Marketing for franchise businesses is a huge undertaking. You've got to market the company itself (corporate marketing) to attract both franchisees and customers as well as market each franchise location. Even if you're a relatively small franchise business with two or three sites, it's a lot to keep organized.
So what's the best way to make sure your marketing strategy is covering all the bases? How can you make sure that you're allocating your resources well enough to be effectively bringing in business?
Enter the marketing funnel.
Taking a look at the marketing funnel for franchises
If you're not familiar with the marketing funnel, Neil Patel has an excellent overview on his website. But don't worry, we'll summarize here.
The marketing funnel is essentially the sequence of actions necessary for customers (or franchisees) must take to make a purchase.
Take a commercial website such as Etsy as an example. The top of the funnel includes all of the people who visit the site. Then, it narrows down to the people who view products on the website (as opposed to those who visit the information page). From there, the funnel narrows to the people who place items in their cart. So then the funnel narrows even further when people actually make the purchase.
The marketing funnel is getting people from being completely unaware of your brand to become customers.
The principle of the marketing funnel has held throughout time. The specific mechanics might change (for example, no one places ads in phone books anymore - now we have social media ads). However, regardless of what kind of market you find yourself in or what specific strategies you employ in your marketing campaigns, the marketing funnel holds true.
So let's take a look at how you can apply this principle to your franchise business.
Why franchise businesses thrive with a marketing funnel
Marketing a franchise business means that you're engaging in several types of marketing at once. You're doing corporate marketing (such as B2B marketing) to attract more franchisees. However, you're also marketing to customers, as well as providing personalized marketing based on each franchise location.
The best way that your franchise business can use marketing funnels is to create several funnels. You'll want to have one for attracting franchisees and one for attracting customers. This means you'll need to create different campaigns and materials for prospective franchisees and customers. However, the principles and general benefits to creating a marketing funnel will remain the same for both target audiences.
- Brand recognition and loyalty -
The most comprehensive tier of your marketing funnel will be to establish your brand's identity. This is the prospecting stage and will make audiences aware of your brand and what your brand is about. The more well-known and established you are, the better you'll be able to attract both customers and franchisees.
When prospective franchisees are researching businesses to join, they do a TON of research. They are going to be looking for brands that are established, profitable, and well-known.
- Organization -
Using a marketing funnel to be the backbone of your marketing strategy requires you to be organized and have clear, explicit goals for each point of the sales process. This is invaluable when you're marketing a franchise company and are juggling multiple tiers and audiences in marketing your business.
- Consistency in reporting -
When you create your marketing funnels, you're breaking down each step of attracting and converting prospects into customers. Make sure that you have stellar data reporting at each level so that you can better see which parts of the funnel are working or may need some fine-tuning.
Marketing funnels are a lot like road maps - they show you exactly what steps you need prospective franchisees and customers to take for them to become successful customers. This means that it will help you keep your marketing strategies organized and help you be able to pinpoint precisely which strategies are working and where you can improve.
The marketing funnel is your franchise business' best friend because it gives you direction and support. It helps you more accurately target your audience and adjust your strategies to make sure that your marketing campaigns are as effective as possible.