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Omnichannel Marketing for Franchises

Omnichannel marketing is more than taking your content and spreading it out across as many platforms as possible. While that may broadly qualify as multichannel marketing, omnichannel is much richer and more complex. It’s messaging that’s tailored to your market segments and deployed strategically along each stage of the buyer’s journey.

 

Marketing for franchises, in general, has a unique set of challenges. The bifurcated approach must promote the larger brand, while also helping individual franchises dominate their local markets. Plus, you need to maintain a consistent brand identity while simultaneously allowing franchisees to target their individual customer base and express their own unique “brand-within-the-brand” identity to maximize profit potential.

 

Franchisors need to maintain a certain degree of control over social media management to protect the brand, but also give franchisees some autonomy to develop content to promote themselves — not to mention giving an assist to owners who may be less experienced in content and digital marketing.

 

That’s no small task, to say the least.

 

It’s not always easy, but there are ways you can effectively leverage an omnichannel approach for franchise growth. Here are three tips to get started.

 

  1. “Selective” Omnichannel

 

While it may sound like a contradiction, sometimes less is more with omnichannel marketing. That means being strategic in terms of deploying your messaging where it’s likely to have the greatest impact — and ROI. Franchise customers in different locations can have vastly different demographic, psychographic and consumer behavior profiles. If your particular franchise is located in a retirement community, TikTok may not be at the top of your list (although the highest growth in the platform’s users haven’t been teens and pre-teens for quite some time). If you have a franchise restaurant located in the heart of a corporate office park, by all means focus on LinkedIn. If you’re the franchisor, encourage and support your franchises in tailoring their messaging — as well as their channels — to their local customers and prospects.

 

  1. Leverage Print and Digital

 

Oftentimes, print marketing is overlooked in the omnichannel equation. And while the word synergy has been notoriously overused in business communications, it’s actually the perfect descriptor for how an omnichannel approach can turbocharge print and digital outreach.

 

Because omnichannel marketing always puts the customer experience front and center, there will naturally be a convergence of digital and conventional messaging in a number of points along the buyer’s journey. The goal is always to create a consistent, seamless user experience no matter how consumers are accessing your brand — and at what point in the sales funnel they’re accessing it. You can use everything from direct mail to digital and print menus, to signage and even your in-store receipts to connect print messaging to digital platforms. Use QR codes on mailers to direct customers to promotional landing pages, and feature hashtags and QR codes in your signage to increase engagement on social platforms. And turn satisfied customers into micro-influencers by promoting discounts or “extras” on your restaurant takeout packaging for users who create posts that feature their favorite dish.

 

  1. Consistency and Customization Is Key

 

Maintain unified brand standards across all your omnichannel interactions with customers and prospects. When someone purchases a franchise, they’re making an investment in a brand. And customers who patronize franchises often do so largely because they desire a consistent and reliable experience, no matter where they go. It can take effort and discipline to keep that branding uniform across multiple platforms and channels — and when targeting different buyer personas. Whether the content or ad is a video, blog, direct mail piece, email, social post or infographic, visual and message branding must be clearly conveyed across all media. Offer franchisees a comprehensive branding guide as well as templates they can use to easily customize their own promotions across all media formats.

 

Don’t Go It Alone

 

Kymera is a franchise marketing expert. We’ve helped small, local franchises grow to full-fledged regional and national brands. And we offer a full range of omnichannel services to help your franchise reach its full potential. Contact us today for a complimentary franchise marketing consultation.