29 December 2014

3 Ways Franchise Owners Should Spend Marketing Dollars In 2015

Can you name any—or all—of the 10 most popular New Year’s resolutions? (Take a few seconds to try—and then check at the bottom of this article to see how many you got correct!)

Even if it was easy to name the most popular resolutions, it’s a difficult task to keep them. According to one poll, of the approximately 40% of people who will make resolutions, most of them will fail.

What gives? The answer, according to a study by Dr. John Norcross, is that just wanting to change behavior isn’t powerful—but moving from wanting to attempting to change behavior is. According to Norcross, “If you make the shift from wanting to trying, you’re 10 times more likely to succeed.”

This year, make it one of your business resolutions to spend your marketing dollars more effectively. Here are three components to a successful strategy that will serve you well in 2015.

What makes a successful marketing strategy?

For franchise owners, allocating your marketing budget can be tricky—for starters, you may have directives coming from your corporate offices or headquarters that dictate varying degrees of participation and freedom your franchise has to market independently. It’s important to consider what your franchisor is already doing well (and can afford) when you allocate your budget dollars.

There are two major components to take into account when marketing your franchise: building your brand and bringing in leads. Here are the most effective ways to spend your marketing dollars to do both. Take a look at what your marketing plan should consist of this year:

1. Local Marketing

You’re in a unique position to have visibility in the community, so make sure you capitalize on that by advertising locally. Integrate your local marketing with your franchise’s marketing plan in order to leverage the high production value of national promotions with the knowledge of your community and customers you specialize in.

  • Local phone numbers are a key to marketing effectively in your community. Local numbers build trust, are scalable, and can grow as your business expands—they can even improve your customer service.
  • Radio advertising for your franchise. With 93% of people age 12 and older listening to the radio every week, you can’t afford to not at least consider this medium.
  • Get free press. Make contacts with local newspaper, radio, and TV outlets and inform them of anything noteworthy or interesting your business is doing. You may be surprised how much free press you can get by simply keeping them informed!

2. Social Media

Social media can be an excellent way to involve your community and target audience. Whether you’re considering Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other avenue, you need to keep the following things in mind:

  • National brands miss 86% of feedback on social media channels. By adding a local social media component to your franchise, you can make sure you’re quickly and sufficiently addressing the unique issues facing your individual stores. You can also build your customer base through positive feedback and reviews.
  • Social media accounts are free, but it will cost you time and potentially money to strategize and plan for your accounts.
  • You don’t need to be involved in every medium. Do your research to determine where your followers are so you don’t waste your time and efforts.
  • It’s important to keep your brand and messaging consistent across all channels and mediums.

3. A Great Online Presence

A local web presence is essential to your business. Ultimately, the goal of your business’ website is this:

“The key is to make sure the sites have as much locally relevant, unique content as possible and have clear and compelling calls-to-action, or else it will be an uphill battle to attract traffic and convert leads.”

A great website is expensive, but you’ll have to consider it an investment. As a franchisee, you may have certain parameters you need to follow (or a template provided by your franchisor), so find out what restrictions you have.

Once you get past the approval process, just spending a lot of money on your website alone won’t do the trick: you have to make sure you aren’t making these mistakes along the way.

Most importantly, have a plan.

Whether you spend your marketing dollars on traditional advertising, social media, an awesome website, or even skywriting—your efforts likely won’t be as successful as you want them to be if you don’t have a plan.

  • Don’t spend your money haphazardly—designate where you want your dollars to go and what results you expect.
  • Ask yourself these four questions to help you set expectations:
    • What are my end goals?
    • What types of content are local customers interested in?
    • Where do our customers “live” online?
    • What metrics and analytics can we use to track successes and identify areas to improve?
  • Benchmark your data. If you’ve never established a baseline to measure your marketing effectiveness, you may be throwing your money away and not even knowing it. Use tools that can track your leads and customers for you. For example: a call tracking number is a relatively inexpensive, easy-to-implement tool that can tell you exactly which of your campaigns are making the phone ring.

By tracking the successes of your marketing, you can plan for future advertising campaigns, make changes to existing ads, and segment testing that will help you identify who your customers really are, what they’re looking for when they contact you, and how well your business is answering their questions. Then, you’ll be able to reinvest the money you’ve saved into outlets that provide a great return. To find out more, contact us today.

P.S. Here are the most common resolutions. How many did you get right?

  1. Lose Weight
  2. Improve Financial Budgeting
  3. Exercise More
  4. Get A New/Better Job
  5. Eat Healthfully
  6. Manage Stress More Effectively
  7. Quit Smoking
  8. Improve A Relationship
  9. Stop Procrastinating
  10. Set Aside Time For Yourself