Here are some useful tips for franchisors to keep in mind as they move into a new calendar year:
- Evaluate last year’s franchise marketing efforts. As a franchise consultant, it always amazes me how many franchise systems fail to track the results of their franchise sales marketing efforts. You cannot manage what you cannot measure. Franchisors need to diligently track all spending, lead flow, and sales funnel activity. Then, once this tracking has been in place for at least six months, begin rotating out the bottom 10% to 20% of your media on a quarterly basis. Reallocate expenditures to top performing and/or untested media to continually refine your media mix.
- Consider a franchise audit. Once you determine the results of last year’s efforts in terms of conversion and close rates, it’s time to identify the problem areas. Costs that are too high indicate ineffective marketing, and can be caused by problems related to specific media allocations, media mix, message, timing, or target audience selection. Costs that are too low can also be a problem if they result in large numbers of unqualified leads.
- Don’t forget your referral network. When you first started franchising, you probably told all your business colleagues about your venture and they may have referred some good leads to you. Nothing is stronger than the referred lead because it recognizes you as a credible franchisor. Don’t neglect your expanding network of referral sources: bankers, attorneys, vendors and, of course, your current franchisees. If your goal in 2015 is to increase franchise sales and expand your business into new markets, look at your current franchisees first. Assuming that overall franchisee satisfaction is high and unit level returns are good, these candidates are pre-sold on the opportunity with no marketing cost to you. The simple knowledge that you are planning on selling an adjacent territory may be enough to spur that franchisee to action.
For more information on franchise marketing, feel free to contact us at [email protected] or call (708) 957-2300 and we will be happy to have one of our franchise experts discuss your franchise goals.