Owning a franchise comes with the built-in benefit of being part of a larger company that has already established brand awareness in the marketplace. While you can take advantage of a franchiser’s large-scale marketing campaigns, you must also remember that you are responsible for your own success. Now that you’ve purchased a franchise, be sure to avoid these common marketing mistakes so that you can watch your new business grow at a local level.
Relying Too Heavily On the Parent Company’s Marketing Plan
One of the things that may have attracted you to the parent company is their well-planned marketing strategy that has established them as a leader in the industry. While having access to marketing materials and content that is already developed gives you a leg up for getting your franchise off and running, you must create a plan that works at the local level to make sure that your business goes the distance. Take a look at what the parent company already offers, and then use this information to help you figure out the gaps you need to fill in your local advertising strategies.
Using Inconsistent Marketing Materials
Your company brand has established components such as a logo, colors and motto that all help to generate a sense of reliability and trustworthiness that keeps customers coming back. While new franchisees need to develop their own marketing plan, you also want to avoid veering too far off course since this could inadvertently make your business seem to consumers as if it is unaffiliated with the parent company. Make sure that any materials that you develop such as brochures and signage all work seamlessly and fit into any guidelines that are associated with the marketing plan already in place by the franchiser.
Forgetting the Power of Location-Specific Marketing
Franchisers tend to target their marketing efforts to a widespread audience. While you can bet that your customers will visit the main company website and see advertisements in public places, you also want to make sure that your franchise stands out from local competitors. If your parent company allows it, increase your visibility online by joining local business directories and begin building a presence on social media. This way, your franchise will start to be one of the first things people see when they search online for your company’s products or services.
Ignoring Online Reviews
Parent companies often have people appointed to handle national or worldwide publicity matters. However, they rarely step in to manage minor issues that arise at the local level. Unfortunately, consumers tend to choose the company that has the highest ratings online, and even a single negative review pushes your franchise to the bottom of the list. Appoint someone in your company to respond to online comments from customers that pertain directly to your franchise. Remember that even a negative review can be turned into a positive one if you handle the situation in a way that demonstrates a genuine desire to serve the community.
Focusing On Only One Area of Marketing
When a strategy works, it is tempting to keep working on that angle. However, the best marketing plans cover all the bases. Once you find that a strategy is working, continue to look at how it works with every area of your marketing plan. From advertising promotions to making sure that the interior of your store represents the brand, continuing to refine your strategies helps your franchise grow.
Learning from the mistakes of other franchise owners that have come before you allows you to save time and money by implementing the lessons directly in your initial marketing plans. By understanding how to balance your marketing strategies with those of the parent company, you can ensure that your franchise is a success.