How a Digital Agency Can Help Your Franchise Marketing Team Leap (and Sleep) – Part 3

We’re thrilled to welcome guest author Drue Townsend, CEO at An Outside View Consulting and veteran marketer with over 30 years’ experience in franchising, to the site to provide her incredible insight and franchise marketing expertise. In this initial three-part blog series, Drue outlines the top ten ways the right digital marketing agency can help you move your franchise business forward (and allow you and your team to get some sleep).

Be sure to read part one and part two of our series, if you missed them previously.

If you are like other marketing leaders, your role is ever-expanding. Whether you are developing new strategies to create revenue-generating leads, reviewing new marketing software tools, executing a new initiative launch, or communicating last months results to ownership, you likely have a limited number of supporting team members, and limited funds to hire and train additional people. While no one on the outside will know your business as well as you and your internal team, working with external marketing agencies can quickly extend your team’s bandwidth, and as importantly, their knowledge and expertise.

In part one of this three-part series, we focused on three core areas: Strategy Development and Extension, Competitive Analysis and Budget Planning & Recommendations. In part two of the series, Drue digs into tactical recommendations for media planning, content planning, franchise owner education, and testing new opportunities. Now, for the final installment:

8. Measurement Optimization & Data Analysis

Knowing what you want to measure – and how it impacts your KPI’s – is critical to the success of your marketing programs and to the growth of your business.

When it comes to digital marketing, you can measure almost anything. However, digging into volumes and volumes of campaign and analytics data is time-consuming, often siloed in different marketing tools, technology stacks or corporate databases, and formatted in ways that make comparisons and general analysis difficult for key stakeholders.  Creating a closed-loop reporting environment (or data dashboard) can take hours of time on behalf of multiple people, and it can often incur human error when juggling different data environments (or even spreadsheets)!

An experienced digital marketing agency should provide your team with a structured data dashboard with real-time (or almost real-time) results across all  campaigns and digital marketing tactics (i.e., paid and non-paid search, local listing data, organic and paid social media, programmatic, reputation management) for both brand campaigns and individual local Franchisee campaigns. Having the both brand data and location-level data integrate in a meaningful way can provide great value to both the Franchisor’s marketing team and individual Franchisees. Not only can this data be used in other internal reporting in a “roll up” system view, but also to help support individual Franchisees in understanding how their marketing investment is translating to real business outcomes and results. Having this wealth of information also serves as a permanent record of activity for future resale franchise buyers, new team members (corporate team and agency) and future “look back” corporate needs.

Having data is only one part of the equation; someone also needs to understand how to interpret the data by looking for trends and anomalies, and then be able to turn insights into actions. This can be accomplished in tandem with a data-driven digital marketing agency and your corporate team, ideally with a data strategist helping to merge data and provide valuable quantitative analysis.

9. Governance

How often do you hear from a Franchisee that another Franchisee is running local marketing in too many competing areas or running old or unapproved creative messaging? How about finding a competitor buying your brand name and using it illegally in ad copy, or worse yet, infringing on your brand by copying your logo or picking up copy directly from your website or app?

Are you confident you are as knowledgeable as you should be about consumer privacy requirements, ADA compliance or laws regarding advertising certain products?

Franchisors that truly view their digital agency as an extension of their team that lives and breathes “all things digital” often benefit from strategic consultation that goes above and beyond simple marketing execution.  A digital partner that is aware of the specifics of your Franchise Agreement regarding advertising “do’s and don’ts”, territory requirements, and online policies can also be another set of eyes and ears that help you enforce brand marketing guidelines with Franchisees and support owners in ensuring best practices for local marketing are followed, maximizing visibility and opportunity without creating unnecessary competition and wasting precious marketing spend. Franchisors that simply view their agency as a “vendor” or “supplier”, only focused on marketing execution, are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to integrate marketing with operations, compliance, and more, to the benefit of the brand and business.

10. Ramp New Locations for Grand Openings

A digital marketing agency should go beyond your “always on” brand and local marketing programs to also develop specific marketing programs and campaigns designed to help you launch newly opened locations. These can be targeted to very specific areas or they can span regions, and be executed across a variety of online media including search, websites, social media, and more, so that when your newest franchise location opens for business you already have an established local digital presence and a built in prospective customer base to tap into.

Once a new local territory is sold, decisions can be made regarding timing for the Franchisee to begin running local “Coming Soon” campaigns, designed to drive both location/brand awareness, launch promotional efforts and establish direct response from local prospective customers out of the gate. Too often, many franchisors assume that the equity behind their brand will deliver customers upon opening a new location but by having a mapped out “grand opening” strategy in place at least 90 days in advance can provide significant incremental lift in new customers and loyal brand advocates.

In Summary

Digital marketing continues to be big business, and it continues to take budget dollars away from traditional marketing, media and tactics. Why? Because we have become such a connected society through the power of innovative technology and digital media, and we can literally do almost anything on our personal phones, tablets and computers when it comes to finding information about a brand, business, product or service. While there are countless agencies and vendors that offer digital marketing services, a great deal of them do not provide value in terms of strategic thinking, data analysis and technology integration, franchise owner support or thoughtful innovation that helps your brand and business stay ahead of the competition in an increasingly complex landscape. I’m proud to be a marketing and franchising executive for more than 30 years, and have had the personal experience of working with Location3 for over 15 years in a variety of capacities. My hope is that you’ve found some actionable takeaways from this blog series, and if you feel it may be time to take the next step forward with your own digital strategy, I encourage you to contact the incredible team at Location3 for an introductory discussion. Thank you for reading!

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