It’s tough being the new kid on the block. New franchises face numerous challenges that established brands no longer have to worry about, including creating a name for themselves, properly positioning themselves in the marketplace and ensuring that procedures and policies are in place that will support them as they grow.
On the other hand, new brands have the energy and excitement that established brands have often lost and struggle to regain. New brands are also working with a clean slate, and as such are usually better able to navigate the challenging marketing landscape with greater ease and flexibility.
If your franchise is new, then these tips will help you put the supports in place for a marketing strategy that will grow your brand and franchise network.
1. Identify your target market
You need to have a really clear picture of who your target market is and where you can connect with them. This means you’ll need to do a demographic analysis of your target so you can understand their pain points, motivations and preferences as well as the information that will give you insights into who and where they are, where and how they make purchases, their values, etc.
Franchises need to remember that their target market is usually split into consumers and potential franchisees and these target markets may be very different from one another. This means that your franchise should do a demographic analysis of each target market.
If your consumers and potential franchisees are different demographic groups, then do you need to create two marketing strategies – one for each group? Absolutely. In fact, even if you think you’ll pull potential franchisees from your pool of target customers you’ll still need a marketing strategy that focuses on each. The way that you market to potential franchisees will be quite different from how you market to customers.
Once you have identified your target markets you need to consider which marketing channels you will use to engage them. These could include:
- Direct mail campaigns
- Email marketing
- Website marketing
- Mobile marketing
- Social marketing, which includes:
Small brands usually don’t have the resources, staff or budget to get involved in everything all at once so you’ll need to pick and choose your marketing channels and have a strategy in place to add more when you’re ready to grow.
2. Define marketing policies
It’s important that you have defined marketing policies that align your marketing messages with your brand values. These policies should include guidelines and information for your employees about online conduct, partnership creation, engagement with customers and press, etc.
If you haven’t yet defined your brand’s core values then you should take a step back and pause and create your value statement, mission statement and business goals. Ensure that these elements are consistently aligned with all your brand’s decisions moving forward. Remember to share your mission, values and goals with your entire team, including all your franchise locations so that everyone can work together to consistently represent your brand moving forward.
3. Set measurable goals and track results
It’s important that you set measurable marketing goals for your brand and then track your results, making adjustments to your strategy along the way. There is no clear cut rule of thumb for benchmarks for a new brand. Your goals and your results will be unique to your brand and your industry. Just make sure that the goals you set are:
The last point is particularly crucial for new brands. There is no point in measuring a marketing indicator that is not relevant for your brand. For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness then the number of website conversions you have may not be as important as metrics surrounding open rates or social reach. With a limited number of resources make sure you’re measuring the metrics that count.
Just remember that your brand needs to be consistent, authentic and purposeful in everything you do – including communicating your brand message, the way you interact with customers and the goals you set.
4. Create a marketing strategy
Once you’ve identified your target markets, selected your marketing channels and set goals you can develop a strategy that will help your new franchise implement these decisions in a meaningful way.
Keep in mind that whether you’re participating in Internet marketing, direct mail or another form of more traditional marketing like print ads, you’ll want marketing strategies that engage your potential consumers and franchisees. According to brand development experts, content marketing is critical to engagement and media-rich content is particularly important.
5. Give it time
Ultimately, it takes hard work and time for a brand to create a name for itself and make a dent in the marketplace. From a marketing perspective it’s important that your franchise dedicate the time and resources to making this happen. You won’t be able to grow a loyal customer base or expand your franchise with an investment of ten minutes a day. It takes time and expertise for new brands to grow.