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May, 07 2014

Amplify returns, the digital way

Digital marketing strategy is not only a less expensive promotion tool but also a powerful media to shift to for a growing brand. Let’s dig deep into the pockets of digital media marketing tool for reaping more profits for franchisor and franchisees both.

A growing brand typically has two larger business objectives: to reach more number of customers and to have more number of customers know and talk about it. The first objective enables the brand to create revenue stream from multiple locations where as the latter facilitates in brand building. This especially enhances the consideration for purchase by the customer.

While creating the marketing strategy for a brand expanding through franchising the general thumb rule is to reach out to a larger target audience and influence their opinion to purchase the brand. This traditionally means utilizing rather expansive channels of such as electronic media and print. For a growing brand justifying the return on investment on such media could be a challenge.

Having said that recruiting franchisees without planning the marketing mix marketing is like winking in dark, in other words no one will know what you are trying to achieve. On the other hand consumer market has become interesting like never before. Nowadays Indian consumer is spoilt for choice. It is difficult to retain loyalty of the customer and relatively easy to shift demand. Think about it, sales worth $20 billion can be swayed every year with promotions and offers, formidable online brand presence, and quality interactions. An increasing number of consumers first researches about a product online and then considers purchasing it. This shift makes digital marketing strategy not only a less expensive promotion tool but a powerful media to shift demand especially for a growing brand.

Planning a digital marketing strategy

To start with the brand, one must identify the business objective linked with the digital media and quantify it by setting key performance indicators to track return on investment. For instance the objective and KPIS could be;

 Increase the SEO visibility with rank position,

 Educate consumer about a product or a concept with time spent on the site,

 Build a brand community with number of subscribers or generate leads with number of links back to the site.

Depending on your overall business objective and brand positioning select at least three digital platforms for your marketing mix and invest in them optimally.

Lets study a case to further illustrate the same, in case of a fast food restaurant expanding through franchising it is important that the franchisor should support the newly opened franchise unit by creating new leads for it .This could be done by creating multiple channels for taking order online through the website, facebook or websites like justdial.More recently use of mobile application is on a rise where order leads could be diverted to the franchise outlet in that area. At the same time tracking consumer opinon, reviews and rating online is critical. The brand should be responsive to every single bad online review as its impact could multiply itself really fast. Tracking relative performance, review and rating of outlets at multiple locations enables the brand owner to monitor quality of service.

Hence by carefully planning an innovative online marketing strategy a fast expanding brand can reach out to its consumer beyond boundaries of location and impact their opinion about the brand at the same time.

Malvika Lal is a Strategy Consultant at Francorp. India.


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