In franchising, there are generally two types of advertising and marketing strategies. The first, often referred to as ‘global’ advertising and marketing, is usually implemented by the Franchisor and is funded by the advertising and marketing levy paid by franchisees. Examples include yellow pages, newspaper advertising, T.V., radio, P.O.S. (point of sale) posters, counter stands, brochures etc.
The second is ‘local area’ marketing and advertising, and is usually implemented and funded by the franchisee. Some Franchisors provide local area marketing support in the form of funding assistance, materials, and proven methods. Ensure your business is spotless. Make sure your product is presented in a tidy, organized manner. Remember, your customers can see behind the counter too – impress them. Even if it’s not your responsibility, make sure the area surrounding your business is clean and tidy.
We all know business is tough, and in order to maximize your returns, you need to ‘go the extra mile’ to promote your business. The better franchise owners add value to their business by enjoying the benefits of the ‘global’ promotions and overlaying their own ‘local area’ promotions.
As each franchise system, location, and franchisee is different – there is no perfect model to market your business in your local area. Here are 9 ideas to get your brain into action!
1. Loyalty Cards
Discounting is not good for your image – value adding is much better! A good example is the ice-cream and juice franchise that offers shopping center staff a card that entitles them to every fifth juice free!
2. Free Samples
Let potential customers experience your product! How about the bakery café franchise that hands out freshly baked bread samples at the front of their stores.
3. Cross Promotions
You scratch my back – I’ll scratch yours! When the next Harry Potter book comes out, why don’t you team up with the local bookstore franchise – you can hand out a Harry Potter voucher to your customers, they can hand out your voucher to their customers!
Build that repeat-business! So you own a café franchise – have you approached a local real estate company and offered your business as a place to conduct their Monday morning sales meeting?
5. Customer of the month
Do something different – create excitement! Every month, one of your customers is randomly selected and their purchase is refunded in full! They also are awarded with life-membership of your business, which entitles them to something special at every visit (such as a complimentary coffee) – plus you’ll never forget their name.
6. Feedback forms
Promote the fact that you are constantly improving your business! Make your feedback forms discreet and easy for your customers to fill out and hand in. Choose one suggestion per week and tell the world how you listened and took action!
7. Sponsor a local hero
Feel good and do good! There is always someone in your community who could use some financial support for a good cause. How about the bakery café owner who advertised that the value of every muffin sold for 1 month would be donated to a local hero raising money for charity!
8. Free Footy Tipping Competition
Every week they make contact with you! Pitch in for a decent prize such as $500 or $1000 and offer all your customers the chance to join your footy tipping competition – free. You’ll create a real community buzz (and probably make the local paper too!)
9. Promote your point of difference
What makes you better than your competitor? Tell your customers why they should choose you. Have you heard about the dentist who promoted that if you felt any pain he would refund your money twice over? Or the coffee bar that guaranteed every customer a newspaper would be available to read with his or her coffee?
Steve Finn wrote this article. Steve is an advisor to Franchisors, Franchisees, and Potential Franchisees.