How Local Area Marketing can boost your franchise business
Lidia D'Opera| Marketing Manager | Snap and Snap Level 2
Purchasing your own franchise can offer an established market presence plus all the benefits of a tried-and-tested formula for attracting new customers.
Undoubtedly, marketing programs carried out at franchisor head office level are one important part of that formula. National marketing campaigns allow franchisees to be part of well recognised brands on a national level. Ultimately all the marketing efforts funnel down to the local area as each single franchisee does business locally, dealing on a daily basis with members of the local community.
For this reason, to get the most out of a newly purchased franchise business, it is crucial to make the most of the local community. What is often overlooked is the role of local area marketing (also known as LAM). When effectively planned, Local Area Marketing provides a strong return on investment because it allows franchisees to tailor broad marketing programs to best adapt to local conditions.
We recently caught up with Lidia D’Opera, Group Manager - Marketing at Snap and Snap Level 2 -Snap’s new design and marketing service.
Given that Snap Level 2 centres make it their business to help their clients with their own marketing, they are well placed to share some insights on effective Local Area Marketing. We discussed the importance of Local Area Marketing and the channels Snap franchisee use.
At Snap we spend a lot of time and effort fine-tuning our Local Area Marketing campaigns to ensure that franchisees have a variety of options to suit their marketing needs.
Franchisees benefit directly from Local Area Marketing as they live in, and are involved with, their local community and are best placed to communicate with it.
Local Area Marketing enables franchisees to communicate with customers on a one-to-one basis on an ongoing manner which helps our brand to be the first they think of when considering their next purchase.
Ideally, in a franchise business model, local area marketing is another phase of a broader national campaign, as single franchisees live and breathe the local community and have the knowledge to customise marketing messages for that particular suburb or region. Ask yourself what are the events, dates, and celebrations that people hold where the community comes together and make sure that your business is perceived as being integrated in those events.
Building relationships with customers and being perceived as locally relevant ensures a sense of credibility and trust.
By ensuring local area marketing strategies are in place and keeping abreast with what is happening within the local area, franchisees will continue to grow their share of the market.
For the Snap and Snap Level 2 brands we support franchisees by providing the necessary tools to aid them in new and available marketing channels. Being a printing business, our centres have the skills and resources in house to personalise their marketing campaigns – such as email campaigns or calendars - which we have found very effective. The feedback is always that customers prefer to receive information from their local Snap centre and not a head office in another state.
"Ideally, in a franchise business model, local area marketing is another phase of a broader national campaign, as single franchisees live and breathe the local community and have the knowledge to customise marketing messages for that particular suburb or region."
It is important for a franchisee website to publish more than just the product and/or service on offer.
On a national level, a franchisor’s website needs to have a strong, consistent brand but it also needs one that points to your business on a local level.
The Snap franchise business model uses its online presence to its advantage: we recently revamped the Snap website to include an integration of many new tools for franchisees' local marketing strategies.
For example we integrate direct mail and in-centre promotions with online campaigns communicated via each franchisee’s website. This integration is predominately campaign awareness and a lead generation device, allowing franchisees to collect more information on their local customers through customer data input forms.
Email marketing is another medium which we have developed to provide franchisees with templates and the right tools. Data is collected via the Snap website directly and is managed through an email marketing campaign tool.
Another strategy we have introduced is social media as a local area marketing initiative. This medium enables franchisees to again speak with customers on a one-to-one basis and provide content that is relevant for their local community. We provide centres with additional content for them to upload onto their own social media accounts, through our national accounts.
Direct mail-out is one of the most traditional Local Area Marketing tools and is still one of the most effective when used well.
Unaddressed mail for brand awareness and lead generation is valuable; however support from the franchisor – even in the form of IT technology - is vital to provide franchisees with tools to make their local direct mail endeavours even more effective.
At Snap Franchising we always try our best to be at the forefront of technology in this area and support our franchisees accordingly. We introduced variable data printing many years ago to a great response. In recent years, we have added personalised email marketing which has also been popular.
The beauty of personalising marketing material – whether that be brochures or invitations – is that the recipient takes notice of it, as it has their name on it.
One of the great benefits of being part of a franchise business such as Snap is taking advantage of these tools that could otherwise be out of reach of independent businesses. The good thing is that Snap has introduced a new service, Snap Direct, which helps any business create their own personalised direct mail campaigns
As you start to plan your local area marketing strategy, be thoughtful and put yourself into your target markets’ shoes. The franchise business model empowers your business with professional marketing campaigns, but what is going to make people who live or work in your suburb walk in your store and buy your products or services?