Franchisees often find out that managing multiple marketing channels is difficult and time consuming.
When these frustrations mount, it is easy for people to shy away from marketing and end up doing nothing. This is a large mistake. It is a reality of small business that in order to be successful.....
When these frustrations mount, it is easy for people to shy away from marketing and end up doing nothing. This is a large mistake. It is a reality of small business that in order to be successful, you must be able to market your business successfully in your community.
The changing scope of local marketing
The fundamental challenge in local marketing is that the number of marketing channels or activities has multiplied significantly. In the old days, all a franchisee had to do was advertise in the yellow pages, local newspapers, Valpak and some radio and TV advertising. Today, effective local marketing requires knowledge of search engines, SEO, Google PPC (pay per click) campaigns, email marketing, CRM (customer relationship management) software, social media, reputation management tools, in addition to managing the traditional marketing channels. The sheer number of channels can be overwhelming and intimidating.
To simplify their local marketing efforts, small businesses or franchises need to leverage technology and tools that provide a single interface that manages multiple marketing channels and automates their lead generation and lead nurturing efforts. The changes in technology can significantly benefit franchisees, as long as they are willing to learn the basics.
Challenges to keep in mind
[caption id="attachment_12793" align="alignright" width="161" caption="Amit Pamecha, CEO and Founder of FranConnect"][/caption]
Today, digital marketing channels have advanced to a point where it typically requires an expert to deliver results. Take the simple case of posting something on social media sites – most small business typically end up posting content that is not engaging and has a poor Facebook edge rank. As a result, that content never shows up on the Facebook walls of their consumers.
The solution is to either spend the money hiring the right talent, or to leverage technology to convert user conversations, pictures and videos into engagement. Measuring the cost to your specific business will be important to determining the best course of action.
The most effective marketing tools for an individual franchisee
Most individual franchisees are focused on new and repeat customers for their business. This translates to a focus on lead generation, lead nurturing and customer satisfaction. Each of these things done alone will only bring partial or temporary results. For example, you may run a Groupon campaign or a seasonal TV promotion to bring in new customers, but if they are not happy, it will not garner repeat business. Franchisees have to focus on the holistic or total picture instead of one strategy that may only work temporarily.
The dangers of NOT marketing locally
If you only do national marketing, you are likely to lose the one-on-one connection with your local customers. All customer experience is local and they gauge a brand by their local interaction. Brands that do not focus on local marketing are likely to lose market share, ultimately failing to build a strong presence in communities across the country.
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About Amit Pamecha
Amit Pamecha, CFE, is the founder and CEO of FranConnect, a technology provider to franchise systems with more than 500 franchise brands as customers.