Business, Online Marketing Franchise Marketing: Its role in developing a successful chain of stores

Two of the points that are gaining more weight in the success of a Franchise network are the Digital Strategy and the Digital Marketing of the organization. The Franchisor has a very difficult role to play, as he has to implement a range of local Marketing  actions to meet the needs of the network, but always remain within the framework of Brand’s overall strategy! Sounds Difficult? It is an extremely delicate exercise requiring specialized collaborators and full use of all available tools!

The definition of Franchise Marketing is about creating a branded online strategy for each franchisee area, always within the overall corporate strategy of Digital. In each region, there is differentiation based on demographics, local competition and seasonality (tourist areas), factors to be taken into consideration in terms of local strategy and effectiveness of projection. As equally important is the balance of the Franchisor – Franchisee relationship to the autonomy of the network.  The Franchisor should ensure that each Franchisee has its own space to promote and support its locality without altering the corporate image and strategy. The Franchisor must continuously train the network so that it can meet its requirements while providing best practice and infrastructure to achieve this goal. The combination of a strong corporate strategy and specialized local presence is a serious factor in the development of a franchise network. For the implementation of such a Franchise Marketing strategy, the tools used by the Franchisor will also play an important role. Let us look generally at the tools and online tools that need to be exploited, and in the following articles we will specify the use of each tool with best practices and case studies.

Website structure .
It is now self-evident that the website must be fast, safe and accessible from any device (Adaptive). At the same time, it must encourage users to get in touch with the company and have an SEO strategy to ensure a decent presence in organic search engine positions. This is not a normal thing, rather than a subsite structure where each location will have its own presence in Brand’s overall design. In this way, the Franchisee can bring out content from its local market, news and photos, while enhancing the Local SEO of the page. However, the structure of the subsite also serves to analyze the data later, as through analytics we can obtain data for each location and not just for the parent company.

Social Media.
Perhaps social networks are the most difficult tool, as there is a lot of confusion between the Social and the Advertising side of the available media. Thus, we notice that anyone who has a personal profile in Social Media, often calls himself a “social media expert”. Posting has become the predominant media viewer in Social Media without any analysis, measurement, A / B testing, or any communication strategy. And while for most people the job ends with the publication of a Post, that’s the point where the social media work begins.Α significant differentiation especially for Facebook, is the use of Facebook Locations and the analysis of these data by region to differentiate the strategy according to each region. It is also necessary to create a Social Media Guideline, on the basis of which Franchisees get a guideline in order to be able to contribute to the overall Social Media strategy.

PPc (Pay Per click).
Advertising is necessary in a Franchise network both in B2B level (creating leads for prospective Franchisees), B2C (to boost sales locally) but also to support and develop the corporate brand. The available tools can serve the local strategy around each Franchisee, increasing efficiency and at the same time protecting the franchisee’s area of ​​responsibility.

Google My Business now plays a major role in these campaigns as it is perhaps the most important local presence and viewing tool. Complementary, but not inferior to previous channels, is the use of e-mail marketing, local SEO, and Youtube for which we will devote an entire article in the coming period. As well as managing brand reputation, through the effective management of comments on the available means.

Βut today we will close with what most brands are unaware of, as clicks and impressions have dominated over the last few years instead of the use of endless data offered by Online Advertising. In the forefront of Digital Strategy will come the analysis of brand data and their transformation into essential information for the company.

Especially Franchisors, have more reasons to look for this business information as this will help make meaningful business decisions to support and develop the Franchise network. The Franchisor has more than ever needed these local strategies to make the most of the advertising budget, channel it efficiently at every point in the network and get the best result for every franchisee.

And if till now days,  franchisees did not ask about Franchisor’s Local Digital Strategy, be sure that very soon the Digital Network Strategy will be one of the most important Franchise selection factors.

Kostas Pantis
Digital Marketing Strategist
Pulse Media Director

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