In sales planning, franchise development leads typically start out with a budget. How do they create their budget? Simple math:
My franchise sales goal is 10 units. Last year we awarded five units and budgeted $100,000 for marketing activities. That means our cost per deal is $20,000. Therefore, I need $200,000 for this year.
Then, they start to look at places to deploy that budget.
I need to tighten up my franchise sales site. I am going to advertise on the portals because they have strong SEO and should get my brand into some discussions (even though the leads are always bad). I am going to spend on PPC and retargeting. Some on PR. Some on shows. Maybe a few email blasts.
Then, someone asks them a question about what worked the year they sold five.
I don’t know. Well, we sold one because their friend owned one. Oh, and two customers loved our product and bought. I think the other two said they Googled us – so search engine.
Then, you start to dissect what that means.
Three referrals – one from a friend push and two as customers. So, do you market within your four walls?
Absolutely not. Marketing has a strict line in the sand about franchise marketing. And franchisees don’t want more franchisees.
But referrals are clearly your number one source and “I don’t know” – I mean, search engine, is second. And, in today’s world, you can pin-drop or geofence locations. Aren’t referrals the pathway of least resistance?
The good in this situation is that budget went up, cost per deal was specific to brand X and the intentions to grow are right. The challenge in this situation is there are a lot of unknowns. We haven’t figured out the right persona. We are not sure how two deals got to our website (arguably the most important staff member of someone in franchise sales is their lovely franchise website). The opportunity? Clearly, it’s referrals. Clearly, we have to do something that doesn’t “interfere” with the consumer experience.
Far too often, brands don’t plan for marketing or driving to referrals, yet, they are historically the most valuable asset for a brand. As you prepare your 2019 budget and strategy, are they a part of the mix? Have you asked the right questions to maximize your budget? Do you have the right strategic partner that is helping guide you to set up your complete marketing plan?
Certainly, these are some things to think about as you try to win next year.
People source people – meaning, people will help more people win for your brand. Don’t discount the value of your brand army. They can be influential in achieving higher growth goals.