When it comes to owning a franchise, having a strong marketing message is crucial. It is important to find out how much your franchisor will be helping you both directly and indirectly in the sales process. There are many franchises that will require you to buy into their corporate marketing. Some will make it a requirement for you to use their marketing and some will provide it as an opportunity.
If a franchise does require you to use their marketing and you don’t agree with the way they approach marketing, frustration may ensue and last throughout your business relationship with them.
Three aspects that are important to look at when assessing marketing strategies that are provided by a franchisor are:
- How much you will be contributing as a franchisee
- The range of the marketing strategies that are provided
- The impact their marketing has on traffic, conversions and sales
When it comes to marketing funds, one big point of contention between franchisors and franchisees is how much each will contribute to the marketing strategy. Some franchisors will charge a flat fee, some will charge a flat percentage and then there are others that will use a sliding scale. Those that use a sliding scale make the more successful franchisees bare the brunt of the burden. It is important to know how much you will be paying for marketing because it can be a huge factor in your decision to open a franchise. If you do not have a baseline understanding of what you are paying, there will be no way to determine how effective it is.
Understanding the Marketing Strategy
Important questions about the marketing services that are provided by the franchisor you will want to ask yourself are:
- Does the marketing cover your area?
- Is the marketing strictly television ads or an omni-channel experience?
- How far does the marketing reach?
- How many people does the marketing impact?
These questions are some that you need to ask about the marketing strategy. Determining the answers to these questions is important before the contract is signed. Depending on the answers you are given, if you feel that the franchisor isn’t approaching marketing correctly or the reach isn’t sufficient enough, it will only irritate you further when your money is dedicated to something that you don’t believe will positively impact your franchise.
It is important to ensure that you are getting your money’s worth in terms of reach and area neat your franchise. If the franchisor doesn’t market in your area because of a lack of locations, can you expect them to start? If this is one thing that is important to you, you will want to get it written into your franchise agreement.
One thing that the franchisor should have some data on is the ROI of their marketing campaigns and some may be willing to share it. An important thing to ask existing franchisees is about the impact of the marketing strategy and campaigns. This can be a vital step towards understanding the effectiveness. You will also have to do some research to figure out how much advertisement was done in the different markets and how existing franchisees were impacted. This will help you to fully understand what a franchisors marketing campaign can do for you. Something else you will want to ask about is how sales increased and how much additional attention the brand received as a whole. Some campaigns do a lot to pique interest from the public, which may not mean more sales, just more traffic and attention.
Remember to ask these questions when determining the marketing opportunities for your new franchise, once you get the answers, it will help you feel confident about your decision.