There are some challenges in working with your own franchisees, but there are also many advantages for the franchisor and franchisee.
To make the cooperation as effective as possible for both sides, you as the franchisor should above all attach importance to the relationship with your partners.
The franchisees are the bridge to the end customers and thus the most important component in the distribution of their own products and services.
Since the success of the brand and company depends heavily on its partners, it is particularly important to include them in the sales and marketing strategy and to work together as effectively as possible.
Why It Is Worth Investing In A Partnership
In general, the cooperation between the franchisor and the franchisee should be based on partnership. Both parties are dependent on each other and need the other part in order to function as successfully and profitably as possible.
Even if your partners work primarily for their own profits, they are essential for the company’s success. Due to the strict requirements for corporate design and the uniform brand philosophy, you and your franchisees appear as one unit.
You should place value on this uniformity and partnership, especially in (local) marketing, and work with the partners to develop marketing goals that everyone would like to work on.
Through the joint planning and the feedback from the franchisees, you can better coordinate the entire marketing process with the local customers and their needs and additionally motivate the partners.
Provide Marketing Materials
In order to make the implementation of the marketing as simple as possible and to carry out the jointly planned campaigns at all locations, the headquarters should provide the individual franchisees with the necessary marketing materials or make them available for the partners to order.
The easiest way to do this and provide all partners with it at the same time is to use a marketing portal.
Such a portal gives you, the franchisor, the opportunity to upload the marketing materials and offer them in a shop system. In this system, the franchise partners can individualize a wide variety of advertising materials and then order, download or publish them directly.
Depending on the campaign, these can be classic print products such as brochures, posters or business cards. However, it is also possible to provide digital ads, videos, social media posts or website builders and to enable cross-media local marketing for your franchisees.
In the marketing portal, you decide for yourself which marketing materials you make available to your partners and which campaigns are currently relevant.
Enable individualization despite a uniform corporate design
However, the most important thing about these marketing materials and local delivery remains consistency. Each franchisee, while promoting their own business, ultimately contributes to the overall brand image.
This is why compliance with the corporate design and a uniform campaign structure in franchise operations are particularly important.
By providing the advertising material via internal software, the materials can be made editable as templates. With additional digital media databases (e.g. integrated digital asset management), you can provide not only advertising material templates, but also images, graphics, files and video components.
These can be used for the individualization of the advertising material or as a download for other purposes.
The individual franchisees can use the system to individualize their materials and adapt them to local operations, but the corporate design and offers remain the same for each partner.
This enables you to give the partners as much freedom as possible without wasting unnecessary time checking the design and implementation.
Create incentives and strengthen local marketing
In addition to pure support in the production and implementation of the marketing plans, it also helps to motivate the franchisees to do efficient marketing and to create further (financial) incentives.
With a uniform marketing and campaign plan, you can offer your partners guidelines and incentives to advertise regularly and effectively.
However, due to the financial challenge and possibly a relatively small marketing budget, it is sometimes difficult to get the franchisees to participate in all of the planned campaigns and marketing activities.
You can counteract this phenomenon by offering sales-dependent advertising subsidies or free advertising packages.
Particularly high-selling franchisees are supported and rewarded with discounted or free advertising material. This means that they can do more and more varied local marketing and thus, in turn, reach more customers.
This creates a win-win situation for you and the partners in which both parties benefit.
Maintain constant communication
In addition, to support in marketing and the provision of materials, it is advisable to maintain an exchange with the individual partners and to attach importance to honest and constant communication.
This includes, on the one hand, keeping the partners informed about innovations and planned promotions, but also letting the individual franchisees have their say.
As already mentioned in the joint planning of the marketing campaigns, the partners are much closer to the customer and thus a good source of information about current changes in demand or particularities in purchasing behaviour.
In addition, the partners can provide honest feedback on existing processes in targeted communication and possibly provide information on the potential for improvement.
In addition to communication between the head office and the partners, it also makes sense to allow the franchisees to exchange ideas and share success stories and challenges.
By using an internal marketing portal, not only can the materials be distributed and innovations announced, but also a platform for the exchange of ideas between all those involved can be offered.
Five steps to a successful franchise partnership:
- Plan together with the franchisees and set common marketing goals
- Provide marketing support and materials for local marketing
- Make the corporate design applicable and create space for individualization
- Create advertising subsidies and financial incentives to reward particularly effective partners
- Maintain constant communication and allow the partners to exchange ideas