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7 Tips For How Top Franchisors Can Create Integrated Promotions And Ad Campaigns

May 15, 2008
Top franchisors face the daily challenges associated with having to manage day-to-day relationships with an ever-increasing number of franchisees and area developers. The complexity of coordinating among so many stakeholders can represent a huge challenge - especially when attempting to maintain a consistent brand image across the entire franchise network while keeping marketing costs down. Not only are these efforts typically resource-consuming for the franchisor, but they can also result in unnecessary frustration and costs for franchisees.

However, with this burden comes an opportunity for top franchisors (and those aiming for the top in their niche) who learn to effectively manage integrated promotional goods and direct mail campaigns.

Here are 7 tips for how top franchisors can create integrated promotions and ad campaigns for their organizations:

Tip #1: Maintain a consistent brand image even though promotional materials are sent out by different franchisees: A healthy brand image is vital for franchise organizations wanting to go the next level in sales and reputation. Franchisors who leave the responsibility of developing promotional campaigns to the individual franchisees risk losing out on the opportunity to maintain a consistent, integrated brand image across the organization. This is because different franchisees - even with the best intentions - will end up creating different creative (i.e., the look-and-feel of the ad or mailer) from one area to the next. This type of inconsistency can quickly erode the viability of the brand in the eyes of customers. However, with an integrated campaign whereby the franchisor pre-approves which promotional materials can be sent out and allows franchisee access to those materials via a secure Internet site, 100% brand integrity is achieved.

Tip #2: Find ways to save money with volume buying: Integrated systems allow franchisees to order promotional materials and direct mail items whenever they like. However, with multiple stores placing orders at around the same time, printers and fulfillment houses can produce and ship the items in larger quantities - thereby achieving economies of scale that individual franchise cannot match. This leads to lower costs for all involved.

Tip #3: Create yet another reason why prospective franchisees should choose your network: Prospective franchisees are faced with a myriad of organizations into which they can invest: why should they choose yours? Try showing them that you have come up with a simple, straightforward way for your franchisees to place orders on a custom Web site that is "skinned" with your organization's logo and color scheme. If you do, your prospects will count this benefit heavily in your favor when making decisions about where to invest their capital.

Tip #4: Give your franchisees a simpler way to order direct mail and promotional goods: Your franchisees are busy every day trying to promote the corporate brand, grow their businesses, and even consider whether to expand into additional locations. And let's face it: most of them are not marketers by trade. Rather, they are savvy investors who want to generate additional personal wealth while running their own businesses. For a franchisee trying to order direct mail or promotional goods on their own, they must jump through a number of hoops before they even get the first piece out, including having to develop the creative, negotiate with a printer, buy a mailing list, and mail out the items. By contrast, franchisees who have access to promotional and direct mail items through an integrated online ordering system can skip right over that additional hassle and go right to completing an order - including customization and online proofing - in about 10 minutes.

Tip #5: Allow franchisees to charge the order to a credit card or to the corporate office: An integrated ordering system can be set up to recognize which franchisee is logging into the system at any given time, thereby customizing the payment options accordingly. For example, you might choose to give certain franchisees access to a corporate marketing fund against which they can charge their orders, while other may be asked to pay online via a credit card.

Tip #6: Pre-arrange vendors to take care of the fulfillment process: Integrated marketing systems extend all the way from order to fulfillment. That means that contracts with printers, promotional goods providers, and mailing houses are all pre-arranged. This allows all parties involved - both franchisor and franchisees - to avoid the hassle of dealing directly with these vendors each time an order is placed. In fact, no direct communication with vendors is needed: the system works out the details with the vendors automatically.

Tip #7: Launch seasonal promotional campaigns quickly and easily: An added bonus of integrated online ordering systems for franchise organizations is the ability to leverage the system to quickly organize and launch seasonal or special ad campaigns. The corporate office can set up special landing pages in the system for ordering such seasonal items in a matter of days and can then e-mail franchisees to let them know about the special campaigns. Integrated systems offer additional benefits in terms of allowing the franchisor to quickly mobilize in support of a new campaign idea.

Finding integrated, low-cost ways to integrate promotions and direct mail campaigns across your franchise network can benefit your entire franchise organization in numerous ways. These benefits include saving time for franchisors, simplified ordering and lowering costs for franchisees, allowing for a unified brand image across the organization, and providing an additional reason for franchisors to entice prospects to join the franchise network.
About the Author
Visit www.VentureManagerSolution.com to view a short demo video on how to implement a custom online ordering system for your franchise network. The system features real-time mailing list counts, quick order processing and pre-arranged mail and promotional goods fulfillment.
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