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All franchise brands are not created equal

You know that silver bullet everyone talks about? You know, the one that is getting really old? The one that doesn’t exist, won’t ever exist and never did exist? Yeah, we think we found a glimpse of one. But, not all brands are created equal. Let me explain why I’m mixing my metaphors. About 1.....

By Nick Powills1851 Franchise Publisher
SPONSOREDUpdated 6:06AM 08/07/15
You know that silver bullet everyone talks about? You know, the one that is getting really old? The one that doesn’t exist, won’t ever exist and never did exist? Yeah, we think we found a glimpse of one. But, not all brands are created equal. Let me explain why I’m mixing my metaphors. About 18 months ago, I was looking at a client’s Google Analytics (as I should have been, measuring the success of the PR campaigns our company, No Limit Agency*, runs), and I noticed something very interesting. 1851 Magazine had produced some steady traffic to their development site, and by steady, I mean 10 visitors in one month who spent more than 5 minutes on the site and didn’t bounce. Not mind-blowing, but certainly something interesting. My initial thought was, “Great, 1851 has proven that PR works,” in that people saw the brand on 1851, became interested, and acted on it by clicking through — a big win for PR. But then the wheels in my brain began spinning rapidly. I had an idea. This idea is only two months away from being ready now. It is what I have called the unicorn in previous columns. It is a well-rounded solution to help influence potential prospects to ultimately click into a brand’s franchise development website based on the data we were able to pull from those initial 10 users. Then came part two of the unicorn. Part two was this solution around the concept of content marketing. Everyone is talking about the value of content on your website, saying that content would magically produce visits, which turn into prospects which turn into leads. Great, more organic leads. Well, maybe. Organic leads typically have had a limited amount of impressions before acting. This means they saw your Google AdWords campaign, clicked into your website and read about you saying you were great. I call this “Terrell Owens content.” When you are the one saying you are great, the credibility is limited. This is why PR works so well, because it is other humans saying your brand is great. We can believe reporters, because they are an objective third party. Can we really believe you saying you are great? Of course not. Content on your site is important, but if it is used in the sales process it becomes the door-to-door salesperson in a technologically driven world. That door-to-door salesperson will be great at selling your trinkets. But, people, we are not selling trinkets, we are selling a life change. Life changes are not about selling. They are about creating enough information touch points designed to provide the prospect with enough content for education — and then that prospect is inspired to make that first decision. This is why those wasted weekend franchise shows rarely produce wonderful franchisees (unless they have researched you prior to attending). It’s not about tricking people into buying your brand. (Well, it shouldn’t be, but there are CEOs who set way too high expectations and pay salespeople on commission only.) It’s all about finding the right, passionate person who will be committed to growing a wonderful franchise and making more money for you in the long term. Brands make money off of royalties. With articles producing clicks (which turn into leads) and content marketing being mixed into the message, 1851’s unicorn now had legs. Then came the head. The head is a tricky part. Its job is to influence Google with the right information — and the best information, as we, as franchisors, only really want the best. Sometimes, though, the best doesn’t follow the set path. Sometimes the best gets distracted by negative bad franchisees — who, even if they operated the No. 1 unit in the system, would still complain about this, that and not making enough money. Thus, we created a very important step in the website process, a secondary site that will allow you to create a custom publication into which you can direct your franchisees and your prospects, and which you could plug into the news section of your website to integrate third-party content into the way you tell your story. By now, you know I am speaking cryptically. And that will continue, because now it’s about testing and more testing. When the time is right, it will be unveiled, slowly, to the franchise world. You know that silver bullet I mentioned at the start of this column? It exists. I have seen it with my own two eyes. We have tested our theories on a $2 million investment franchise. In 2013, they received 49 total leads, of which zero became franchisees. Since July 2014, they have awarded 10 units, and in October 2014 they received 53 leads. My sole belief in the silver bullet would never work for the long-term success of what we have been working on. I needed validation and proof in process. I have that now with four tested brands. If you read between the lines, you will see that the silver bullet is the mixture of all forms of communications: PR, digital, advertising, marketing and social. I knew this long before I began the 1851 adventure, but the problem was that there was no singular solution to connect the dots. But now, there is. However, not all brands are created equal. Each brand has a different DNA. One brand spending $500 might net the right results, but another company might come up empty for that investment. This is why we had to continue testing our theories until we could find the most universal solution. And now we have, which is the horn of the unicorn: cost-effective, targeted marketing in the specific markets where you want to expand. This way, we can drive ROI no matter the brand, because we can create more exposure in those markets leveraging content, clicks, PPC and third-party credibility. As the New Year turns, we have selectively allowed 10 brands into this process. Then, we will duplicate the unicorn. Unicorns and silver bullets do not stand alone; they are the connection of many communications silos all working together in one singular direction. Get ready franchise world, we have one piece of your answer.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.