Franchising is an aggressive marketing channel where you take your business model and promote the entire concept as a package to potential investors. Franchise Marketing is quite a bit different than Consumer Marketing in that the buyer is considering a much larger investment and there are more ramifications tied to the investment decision. With this in mind, the franchise marketing model requires a carefully managed approach and a unique presentation to be effective.
- Define your Franchise Sales Process. When you move into franchise marketing and sales, your presentation and sales model change significantly. Your price point changes, the buyer candidate switches and the entire marketplace changes to franchising. Franchise buyers require that there is a consistent and defined process in place to evaluate the franchise offering, information needs to be readily available, but also provided in controlled distributions. Franchisees should be introduced
- Build your online presence online. Like consumer promotions, franchise marketing has transitioned significantly to digital. You need to have the right social media strategy, online validation and professional web presentation to be able to convince someone to invest in your franchise. Professional imaging, messaging, content and SEO all need to be incorporated into a solid digital franchise marketing strategy.
- Refine your Presentation. As a franchise, your offering is reviewed in extreme detail and with amazing scrutiny. When someone invests in a franchise, they typically are taking a big leap of faith not only by investing in your franchise, but also in becoming an entrepreneur….which is scary. Your marketing materials, forms, brochures, PowerPoints and franchise sell sheets need to show that you care about the details and that you care about their investment decision. Little things like misspelled words or poor layouts will completely derail your franchise sales presentation.
- Be Content Driven. The franchise marketplace is becoming more competitive for everything and for a buyer, it is very noisy. You need to be a thought leader in your market creating content, placing articles and driving people to your brand are what needs to be done to sell a franchise brand. If you sell shoes, find something to write about shoes every week, make it engaging, interesting and spend the time coming up with thought provoking ideas that will build your followership.
- Leverage your Connections. Organic franchise conversions are the “low hanging fruit” for any franchise. A brand like Dunkin Donuts generates in excess of 25,000 leads every month of people interested in buying a franchise. These leads that are coming in droves to buy a donut/coffee business are largely driven by consumer marketing and brand awareness as a company like Dunkin does very little franchise-specific marketing. The largest single category of franchise sales takes place through referrals (38% of all franchises sold). You would be amazed how many times your vendors, friends, relatives, associates and others you know will be the early on franchise investors in new franchise systems as well. Talk to people and present the franchise to them, it’s worth the time even if you feel embarrassed trying to sell your buddy a franchise.
- Go to Franchise Tradeshows and Events. Franchise tradeshows have been an effective way to market and sell franchises since the beginning of time….and believe it or not they still work. Franchise shows are fun, if you get into the idea of how exciting it is to meet a buyer face to face and “Skip” the first several stages in selling a franchise. As opposed to a franchise internet lead, tradeshow buyer leads are meeting you face to face and you have the opportunity to make a personal connection immediately. The downside is tired knees, sore back and lots of travel getting to these shows that are held all around the world.
Franchise Marketing can be a lot of fun and if done correctly an extremely effective way to expand a brand into new markets. Develop and maintain a solid plan specific to franchising and execute your franchise marketing strategy efficiently to drive solid results.
Christopher Conner, President of Franchise Marketing Systems
Mr. Conner has spent the last decade in the franchise industry working with several hundred different franchise systems in management, franchise sales and franchise development work. His experience ranges across all fields of franchise expertise with a focus in franchise marketing and franchise sales but includes work in franchise strategic planning, franchise research and franchise operations consulting.
Christopher has worked with multiple International franchise and licensed organizations throughout the United States, Middle East, India and Europe.
He has an MBA in Finance and Marketing from DePaul University in Chicago and a Bachelors