In most cases, local franchise owners will need to engage in a “stand-alone” local online marketing campaign. This is because most franchisor is focusing on promoting the company on a national level and often overlook or gloss over the local marketing component.
Regardless of the franchise looked at; it seems to be commonplace for a large number of veteran franchisees to be unhappy with the local marketing support they receive from the franchisor. A successful franchise marketing budget should allocate a portion to focus on local online marketing, and not just search advertising or search engine marketing within a region (as less than 2% of local businesses think pay per click advertising is effective).
Most franchise owners would agree (and franchisors also, if they are being 100% honest), that If you have a local franchise business and are trying to generate new customers or clients, it will be very difficult to do so if they don’t know you exist, know little or nothing about you, have no idea where you are located or how they might do business with you.
The first thing that everyone needs to agree on is the fact that a Franchise is a “Local Business” and in order for this local business to be successful in a geographically targeted marketplace the business must be marketed locally. It cannot be overlooked that even though the Franchisee may be part of a national organization, each location is truly a stand-alone local business and is competing directly in their local marketplace and therefore must be marketed as an individual business in order to maximize their online exposure and lead generation. The messaging needs to be tailored to the region, while considering the area’s demographics and culture and fit into the dynamics of franchise brand control and local franchisee enablement, which is no small feat.
The subject of individual franchisee websites has long been a “bone of contention” within the industry. Many Franchisors are fiercely opposed to individual Franchisee websites and are reluctant to relinquish website control to Franchisees. On the other hand, many Franchisees feel that their “hands are tied” since they have little or no control over the marketing decisions for their own business. These feelings become even more apparent when the local Franchisee determines that the Franchisor’s marketing campaign is ineffective and the resulting new business lead generation is virtually non-existent.
With proper local SEO for each of these franchisee marketing websites, the resulting increase in targeted traffic and online lead generation would serve as a positive motivator, increasing each franchisee’s enthusiasm and satisfaction while providing the franchisor with an excellent marketing tool to share with other potential franchisees.
To better understand the best path to a successful local franchise marketing strategy, check out our most recent franchise marketing article: SEO for Franchise Businesses – What is the Best Strategy for Local Search? . The article explores how multi-unit enterprises and franchises can work together to develop a strong local online marketing program and narrow the widening gap between corporate control and the local franchise owner’s need for lead generation and business growth.