You know your target prospect … NOT!
You know your target prospect … NOT!

Understanding your audience is key to attracting prospects.

“Who’s your ideal franchise candidate?” I ask.

“Someone who is passionate, has financial bandwidth, possesses a business background and is ready to own a franchise,” they say.


That’s not your prospect, my friends. That’s a broad statement that is meaningless. It means you’re searching for the same thing everyone else is. Wouldn’t you rather compete in a league of your own?

For start-up brands, your prospect is going to have to be broad and undefined, as you are trying to figure out your path. Your path will start to take shape based on those who want to own your brand. You will start to notice trends. Once those trends start to get defined, you will be able to put more money toward attracting those prospects. The sooner you can identify your direction, the sooner you can make more of your money count.

If you’re an emerging brand, you already have some data, but are you using it? Have you tried to identify similarities in personality types, backgrounds and leadership qualities that will help identify who your prospect really is? Can you start identifying who that current franchisee is so that you can clearly define who you want to target in the future? Or, do you have a few franchisees you really respect and look up to who you would love to duplicate?

Data is extremely valuable when it comes to franchise sales. The more data you have, the better you’ll be able to target prospects. And with today’s targeting options, you can really articulate who your prospect is. This way, when you spend your dollars, you can make sure they are spent right.

After you have the personalities, backgrounds and paths of the franchisee you want to duplicate, you can spend your money in the right areas. For instance, if you are a low-cost start-up, do you really want to spend in the The Wall Street Journal? Probably not, as there may be a few prospects who could pass by your ad, but you want the 20 needles in the haystack, not the one. Instead, you would probably spend your money in Entrepreneur Magazine, as that has a broader audience.

Beyond the personalities, ask your franchisees what they like to read and absorb that media. This will help you decide where to spend your money. If none of your current franchisees read a franchise trade, then why put money there?

The biggest problem in franchise marketing is not your budget, but where to spend it.

With a little research, you can learn a lot about who your real prospect is, what they like to do, how to position your message and where to spend your money to see the most results.