franchising aspects Nov, 13 2009

Strategies to drive the market

To distinguish your product or service from the competition and to increase your sales you need to create a marketing strategy for your company. In case of franchising, marketing can be done at two levels i.e, national and local. Let us find out in detail

By Ramanjit Kaur
Feature Writer
Strategies to drive the market

Marketing strategy of a company is a method which is used to judge the appropriateness of each action that the business takes to increase the sale. It determines the choice of target market segments, positioning of the products or services, marketing mix and allocation of resources. It helps the company to engage the customers and competitors in the market arena. In a franchise system, marketing not only adds value to the already established brand name but also clinch aspiring entrepreneurs for the business expansion. In a franchise system, marketing can be done at two levels:

National level

The marketing at national level is done by the franchisor by making use of the nationwide campaigning to reach out to the larger segment. He with the help of experienced marketing professionals prepares a blue-print of the marketing program. The marketing plan covers the internal expenses, advertising or PR agency fees, production of advertising materials (for print, radio, and TV), and space in the media.

Franchisor collects marketing funds from all his franchisees to utilise them to afford the expensive advertisement. He either collects it along with the franchise fees or set a percentage of net sales on monthly basis. The collective funds eases-off the franchisor from bearing the entire marketing expenses and also aids the  franchisees in building the brand value at local level. Therefore as a franchisee, you get benefited from the nationwide marketing of your brand at a meager price.

Local level

Though the marketing done at national level is advantageous for the franchisees, still they have to promote their franchises at the local level. Marketing at the local level raises the visibility of the brand thereby increasing the footfalls at the franchise outlet. As a franchisee, you can consult your franchisor that is willing to assist you in understanding the mechanics of marketing. It makes it easier for you to implement the marketing plan locally. Depending on your knowledge and information of the local market, you can use the local media to endorse your franchise business.

Now you all must be wondering and curious to know what all marketing tools are used by the franchisors and the franchisees for their promotional campaigns.

Marketing tools

Four distinct elements are engaged for promoting a brand: advertising, public relations, word of mouth and promotions.

  • Advertising: Franchisors can use this tool by giving advertisements in national newspapers, magazines, journals, national radio channels, television, billboard, direct mail, brochures and catalogues, signs, in-store displays, posters, motion pictures, web pages, banner advertisements and emails. Similarly, a franchisee can use these mediums at local level for the promotion of the franchised outlet.
  • Public relations: Using public relations at national level helps in promoting the brand far and wide. Franchisor can hire a public relation company to put across its latest happenings and updates to its target audience and media.
  • Word of mouth: It is an effective form of communication that brings credibility and reliability for a brand or business. It could be done through web logs and social media marketing (through social networking sites).                      
  • Promotions: It is a specialised form of marketing to stimulate sales or purchase of the products or services, usually in a short-term. Examples: Coupons, events, contests, product samples, discounts, tie-ins, trade shows and exhibitions. It works effectively for the franchisees.   

A good marketing program is the one that has the capability of retaining and sustaining the brand image in the market and driving new and retaining old customers in the business. Moreover, the marketing programs in a franchise system are considered successful only if the franchisees are getting good value of their contribution (marketing funds) in terms of their business development.

Related: Re-selling: a boon for franchising

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