What Your Franchisees REALLY Think About Your Marketing
Posted On Aug 24, 2015 in Franchise Marketing by Chris Barr

Franchisor/Franchisee Relationship
As a franchisor, you often enjoy a seamless and drama-free relationship with your franchisees. Think about it – most of the operational processes, price points, branding efforts, hiring practices, and inventory controls are non-issues.

The franchise, generally as a whole, operates from the same “playbook” on a daily basis.

If there is one section in the “playbook” where franchisors and franchisees don’t always see eye to eye, it’s the marketing.

It is no coincidence that marketing is also the most important driver of a franchisee’s success or failure. The stakes are high and your franchisee values sales, awareness, and business growth above all else.

Like any other working professional, your franchisee has bills to pay, mouths to feed, employees to pay, and probably works extremely long hours, often under tremendous pressure.

No matter how solid your franchisor/franchisee relationship is, remember that your franchisee will put his or her own financial security above all else. This will never change.

So why does marketing cause so much tension? There are several reasons:

Marketing Expectations: One of the primary incentives for a franchisees to join a franchise, is the ability to capitalize on an established brand and harness the power of sophisticated, corporate-supported marketing. However, once the “honeymoon” phase ends, many franchisees believe that franchisors do not put in enough effort to advertise their products and services at the local level. According to a recent survey, 64%* of franchisees are “somewhat disappointed” with the level and quality of support they receive. In short, “on-going” marketing provided by the franchisor does not meet the expectations of the franchisee. *Source: Yodle Franchisee Survey, 2013.

Poor Return on Investment (ROI): Most franchisees are disappointed with their ROI or frustrated with the franchisor for not providing access to analytics (for both online and offline marketing campaigns). One of the biggest challenges facing franchisees is a franchisor’s preoccupation with branding. While branding is powerful, it is not a form of direct marketing and does not always drive sales at the local level. Franchisees want dedicated offers delivered directly into the hands of prospective customers. Direct marketing also provides franchisees with an answer to the most important question: “For every X dollars I invest into marketing, what is my ROI?”

Too Much Digital, Not Enough Traditional: If you’re the franchisor, you probably love digital marketing. It’s fast, easy to test and track, and most importantly, it’s pretty cheap. But if you are the franchisee, you’ve probably got a much different view. Most franchisees view digital marketing as a medium better suited for customer retention, and branding, as opposed to a driver of transactions. And in this case, the franchisee is right. While digital ads can be effective in their own right, science has proven that traditional marketing (offline) is far superior when it comes to generating transactions.

Franchise Direct Mail PlatformFranchisees Want Locally-Targeted Direct Mail: Franchisees expect marketing to be simple: Give the consumer a reason to purchase, and they will. In essence, that’s what good marketing does. And more importantly, the latest, most advanced research available, confirms that direct mail is king (see the data below).

A recent study by True Impact Marketing, a leading neuromarketing research and strategy firm, proved that consumers who received offline advertisements were able to recall the brand/offer 75% of the time. Consumers who viewed the same ads in digital formats were only able to recall the brand/offer 44% of the time.

The research firm reports that, “Direct mail taps into deep-seated neurological processes that trigger action… It is better suited to close the marketing-sales loop, or the gap between interaction and action.”

More Findings from the Research:

·         Direct mail is easier to understand and more memorable than digital media
It requires 21% less cognitive effort to process and elicits a much higher brand recall

·         Direct mail is far more persuasive then digital media
Its motivation response is 20% higher – even more-so if it appeals additional senses beyond touch

·         Direct mail is visually processed in less time than digital media
when considered in concert with its higher motivation and lower cognitive load, this suggests the message gets across to the consumer, faster

·         Direct mail is more likely to drive action than digital media
Surpassing the important motivation-to-cognitive load threshold of 1.

Motivation-to-Cognitive Load Ratio – By Media Format

  • Physical Media Average (Postcards, Dimensional Mailers, Etc): 1.33
  • Digital Media Average (Email, Banner Ads, Etc) : 0.86

*Source: Canada Post / True Impact Marketing, Understanding the Impact of Physical Communications through Neuroscience, February 2015

In closing, the franchisor/franchisee relationship can be both simple and complex. Just as in a marriage, there must be understanding, trust, respect, and confidence between both parties in order to achieve success.

As a franchisor, it is your responsibility to provide franchisees with the brand-approved tools and resources that they require. From an email campaign builder, to in-store displays, to an all-inclusive franchise direct mail platform, your franchisees look to you to lead the way.