Mastering Franchise Success: Your Ultimate Guide to Effective Franchise Marketing

date icon 8 minutes to read date icon 18th December, 2023

Franchisors and franchisees have one shared interest when it comes to the business: growing and scaling it for greater profitability. 

This is where franchise marketing comes into play as its strategies and techniques are used to help boost the objectives of both a parent franchise brand and its franchisees. 

In this article, we explore the main question: “what is franchise marketing?”. We also look at what a franchise marketing strategy is and how this strategy can come to life.

Let’s take a closer look.

What is franchise marketing?

Franchise marketing is a specialized marketing strategy that is used by franchisors and franchisees to help take the franchise network to the next level. It may include both digital and traditional marketing efforts. 

The ultimate goal of a franchise marketing strategy is to boost revenue and increase brand awareness. 

However, because of the complexity involved in the relationship between a franchisor and their franchisees, it’s essential for franchise marketing to be as consistent as possible to avoid diluting the brand or causing reputational damage.

As such, franchise marketing is a highly specialized field that requires careful planning and execution by both parties.

Franchise marketing strategy – what is it and why is it important?

A franchise marketing strategy includes all the steps and efforts involved in the marketing activities of a franchise business.

Some of the goals franchisors may want to achieve through a franchise marketing strategy include: 

  • Raising brand awareness
  • Generating high-quality leads
  • Driving revenue
  • Boosting brand engagement

Every marketing strategy usually starts with a planning phase through a marketing plan, which is followed by implementation. 

Such implementation is then measured against key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine the strategy’s success. 

Overall, the planning through implementation processes must take into account the target market and demographics the business is catering to, their value proposition, and what sets the brand apart from competitors to turn leads into paying customers.

Why is having a marketing strategy important?

A well-defined marketing strategy is crucial for franchise businesses to meet their marketing and sales goals. Lacking a clear direction and methods, franchises risk failing to reach their targets.

Mistargeting the audience, promoting irrelevant features, or misjudging competitors can harm the business significantly. Therefore, a robust marketing strategy is essential for optimizing outcomes and enhancing the effectiveness of marketing efforts.

To discover the key elements of a successful franchise marketing strategy, download our comprehensive checklist here:

How does the marketing strategy differ between franchisors and franchisees?

As mentioned before, franchise marketing is complex. The reason behind this is that there are two levels of marketing that usually take place concurrently. 

On the one hand, there is operational franchise marketing which involves franchisee marketing activities to acquire new clients. 

On the other hand, there is franchise development marketing, which includes marketing activities that aim to grow the franchise business itself by acquiring new franchisees.

As such, the dual goal is to not only earn more clients but to also grow the franchise network further so that both clients, franchisees, and the franchisor can benefit from the efforts.

Essential elements of every marketing strategy

Marketing for franchisees entails ensuring that certain elements of your marketing strategy are put in place before the strategy is implemented. 

These preliminary steps can help ensure that your franchise marketing goals are achieved. Let’s explore each of these essential elements in more detail below.

Identify your ideal buyer

A frequently encountered saying goes something like this: if you’re trying to sell to everyone, you’ll end up selling to no one. Therefore, having a clear idea of who your target audience is is an absolute must. 

This starts with heavy research into identifying your ideal buyer and creating an ideal buyer persona. Through such a persona, your efforts will help you determine the ideal client’s pain points, demographic data, geographical location, socio-economic indicators, and more. 

When you have an ideal client in mind, you’ll be much better equipped to cater and tailor your marketing strategy to their needs.

To assist you with identifying and developing the perfect buyer profile, feel free to download this free buyer persona template:

1. Understand your marketing channels

With the proliferation of social media, it’s a common assumption that every social media channel is game and must be used for franchise marketing. However, that is not always the case. 

You will find that your ideal buyer uses some social media marketing channels but not all of them. In addition to social media, there are other channels to consider. 

These are primarily digital channels that enable search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, content marketing, email, and more. But there are other offline marketing channels to consider, too. 

When you have a better understanding of these channels, you will be better prepared to build your online marketing strategy through online marketing channels.

2. Establish a budget

To maximize the returns on your investment, it’s crucial to adhere to a well-defined budget covering aspects like PPC, email marketing software, content marketing, and SEO.

Each element of franchise marketing involves specific costs, and staying within budget is key for accurately measuring ROI.

To deepen your understanding of this process, download our free guide ‘Top Tracking Techniques for Online Marketing ROI’ for expert insights on optimizing your marketing spend:

  • Download

3. Maintain brand consistency

Maintaining brand consistency is often easier said than done. For a franchise operation that manages its marketing at headquarters, this is often a smaller challenge than when a franchisor gives their franchisees freedom and permission to manage their own franchise advertising.

Whichever the case may be, maintaining brand consistency is vital and this will only be achieved if your franchise has branding guidelines, a clear communication strategy to reach all franchisees, a way of measuring quality output regularly, etc.

Local marketing tactics for franchises

Imagine that you’ve implemented your digital franchise marketing strategy only to find that your franchise is not ranking for local search results. The unfortunate consequence of this is that your clients will head over to the competition. This is why the importance of local marketing for franchises cannot be overemphasized. 

Local marketing takes the form of two primary digital marketing strategies: local SEO and PPC. Let’s explore each one in more detail below.

Local SEO strategies for franchises

Local SEO involves utilizing Google Business Profiles to their full potential. These results appear as organic in Google’s search results. Google typically displays three local businesses in its “map packs”, which are accompanied by the business name, address, and telephone number. 

Other key elements of a local listing include images and customer reviews, alongside additional information that helps a customer choose your business over the competition. 

Pay-per-click (PPC) strategies for franchises

PPC advertising is another local strategy. However, instead of producing organic results, it is paid for. This is often a faster way of getting the results you’re aiming for. 

However, it requires a budget that can easily be consumed if not implemented properly.

Examples of PPC strategies you can implement include geofencing, targeting by location, targeting by buyer persona, and others.

Both these organic and paid-for strategies are considered local marketing strategies for franchises

Whereas local SEO can produce results relatively quickly, it does take a lot of effort to set up. On the other hand, PPC produces faster results but at a cost. That’s why maintaining a balance between the two is so crucial.

Raising brand awareness with social media marketing strategies

Raising brand awareness is one of the most important goals of franchise marketing. Starting at the top of the marketing funnel, raising awareness is a vital step for boosting your business’ reputation online.

One of the best ways to achieve this goal is to use social media marketing strategies to ensure you meet your objectives.

However, this requires a careful evaluation of who your ideal customer is and what channels they typically use to consume information. 

Examples of social media platforms include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, among others. Choosing a platform or a combination of platforms and then implementing your targeted marketing designs, visuals, and copy can help you boost and build brand awareness for franchisees.

Content marketing for franchises

There is also a lot to be said about content marketing for franchises. The possibility of one franchise location doing something completely different to the rest of the franchisee network is quite high. Therefore, brand guidelines are essential for your content creation efforts.

This will avoid brand dilution. Once each franchisee is on the same page about the type of content that they should be producing, it’s also essential to ensure that this content is distributed through the right channels.

When done properly, it can boost brand awareness and result in unparalleled lead generation. 

Email marketing for franchises

Email marketing is by far one of the most powerful ways to achieve your franchise marketing objectives. With welcome emails getting an open rate of around 5x more than other emails, this is an email you want to optimize and offer as much information as possible. 

If you have an email marketing platform that your franchisees use, be sure to maintain certain levels of control over your brand identity. 

When advertising a sale or discount via email, it’s important to monitor both local and global franchise performance. 

Learn about the effectiveness of email marketing strategies and how to develop one with this comprehensive email marketing guide for franchisees.


Online marketing for franchises can be a challenging obstacle to overcome. The reason behind this is that online marketing is an ongoing process that requires constant efforts, optimization, and evaluation of the results measured against your KPIs to ensure successful outcomes.

By ensuring that you use local SEO, PPC, social media, content marketing, and email marketing for franchisees as a holistic approach to your marketing efforts, you will not only be able to optimize your budget but the key outcomes as part of your overall marketing strategy.