Franchise Marketing and Advertising: What to Look For

With more than 1,300 different franchise brands in Canada across more than 50 industries, according to the Canadian Franchise Association, finding the ideal fit for you may seem like a daunting task. If you've already narrowed your list down by industry, investment and other general requirements, it's time to take a look at each franchisor's advertising and marking approach. Here's what you need to know to get off to a solid start.

Know the brand and its reputation

You need to understand the franchise's reputation and brand. Without that knowledge, you can't properly evaluate its advertising and marketing strategies. Determine if the company's brand and reputation are well-defined. Advertising is only believable if it supports the brand and its promises. As a prospective franchisee, you should know how your contributions to the advertisement fund are being spent.

Keep the media mix in mind. Customers still listen to the radio and watch TV, but digital and social media are now also essential in any comprehensive media mix. The Toronto Sun reports that Canadians spend around 36.3 hours browsing the web each month, so it's vital that your franchisor devotes some time marketing there.

Ask questions and do some digging

The franchisors you're considering should willingly explain the fundamentals of any regional or national marketing or ad fund you're required to participate in. Ask for samples of past work, from TV commercials and radio spots to direct mail or newspapers ads. You can even search for ads yourself. Past work should give you an idea of the quality of their ad and marketing work. You can also request the table of contents of marketing support guides they supply to franchisees to get a picture of their related training and support.

If there is a marketing fund franchisees must contribute to, find out what level of input and oversight franchisees have for ensuring the money is spent in appropriate ways. These funds are usually controlled by the franchisor when it comes to final decisions, but the level of franchisee participation varies by brand. There is a good chance you will want some say or control over how that money is used.

Talk to franchisees

Current franchisees can give you a pretty solid indication of how well the brand's ad and marketing campaigns work. Ask franchisees about the quality of the programs and, if possible, what complaints or concerns they have.