that your customers will not be comparing you to someone close to the league or team. They will be comparing your connection to their own and it is most likely that your connection is much stronger and real than theirs.
5. Use marketing methods that your competitors are not using
Today, there are lots and lots of marketing methods that a business can use to promote its products and services. There is search engine optimization, paid search ads, Facebook ads, Facebook pages, Yelp, Google Reviews, LinkedIn, direct mail, TV, radio, and much more. Do not try and use anything and everything. Be strategic about what methods you use to market your services. While it may seem that there is a new website or online platform coming into existence every day, the phone can still be a really effective marketing tool.
One of the somewhat new technologies that you can use to market using phones is called ringless voicemail. The technology leaves voice messages without making calls directly, which means that it doesn’t annoy customers. This is one of the reasons that ringless voicemail is not the same as telemarketing. With ringless voicemail, you can notify your customers about upcoming appointments, events, and special promotions. You can also drive prospects and customers to a website, ask them to call you back or put them through an IVR to make them qualify themselves.