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4 Key Steps Emerging Brands Must Take to Kickstart Their Lead Generation Efforts

The experts on franchise development company Raintree’s marketing team share how brands just getting started in the franchise game should approach marketing their opportunity.

By Madeline LenaStaff Writer
SPONSORED 11:11AM 10/04/19

When a brand chooses to pursue growth through franchising, success isn’t a foregone conclusion; as a newly minted franchisor, the brand must put in the necessary legwork to arrive in a position whereby it can scale effectively with the right franchise partners. Part of that legwork is establishing a strong flow of qualified leads through solid lead generation tactics. The team at full-service franchise development solution Raintree is comprised of experts in that regard—particularly in the case of young-but-growing brands. 

Here are four key steps the company considers integral to kickstarting lead generation efforts for emerging brands.

Explicitly Define Your Brand and Target Audience

Simply put, no brand can grow effectively without a strong understanding of who its target franchise buyer is. To arrive at this understanding, a brand must first have a clear voice and positioning. From a marketing perspective, the first thing Raintree does after beginning to work with an emerging franchise brand is to conduct what it calls a ‘2-Minute Drill,’ a deceptive name for an exercise that is actually rife with detail. 

The responses Raintree solicits from its partner brands cover a wide breadth of information relating to brand history; differentiators and competitive advantages; unit numbers; target growth markets; current franchise demographics; consumer demographics and psychographics; consumer branding and communications; industry projections and financial performance representations.

“From here, my team has a foundation to continue our own exploration of the brand positioning from the franchisor’s perspective,” Director of Marketing Linton Dowling said. “Using our experience and analytics tools such as Google Analytics; keyword research; our extensive CRM data; industry reports; and competitor research, we are able to establish our target audiences and how to best establish our communications and channel strategy.”

Raintree then uses this target audience information and communications and channel strategy to guide its lead generation budgeting.

Adopt an Omnichannel Approach to Marketing

The most common gaps in emerging brands’ knowledge is a reluctance to adopt an omnichannel marketing approach, Dowling said.

“Often due to budget constraints, brands choose not to undertake programs like SEO, broker network engagement and content creation like PR and video, or brands under-serve important awareness channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and more,” Dowling said. 

“Our most successful brands choose to opt in to an omnichannel lead generation approach.”

Emerging franchise brands must establish a consistent brand identity and push specific messaging across a variety of platforms to establish their opportunity as a competitive one. This includes a franchise development website characterized by best practices, an extensive broker network program, PR, SEO, social media, franchise portals and more—but brands must also be prepared to continue to support it with consistent and new content, or “open further consumer channels that help increase brand awareness and engagement,” Dowling said.

Invest in Learning the Franchise Game

Regardless of the industry within which a brand operates, taking the franchising route means entering a whole new dimension of business—treat it as such. And trust those in the know to guide your entry.

When Raintree begins working with emerging franchise brands, “Not only do we ask them to trust our experience, but we also ask them to be willing to take our guidance as they navigate the world of franchising,” Dowling said, pointing to Raintree’s growing list of brand partnerships that have resulted in over 2,000 franchise units awarded as the company’s bona fides. Dowling explained that, on top of marketing, Raintree has expertise in three primary verticals: Sales, franchise marketing and broker engagement. 

“Many emerging brands struggle to deal with the complexities of one of the verticals in which we work, let alone three,” he said. “We find that the best emerging brands allow us to handle these new verticals for them whilst educating them throughout the entire process. We have built a team at Raintree that has navigated the many difficulties emerging brands have faced and will continue to face, and we offer guidance based on this insight.”

Be Patient and Trust Your Partners

When asked to consider the common characteristics of those emerging brands that are best prepared for growth, Dowling emphasized patience, trust and the willingness to take guidance. Beyond just patience in the franchise discovery process, brands should trust in the expertise of their partners to collaborate and offer insights to achieve measurable growth.

“At Raintree, we don’t have clients; we build partnerships,” Dowling said. “A true partnership can only flourish with trust. We understand that many brands we work with have been built and continue to grow with the same brand founders and leadership teams. However, positioning and developing a franchise is a completely different process from growing a consumer or service offering that many emerging brands have focused on. We ask our emerging brands to trust our experience in growing brands.”

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