A key attraction for buying into a franchise is the marketing support – but often the delivery fails to live up to the promise as franchisors lack the resources to execute proper targeted local area marketing (LAM) on behalf of each franchisee.
It was a dilemma Andrew Mitchell saw repeatedly during his advertising career. “All we could do was run generic national campaigns. It was up to franchisees to do their own local marketing and their output was usually pretty average.”
Mitchell founded Brand Machine to develop automation software that would enable brands to deliver the support franchisees needed. Just a few years later, Brand Machine”s software is used by fledgling brands with a dozen outlets right up to large established players such as RAMS, Nandos, KFC, Costa Coffee, Pret A Manger and Pizza Hut.
Helping franchisees help themselves
Using advanced template software, Brand Machine”s Marketing Hub solution enables franchisees to create marketing material for any media themselves – even video and animations. They can localise messaging, choose promotions, imagery and layout and even resize artwork. The software ensures all outputs strictly adhere to brand guidelines.
If required, a marketing approval stage can be added along with production ordering such as printing. Marketing Hub also comes with a world-class digital asset management as standard, making it easy for franchisees to access all sales and marketing assets such as logos, images, stationery and campaign material.
“If communications can be sourced or created entirely by local franchisees rather than requested from head office, the time and cost savings across the organisation are huge,” says Mitchell.
Melissa Soich, Group Marketing Manager with New Zealand beauty franchise Caci Clinic, says Brand Machine”s software solved a major pain-point for their for their growing business. “Our franchisees could get the content they needed quickly without needing head office support. It’s freed us up to focus on more strategic initiatives.”
Key to Marketing Hub’s success is how flexible and intuitive the tech is to use. Typically franchisees don’t need any training – they simply login and start creating marketing.
Solving the social media conundrum
When Google and Facebook introduced geotargeting to their ad platforms, the potential for franchise brands was obvious. However it’s been difficult for franchise brands to take advantage of these powerful channels.
First, neither ad platform is easy to use and therefore beyond the capability of most franchisees. Second, few marketing teams have the bandwidth to set up local campaigns in multiple local franchisee ad accounts.
Brand Machine introduced their Brand Amplifier platform to overcome these challenges. Already a game changer for hundreds of franchises around the world, it enables the following:
- Automated publishing of paid and organic Facebook and Instagram content to each local franchisee”s social accounts, with content dynamically localised and geotargeted
- Improved organic post and ad engagement plus reduced CPR by shifting from generic content to more relevant localised content
- Monitoring and analytics for all local accounts are consolidated in a single dashboard, making for easy analysis and community management
- Franchisees can select from a library of pre-configured social and Google campaigns to fund with their own budget.
Mitchell says brands that seize the opportunity to do true local digital marketing stand to gain a significant edge on their competitors. “Our clients are channelling more and more ad spend through Brand Amplifier because they’ve found that localised ads and content significantly out-perform generic campaigns and drive more traffic to local outlets.”
He adds that brands that have been hesitant to create local pages in the past have gained confidence from being able to monitor page activity and reviews on a single dashboard. However local franchisee posting can be turned off if there is concern about the quality of the content.
Book a 30-minute workshop to explore the possibilities of automating your local marketing
Brand Machine’s client engagement often starts with a no obligation 30-minute discussion to understand the brand’s marketing process and pain points. Mitchell says it’s usually obvious
very quickly whether automation tools can play a role and where the biggest opportunities lie to help franchisees grow their businesses.