KEY MARKETING INITIATIVES FOR FRANCHISES: By leveraging innovative digital technology, franchisors and franchisees can strike a new balance in marketing.

Author:Porter, Alex

Historically, many franchisors have used a large percentage of their franchise ad fund budgets to buy traditional media placements, including ads on television, radio, print advertisements and billboards, to market the brand and business to potential customers. However, these national-level ad buys and the traditional media channels they target have limited those same franchisors in promoting their individual franchisee locations.

Traditional media channels are great in driving brand awareness, but not necessarily as effective in getting consumers to visit a location or make a purchase due to their broader messaging. Complicating things further, many franchisees often expect a direct return for their own businesses based on their personal ad fund contributions.

A potential solution to this challenge can be found in recent technological advances in digital marketing that have the potential to positively impact how brands spend their ad fund budgets. These advances can also improve the franchisor-franchisee marketing dynamic while driving incremental marketing investments on the local level from franchisees themselves.

Blurring the Lines Between Digital and Traditional

Most consumers grew up with only traditional media outlets. In the early days of the Digital Age, transitioning from these outlets to modern alternatives was uncomfortable. This was because the traditional and digital experiences were much different. Television and radio were mature technologies that could be relied on, while digital technologies were still evolving and required new skills.

Yet, a couple things have happened since those early days. The first thing being that we improved our digital media skills. As digital tools have become more universal, the public has gained experience and comfort with email, smartphones, online shopping, video streaming and more.

The second is that digital technology started to imitate the traditional media experience. Smart TVs in our homes now seamlessly stream video content and digital signs in high-traffic areas have replaced static billboards. Smartphones have become the all-in-one tool that allow us to read the news in real-time while streaming audio and video nearly everywhere we go.

As the lines between the traditional and digital experiences blur, brands and marketers must invest in the experience that gives them the most direct line to potential customers in their target audience. When planning for 2020, consider testing the...

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