Once a franchise is up-and-running and customers are making their way through the door, franchisees need to come up with new and exciting ways to keep them coming back. In franchising, sales equal success; and marketing is essential in order to maximise sales and maintain growth.
While the beauty of investing in a franchise is that much of the brand's advertising is taken care of by the franchisor, franchisees must still be aware of the need to market their business at a local level. National advertising campaigns can be a huge help, but without establishing a local customer base a franchise may run into difficulty.
There are many innovative ways that franchisees can market their business, but the best place to start is by speaking to other franchisees within the same network. Finding out which approaches have worked best for them and discovering where they went wrong can help to slim down the list of possible marketing tactics to those that are likely to work best, saving valuable time and money.
Once this is done, franchisees can then begin to think about the approaches they are able to afford and which ones are likely to make the biggest impact on their target audience. Knowing exactly who this group is and tailoring marketing campaigns accordingly is of course a number one priority.
Franchisees should consider as wide a range of marketing tactics as possible so as not to limit their potential and budgeting for marketing on a regular basis will help franchisees to keep abreast of their costs and make sure they do not run into financial difficulty.
Small, well-designed direct mailings can help to target those customers who are most likely to be interested in the products and services on offer, while unique offers and competitions can also be a great way to encourage brand loyalty.
And in today's cyber society internet marketing also has huge potential to boost sales and improve the reputation of a business. Consumers everywhere are logging onto the web, so businesses should make sure they utilise it to their full potential, whether this be through targeted email marketing or advertising campaigns on local websites.
But that is not to say that traditional marketing tools such as advertisements in the local press and on the radio, as well as cold calling and drop-ins, should be forgotten. Depending on the audience these can sometimes have a bigger impact than newer, more hi-tech ways of marketing.
While franchisees are busy marketing their own business they should never forget to keep an eye on the competition and make sure the approaches they are taking differ from those of their rivals and offer customers something unique.