Franchise Marketing: Overcoming Top Digital Marketing Challenges

Marketing is the crucial ingredient in the success of the franchise. Yet, most franchise owners and marketing executives focus too much on performance marketing instead of building a brand. Franchise marketing is all about becoming a household name in your market. 

Branding helps you create and sustain a presence, whether expanding an existing franchise or developing a new one. Performance marketing, like SEO or PPC, is much better when there’s an existing marketing platform.

It’s much easier to use an existing content library, repurpose it, and use it for growth. Keep reading to learn how to approach franchise marketing for consistent branding and development.


A Misconception About Franchise Marketing

Franchises have centralized and decentralized marketing structures, and the difference between them is in the alignment to the core of operations. 

A centralized franchise is like a classic corporate marketing structure. It has a unified brand image with a great similarity between the products/services and the core brand – the main brand has power over different business units. A decentralized structure offers multiple products/services with not much similarity between what is offered, thus requiring different managing teams each having their own customers, marketing approaches, initiatives, and pricing strategies.

You must develop a marketing strategy to attract clients regardless of your structure. That way, starting with content marketing, SEO, or PPC is like building a house without a foundation. 

Of course, you’ll use both SEO and PPC, but you’ll do it in later stages of business. First, you have to build a foundation for your franchise marketing.

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4 Biggest Digital Marketing Problems Franchisors Face

Imagine that you just moved your franchise to a new market. You have two choices: using existing content assets or creating entirely new content. When you consider time, money, and resources, it makes much more sense to use existing content and localize it. 

Localizing the content means you’ll take existing content and appropriate it for the new market. Also, you could repurpose the content and use it for both print and digital. 

Owners and marketing executives often spend the least time on this task. Most claim to have problems with the localization of materials, timing, resources, or budget.


1. Marketing Campaigns and Local materials  

Established franchises have a content library ready for business owners to use once they get a license. However, you must edit materials for the local market before publishing them.

The most significant hurdle to franchise marketing is localizing content. For example, Marketing Execs are responsible for putting together a unified marketing strategy for about 20 franchisees. 

They have to coordinate the latest version of the artwork and translation and make each design fit into different social media sizes. That’s a lot of work if they communicate with each marketing team in those 20 franchisees. 

So, Marketing Managers have to:

  • Align marketing strategies (centralize them) 
  • Communicate with individual marketing teams 
  • Ensure that everything is published on schedule 

But, to align franchisees, you still have to edit the materials for each franchise. During the editing process, address: 

  • Copy
  • Prices 
  • Product info 

The hard part is getting it all together. That requires adequate technology, knowledge, and organization or an enterprise tool.


2. Timing 

While marketing localization is essential, it’s even more important to do it at the right time. For example, you may want to run a discount or a giveaway to promote your business. 

Another major thing is to keep your brand consistent. Ensuring your franchise marketing works like a well-oiled machine gives you room to grow your business

Then, marketing becomes more straightforward while focusing on business development and sales. Yet, you want to keep your brand immediately recognizable. That means that you need visuals and graphics for: 

  • Website
  • Social media
  • Fliers
  • Print 
  • Emails

But, these visuals have to stay consistent with the brand guidelines. Your franchise will look untrustworthy if your customers get a different style for social media design, print, and website.


3. Resources

So, you’ll have to allocate resources for franchise marketing. Here, resources refer to human resources or employees involved with marketing tasks. 

If you run a small company, these tasks will be the whole team’s responsibility. More prominent companies have marketing departments, with marketing executives, managers, and specialists for these tasks.  

Yet, marketing teams always want to tackle long-term strategies without much attention to building their brand. You could attribute that to the way companies want to spend their budgets.


4. Budget 

Franchise owners consider franchise marketing a tool to get the most sales and leads possible. They may approach hiring a marketing team or work with an agency with an idea of a long-term performance strategy. 

In reality, they want to pay to see a return on investment in the first few months of investing in marketing. 

That’s the mistake most franchise owners make, and they fail to notice that a franchise became a franchise due to solid branding. Instead of measuring their success in marketing data, they should try to replicate the brand. 

A brand is the foundation and source of growth for franchisees, and many owners fail to recognize that. 


Why Franchises Struggle With Marketing 

The reason why franchises struggle with marketing is that they lack proper tools and brand consistency. 

Using a bunch of tools for your marketing requires that you expand the budget, and that means more money spent with lower ROI and unclear results. Instead, you could focus on building your brand through content.

Change the way you manage your marketing materials across your entire franchise network

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How to Improve Franchise Marketing

If you want to improve your franchise marketing, you could use Desygner Enterprise Solution. Take a moment to read how Coldwell Banker and Keller Williams Realty franchises used Desygner for franchise marketing.  

In both cases, these franchises are used for digital asset management, content governance, and building content governance models. Or, you could say that Desygner helps these franchises create content, store and distribute digital assets, enforce their brand, and delegate marketing tasks.

Manage Digital Assets 

First, you want to start using Digital Asset Management software. Digital asset management is a system to host and share graphic content. 

DAM lets you manage everything from icons, images, visuals, videos, and text. It has another feature that helps you build and store templates for your business. 

Imagine that you opened up a franchise at a new location. You have an existing content library that you import into the DAM. Then, you pick the best-performing content in the DAM and create branded templates. 

Now, you can go into Desygner and set who has access to specific assets. For example, you may give access to certain assets to your social media team. 

Then, each user on the social media team gets access to the platform, and they can create content in minutes. Instead of building everything step by step, you can complete the whole content creation process beforehand. 

In the case of Keller Williams Realty, it helped them build over 3000 templates for their customers. And they can customize them on the spot! 


Build a Marketing Hub For Users 

Once you import the content, it’s time to create a Corporate Marketing Hub for your employees. The hub’s purpose is to customize a working space for your employees to manage and create content. 

For Coldwell Banker, the marketing hub helped them share and create content among 60 franchises! They had a special use for Desygner since they had to prepare a lot of content for print. 

Another helpful feature of a Corporate Marketing Hub is that creators can collaborate with the rest of the marketing team. For example, your marketing team may want to run a Facebook ads campaign and need an ad visual. 

Your content creators can create the visual, upload it and store it for later use. If they need inspiration, they can browse old visuals and find the best performers. 

However, integration with other tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign is truly redeeming. Unlike with other design tools, you can connect with tools you regularly use with Desygner. Another thing is that you can use Adobe Indesign Alternative for Mac, Linux, and Windows to save time and upscale productivity.

That gives you a much better workflow and reduces the learning curve, even more so if you consider brand consistency. 


Enforce Brand Guidelines 

Brand Guidelines Enforcer is one of the best tools in the Desygner enterprise set. It sets the restrictions on edits. 

It’s about making your brand look consistent on all platforms. For example, imagine that you employ a new social media team, and their task is to create content for Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. 

Your social media team may use the same visuals but must edit them for their respective platforms. Each social media team member has to make specific edits, and you don’t want to risk uploading a poor visual on your pages. 

You don’t have to worry about it with a brand guidelines enforcer. It allows you to set how much users may edit each content asset.  

Also, you can restrict how much users may share without your authorization. That way, you can prevent any user from misusing your content. 


Customize for The Local Market 

Finally, Designer allows you to use the Marketing Localization Engine. The Marketing Localization Engine is an AI tool that helps you localize content for different markets in less time. 

Desygner AI helps you craft a template and multiply it for multilingual campaigns. Instead of building each template set for a different franchise location, let Desygner handle it. 

Marketing Localization Engine helps you localize content at scale and personalize it for specific markets. So, if you have to build 10 similar campaigns, it’s much easier to localize it with Desygner. 

You can tag assets, set specific rules for each market, and let AI multiply the templates. But, what matters more than that is how you use all these features together.

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Different Approach to Franchise Marketing

Sometimes, the best marketing isn’t about traditional marketing at all. Instead, it would help if you were looking at how to use what you already got

Trying to make performance marketing from the start could prove a waste of time and resources. It would be much better to set a foundation for your brand and establish it.


Performance Marketing is a Long-Term Game 

When people talk about digital marketing, they think about content marketing, SEO, or PPC marketing. These marketing methodologies make perfect sense for almost any business, but franchise marketing differs. 

When you think about a franchise, it’s a developed, branded business expanding through a hybrid ownership structure. Unlike a regular company, your goal isn’t to create a brand for your business but to introduce it to a new market. 

Paying ads or ranking for keywords creates additional confusion since you are competing against your company. And performance marketing makes more sense when you establish your presence in the market. 

Until you become a relevant force in the market, your goal should be to establish your brand. For that, you have to set the foundation. For that, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.


Set the Foundation

Building a foundation for a franchise is much easier if you use all content and tools available. It’s much easier to appropriate the content instead of developing everything again. 

Foundation is more than having enough social media visuals to publish for a month. Building a foundation is more about training employees, providing the team with a job aid on implementing the different tasks, setting up campaigns, and building a brand presence.

Then, consider creating templates for business documents. Once you have that, you have enough graphics, visuals, and templates for all business, sales, and marketing purposes.


Establish the Brand 

Clients won’t remember the messaging on your website, but they’ll remember the look of the document they have to sign. Creating memorable visual experiences is the best way to market your franchise. 

There’ll be time to optimize your marketing, but that comes later. With verified business formulas, you could achieve more with less if you have the right content. 

Get as much content as possible, create templates, and launch your campaigns. It’s all possible with Desygner.


Localize Your Marketing

Desygner is a solution that could help you localize your marketing efforts. Of course, there are other ways to market a franchise. 

However, there aren’t many other ways to be efficient and successful about it. To learn how Desygner could help you, schedule a demo with us

Content creation is much simpler with the right tools. It works so much better when you have five enterprise tools in a single app.

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