The Top 3 Ways Distributed Marketing Benefits the Franchise Industry

April 4, 2013 Jared Shusterman

In last month’s newsletter I talked about kicking off a series of roundtable discussions on the importance of local marketing in the franchise industry, and what role a distributed marketing provider (DMP) can play in that mix. This month I want to dive right in, so I figured the best place to start is outlining how a DMP can help franchisors protect, and even strengthen, their most valuable asset – their brand.

As a franchisor, your most valuable asset is your brand. You spent years building it up. And while the very nature of the franchise industry requires you to hand it off, at least in some part, to someone else, any misuse can damage it. This affects not only you but also every one of your franchisees who depend on the strength of your brand to attract customers. Distributed marketing programs give you the tools to more easily and more effectively protect your brand. They do so by enabling you to maintain consistency throughout your network, by fostering franchisee engagement in corporate-recommended marketing initiatives, and by helping you enforce local marketing spend.

Maintain Brand Consistency

How can a distributed marketing provider help you maintain consistency across your network? By putting you in control again. Distributed marketing is more than asset management; it’s brand management. You create brand approved marketing resources for your network that spans across digital, social and traditional marketing tactics. These tactics reinforce each other, executed seamlessly across all local outlets and localized by your franchisees with their relevant information.

Increase Franchisee Engagement

A common complaint we hear from local businesses is that participating in marketing initiatives is too complex, too manual and too time consuming. I cannot say it enough; franchisees are business owners. Complicated and time consuming marketing programs amount to little more than an administrative burden. Bury them in paperwork and you’re going to lose them. Make it easy for them, and use technology to drive effective marketing automation that does all the work.

By setting up automated marketing programs through a distributed marketing provider, you will remove the biggest hurdle. Do that, and watch engagement climb among your franchisees. Automated marketing programs collect franchisee enrollments into multi-layered tactics and marketing systems that are too complicated for the “self-service” user. You set up the program through your DMP. The franchisee only has to opt in, provide local customization preferences, and that’s it. Marketing activities roll out at the direction of the franchisor.

Imagine announcing your seasonal Limited Time Offer and being able to effortlessly communicate this across all your social media outlets, digital mediums and traditional advertising tactics harmoniously and on-time.

Enforce Local Spend Through Analytics  

So, you put a requirement on your franchisees to spend 2% of revenues on local marketing. How are you doing holding them to that? How are you really doing?  Integrating local marketing fund management with a distributed marketing platform make this possible. In fact, they make it easy to run a report and find out exactly what local marketing initiatives your franchisees are engaged in, exactly how much they are spending, and which ones are sitting on the sidelines. By bridging the system that manages funding to the local marketing tactics and strategy, you ensure franchisees are meeting the advertising requirement the way you intended. Local marketing drives traffic. Traffic drives trial. And trial leads to conversion and retention.

Franchisees have their plates full running their businesses, just like you do running yours. The best way to increase franchisee participation in marketing programs, while maintaining brand compliance and continuity of message, is to make the process as automated as possible, while giving each franchisee the ability to put their own local preferences on how their marketing runs. A distributed marketing platform with robust automation engages network members and encourages adoption, and strong brand controls ensure you have a single, consistent and compliant message going out across your network.

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About the Author

Jared Shusterman

Jared is the Founder and Managing Partner of SproutLoud. Since 2005, he has been primarily responsible for strategic direction of the Company, as well as the oversight of SproutLoud's Partner ecosystem. Prior to SproutLoud, Jared worked in Thomas Weisel Partner’s internet and online advertising investment banking practice in San Francisco. He served as the lead analyst on a number of Corporate Finance and M&A deals including Newscorps’ buyout of Intermix Media ( Jared graduated with a B.A. in Finance and Marketing from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. Jared has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is a member of the Young President's Organization (YPO). Jared has been honored as one of the Top 40 under 40 entrepreneurs by South Florida Business Journal and a Top 50 Entrepreneur by Business Leader Magazine. Jared lives in South Florida with his wife and two sons.

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