Over the last several years, the best ways for franchise organizations to market themselves have significantly changed. A profusion of new tools, platforms and processes are now enabling an accountable, holistic approach to marketing planning, better customer understanding and improved ways to attract more customers more efficiently.
However, rather than making things easier, this transformation has made marketing much more complex. What was once a linear process from awareness to consideration to purchase, driven by a few broad-reaching media types, is now an amorphous cluster of countless directly and indirectly connected touchpoints, the adept management of which can keep even the most seasoned marketing team up at night.
Are you familiar with any of these challenges?
Proliferation of Data
Effective marketing today requires managing overwhelming amounts of data from multiple sources, bringing this data together into a single source of customer truth and developing user-friendly processes to uncover actionable insights.
Fragmented View of the Customer Journey
Disparate data sources make it challenging to understand the complete customer journey, which is critical for delivering seamless and meaningful omnichannel experiences.
When individual teams, franchisees or franchise groups make their own marketing decisions, the result can be inconsistent execution, difficulty coordinating actions and poor transparency across the system.
Rapidly Changing Trends, Technologies and Regulatory Requirements
It’s tough to stay current on, and understand the implications of, consumer trends, constant search engine algorithm changes and compliance requirements (e.g., Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA]) especially with limited resources.
Marketing teams today are being challenged to do more with less, stretch reduced budgets as far as possible, work with smaller teams and achieve better results.
Too Many Agencies and Marketing Platforms
Each uses different approaches and measures of success and controls its own data, making it difficult to gain a full understanding of what’s happening, determine how well things work together and accurately measure integrated performance.
Faced with these challenges, franchise marketers need a better way to strategically approach marketing and to consolidate partners, tools, technologies and approaches to support a consistent brand presence across geographically distributed locations.
Here are the critical elements you can’t afford to ignore:
A Clear and Meaningful Brand Positioning
Faced with a multitude of options, your customers need to clearly understand who you are and why your franchise is the best choice to meet their needs.
An Easily Customizable and Scalable Website Platform
Providing a consistent online experience for your franchise brand across locations can be a challenge. You need a flexible, cost-effective platform that quickly scales across your system and allows for local customization.
Actionable Customer Insights
With more customer data available than ever before, highly relevant and efficient customer experiences can be developed to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time on the right channel.
Integrated Media Plans
Traditional media like outdoor and direct mail are not dead. When insightfully combined with digital media like online display or paid social, plans can be efficiently optimized to achieve both brand (demand generation) and performance (lead generation) objectives.
Search Engine Optimization Combined with Paid Search
Using search engines to find what we are looking for has become a regular part of our daily lives. For your brand to take up as much space as possible on the search engine results pages, it is crucial to use both organic and paid search together.
Best-in-class Customer Experiences
Today, customers are looking for brands that help them do what they need and want to do in ways that are experientially gratifying and make them feel good about themselves as people. If your brand does not provide experiences like this, it is easy for customers to find competitors that do.
While all this may sound daunting, if you put your customers at the center of your thinking, you will be off to a great start. Who are your customers? What do you know about them, and how does your franchise meet their needs? Use these insights to develop a strategic approach to omnichannel marketing, evolve your web presence, and determine the approaches and tools necessary to provide meaningful engagement and delightful customer experiences that will drive system growth.