The Great Divide: Franchise Development and Consumer Marketing
The Great Divide: Franchise Development and Consumer Marketing

Greatness happens when marketing and franchise development come together.

A franchise marketer and a franchise development executive walk into a bar. Just kidding; most would never get a drink together, let alone lunch.

Why? Because the bulk of franchise marketing pros and franchise development pros don’t see eye to eye. The franchise marketing pro wants to keep consumer messaging separate. Meanwhile, the franchise development pro wants to cover all of the four walls, and then find a fifth to fill as well, with development information.

This creates a divide in opinion. Just opinion, not reality.

Say franchise X stops developing new stores, restaurants or locations. Leads dry up. Legacy stores close. Revenue declines. What happens next? Development pro switches brands and marketing pro leaves company. Who is hurt in the end? Mostly the brand.

What’s the happy medium? It will depend on the brand.

Very early on in the history of No Limit Agency, I vividly remember sitting in a frandev meeting in Denver that was attended by marketing pros. I asked how many customers come through the stores on a daily basis. The number was hundreds. I said, “Why can’t we put franchise information on the cups or napkins?” I was given the deadliest look ever from the marketing team and then told consumers don’t want to have franchise opportunities thrown in their face.

Cool, but as a franchise brand, a few things are known. First, your customers know you’re a chain. You can try to disguise it with “craft” elements, but they are not dumb. And frankly, they are okay with it, especially if you have positive sales.

Secondly, without more locations, you no longer have a job at that brand. If you are not growing, you are dying.

Third, if you don’t set the tone that marketing and development work hand-in-hand, you actually hurt franchisees, especially in under-penetrated markets.

Now, a franchise development pro walks into a bar owned by a franchisee. Franchisee says hello and then says, “Don’t sell any more franchises in my market.”


Historical data suggests that higher penetration of stores in a market should net higher average unit volume because of greater brand presence and increased market spend.

When franchise leaders connect the dots, beautiful things happen. When all departments (yes, you too operations) all work together, greatness is possible.

So, ask yourself this question, especially if you have any form of internal fighting going on: Are you in this for the possibility of greatness for the brand, or are you in it for yourself?

Not every answer will be black and white, but people who are interested in leaving their mark with a wonderfully executed strategy are the ones who know the value of working in concert and leveraging marketing and frandev together.