Local Store Marketing: The Franchisee’s Frustration

Doug Fergusson over at QSR Magazine highlights some of the main reasons why we initially created the Amplify local marketing toolkit for a number of our key QSR clients including Jack In The Box, El Pollo Loco and Robeks Smoothies, who all operate heavily franchised systems and have a need for a highly flexible, customizable local store marketing solution.

It’s the franchisor’s responsibility to equip franchisees with the appropriate local marketing tools.

One of the greatest franchisee frustrations centers on local marketing and the struggle to obtain marketing materials targeted to their particular location and demographics. Too often, operators are provided with little or no local marketing support—when they are, the options they receive are ineffective. The issue is driven by the lack of attention that local marketing receives as a part of the overall marketing plan of the brand.

However, if companies can embrace local marketing as a viable strategy that’s beneficial not only to the corporate brand but also to the local operators, this dilemma can be resolved.

Here are some important issues and points to consider.

Generic Marketing Collateral

We must question the efficacy of universal marketing collateral. For example, does it make sense for a Florida franchisee to receive the same materials that a Minnesota franchisee receives in the dead of winter? And what about imagery? Will the same graphic image of a group of people appeal to a New York City operator versus a Memphis, Tennessee, franchisee? Contrasting geographic areas demand targeted messaging, and different images appeal to varying demographics.

Accessing Tools

Franchisees often lack access to the appropriate brand-compliant tools necessary for local events and activities. For instance, they should be able to quickly and efficiently prepare for an event with a school or hospital. If the provided tool set is weak, operators have to pick up the slack and trek to the printers for manufacturing when they’re already pressed for time.

Customer Service Component

An operator must have a convenient source for marketing materials if they’re going to implement any local marketing initiatives. The importance of a quick and easy service solution for local marketing can’t be overstated, especially when it comes to what kind of flexibility franchisees have with their service providers. When operators need local marketing elements, the ideal scenario is to have the ability to obtain all marketing materials from one place, as opposed to gathering various materials from multiple, scattered locations. If brands adopt a one-stop-shop methodology for all of their marketing elements, it saves quite a bit of time and headache for the operators.

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