Rethink your approach to reaching your franchise prospects

reaching franchise prospects
Targeting customers effectively requires good data. (Source: Bigstock)

The New Year is not only a time to refresh personal goals. It’s time to update your professional methodologies as well. Time to do away with the old ways of targeting franchisees. 

I’m not alone in feeling a notable lack of data in the franchise industry. Without insights about your audience, it’s impossible for the 1200 franchise groups in Australia to make informed choices. Inferred wisdom is not going to be reliable as the market continues to fragment. Some I’ve spoken with have made franchise location decisions based on the presence of other franchises or more worryingly availability of location. 

Availability should never be the deciding factor of where to locate a franchise. 

To ensure we were able to answer behavioural questions like, where is the highest expenditure of potential customers going to be, for potential franchises, TFM Digital worked together using Neilsen insight data, activation datahouses like Oracle and research platforms like IBISWorld and Google Trends to create a better picture of high value franchisee prospects. 

On average it costs $12,000 to convert a new lead. Using insights from The Future Franchisee research I now believe that can be cut in half. If you’re paying $120 for a lead via Facebook, with a 1 per cent conversion, honestly, there is another way.

Future-proof your sales process

Forget everything you think you know, as using data in this way can help those in the franchise industry do more with less, and in turn future-proof your sales process.  

Start with segmentation

Your future franchisee is changing. It’s a younger demographic, driven by the desire to be their own boss. Over 50 per cent will look to use their savings, as they want to follow their passion to help in some small way to change the world.

While the total Australian population over 18 is 21,564,000, those with personal savings over 100K is 1,762,000. That’s generally a sufficient amount to invest, but then you’ll need to qualify that against those who have the mindset to invest, and feel now is the right time to do it. That gives us a motivated and active audience who could be a potential future franchisee of 563,000. And these people are most likely to be male, at a ratio of 4:1. 

Using data in this way, you can pinpoint, to the postcode, where the high value franchise prospects can be found. 

Know where your audience lives

This is not just geographical, although there are clues there as well. It’s psychographics, knowing what their interests are. Many are sports fans. High participation sports like swimming, soccer and tennis rank highly with these individuals. In fact if you’re a brand looking to appeal to your next franchisee, picking up sponsorships during the height of the summer calendar with the Australian Open tennis or the F1 later in the year, both events are appealing in terms of viewing and attendance to those looking to get into franchising. Cricket and Aussie Rules also rank very highly. 

Power of a message

Every time I speak with franchise owners I ask about which channels they use to contact their audiences. And without fail one of the last to be discussed is SMS. Yet of all of the mobile phone uses for this audience, messaging is one of the most popular. Receiving a DM is a personal and very effective way to market your message. The handwritten letter of old. There’s a chance this may not be the case for your audience, but if you don’t ask the question, you’ll never know. So include an option on contact method when signing leads up to newsletters or social campaigns. 

SMS campaigns are highly cost-effective and have a read rate of 95 per cent within the first three minutes of being sent. The results can be a lot more immediate.

Right message at the right time

Our research shows that the majority of the potential franchisee market fly for business and leisure. Typically they fly at least once a month; 65 per cent have airline loyalty programs and the majority prefer Qantas.

To reach this more qualified audience, franchises can get involved with Qantas frequent flyers in a number of ways. Maximising the opportunities through QFF’s digital assets, collaboration with deals as a partner, BVOD or even inflight. In-lounge digital screens within the Qantas Club can be particularly effective, as digital out of home (DOOH) has a higher rate of memory encoding, meaning it can more easily be stored in long-term memory.

Delivering the right message at the right time, is the holy grail for most marketers. 

Franchisees are consumers first

So often when I ask a most-consumed-media question to franchisors, the answer is a business option. Ask about one of the biggest channels like audio, and I’ll be given a business podcast answer. Over 55 per cent of high value franchise prospects consume streaming audio daily or a few times a week. However franchisees are consumers first. They want to be entertained. And so when speaking with franchisors about the best avenues to reach their audience we find that comedy or news/politics genres score very highly. 

Who doesn’t want to be entertained? 

Podcasting is very effective, as it’s a direct and highly attentive medium, with the listener digesting every word. The value is decent as well for those investing in the space, when compared to the conversion rates of social media. 

I’m not saying there’s a silver bullet for reaching future franchisees, but there is a lot of data which can offer insight to guide your path better, and truly be able to do more (effectiveness) with less (money wasted). 

To find out more about the ‘Future Franchisee’, Taylor Fielding will host a breakfast session with the TFM Digital team at oOh!media in North Sydney on 11 December.