Brand marketing and Franchise development: why, when, and how should franchises prioritize?
The success of any franchise, regardless of the market or industry, relies on a few key ingredients: to begin with, concept quality, market size, sales growth and the acquisition of new franchisees.
With a unique understanding of their communities’ needs, franchisees are best positioned to sell locally, drive overall brand’s growth, and in the process, attract new prospective investors to the franchise development team.
In theory, that observation rings equally true in the digital world. Hence, the birth of franchise digital marketing platforms.
These comprehensive, integrated digital marketing systems facilitate franchisees local sales lead generation, but also enhance your investment value proposition.
In addition, they also reinforce your marketing package, further distinguishing your business concept from the ever growing number of franchise opportunities.
Last but not least, franchise digital marketing platforms grant additional firepower to the franchisor’s development website, increasing the franchise’s digital footprint as more franchisee websites join the network. At least that’s the theory.
Surprisingly, many emerging franchisors seem to miss the point, at least when it comes to digital, when they select their sales and marketing platforms.
While these might offer a centralized planning mechanism to control the brand’s image, and sometimes help implement best practices, they usually fall short of handing franchisees the freedom to tailor their multifaceted web presence to unique localities.
As a consequence, they miss a tremendous opportunity to drive growth by harnessing the unparalleled power of the “Wikipedia effect”*.
* For these unfamiliar with this “Wikipedia effect” concept, you can learn more in this article published in the last International Franchise Association Magazine Toolkit.
In short, search engines routinely favor content that is segmented across a number of domains — links spread across root domains being a sign of higher quality. Franchise networks, therefore, are well positioned to amass outstanding search performances if they can leverage their online footprint.
In order to do so, you need a truly distributed solution, one that let franchisors centrally manage marketing and SEO, while geo-targeting websites and hosting them around their respective territories.
Unfortunately, most franchisors, oblivious to this, pick legacy marketing platform that compromise their digital growth prospect.
They hire legacy franchise marketing platforms, built around single hosts that render all their SEO efforts vain. Notwithstanding that they also limit franchisees to a rigid shell of functionalities that tend to justify and encourage rogues websites and behaviors.
On the other hand, a modern distributed “hub & spoke” architecture can unlock the power contained within a web of franchisees websites, and turn it into an compounding advantage rather than a hindrance.
Just as franchisors carefully craft the rest of their brand marketing recipe, selecting the right franchise marketing network platform is paramount to the general system’s health, and its ability to scale in a cost-effective manner.
The recipe for franchising brand digital success is to turn scale to your advantage for both overall sales turnover and brand development efforts.
But it also has far-reaching implication for franchise development, especially in the early days of the newly franchising business. A properly designed distributed brand network will also greatly benefit your franchise development website and sales.
All of the above is particularly relevant - and also very easy to implement with the right partner - in the early days of the brand’s existence where resources are usually scarce, especially when considering that pay-per-click advertising networks such as Google Adwords are increasingly saturated with franchise opportunities ads. This can truly make or break your growth.
On the other hand, if your franchise system is already part of the top 49% of all franchising brands counting 21 units of more, you can greatly benefit from upgrading to a comprehensive distributed franchise marketing solution.
In that case, you will reap instantaneous rewards, as the overall size of your network increases mechanically your return on investment instead of weighing it down.
Franchise success is more than a two-way street
Franchisees are not just sales proxies between the franchisor and its final customers. They embody the essence of the franchise for your end customers, and as such must be recognized as the most vital part of your business.
While irreplaceable, top-down communication is only part of the equation, franchisors cannot simply throw corporate marketing material - no matter how good or how much - at franchisees, and expect them to be content with that.
Everything in the franchise marketing strategy needs to epitomize a simple fundamental concept: the franchisor and the franchisee are in symbiotic business relationship.
Thankfully, a hub & spoke franchise digital marketing platform allows franchisors to build end-to-end, cost-efficient and truly scalable strategies that mechanically increases return on investment as you onboard more franchisees on the system.
By putting those tools - along with the welcomed expertise that comes along - at the center of their digital marketing strategies, franchisors can help franchisees increase local sales while helping their own franchise development efforts.
More than a two-way street, hub & spoke franchise marketing is therefore the basis to create a virtuous loop fulfilling each stakeholder’s self-interest.
SeoSamba serves thousands of small businesses around the world with service centers in the United States and Europe. Its software is private labeled by large media companies and available in 14 languages.
SeoSamba’s patent pending Hub & Spoke technology amplifies marketing effectiveness as companies scale their brand’s footprint. You also enjoy mechanical incremental benefits in your franchise recruitment efforts from participating franchisees while they generating more leads in local markets.
SeoSamba hybrid open source marketing framework is built around the SambaSaaS marketing hub and SeoToaster Ultimate CRM +sales automation cloud edition to build and market landing pages, corporate, directories and ecommerce websites.
SeoSamba also let you connect, then centrally market and SEO WordPress websites with a free or premium plugin.
For more information about SeoSamba, visit www.seosamba.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org, and in the US: + (1) 877.450-9894 or in Europe at + (33) 6756376.
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About the author
Omnivorous mammal & SEO Samba CEO, I'm a regular speaker at search engine marketing conferences around the world, including Search Engine Strategies London & New York, and a contributor to a number of publications, including Website Magazine, and Feedfront Magazine. I enjoy strategy, coaching, and motivating both customers & staff.