Leveraging Marketing Technology and Transparency to Drive Franchisee Success
Marketing technology and automation provide cost-efficient, cutting-edge tools that are intuitive and easy to use.
Unlike any other time in the history of marketing, competition demands that today’s marketers must be creative as always, but they must also be technologically thorough and financially savvy to compete effectively.
The definition of marketing technology and automation is typically cloud or server-based software that automates repetitive marketing tasks. For many, that might include email marketing platforms, social media marketing solutions, aggregated performance metrics, automation of appropriate messaging, drip marketing/nurturing, campaign analysis and many more features that are widely available.
At the heart of this article is a paradox − marketing technologies and automation are everywhere, but when acquired like so many a la carte items on a restaurant menu, these disparate tools provide you with little ability to get a complete picture of your market and campaign performance.
Survey Says …
Franchisees continue to place ever-increasing pressure upon their marketing departments to provide them with what they hope is that elusive silver bullet. Conversely marketers have this impending sense that they are falling further behind competitors and respond by providing the latest marketing technology or “campaign du jour” without consideration of how these disparate silos will be reconciled further down the road.
Our study of franchise best practices has demonstrated that the more disparate marketing lifelines you throw to franchisees, coupled with an absence of proven return on investment, the more confusion, expense and subsequent challenges you’ll have in maintaining your franchisees’ trust and buy-in.
After a while, frustration sets in and franchisees may simply give up, retreating to other less essential activities within their businesses.
To illustrate, the results of a FranConnect survey of franchise CEOs and marketers illustrate key opportunities for improvement. Is it any wonder that survey results reported that only 30 percent of franchisees spend the local marketing allocation required in the franchise agreement or spend more than 10 percent of their time actively making and keeping customers? There’s simply no way to coach or hold franchisees accountable.
We are faced with three critical issues:
1. Marketing is complex and needs to be simplified.
2. Technology and solutions are changing at a rapid rate and it’s hard to keep up.
3. You can’t improve what you are unable to measure.
Simplifying Marketing Complexity
Marketing automation goes beyond the obvious increase in productivity, volume of message throughput and the number of campaigns. It’s also about having the ability to generate effective messaging, coming from marketing automation’s ability to identify prospects and to trigger content tailored to prospect behavior. It’s also critical to generate metrics including shortened sales cycles, increased revenue per customer, better customer retention and brand differentiation. Without having the right tools for the job, today’s marketing is plain and simply too complicated.
The objective of marketing technology and automation is to provide cost-efficient, cutting-edge marketing tools that are intuitive and easy to use for even the least Web-savvy users. Conversely, many franchisors are permitting or fostering franchisees to work independently with a disparate array of marketing tools and partners. These arrangements can be expensive, unwieldy and difficult to manage for most franchisees. It also makes effective data-gathering and enforcement of branding standards all but impossible for the franchisor.
Best Practices in Marketing Technology and Automation
Today’s best practices in marketing technologies simplify the lives of your franchisees. They also provide a framework to integrate your established tools and services that are working, while adding new capabilities or replacing those that aren’t working. Here are a few examples.
Marketing Technology Yields Diverse Benefits
The benefits of embracing a marketing technology and automation partnership can include:
Higher revenues: Franchisors can continue to streamline and simplify local marketing, and empower franchisees with powerful, customized tools and strategies. In turn, more aggressive and effective local marketing enhances profitability for both franchisees and franchisors.
Consistency: A centralized marketing platform enables teams to maintain brand consistency and proper trademark usage system-wide.
Cost Savings: By consolidating services and vendors through an effective marketing technology platform, you’ll pass on significant cost savings to franchisees often totaling 60 percent less than purchasing disparate stand-alone solutions.
Franchisee Satisfaction: Franchisors report significant improvement in satisfaction thanks to increases in efficiency and ease of use achieved with a single sign-on platform solution where all marketing collateral, assets and tools are centrally located and connected within a few easy steps.
Franchisee Recruitment: A centralized marketing platform can be a powerful franchisee recruitment tool. It provides a striking example of a franchisor’s ongoing commitment to franchisee success, and the value gained by being a franchisee.
Amit Pamecha, CFE, is the founder and CEO of FranConnect, a technology provider to franchise systems with more than 500 franchise brands as customers. Find him at fransocial.franchise.org via the directory.