It’s every franchisor’s dream: The business you started out of your home kitchen has turned into a restaurant with multiple locations. You’re now the CEO of your own franchise, and you’re ready to keep your business growing and thriving through a creative franchise marketing campaign on both the local and national levels.
As a franchise grows, however, it can sometimes be difficult for franchisors to keep up with individual franchisees’ marketing efforts. Nevertheless, it’s important to do — business leaders have to know which national, regional and local marketing campaigns are leading to increased success and growth.
Fortunately, there are a few metrics that will help franchisors measure the progress of a franchisee’s approach to local marketing:
- Online traffic and number of guests: If franchisees are marketing locally during specific hours, are they seeing an increase in customers or online orders based on local marketing? Implement digital and on-site systems to track conversions.
- Promotional offers:Are customers redeeming offers that franchisees have distributed through email, texts, direct mail, apps or loyalty programs? Track who is redeeming them, their proximity to a location, what form of offer is redeemed most often and which locations are seeing the most redemptions.
- Social media growth and online reviews:More likes and followers mean there are more customers to promote the franchise brand, share specials, offer positive reviews and make recommendations. Make sure your posts are being promoted, and consider a clicks-to-website campaign to encourage online ordering.
- Customer acquisition cost: For the restaurant industry, customer acquisition cost is critical. Consider testing across platforms — a promotion on Facebook will produce different results from one on Yelp or Instagram, for example — and looking at cost per click for each platform you’re using.
Tracking and analyzing these metrics will help franchisors monitor their franchisees’ marketing success and will reveal the areas where franchisees’ efforts aren’t up to par.
Reacting to Strategic Metrics
If data suggests that some franchisees’ campaigns aren’t succeeding or leading to growth, all is not lost. At that point, the franchisor must determine the best path going forward.
First, franchisors should prioritize marketing channels based on each location’s target audience and market. There are many platforms and channels to choose from, but if you spread your resources too thin, your ads might not be seen by potential customers. If a franchisee wants to target teens, for example, its focus should be on social media and online marketing.
Franchisors should also remember to give franchisees some breathing room to do what works best for their regions. Marketers must consider differing goals and budgets to determine the best strategy for a specific area. If one location wants to prioritize ads to increase lunchtime traffic while another wants to promote its Tuesday family deal, let them do so. Their marketing strategies will be different, but their goal of increasing business is the same.
Finally, franchisors should look for quality, not quantity. Many digital agencies advertise a high click-through rate and low cost per click, but campaigns that produce those results often target an audience that includes only existing customers. Franchisors’ strategies should aim to pinpoint their target demographics and should also reach new potential clients. The resulting click-through rate might be slightly lower and the cost per click might increase, but connecting with both audiences is key to growth.
As franchises expand, it can be tough to keep up with each franchisee’s efforts and ensure every location’s actions are leading to growth. But if franchisors keep track of a few strategic metrics, focus on targeted local marketing, and loosen the reins on franchisees’ individual tactics, they’ll likely see a growing customer base and increased marketing success.