At the fresh start of a year, it’s only natural that you’d start thinking about your franchise’s marketing for the next 12 months. How will you improve upon what you did last year for even better results? What new things do you want to try?

You can answer all of these questions by creating your franchise’s marketing plan.

Start By Looking at Past Results

The best way to shape your future marketing plans? By looking at how your past efforts fared. Certainly, some marketing tactics worked better than others. Dig into your analytics to find out which strategies sent traffic to your website and people to your stores. These are the ones you want to continue to use.

Equally important, however, is knowing what didn’t get you the results you wanted in the past. Any strategy that produced lackluster results is one you can discard from your marketing plan. You may have heavily invested in advertising your fast food franchise locally, but not really seen much in the way of increased sales as a result. Perhaps in your marketing plan for 2017, you cease your advertising efforts in favor of beefing up your social media marketing.

Knowing what works—and what doesn’t—in terms of marketing can help you tweak your efforts for even better results in the future.

Establish Goals

Each year you can have entirely new goals for your marketing, or build upon past goals. Some examples of goals you might include in your plan are:

  • Increase sales by 25% over the year
  • Boost repeat business by 40%
  • Spend 10% less on advertising without losing results

As you define the marketing tactics you will use in the new year, keep an eye on these goals. Ask yourself how each tactic will help you achieve them.

Allot a Budget

Every technique you use to market your franchise will be associated with a cost, whether it’s to hire a content marketer or social media manager, or to pay your monthly AdWords spend. Create line items for each tactic, and determine how much you want to spend on each for the year (it may be helpful to break the cost down by quarter).

Once you have the budget, stick to it! There’s no sense in going over budget unless you’re seeing phenomenal results and can afford halfway through the year to increase your spend.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New

There are a lot of great marketing trends happening right now, and they could be your franchise’s ticket to a major uptick in sales and revenue. Do try out new strategies, but also closely monitor them. If, after a few months, you’re not getting positive results, pull back from that tactic in favor of another.

Having a marketing plan is only half of your success formula. You still need to refer to it, so keep it handy and keep those goals at the center of all you do.

SOURCEAmerica's Best Franchises
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Bill Bradley
Bill Bradley is founding member and CEO of America’s Best Franchises, LLC.  Bill founded three financial services firms, Ocean Shores Ventures, Denali International and William Bradley Enterprises. In addition, to launching America’s Best Franchises in 2005, Bill orchestrated approximately 20 private equity transactions in excess of $31 million, and launched five specific purpose private equity partnerships.

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