How to Plan your Franchise Marketing Plan

While you will likely buy into a business that already has a robust marketing and advertising platform, you may still find that doing some of your own will create the best results.

As with the business plan, it's not complicated, simply a written series of steps that you intend to take to promote your business. How you do it is up to the needs of your business, the value of a given marketing tool, and the time and resources you have to put into the effort.

Marketing options are varied, let's look at some of them and some of the things they can do. Knowing why they work helps decide about which to use and how:

  1. Website
    1. When
      1. At the beginning of your business
      2. Updated as needed for business changes, ie
        1. Service changes
        2. Pricing
        3. Location changes
        4. Web technology changes
    2. Why it's used
      1. For many franchise organizations there is both a master site and a template option for franchisees to use locally. In some cases these are mandated by the agreement.
      2. These give the important information about location, hours, personnel, and business function.
  2. Newsletters
    1. When
      1. if done regularly, ie daily, weekly, monthly, and at predictable times, but some newsletter is better than no newsletter.
      2. If not regular, then as events occur
    2. Why it's used
      1. It keeps your business front of mind for your existing and potential clients and customers.
      2. It provides an opportunity to highlight your best work.
      3. It can help position you as a leader in the community, central to its business function.
  3. Social Media
    1. When
      1. This should be regular or not at all, your plan should be realistic about your commitment. An untended social media presence can be hacked without your knowledge and doesn't look good to anyone who finds it 3 years out of date. If you are not using it, take it offline.
    2. Why it's used
      1. Inform customers of sales, events and accomplishments
      2. Lets them know that you are current
      3. Dialogue with customers and supporters
      4. Meet business suppliers and partners and develop these relationships
      5. Learn about trends important to your business
  4. Events
    1. When
      1. Openings, anniversaries, product launches
    2. Why
      1. Generating excitement
      2. Meeting customers, suppliers and partners
  5. Advertising/Flyers/Posters
    1. When
      1. When you have events, sales and accomplishments to promote and there is an opportunity and budget to post or distribute them.
    2. Why it's used
      1. Longevity: while best for current offerings, one of the nice things about print media is that it's often discovered or kept long after the fact... How many established companies are known to us through “Vintage Advertising� that they continue to be able to leverage?
      2. Information about hours, sales, location
  6. Associations and Clubs
    1. Why
      1. Great for business development
    2. When
      1. For this you need to be able to devote not only money for fees and programs, but also time for participation.

Consider which of these are best for the kind of business you have, which you are best able to execute with the time and resources you have, and which you will include as you are able.

List them in the order of importance to your business and feasibility. Indicate how often you will engage in each tactic and how much money, time, and effort you will expend on each.

Future articles will look into various tactics in greater detail, come back soon to read the next installment.

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