Successful Franchise Marketing [White Paper Included]


Create a Franchise Marketing Plan that Aligns Franchisee and Franchisor

Most franchisors have a robust franchise marketing strategy in place that revolves around advertising. One of the key components of a franchise marketing plan is the advertising fund, a pool of funds that all franchisees contribute to.

A national franchise marketing plan will usually include:

  • Print advertisements in national publications
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Television and radio commercials
  • Internet advertising (ad words, banner ads, retargeting, etc.)
  • Social media
  • Public relations
  • Direct mail

National marketing franchise campaigns that are funded with franchisee fees are great for producing high-quality marketing collateral that normally wouldn’t be financially feasible for a business owner generating less than several million dollars per year in profit. In addition, national franchise marketing campaigns ensure brand consistency — a positive for both franchisors and franchisees alike.

Franchise Marketing at the Local Level

Due to the way franchises are organized, franchise marketing systems often overlook or gloss over the crucial local marketing component. Franchisees (sometimes, wrongly) believe that they don’t have the power to execute a local marketing campaign, when in reality a franchisor may simply not have a franchise marketing system in place to empowers franchisees — and still provides the franchisor with oversight. While franchisees should always receive approval from the franchisor before moving forward with a local marketing plan, they can still identify marketing franchise opportunities and present them to the franchisor.

Franchise-marketing-hierarchyMore often than not, franchisees need to address local marketing, as the franchisor is focusing on promoting the company on a national level.  Currently, well more than half of franchisees are not happy with the marketing support they receive from the franchisor.

Below are some interesting facts that summarize the franchisor and franchisee marketing gap:

  • 64% of franchisees are dissatisfied with the marketing support they receive
  • 53% of marketing executives at franchise firms believe marketing is critical to the franchise’s success
  • 88% of franchisees see locally synchronized national campaigns as a competitive advantage
  • National brands miss 86% of the feedback on social media channels

Example: Potbelly Sandwich

Potbelly Sandwich has built their marketing plan around local marketing. Potbelly provides local organizations and charities with the opportunity to use their locations to host events, in addition to local musicians who use the restaurants as a stage. The company also does an excellent job managing their social media profiles.

Not only does Potbelly reap the benefit of additional promotion from those using its space, it also does an excellent job managing their social media profiles.

As you can see from the tweet below, Potbelly is responding from their franchisor account, but is representing the Burlington, MA location. Tweets like this build loyalty.


Potbelly recently retweeted a Thrilliest Chicago post that highlights their secret menu.  Not only does it promote the Chicago locations, but also builds excitement around their secret menu.
Potbelly Chicago Twitter

Integrating Franchise Marketing with Local Marketing is Key

Franchise marketing white paperIn summary, it’s crucial to localize the marketing message wherever possible —  and to empower local-specific messaging at a regional or single location. A successful

A successful franchise marketing budget should allocate a portion to focus on local online marketing, and not just advertising within a region (as less than 2% of local businesses think pay per click advertising is effective). The messaging needs to be tailored to the region, while considering the area’s demographics and culture and fit into the dynamics of franchise brand control and local franchisee enablement — no small feat.

For a path to a successful local franchise marketing strategy, check out our most recent franchise white paper, Who Owns Local Marketing? Examining the Franchisor/Franchisee Gap. The white paper explores how multi-unit enterprises and franchises can monetize local online marketing and narrow the growing gap between corporate HQ and local retail locations.

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