Are You Maximising Your Franchise Marketing Opportunities?
Are you a franchise owner who would like to be busier and generating more income than you are today? Are you also guilty of saying, “If only head office (the franchisor) spent more money on advertising, I am sure we would be busier”.
What if it is not about more advertising but about you actually taking advantage of more accidental marketing opportunities that come along every week? Let’s look at a checklist for low cost, no cost marketing activity:
1. Do you and/or your business belong to the local chamber of commerce? And have you or one of your staff attended at least 50% of the chamber events this year?
Tip: If you are looking for new customers, attending a low cost event that will be filled with potential customers, makes perfect sense. However, don’t just join the chamber you actually have to show up to gain the maximum benefit.
2. Have you been asked this month to donate a voucher or gift for a local fund raiser? Assuming that you are generous of spirit and gave the complimentary voucher, did you or one of your staff actually attend the fund raising event?
Tip: Next time you donate a prize, ask if you or one of your staff can attend the event and present the prize. Again a great opportunity to show your face in the community. And if you are too busy, send one of your staff along in your place.
3. How long is it since you gave a news release or photo and newsworthy story to the local or community paper? And these days with reduced staff numbers, many newspapers use news releases verbatim.
Tip: Look for a different angle for a news story, they might not want to know about your new menu, but they may be interested to know about an interesting staff member, a funny experience you had or a celebrity who visited your business.
4. Do you support your local businesses? One successful regional franchisee told us a great story about doing his morning lap. Although the newsagency was directly across the road from his business, each morning he did a lap (walked) up and down the main street, popping his head into each business. Not only was it a great way to stay connected with the local businesses, he was also kept up to speed on what was happening in the community.
Tip: If you have a service business rather than a shop front, the same principal can apply. Park your van/car on the main street a distance from where you are going and repeat the morning lap process.
5. What regular exercise do you do and does everyone involved know what work you do? Whether you attend a gym, play golf, tennis, run, swim or surf, chances are you are meeting with the same people all the time. You may not know what work these fellow exercisers are in, and if you don’t ask them, you will never know.
Tip: Be friendly, start a conversation, introduce yourself to strangers who also enjoy the same form of exercise. You already have a common interest and that can form the basis of the initial conversation. And if you are not a regular exerciser, then that may be something you might consider.
Accidental marketing opportunities potentially come your way all day, every day. Multiply those opportunities by the number of staff you have and before you know it you will start receiving a regular stream of referrals. Why? Because the more you talk to strangers, the wider you build your network and gradually you build that network of strangers to a network of friends and referees.
Final Tip: For the next ninety days consider building a culture of accidental marketing within your franchise. You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.