Developing a network of franchisees is a good opportunity to help establish the company locally through lower-risk growth. Nevertheless, the multiplication of points of sale must be done in accordance with the brand’s guidelines. Let’s take a look at how to align the local franchise marketing and head office marketing !

What is franchise marketing?

Before we discuss what franchisee marketing is, let’s take a look at the franchise system as a whole. When businesses become a franchise, they share the rights to use their brand and distribute their products with all of their franchisees.

Both parties within the franchise system have different ways of exploiting the brand: 

  • the franchisor (the head office) is responsible for brand awareness and the company’s strategic vision
  • the franchisees (the points of sale) use the brand for conversion marketing and to address more local business needs

It is an effective system if the point of sale network runs smoothly and enjoyably for both parties. It is the job of the head office to maintain a consistent image and to respect company guidelines, while the different points of sale must be adept at clear communication and incorporating some elements of personalisation into their local branch.

Franchisee marketing is distinctive because it must adapt the way it communicates to its local
audience whilst staying loyal to the company’s communicative style.

Maxime, Marketing Manager at Hyperspread

Why do franchisees bring added value when it comes to local marketing?

Because they reflect the local reality.

Local points of sale have direct contact with consumers and a localised understanding of the customer catchment area and so are able to incorporate that unique knowledge and a tailored semantic style into their marketing. 

These local insights are very useful for improving conversion rates through marketing campaigns.
However, points of sale often have very different levels of marketing maturity so they do not necessarily possess the skills to devise and execute a marketing strategy themselves.

So while it is not wise to leave the strategic vision to the discretion of individual points of sale, it is important to value the strengths of each one.

The added value provided by the franchisees is customisation.

What are the levers in local franchise marketing ?

Head office needs to account for all local elements when it comes to franchisee marketing, such as:  

Social networks 

Instagram and Facebook are often used for localised marketing to create community spaces and interact with consumers. However, this particular lever poses a risk to brand imaging and all social media must be very carefully managed.

Local SEO

Points of sale can gain great visibility through up-to-date listings on search directories and the optimisation of the Google Business Profile, two very strong foundations of SEO. Some brands even create local websites for their shops or branches. 

Paid ad campaigns

What retailer would say no to a little boost of visibility for their marketing? Ads (Waze ads, Instagram ads, Google ads, Facebook ads, etc.) are very useful on a local scale for generating in-shop footfall. However, ad campaigns require a certain amount of technical expertise, so ready-made ad packages are ideal.

Print media 

Printed marketing material is still among the most popular with franchisees. The tangible representation of a brand really can make legitimise a brand, make it more concrete. Personalisation is important because points of sale often need to adjust the percentage of a promotion so that it matches the marketing material, for example.

POS advertising and goodies 

Point of sale advertising is wholly related to the lifespan of the business. A well-structured shop understands the benefit of enhancing the in-store experience. Head office must be able to respond to this demand from a marketplace that is accessible in real time.

Direct marketing

In-store traffic can be generated through direct marketing such as email and SMS campaigns. These are done locally because the consumer is much more tolerant of this kind of push strategy.

Franchisee marketing employs a variety of marketing techniques, so naturally head office would be unable to intervene in individual cases. However, for the sake of efficiency and simplicity, local marketing tools are used, such as a local marketing platform.

Maxime, Marketing Manager at Hyperspread

How do you manage brand image when you are a franchise?

Being a franchise is an exciting adventure. It is a networked operation, which implies the need for tools and methods for effective collaboration.

Both head office and points of sale have their own challenges, namely brand image and awareness for the former and local marketing and everyday practicalities for the latter.

The brand’s success relies on a system that is harmonious and a network that is both simply and
carefully managed.