Though I rarely mention it, I once worked for a franchise business with over 4,700 stores in the U.S. It was at a time I needed more money to help start my business. I learned a lot about marketing and a lot about what could be different to make a franchise owner’s life much more productive for marketing.
Despite what many think, the franchise office does not own a franchise store. It is a small business owned by a private business owner. While the owner does get some help if the franchise has a powerful brand name in the market, overall the marketing is left to the business owner.
The problem typically is the restrictions placed on the owner in their franchise contract can often tie their hands preventing many smart actions in marketing.
An example I experienced in the early 2000’s was many franchises would not allow the owners to have their own website. Then when they did, they made so many technical specifications for branding that no owner could afford to have an independent website made.
The bottom line was everything was forced to go through the district franchise office or the home office, wherever that may be. This makes implementing modern digital marketing such as using reputation marketing services, or having a reputation marketing strategy that fits your personal franchise business extremely difficult to execute.
If an owner can’t relate the need for a unique marketing method in terms of royalties gained for the home office, or it’s not already approved in the contract, it’s likely to be denied. That’s why it’s important for home offices or area franchise offices (where permitted) to get ahead of the game and embrace proven digital strategies in a way an individual, privately owned franchise business can leverage to dominate.
Franchise Reputation Marketing
What’s different for franchises that want to implement a reputation marketing strategy like the world’s leading strategy, The RepFluence Marketing Method?
Mostly the scope. But also, the way home offices must think.
The home office must protect the brand. They tend to forget that every franchise location is truly a unique business that needs unique marketing to truly captivate their local market.
The one way this can be done is with reputation marketing. Reputation marketing generates royalties and protects the brand.
Don’t confuse this with reputation management. Get that phrase out of your head.
I’m talking about marketing, getting customers, making sales, and dominating a local market.
I am not talking about managing what is already there.
As a retired navy commander, I see management as a status quo keeper that can be costly or make little money. Reputation marketing is a highly pro-active, money making strategy which works in every market. It also achieves goals with a high ROI for franchises.
A true reputation marketing service should be laid out in a strategy. It’s not bought piecemeal.
Unfortunately, most providers of such services do not provide a strategy. They provide a platform where they try to upsell one piece after another.
Nothing is more powerful than a complete reputation marketing strategy.
When looking for a strategy that supports a franchise operation it should:
- Start by assuming the worst case, a franchise owner does nothing to make it happen
- Provide all of these: building an online reputation, managing a online reputation, and marketing an online reputation
- Have an automated platform that serves unlimited locations but can treat each franchise owner as the unique business entity they are
- Be able to automate all of the processes including feedback, marketing, getting reviews, posting reviews, social marketing, negative feedback intervention, etc.
- Not be limited to monitoring review directories
- Integrate with major social media for marketing locations independently
- Include methods to make local franchise owners appear as market leaders in their local market
- Provide a feedback loop specifically for each franchise owner
- Not require any significant technical expertise by the franchise owner
- Not require the franchise owner to add staff to make reputation marketing strategy work
- Provide advanced methods for franchise owners to follow up with 100% of their website viewers, even if you put their website pages in a franchise office run website
These 11 points above would apply to any franchise. I am certain each specific franchise can think of a few unique specifics for themselves.
Can a Franchise Really Do This?
The list of requirements seems somewhat daunting to most. It clearly could be expensive to develop it from scratch.
Certainly, the franchise owner can’t afford to develop this independently and/or isn’t permitted (in most cases), under contract, to implement it on their own.
However, the power of such a system cannot be ignored in terms of giving buyers what the seek before and after they buy.
We know that:
- As of 2015, 92% of consumers now read online reviews before making a purchase
- 68% say they trust a local business based on positive reviews
- Your “star rating” is the number one factor used by consumers to judge a business
- 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just 1-3 reviews (vs. 29% in 2014
- Partner surveys show that before making a buying decision, consumers seek 6-10 online reviews in all type markets
Other facts you must know…
- Harvard Business Review found a one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9 percent increase in revenue.
- Nielsen consumer surveys, online consumer reviews are the second most trusted source of brand information and messaging, with 70 percent of global consumers surveyed online indicating they trust messages on this platform, an increase of 15 percent in four years. Online referrals by friends and family top this.
- A 2014 Reading University Study indicates that a positive customer review counteracts a negative consumer review more effectively than a positive brand response
- The Royal Economic Society found moving from 3.5 stars to 4 stars increases the chance of a restaurant selling out during prime dining times by another 19 percentage points.
Franchises and franchise owners are not exempt from any of this. In fact, without having an obvious way to segregate reviews of locally competing businesses from the same franchise, the bad reviews of one location can easily cause losses at other nearby locations because of the confusion.
Reputation Marketing Services Solutions for Franchise Owners
For those looking to standout and dominate their local market, our
While our marketing focuses on individual, non-franchise locations, our reputation marketing strategy and platform are designed to handle unlimited numbers of locations under a single “owner” such as a franchise area office or franchise home office.
The pricing must be discussed based on the number of locations you wish to provide reputation marketing services for, but our platform was designed for you.
By choosing the RepFluence Marketing Method, you get a complete platform that allows your individual locations to build, manage and market a 5-star reputation and to completely dominate their market area.
Your owners will love you for providing them a low-cost way to generate customers/clients/patients with a high ROI.
It will also ensure your top locations clearly stand out in the market. Your franchise royalty income will grow.
Visit our RepFluence Marketing Method details by clicking here, and then give us call or email us.