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Posted on Jun 27, 2011

Walking the Line

Marketing Locally and Across the World - Franchise HelpWhen you are part of a franchise system, you have advantages that other businesses in your area don’t. You don’t have to create everything yourself and you have a brand that is already known and trusted.

So how do you walk that line of following the system while creating a marketing campaign that will have a local appeal to the customers that walk and drive past your door every day?

First off, remember that you never want to produce marketing assets that aren’t in line with your company’s image or message, and most franchise opportunities have a marketing department or committee than can keep you in compliance with the brand standards of the system.  You should also be able to find most of this information in the company's franchise forms.

You can also find other ways to connect locally via social media platforms. Again, this form of marketing should fall under the brand guidelines of the system, and should always promote the franchise first.

What if you are still longing to create your own campaign?

First off, remember why you first bought into your franchise, and go back to the system. If your franchise (for some odd reason) doesn’t have a social media platform or policy, it may be for good reason. Maybe you have an older, less tech-savvy client base. Maybe your product or service offering skews older. Who knows? What’s important is that you stick to what’s been proven to work, because it does work – for your particular business.

In terms of localizing franchise content, most systems have platforms in place to help this process. For instance, my business, ActionCOACH, is in more than 30 countries, and to help coaches localize content (meaning we don’t want to use the same messaging in the UK that we might use in Las Vegas), we allow coaches to customize certain marketing assets. In addition, we also give our franchisees access to a number of social media platforms, which in turn gives them the opportunity to make a name for themselves through blogging, seminars and other marketing opportunities. This helps grow both the ActionCOACH brand and a coach’s own reputation in his or her community.

Another way we help this process is via multiple websites, one for virtually every region we work in and we tailor our content on those sites to the country itself. For instance, the wording on ActionCOACH UK reflects “British English” while is written in “American English” and this is true for all of our sites.

So if you’re still feeling the need to strike out on your own, get in contact with your marketing department or other franchisees to get a different perspective on why that’s not always the best way to go.

While there are unique stories like the Subway promotion that turned into a great campaign ($5 Footlongs), there are dozens more successful stories about franchisees who were able to grow and expand their units with the tools and resources already available within the system.

Remember, there’s a reason you bought into the system in the first place. Use the system, and follow the system, and the system will ultimately help you succeed.

These are just a few ways our franchisees walk the line, so how do you walk the line when it comes to balancing your franchise’s global and local message?

Brad Sugars is the Founder, Chairman and President of ActionCOACH, the world’s number one business coaching and executive coaching firm, with more than 1,000 offices in 32 countries. ActionCOACH specializes in coaching small to medium size business as well as executive teams and group coaching. You can follow Brad on Facebook and Twitter.

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