Louie Beaupre, franchise industry executive and current Franchise Strategic Consultant at Parallel P...
As modern marketing continues to move toward digital channels, it becomes increasingly important for companies to build frameworks that can efficiently deliver strong marketing results to their networks. Most franchise companies recognize this, and have some form of co-op or national marketing fund. If your franchise company doesn't, here's why it should.
The Marketing Fund Advantage
As part of many agreements, franchisors will require their franchisees to invest in a national marketing fund that pays for the development and placement of advertisements for the company. In addition to benefiting from an established brand name, franchisees are able to benefit from large-scale ad-campaigns that would normally be cost-prohibitive.
A national marketing fund also ensures brand consistency and greater purchasing efficiency, while providing a framework for the franchisees and their franchisor to develop and implement integrated plans that successfully market the brand.
A national marketing fund is critical for any franchise company that hopes to become successful at digital marketing. By creating one, franchisors attain significantly stronger brand control, better strategic planning and higher performance marketing initiatives through improved efficiency and leveraged scale.
National marketing funds also offer other key advantages, including:
Allow franchisees to stay focused on sales and operations: If franchisees have to spend their time creating and managing marketing plans, they aren't likely to be as effective in sales and operations. A well-managed, well-coordinated national marketing fund can do the heavy lifting for franchisees on the marketing side of the business.
Help franchise stakeholders gain economies of scale: When franchise companies fail to take advantage of economies of scale, they are missing out on one of the major advantages of franchising. A national marketing fund allows franchisors and franchisees to get more bang for their investments by extending the value of every marketing dollar.
Ensure consistent brand messaging: Highly successful franchise systems develop when all stakeholders maintain a strict devotion to the brand. Effective brand management is a natural product of systematic co-op marketing funds, where branding can be centrally managed.
Fosters better communication between the franchisors and franchisees: Most franchise companies prefer that their franchisees focus on sales and operations as much as possible, while limiting their involvement in marketing. That said, well-planned and well-executed national marketing funds will typically involve communication and collaboration that allows franchisees to see the benefit of the fund, while also giving them a voice in the process.
Making the Most of a National Fund
An effective national marketing fund should support franchise marketing by covering five essential elements: search, website, remarketing, local listings and creative assets. To create highly effective national marketing funds, franchisors will also want make sure they:
- Determine a primary goal and make sure ad fund deliverables tie into that goal.
- Clearly show franchisees what the fund will accomplish and how their individual investments will deliver ROI.
- Demonstrate to franchisees the depth of strategic expertise that they and their agency partner(s) have.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the fund based on clear metrics and evolve accordingly.
- Maintain good communication with the franchise advisory council, listening to their ideas and providing metrics that demonstrate the value of the fund.
When properly managed, national marketing funds benefit franchisor and franchisees alike. That said, to avoid pitfalls, it's important to have an agency partner that can maximize a fund's potential and provide detailed data that demonstrates how every facet of the plan is performing.