Building a Nationally Executed Local Marketing Program for Franchise Owners

One of the benefits of franchising is corporate support to help grow a business quicker than it could be done otherwise – and to take things off a franchise owner that can be handled at a national level. This gives franchise owners more time to focus on other things they HAVE to do (hiring, operational execution) and puts the burden of creating and generating business on the franchisor.

At Authority Brands, a cornerstone of that corporate support involves the execution of marketing at the national level. For six of our twelve brands, we do just that.

Build marketing execution into your Franchise Disclosure Document.

Most franchise brands will give suggestions on how much to spend on local marketing, as well as an approved list of people to work with to generate new customers. That’s not our approach. Instead, for brands with Local Marketing Programs, the corporate marketing team drafts a pre-determined amount per the brand’s FDD and executes marketing on behalf of the franchise owner.

Having a corporate marketing team means a commitment to building the infrastructure, as well as a commitment to hiring marketers who can execute, rather than marketers who only coach.

When done correctly, this can be a game-changer in an individual franchise location’s ability to consistently grow. Consistent spending being managed by a professional marketer is invaluable.

In the day-to-day program execution, give franchise owners choice, but let your team of marketing experts drive the bus.

From the minute a prospective franchise owner comes to a Meet Your Team Day, they’re hearing about marketing programs managed on their behalf. It’s part of what they want, and in fact, often part of why someone joins our family of brands.

That said, having room to choose is critical in allowing programs to be as effective as possible. These choices involve things like a selection of a specific service to highlight, any special offers, and creative assets used. This gives franchise owners a voice in the process, while still maintaining the integrity of the designed marketing strategy.

Share the performance data in broad, visible, public ways.

When you take on something with this level of potential impact on the success of an individual location, you must measure the KPIs associated with it. This involves dashboards and reporting, not just to share with franchise owners, but also to hold the marketing team executing these programs accountable. What gets measured gets improved, and that adage holds true here as well.

In addition, webinars with the franchise network to review performance, not just on a national level but also at a regional level, can also help owners see and understand the work that’s being done on their behalf.

Have a feedback loop where franchise owners can raise new program ideas or initiatives and incorporate their ideas into your program testing.

Your franchise owners can always be a great resource for new ideas. Outside of the ideas the marketing team has, franchisees should have a forum in which they can share thoughts on tactics or channels to add to your program.

For most systems, this could be through a Franchise Advisory Council or Marketing Advisory Council. Then, if you’re a brand with a corporate store, use that as a testing ground before adding a new tactic to your marketing program. If you don’t have a corporate store, use your NAF for testing and set up clear parameters on how you’ll run those tests.

It can be a challenge to launch and build nationally executed local marketing programs for a brand, but the benefit is significant to long-term franchise location-level revenue growth.