Entrepreneurship Oct, 09 2014

Franchisees’ ‘Moolah’ mantra: Local marketing

As franchisees, if you know that your business is doing wonders in the local market then don’t be reluctant to blow your own trumpet.

By Ekta Sharma Verma, TFW Bureau
Sr. Sub-editor
Franchisees’ ‘Moolah’ mantra: Local marketing

Let everyone in the local sphere know about your achievements and your brand. Reach out to local newspapers, local TV channels, magazines and other mediums and tell them your story. Let’s know more on this…..

Most franchisors always design robust marketing plans on a national level but there are a few who always believe in the local marketing tools and touch points. National marketing may include heavier costs and budgets but is it better than local marketing? Should the franchisor take all the charge or try the local trick too?

When we talk of local marketing it is equally complicated like the national plan. When doing the local advertising many a time the franchisee has to take permission from the franchisor. Even though there are brands that provide proper guidance and monetary assistance to its local counterpart. Be it outdoor advertising, campaigns, TV channels, newspapers, radio or any other medium, national marketing tries to touch all of it but when this responsibility comes on the shoulders of a local franchisee, his success depends totally on the kind of support he gets from his franchisor.

Local marketing involves identifying and implementing marketing tools in local communities by engaging positively with individuals and organisations. Many franchisees believe their marketing job finishes when they contribute to the national plans. However, there are many local level works that should be handled only by a local franchisee like:

  • Reaching out to the local clients personally,
  • Send them e mails after collecting their e-mail address,
  • Giving them priority on the national website,
  • Giving them space in the national campaigns, online etc.

In fact a franchisee can also develop his local marketing portal for the ideas and campaigns. This surely drives sales.  Putting his viewpoint, Hemang Bhatt, Director, HAS Juice Bar says: “We have a process in which we assist the franchisees in location hunt. We do a one-on-one talk with the franchisees before finalising any location on a local level.  The best way to be safe and sound from the local or global marketing issue is to choose locations like malls, hospitals etc where there is no local marketing required. This is what we have been targeting for our brand. We always want to penetrate into areas where there is no marketing required on a local /national level.”

Key for education franchise

If we talk about the education sector, Local Area Marketing (LAM) is one of the most crucial aspects. K V S Seshasai, CEO, Zee Learn Ltd opines: “Local area marketing is the key for an education franchise, as no parent is going to send his/her child over large distances to get education. In the age of convenience and click, everything has to be at an arm’s length. Hence doing marketing in and around the centre/school is the best way to get enrollments. At Zee Learn, the business partner and our central team have a single objective of delivering quality education and hence it’s a joint effort in everything that we do to achieve the common goal. We encourage our business partners to take part in local marketing activities and completely support them in doing the same. We also encourage conducting local community connect programmes in sync with the business partner like organising the Navratri Utsav in Gujarat, etc that helps build a greater connect with parents and with partners.”

On this, Mona Singh, Vice President, Sessame Schoolhouse says: “A franchisor’s role is to offer brand support. Local marketing is best done by franchisees as they know their local requirements best. Hence, joint promotion plans are ideal. It is a mutually supporting relationship that strengthens the brand and the franchisee’s centre respectively.”

Drive more traffic

Local store marketing is one of the most important ways of building relationship with the customer and community at large. These opportunities are specially created for potential consumers within a trading area and go a long way in instilling brand’s promise in the customer’s mind. Sanjiv Pandey, Marketing Manager, Subway Systems India Pvt. Ltd says: “Since Subway operates on a 100 per cent franchise-based business model, the brand gives its franchisees the freedom to undertake local store marketing and promotional activities in order to drive traffic to the stores and at the same time strengthen engagement with the consumer within the trade area. At Subway, the idea is to support the franchisees in their endeavour to build sales by providing support and guidance in the form of advisories as well as relevant case studies for reference.” He also suggested that  this method helps us in synergising strength of the brand as well as of the franchisees. Local store marketing initiatives help in:

  • Enhancing brand visibility in the community
  • Increasing customer loyalty
  • Building brand awareness
  • Boosting store traffic and sales
  • Developing involvement and recognition within the local community

Related: How to find top five cities for doing business in 2015

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