Distinguishing your brand in the franchising landscape is an uphill battle. Competition within each sector is growing, and marketing strategies are only expanding outwards as social media platforms vary in popularity.
By 2020, Generation Z – ranging from seven to 21-years-old – will account for roughly 40 percent of consumers. Both millennials, ranging in age from 22 to 37, and Gen Z’ers are constantly inundated with advertising throughout the day, causing them to quickly move on from a brand that doesn’t leave a lasting memory. According to a study from 2017 by Microsoft, the average human attention span is approximately eight seconds now compared to 12 back in 2000. That means marketers have just a handful of seconds to convey their point and push consumers to want to find out more.
In the online era, it can be easy for franchise brands to lose sight of their marketing goals and capture the target demographic. 1851 Franchise spoke with the Founder of SMB Franchise Advisors, Steve Beagelman, to get his advice on how to effectively market your franchise brand to a wide audience.
1. The Power of In-Store Marketing
The best prospective franchisees are those who are already loyal fans of your brand. The worst mistake is to miss the opportunity to market to this key segment – and what better way to convey that there are franchise opportunities available than at the location itself? Beagelman emphasizes that brands need to not overlook the power of marketing on items as simple as napkins and cups as well as the branding throughout the store, pointing customers to the franchising site.
2. Utilize Vacant Retail Space
Take advantage of advertising on visible, vacant retail space in shopping centers and strip malls. Beagelman says brands should focus on scouting out empty real estate and preemptively advertise at those selected spots rather than blanket advertising throughout a market.
“If you’re a retail concept, like a gym, for example, you could cut a deal with the landlord to put a sign up which conveys that the site is approved for X, Y, or Z business and points the person toward finding out more. The advertising generates immediate revenue for the landlord as well as markets space to locals who drive by each day,” said Beagelman.
3. Network, Network, Network
Even in the digital age, person-to-person marketing is key to gaining trust with a prospective franchisee. While having a strong franchise website and social media marketing strategy is vital, Beagelman says tradeshows provide a platform to have personal, one-on-one interactions that can’t be replicated online or by phone. Tradeshows allow concepts to market within the sector itself and provides future franchisees the opportunity to look into the culture and the people behind the brand.