Though franchise businesses often benefit from marketing done by parent organizations, local franchise marketing strategies can enhance customer acquisition, engagement, relationships and loyalty even more.
A franchise parent company’s national marketing efforts may create significant brand awareness; however, the traits that local consumers look for in a business aren’t conveyed in national marketing, they can only be communicated at the local level. These local franchise marketing strategies can help you connect with local consumers on top of the marketing done at the national level by your franchise business’ parent company.
4 Local Franchise Marketing Strategies Enhance Parent Company Support
1. Local Word of Mouth Marketing for Franchise Businesses
Reviews are the new word of mouth; 9 out of ten consumers trust them as much as personal recommendations. Ensuring that your franchise location is getting reviews from local consumers on Yelp, Facebook, Google and similar review sites tells local residents that your location follows through on the promises made in the franchise’s national marketing campaigns.
Your franchise word of mouth marketing strategy can also be enhanced through your involvement in the community through give-back programs and by participating in local business networking, Chamber of Commerce and similar groups. If you have space to host a business or networking group, your franchise location could benefit even more by bringing likely customers and likely word of mouth referrers into your business on a regular basis.
2. Local Social Media Marketing for Franchise Businesses
Your franchise’s parent company may have national social media profile pages; however, that does little to help your franchise location connect with members of your local target market. If your parent company offers the opportunity to create branch pages, make sure that you are taking advantage of the opportunity.
Local residents may be aware of your franchise’s national brand, but that doesn’t mean they are aware of your location. Use the best practices that any small business would use on social networks for your franchise business location’s social media page, including hyper-local targeting of sponsored posts and ads.
3. Personal, Personalized Email Marketing for Franchise Businesses
Assuming your franchise organization doesn’t prohibit email marketing at the local level, your franchise business can use email marketing to put a personal spin on your franchise location, even for the most well-known of franchise brands. Using your email marketing to highlight team members, talk about community activities and tell local customer’s stories bring your location’s marketing down to the local level. Personalizing emails with offers and information specifically relevant to people who live in geographic area is another great way to put a personal touch on a national brand.
You may be able to use your point of sale credit card processing solution to collect customer emails at each transaction by offering to send a receipt via email (rather than print) or subscribing the customer up for future sales, discounts and loyalty programs.
4. Loyalty and Retention Marketing for Franchise Businesses
Loyalty and retention is another area that national brand marketing activities have little ability to influence, since it begins and ends with the customer experience. Likewise, your parent company may have a loyalty or rewards program, but if your franchise location is not actively promoting its use with local residents, its ability to influence your customers to come back or make personal referrals may render these programs completely ineffective.
Here, again, is where your payment transaction credit card processing equipment and software can help you grow. When customers receive loyalty rewards or points automatically every time they make a purchase, they perceive increased value in choosing to do business with you over other local competitors.
Strengthen Parent Company Marketing Activities with 4 Local Franchise Marketing Strategies
The International Franchise Association (IFA) Franchise Business Economic Outlook projects another good year of economic growth for the franchise industry. The sectors growing the most among franchise businesses include:
- personal services
- lodging and accommodations
- business services
- quick-service restaurants
- retail products and services
- commercial and residential services
With an outlook for growth and the marketing support provided as an inherent benefit enjoyed by most franchise business owners, your franchise stands to benefit even more if you add local franchise marketing strategies to the mix, because local marketing gives members of your target audience what they say they want most in relationships with local businesses:
- 86% – customer service, customer-focused
- 84% – personal, intimate, human, face-to-face
- 84% – knows the customer and their needs
- 84% – easy to do business with
- 83% – local, close by and convenient
- 82% – reliable, consistent, there when you need them
- 81% – owner-operated, committed, accountable
(Source: Web.com and Toluna, “Consumer and Small Business Perception Survey”)