Marketing is critical to the success of a business. So as a company opens up new franchises (or branches), it must ramp up its campaigns. But instead of focusing only on increasing the budget, there are many other factors to consider.
Consider, for instance, a company with franchises in different geographical locations. Because of demographic factors and other nuances, the marketing plan for one site may not work in other places.
A company can, of course, create a tailored digital marketing plan for each location. But this strategy is ineffective as it would take too much time and resources. For many small to medium-sized enterprises, the cost would be too prohibitive.
The solution to the scenario described above is to have an enterprise or franchise marketing plan.
What Is Enterprise or Franchise Digital Marketing?
An enterprise marketing strategy focuses on growth and expansion through integrated multi-channel marketing strategies, including methods such as search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) marketing.. Essentially, it involves keeping the existing customer base while also aiming for exponential growth.
Meanwhile, a franchise marketing plan uses the concepts of an enterprise marketing strategy to increase brand awareness, new clients/customers and revenue for franchise organizations.
Franchise marketing strategies, in a sense, is a company-wide implementation of customer relationship management (CRM). So it involves using employees beyond the marketing team to identify potential internal and external areas for franchise lead generation and growth.
Over the years, as more consumers spend more time online, most enterprise marketing has shifted to almost 100 percent franchise digital marketing strategies.
Challenges Faced by Franchise Marketing Companies
Most digital marketers are familiar with small-to-midsized and mid-sized marketing strategies.
But when it comes to enterprise-level franchise focused marketing plans, it is necessary to use the services of franchise PPC, franchise SEO or franchise social media marketing specialists because of the following challenges:
1. Inability To Personalize Content Targeting
A company needs to reallocate its resources and focus on various departments and projects as it grows in size and operation. So, naturally, the marketing team also needs to readjust its priorities and strategies.
Unfortunately, certain marketing campaign elements may prove too difficult or ineffective as the company undergoes rapid growth. For instance, many marketers struggle with personalizing their content while still targeting specific customer segments. As a result, the quality of customer service degrades.
As the number of dissatisfied customers increases, so do negative reviews. Bad reviews can ruin a reputation, causing customer attrition. So the company would now need to spend more on the best online reputation management services to repair and enhance its brand image.
Organizations can avoid exponential growth problems by leveraging franchise marketing companies’ expertise. They have specialists using enterprise content management tools to create tailored marketing content even as the business scales up rapidly.
2. Franchise Vendor Relationship Management (VRM)
Vendors are vital partners and part of the internal processes of franchisors. Therefore, managing relationships with each of them is essential to a smooth operation. In addition, it is a necessary function to ensure efficient cost and service control.
As the franchise organization grows, the internal team may be unable to manage vendor relationships. For example, some small and mid-sized enterprises do not have the requisite human resources, knowledge and tools to track and monitor all the vendors.
Unfortunately, many franchisors that initially experienced exponential growth are focused on growing while playing catch-up with supplies. As a result of disruptions, the company cannot keep up with the demand and maintain product quality.
Under such circumstances, even the services of a full-service digital marketing agency might be rendered ineffective when mounting franchisee and customer dissatisfaction rises. It is thus necessary to include VRM in the franchise enterprise marketing strategy.
3. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System
As the number of franchises increases, tracking and managing the resources/assets the business uses is more necessary. These include materials, tools and transactions, among others. By no means is it an easy task, as the sheer volume of work tends to be overwhelming. So one of the critical elements of a successful franchise focused marketing plan is an ERP system.
ERP systems, in general, help ease the process of tracking and monitoring assets and resources by reducing or eliminating complicated processes. In addition, these tools provide reports, giving franchisors insights into their resource metrics.
4. Communication Silos
An issue that hampers all growing and established organizations is inefficient communication. Typically, a company comprises several departments, each with its specific responsibilities. However, achieving maximum productivity and efficiency is difficult if they do not coordinate their plans and activities.
As a company scales up and pressure mounts for the employees, there is a tendency for departments to proceed with their plans without much consultation with other relevant stakeholders. Often, too, it results in too many opinions and conflicts within the organization.
One solution is for the management to hold regular meetings with all departments, thus ensuring that everyone acts as a team. And to facilitate better communication, franchise marketing companies recommend using content collaboration software.
Franchise Marketing Strategies To Scale a Franchise Business
The following strategies are essential to developing a solid franchise marketing plan.
1. Personalize Inbound Marketing Strategies for Franchise Lead Generation
The goal of inbound marketing is to generate new leads. So a company may, for instance, hire a franchise SEO specialist to optimize its website to improve search rankings. One technique they use is to enhance local business listings through Google business profile optimization.
SEO, though, takes weeks to months to begin showing results. So another option is to have a franchise PPC expert develop and run advertising campaigns for quick results.
Considering that most consumers use one or more social networks, it is also necessary to consider franchise social media marketing. As many would agree, this channel is the best way to raise brand awareness and engage with consumers to build relationships.
Regardless of which route a business chooses, content is essential to the success of all inbound marketing strategies. Typically, they are unique and targeted to specific customer segments. In addition, they must be consistent with the goal of customer acquisition in the buyer journey to facilitate franchise lead generation.
2. Use Lead Scoring To Narrow the Sales Funnel
Not all leads are the same, so spending the same amount of time and resources on each one is wasteful. Instead, use a CRM platform to identify and focus more on high-ranking leads with a higher chance of a conversion.
Lead scoring determines how further along the sales funnel a customer is, which allows marketers to adjust their franchise marketing services to nurture them. They can, for example, present a less qualified lead with more persuasive content. On the other hand, the highest-ranking leads do not have to go through this process as they are ready to buy.
3. Build Positive Brand Equity
Enterprises can use franchise social media marketing strategies to build brand awareness and increase reach. They can also use franchise SEO techniques to enhance search visibility to gain more organic traffic and potential customers. But rather than focusing only on these two crucial aspects, franchise businesses must also invest in improving their brand reputation.
One strategy used by the best online reputation management agencies is to collect genuine customer reviews. Typically, they reach out to verified customers through various channels, such as text messaging and email and ask them to rate a business.
The more positive reviews a business gets, the more leads it can generate and convert into sales. Over the long term, exemplary customer service and positive customer experience strengthen brand equity, thus reducing future franchise digital marketing costs even as the business expands.
4. Encourage Word-of-Mouth Marketing (WOMM)
WOMM is one of the cheapest and most effective ways of promoting a business. And the best way to encourage this customer behavior is to understand why they recommend a brand.
The last stage of the buyer journey is Advocate. At this point, customers have already gone through the sales funnel, purchasing and using a product or service. But, most importantly, they have experienced the utilization of their purchase. If they are happy, they will most likely make recommendations to their family, friends and colleagues.
Businesses can improve customer experience by investing in franchise marketing services such as social media marketing (SMM). Besides promotions and product information dissemination, companies can reach out to the audience and engage them.
Essentially, there are three forms of engagement:
• Appreciating their business by thanking them.
• Answering customer questions.
• Identifying customer issues and offering a solution.
A full-service digital marketing agency often uses social media engagement strategies to identify ways to increase customer satisfaction and encourage WOMM.
5. Use a Headless Content Management System (CMS)
Decoupling the backend provides web developers with the flexibility to customize the frontend with an agile workflow. It can be best achieved by using a headless CMS.
A headless CMS allows businesses to manage content while deploying the frontend in any omnichannel strategy. They can, for instance, integrate the content into any system, website, app, or software by calling application programming interfaces (APIs).
Headless CMS provides franchise marketing services with the flexibility to enhance and optimize marketing strategies to their maximum potential, which includes the following:
• Creating personalized customer experience using customization instead of pre-designed templates.
• Update frontend in response to changing market conditions without disrupting the backend.
• Allows developers to add more customer touchpoints on the frontend.
Implementing a headless CMS is one of the best franchise marketing strategies a company can utilize to cope with exponential growth.
Invest in Enterprise Marketing Strategies To Grow a Franchise Business
The requirements to market small-to-medium-sized companies differ from large franchise organizations and multi-location enterprises. As the company grows, its resources may not be able to cope, resulting in poor delivery of products and services. The solution is to use enterprise marketing strategies to generate leads without disruptions in operations and marketing efforts.
For more information on how enterprise marketing can help elevate your franchise business, contact Thrive. Our franchise PPC and digital marketing experts can answer all your questions. In addition, we can also audit your site for free and recommend the best local SEO services, such as Google business profile optimization, to drive organic traffic and generate leads.