Marketing a franchise is much more than just a contract. Brands that stop at merely licensing do not fully support their brand and significantly decrease the likelihood of success for their franchisees.
As a marketing professional in a corporate franchise, your goal is guiding your franchisees toward a profitable goal. From car rental agencies and fast food restaurants to beauty supply stores and gyms, the franchise industry has proven to be long-lasting and lucrative, but could your brand better support your franchisees through increased multi-channel efforts for a successful 2016?
We’ve looked into the Magic 8 Ball and found five top marketing predictions for franchise marketers to address and adopt this year. If you’re not a franchise marketer, keep reading though… there’s something in here for everyone!
1. Mobile takes center stage
Your customers carry their mobile phones with them everywhere and are bargain hunting while on the go. We anticipate a continued growth in mobile responsive websites and mobile marketing initiatives and see a staggering increase in geo-targeted campaigns. Based on a consumer’s proximity to the franchise location and even inside stores, these types of mobile campaigns target consumers with location-based tools that deliver timely brand messages to encourage immediate sale (see beacons). Make sure every store is ready to support any coupons they may encounter when your customers present an offer on their smartphone.
2. Local landing pages lead to local sales
There’s a wealth of information online; in fact, it’s an overwhelming amount of data. Your customers want to easily find what they need on their own time online, but also feel important by interacting with local and relevant brand representatives at their discretion. We predict significant growth in customized landing page adoption rates from large national brands seeking local representation through their franchisees. It’s not enough now to have just one national brand website; customers appreciate a geographically targeted, customized landing page for every location, complete with accurate information, an embedded map to the “brick and mortar” and a clickable phone number for those with questions.
3. Digital ad spending will trump traditional outlets on election year
The Wall Street Journal anticipates ad spending will grow slightly in 2016 due in large part to the U.S. presidential election, UEFA football championship in Europe and the Summer Olympics in Brazil. As these events take place throughout the year, the price of traditional marketing channels like TV and radio could increase significantly. The supply of available commercial spots will stay the same, yet the demand will grow as candidates look to lock down their bid to the White House. This will push brands to look to email and other highly targeted digital channels to reach their audience more directly in 2016. Magna Global forecasts a 17% gain in digital, confirming our prediction that brands will move to digital marketing as their primary outlet for content delivery throughout the year.
4. Video: a remarkable opportunity for brands to reach a younger audience
Customers are becoming more familiar with seeing video on social networks from both their friends and the brands they follow. We anticipate an increase in branded video content across multiple marketing channels, including video embedding in email campaigns and increased adoption of live sharing video networks like Periscope and Snapchat that have a growing role in engaging with younger audiences. Fandom Marketing reports an unbelievable 71% of Snapchat users are under 25, yet only 1% of corporate marketers have profiles – leaving an incredible opportunity for brands to take advantage of the minimal competition on the social network in 2016.
5. Analytics will get a bigger piece of the pie
Gartner Research reports 34% of marketing budgets now go to helping build expertise and resources surrounding brand reporting and analytics. That’s up from 21% in 2013 and will continue to grow. Email open rates and click through rates are the most common metrics to track, but we anticipate a growing trend toward analytics agency partnerships with franchisers. Analytics agencies are crucial when drawing data to evaluate which marketing campaigns result in conversion rates that move the dial. Once you get a better understanding of the topics, layouts and promotional outlets used or content type your audience prefers, you can tailor future content to achieve better results.
Digital innovations are constantly changing the face of marketing and will continue to do so in 2016. Our top five marketing predictions are here to forecast some of the many crucial opportunities and challenges facing corporate franchising. To get started today and stay up to date on franchise trends throughout the year, we recommend joining some of our favorite free groups on LinkedIn, including Franchise Networking, Franchise Professionals, The Franchise Industry and Franchise Roundtable. Signing up for our own newsletter is a great way to stay current too!
What are your marketing predictions, and how can you best make it your goal to support your franchisees and guide them toward a profitable 2016?