As a new franchisor one of the most important components of your business plan is your marketing strategy. Small business is now in an increasingly competitive marketplace. This means that the marketing you do has to be effective and reach the potential customers that your business needs to survive and thrive.
It is sometimes useful to think of “franchise marketing” as being made up of two separate and distinct forms of marketing:
“Wholesale Marketing”: Or marketing and advertising strategy, mediums and collateral materials designed to attract the best qualified candidates to your particular franchise opportunity. The quality of your wholesale marketing will determine the level of enquiry you will receive from potential franchisees.
“Retail Marketing”: Or marketing and advertising strategy, mediums and collateral materials designed to attract customers who will buy and consume your products and services. The quality of your retail marketing will usually impact on a potential franchisee’s decision to join your franchise, as attracting new customers is a prerequisite for growth.
Most emerging franchisors cannot afford to retain experienced, highly qualified franchise marketing specialists on staff at the beginning of their growth cycle. Using an advertising or marketing agency may also be too complex and too expensive for many prospective franchisors. Unfortunately this is exactly the time when a franchisor needs marketing expertise most. Marketminds can address this need by providing an out-sourcing option to its clients and will structure a payment plan to meet individual needs.
In effect, Marketminds can function as if it were a franchisor’s in-house marketing department providing some or all of the following services as and when they are needed:
Strategic Marketing Planning
A strategic marketing plan first sets about determining a long term vision for the company based on its existing strengths and market opportunities. This usually includes various kinds of internal and external research. It then sets out the message to be conveyed, and carefully prioritises targets. It addresses pricing options and how to achieve a greater value perception to the customer or greater profitability to the client. It also defines numerous ways to reach the target markets, including paid advertising, promotions and selling processes. Finally it includes a complete marketing budget and revenue forecast.
Research helps the franchisor to make business decisions which may not be clear cut. Sometimes the franchisor has sufficient existing data for Marketminds to use without commissioning new research. If there is no such existing data Marketminds can undertake whatever research is deemed necessary. Research can be scientific, including hundreds of responses, or it can be a very informal process of gathering opinions from trusted sources.
Some of the research options that Marketminds can undertake for its clients include:
· Competitive Research
· Industry Research
· Target Market Research
· Existing Client Research
· Mystery Shopping
· Product Research
· Creative Research
Standing out from the competition is a challenge for any company in today’s business climate.
The number of offers and sales pitches we receive on a daily basis is simply staggering and is also increasingly ineffective due to marketplace clutter. A strong brand strategy can increase the awareness of your company and its offerings in such a way that establishes strong feelings and reactions and a favourable view towards your company as a whole.
When most people think about a brand’s identity, they usually think about the name, the logo and maybe the tag line. But the brand identity consists of much more than that: It includes typestyles, colours, symbols, attitude and personality, brand voice and visual style, sounds and other audible devices, characters and other spokespeople, product design, package design, and the list could go on and on. The most powerful brands have a consistent brand voice and visual style from product design and packaging to retail environment and external communication.
If you have made it to the point where you want to franchise your business then you will already have a brand. But how effective is that brand? Is it merely a logo? Does your brand have a soul? Is its name suggestive of a key differentiating benefit? Do consumers like it? Do you have comprehensive brand identity standards and systems that address all uses of your brand’s identity elements? Is your logo horizontally shaped? (This orientation delivers the greatest visual impact and is a functional necessity when used in retail environments). Do your brand systems address co-branding, co-marketing, brand licensing, strategic alliance and sponsorship situations? Do your brand systems address internal applications such as memos, employee and franchisee newsletters, screensavers etc.?....and much, much more.
With many years of experience in franchise marketing, Marketminds can review your brand strategy and provide solutions that will strengthen your brand and ensure that it is ready for the many applications that will be needed in a franchise.
Competitive positioning strategy is about defining how you will differentiate your product or service and create value for your market. It’s about carving out a spot in the competitive landscape and focusing your company to deliver on that strategy.
When your market, whether it be potential franchisees or consumers, clearly see how your offering is different than that of your competition it’s easier to generate more prospects and guide them to buy. Without differentiation, it takes more time and money to show prospects why they should choose you and as a result you often end up competing on price – a tough position to sustain over the long term.
Competitive positioning strategy should be the foundation of your entire business – it’s the first thing anyone launching a new company or product should do.
If you already have a positioning strategy, Marketminds can review where you are at and make positive suggestions for improvement. If you do not have a positioning strategy, Marketminds can develop one for you using the following simple steps:
· Profiling your market
· Segmenting your market
· Evaluating your competition
· Defining your Unique Selling Point
· Staking a position for you
Marketing your Franchise
Most people in business are concerned with the sales of the product or service that they offer. The franchisor has the additional burden of ensuring that there is a steady flow of sales of franchises in the system.
The franchise system will not be profitable for the franchisor until a number of franchised units are operating. The first franchisees in a system will not realise the benefits of group advertising, group purchasing power or trademark recognition until the number of franchisees in the system grows.
Therefore, the early development of an effective franchise marketing capability is a first priority in a new or emerging franchise system.
In addition to providing its clients with its proven proprietary franchising recruitment process, Marketminds can also assist emerging franchisors by designing a complete marketing package for attracting potential new franchisees.
The starting point for maximising interest from potential franchisees is the creation of a comprehensive franchise brochure and an effective website. Marketminds has extensive experience in developing these key tools.
A Marketminds franchise marketing package will also address the following key issues:
· Where to promote cost effectively
(advertising, promotion, internet, direct selling, trade shows, public relations)
· Your advertising budget
· Your promotional plan
· Your promotional mix
Marketing your Brand to Consumers
While it is essential to have an effective plan to market to potential franchisees to ensure the growth of your business, if you do not have an effective plan to market your goods or services to consumers it is unlikely that potential franchisees will want to join your system.
The ability of your franchise to retain loyal customers and to attract new ones is essential to the success of both your franchise and your franchisees.
With their extensive experience as franchise marketing professionals, Marketminds can offer a complete package for marketing your goods and services to consumers, or supplement what you are currently doing with fresh ideas. Marketminds understands the importance of effective consumer marketing and can assist you in creating marketing programs that will continually attract new customers and impress potential new franchisees.
Marketminds can help you address the following key marketing challenges:
- Planning and budgeting
- The marketing Mix
- What you should do, rather than your franchisees
- What your franchisees should do
- National advertising and promotions
- National and Regional Advertising Verses Local Advertising
- Brand Strategy
Local Area Marketing
Responsibility for undertaking local area marketing is usually the responsibility of the franchisee and many franchise agreements stipulate that a specified percentage of franchisee gross turnover must be spent on local area marketing.
Unfortunately many franchisors fail to provide their franchisees with the tools they need to be effective local area marketers and this can lead to serious disputes or to potential franchisees overlooking their system in favour of other franchise systems that provide quality support in this area.
Successful franchise systems will usually create a Local Area Marketing Manual which outlines successful local area marketing strategies employed by the franchise in the past, and provides the franchisee with a description of all the options available to them for local area marketing. It also clearly specifies what is expected of the franchisee in this area, which in turn minimises the level of disputes over responsibility.
The Local Area Marketing Manual will also include advertising or promotional templates that the franchisee can modify to suit their business in their local area. It can also include a planning and budgeting template to assist the franchisee in planning and funding activity, and the franchisor in monitoring what activity has taken place.
The Local Area Marketing Manual becomes an integral part of the franchisor’s intellectual property and in addition to assisting the crucial task of generating sales for the franchisee and the franchise, adds credibility to the franchise in the eyes of a potential franchisee.
If you already have a successful local area marketing program, Marketminds can integrate this into a Local Area Marketing Manual. If you do not have a local area marketing program Marketminds can create one for you and make it part of a Local Area Marketing Manual.
Attracting New Business
Understanding media relations, how the press operate and what good communications with the media actually means, are skills and knowledge that both the franchisor and the franchisee must develop to ensure the long term future of their business.
The communications channels you use should be varied, but the marketing mix you use should reflect the marketing message you want to get across to potential customers.
Marketminds can assist you in understanding how to effectively use media and in selecting advertising and media options that best suit your business. We can also design advertisements for you, write copy and press releases and establish relationships with media organisations on your behalf. Some of the areas that we specialise in include:
Broadcast Radio & TV
Whatever your needs are in marketing your franchise you can be sure that Marketminds have had prior experience in developing and executing high quality marketing strategies to meet those needs. Contact Us today to discover how Marketminds can assist you with your franchise marketing needs.