For franchise marketing campaigns to be effective, franchisees and their staff need to be engaged.
Here are five tips to enhance franchisee and staff engagement on marketing and maximise the effectiveness and implementation of campaigns.
1. Engage franchisees in every step of the marketing process
Franchisees and staff value the opportunity to be involved in the marketing process.
This doesn’t mean you need to consult every franchisee or staff member individually; however you do need to have franchisees represented in the planning process.
One option is to create a marketing consultative committee with a selection of key franchisees who can provide feedback and advice on campaigns.
However, you will also still need to provide clear and effective communication regarding the campaign will all franchisees and staff.
The better understanding of the rationale and execution of marketing campaigns, the more engaged franchisees and staff will be.
2. Listen to franchisee and staff feedback
Not only is it important to communicate with franchisees regarding marketing campaigns, it is also important for communication to flow both ways.
Listening to feedback from franchisees will not only boost engagement, you may also receive some valuable insights and suggestions.
While you may not act on every suggestion, franchisees and staff may be able to provide insights on elements overlooked by head office, or minor tweaks required to make the campaign more effective as they work at the ‘coalface’ of the business.
3. Incentivise effective campaign execution at franchisee level
Once a marketing campaign is ready to be executed it is recommended you guide franchisees and their staff through the process.
Some franchises produce short videos, a photo gallery and/or step-by-step guide to assist franchisees with the execution of a campaign, particularly with in-store and point-of-sale materials so they and their teams are clear on the process and expectations.
Other franchises then go beyond this to also offer a range of incentives for the franchisees or team members that produce the greatest results, or who execute the campaign the best.
Incentives don’t necessarily need to be monetary rewards either.
Get creative and test and measure the effectiveness of various rewards until you find those that best resonate with your franchisees and their staff best.
4. Test, measure and tailor as required
In addition to testing and measuring different rewards, it is also wise to test marketing campaigns in a single store or location, where possible.
If a campaign doesn’t work you will then be able to tweak and improve as required before investing the resources in rolling the campaign out nationally.
Ensuring only the most effective campaigns are rolled out nationally will help maintain franchisee engagement over time too, and having the data from the trial will help build confidence among franchisees that the campaign is worth investing in.
5. Encourage franchisees to work together
You can also increase marketing effectiveness and help franchisees achieve greater impact with their local marketing spend by developing franchisee cluster groups, where franchisees within a region or market pool their local marketing spend.
Not only will their marketing have greater reach, this approach also helps ensure consistent messaging throughout a region, which again enhances marketing effectiveness.
Looking for more franchise marketing tips?
Some of the best franchise marketing minds will be sharing their insights and expertise at the Franchise Marketing Forum 2013: Building brand equity and engagement on November 20 in Brisbane.
The Forum runs annually and is a joint initiative of Griffith University’s Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence and the Franchise Advisory Centre.
Find out more or register online at: http://wired.ivvy.com/event/FMAR13/
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by QSR Media. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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Professor Lorelle Frazer is Director of Griffith University’s Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence and one of the world’s leading franchise researchers and educators. Lorelle has been actively involved in franchising research and sectoral policy initiatives for more than 15 years. She also lectures in franchising and is a member of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Franchising Consultative Panel. Her research is often used to inform sector policy and in 2010 Lorelle was awarded the Franchise Council of Australia’s national Contribution to Franchising Award.
Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence
Griffith University’s Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence aims to drive franchise sector best practice through practical, independent research and education. Visit the Centre’s website at: www.franchise.edu.au