Every franchise and multi-unit retailer faces this question all the time. Many franchise organizations require a contribution to a national marketing fund and when you are running a multi-million-dollar franchise business, those contributions can skyrocket quickly. When you are sending two to three percent of your sales to the national fund, it’s logical to expect something “BIG” in return. But, what about Local Store Marketing—-can you afford to forget about it?
National dollars help with brand building, maximize media efficiencies and allow local businesses to be associated with major sports teams, box office hits and even the Olympics. All worthwhile and unique investments. But do those expenditures give you everything you need to effectively drive sales at the local level? Consider these three things when evaluating your marketing budget:
First…Consider the challenges and opportunities that your local franchise business faces. Some things to think about:
- Is your location visible and easy to find?
- Who are your customers? Are they office workers, commuters, college students, etc.? Will the national marketing message be relevant to them and will it reach them?
- Are the national promotions things your customers care about? Do your customers care about an Olympic sponsorship…. or are they more interested in the local college or high school team?
- Do you have an issue with repeat business? Are your customers returning to visit your location on a regular basis?
- Does the national marketing plan leverage your unique opportunities? Does it take into account the tourists that visit your location every Spring or the college football fans that stop on their way to the local stadium? What about those high school kids that visit every day on their way home from school?
Second…Does your location face local competition? Competition can make a huge dent in a franchise business’ sales. Ask yourself the following:
- Will the national marketing efforts set you apart from the competition and effectively combat whatever traffic driving tactics the competitors have in place?
- Does the competitor offer specials on certain products at certain times of the day, week or year and does the national plan address these?
- Do the competitor’s products offer more variety or value than your national product line-up?
- Does the national marketing target the local competitor’s customers?
Third…Do the national marketing plans help you build relationships with your local customers? Relationships lead to loyalty and loyalty is the heart, soul and bank account of a local business. Review the following:
- Will my business benefit from my supporting local community programs and does national support them in any way? Does your community appreciate local sponsorships and fundraising activities?
- Can the national plan help you leverage local events and activities that your customers participate in and care about?
- Does the national plan help your employees to build relationships with your customers that cause them to come back again and again to your location?
I doubt that many local franchisees can respond to the above questions and feel strongly that national marketing initiatives address any of these location-specific issues or opportunities. The reality is that, to be successful, a franchise business needs both national marketing and a strong complementary Local Store Marketing plan to drive Local Customer Engagement. Don’t sell yourself short…Local Store Marketing drives business at the local level and should always be part of your annual budget.
Interested in learning more about creating LSM plans for your franchise or multi-unit business? Check out 7 Questions to Ask When Building a Local Store Marketing Plan #LSM #LocalCustomerEngagement #LocalStoreMarketing