Advertising, Marketing and Leads!
This article appears in the May/June 2015 issue of Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand
Who takes what responsibility?
The terms marketing and advertising are often used in place of each other, leaving a confused state where franchisors and franchisees are unsure of their role in building the brand as well as trying to deliver leads that convert to sales.
Expectations of roles and activities vary widely as brand position and brand awareness needs to be established for the franchised brand, while leads and sales need to be delivered to the individual franchisee businesses.
Establishing the roles and responsibilities for developing strategic marketing plans to grow a franchised brand, while also delivering sales, can be complicated. New platforms such as social media can often blur individual responsibilities and the ability to act on behalf of the brand or your individual business.
So who does what?
It is the franchisor’s job to grow their brand and offer a quality product or service that matches expectations.
Franchisee holders are responsible for delivering the product or service to customers, generating leads and sales to grow your business, as well as growing the individual business the assigned territory.
How you appoint the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities for developing the marketing plan makes all the difference in results, as well as creating a harmonious relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee holders.
So back to the first point; marketing in its essence is about answering one simple question.
Why should I buy your product? Every purchasing transaction seeks to answer this fundamental question.
However, answering this question has several layers.
Building the brand
Building the brand is essentially the responsibility of the franchisor, seeking to deliver a position in the market for which the brand represents and is known for. Essentially, delivering real clarity to the public as to why you should buy or use us. As well as building the asset value of the franchise, brand awareness activities are also used to attract enquiries from potential new franchisees.
Marketing and advertising activities at this tier one level traditionally include mass advertising, with key messages around what does the brand stand for, and the overall services offered.
In advertising terms, TV, radio, billboards, print, vehicle signage and some digital marketing are used to deliver these messages.
Product marketing seeks to clearly identify what products and services people can buy from you.
This second stage of building the marketing plan includes the development of key messages around the product itself and how to communicate these messages to consumers.
At this tier two level, communications are typically led by the need of the consumer and how your product or service can fulfil their needs. In old-fashioned terms it’s selling the features and the benefits.
Product marketing activities can again include mass advertising but they should start to be a little more localised, providing territory support for individual franchisee businesses.
This could include database marketing, local digital campaigns, local billboards and signage activities to name a few.
Local area franchisee marketing
The development of local area marketing is the third tier of the marketing plan; and it’s the real powerhouse for the local franchisee. It is in this space that the marketing moves from branding and product awareness to the Holy Grail of any business – activities that deliver more customers.
Some of the activities that you can leverage to grow your business locally can include, but are not limited to:
• Mailbox direct marketing
• Database print or email marketing
• Customer referral campaigns
• Shopping centre promotions
• Local cinema advertising
• Local transit advertising
• Local area digital marketing campaigns
• Involvement with local clubs and groups
• Sponsorship of local events or teams
• Social media that focuses on the local area such as Google +.
Research has shown franchisees that take on the responsibility of building a strong local marketing platform do much better then those who rely upon the franchisor.
Marketing is a process to uncover the jewels of your business. Building a marketing plan is fundamental to the success of your business. Before you spend any money on any form of advertising, know why you are doing this. Know the role and the responsibilities of the franchisor and the franchisee before developing a detailed action plan that support the corporate message with strong call to action advertising that helps grow the individual businesses.
Joe Papadatos is Managing Director of Icon Visual Marketing, a full service marketing agency that for over twelve years has been equipping businesses with the marketing and sales tools to help them reach their next customer. Joe focuses on delivering strategic marketing programs that deliver cut through for businesses looking to create a difference.
For more information contact Joe on:
T: 1300 138 984