If you’re a franchise looking to systemise and improve the marketing of both the brand as a whole but also the performance of the individual franchisees then this blog is for you. Your franchisees’ success is ultimately what will determine your long term success.
As a high performing franchise, you don’t really want your franchisees using different tools, marketing systems or strategies without them being approved by you, the franchisor. Of course, you could build your own software but this isn’t always realistic, especially when you are in the early stages of franchising (<10 years) and every £ counts. This blog will walk you through some key mindsets and technologies we, Avalanche Enterprise, use every day to systemise and turn our franchise clients into marketing machines and create franchise wide efficiency.
What is a marketing tool?
A marketing tool is a piece of technology that allows you to manage, systemise and automate key elements of your business’s marketing department. It will allow you to unify marketing strategies and technologies across a multi-location environment, a mountain all franchises will need to climb and learn how to manage efficiently.
Using marketing tools that will enable measurement between success in one location vs success in another is a huge asset to have for any developing franchise. Having this asset will provide an edge over competing businesses in similar industries because measurement often leads to innovation and innovation often leads to better results. What we measure grows…
A franchise should see economies of scale in their marketing and measurement capabilities, you are after all marketing in many more places than your competition. This should be a very positive tool for you, not a hindrance.
Why should franchises use marketing technology to systemise their businesses?
Systemisation brings 3 key benefits:
1. Better Business
A business should have multiple go-to strategies that can be relied upon for lead and new business generation. Marketing tools and systemising how you collect data/manage your pipeline will enable you to take control of your marketing and begin making use of your customer base’s full potential. What we measure grows… Don’t forget that!
2. Better Franchisee Experience
We have worked with over a dozen franchises during the last few years. 90% of them didn’t provide franchisees with any marketing system or guidelines and were confused when their franchisees weren’t doing very well or their brand wasn’t being portrayed correctly. A system will allow you to manage your locations and keep people in check, making use of the economies of scale.
3. Case Studies
Probably the most important thing, CASE STUDIES! If you are able to showcase a working marketing system to potential new franchise recruits, then this becomes a huge asset. We have seen so so many franchise sales come from showcasing that the business actually works and will grow. The way to showcase that your potential franchisee’s investment will be safe and grow is through a working model.
Here are the best marketing technologies for franchises:
- Custom Domain
- Replace ActiveCampaign logo with your own
- Modify all CSS and HTML to be in line with your brand
- Create sandboxes for the replication of location CRM systems
- Remove/restrict usage for users/franchises
- Remove all references to Active Campaign
ActiveCampaign is an automation platform and email marketing system that is incredibly integrate-able. Due to the varied size of client ActiveCampaign deals with, the platform is diverse in its features and can cater for scale and complexity.
The reason we love ActiveCampaign is it really does let you build what you please and the support staff are there to cater for your wildest ideas. Whether its a central system or a replica table solution that you can provide to franchisees, ActiveCampaign is a winner.
- Gives visual look to your forms
- Embeddable on your site, as many times as you wish
- Conversion rate feedback and reporting
- Duplication buttons to save time for multiple locations
- Integrate-able with MANY email technologies
- Colours & fonts customisable for your brand
We all use forms religiously on sites and Leadformly allows you to create a visual process for your data-capture and A/B/C test multiple styles of video. The data can then be sent to many many different applications including all of the major CRM systems and yes, ActiveCampaign.
For your franchise, having a form system that can be replicated at the touch of a button is big asset, for comparing performance but also for efficiency.
We have also started to use Leadformly, for longer lead generation tools like questionnaires as well as operational tools like holiday forms and sickness management. Depending on how you manage these things internally in your franchise, having a form platform so flexible will allow you to immediately step up in terms of how fluid your business is from both a marketing and an operational process.
- Link thousands of applications together
- Create automations to save time
- Duplication tools to save time for multiple locations
- In-expensive for time saves
Zapier connects the dots between the apps you use every day within your organisation. Whenever we are changing technologies or looking to make a chaotic system more efficient, we check if our new tech is in Zapier first. Using this we were able to link things like our email system to our accounting software or our financial spreadsheets to trigger email notifications.
This technology may sound complicated and it can be BUT if you begin to think simply about certain elements that need automating to make your franchise better, this will lead to a simple starting point. These automations could be:
- Central auto-responder to franchise enquiries
- Automate new contact creation in your accounting software
- Automate proposal sends from your site
- Automate prospectus downloads on your site
- Franchisee support ticker system
- Let me know if you would like to talk about any more, we have a LOT.
- Manage and compare each locations search results
- Manage ad campaigns from a single location
- Manage cross-posting across locations
Many of you have this but fail to set it up centrally to manage locations across the world. Google is a big platform (Not even sure what to call it) and therefore it can be leveraged to manage your multi-location business. Your business is not that complicated for google to handle and their support teams are fantastic. By setting up multi-location and managing your franchisees google presence from a central space, it enables a few ‘company wide’ things:
- Company wide review management
- Company wide adwords management
- Company wide brand/description management
- Company wide SEO reporting
- Company wide a hell of a lot more!
Making use of Google properly is a simple task that can take you to another level and it doesn’t take long to set up.
Which marketing technology should you start with?
GDPR proofed data is worth so much nowadays that we would suggest starting there. Create a data-management system that is either managed centrally or gives your franchisees a place they can go to manage all of their data in a safe and replicate-able way. This central system should act as a major showcase piece and if built correctly, take care of the 3 ‘whys’ we discussed earlier. We would recommend starting here: https://www.activecampaign.com/?_r=37416ZNP
If you would like a free 90-minute marketing audit, we would be happy to provide one. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and the team will get one booked in.
Written by Josh Bardsley