Franchisees are responsible for the local marketing of their business whereas the franchisor usually takes care of the national and international marketing efforts.
Often, franchisee owners face more difficulty in marketing because they have to be in line with the franchisor’s brand image and guidelines. Additionally, due to limited marketing ability, many franchise owners depend upon the brand’s image to bring in customers.
According to the 2015 Franchise Sales Trend Report, 57% of over 4,000 respondents surveyed felt that their franchise sales strategy could have been improved.[i] Franchises can accelerate the growth of their business by integrating their local marketing strategy with the national or international brand image. The tools and techniques shared below can help enhance a local marketing plan.
Social Media and Online Marketing
Visibility is paramount for the growth of any business. With the presence of thousands of potential customers online, having an active online presence becomes an important tool for a business to drive growth. Social media, websites, blogs, email campaigns, and paid advertisements help to build customers for your English Language Franchise in the following ways:
- Providing information about the business to new customers
- Keeping the franchisee’s brand image fresh in people’s memory
- Enhancing communication with customers
- Generating a following for the franchise, which can be turned into customers through further marketing efforts
- Updating customers about new launches, discounts and offers, and other promotional activities
- Offering a fast and reliable customer service
Among other mediums for online marketing, social media offers the greatest challenge and the biggest opportunity to a business. As it was not essentially designed for business purposes, a franchise can use it to:
- Address the local needs and preferences of their target customers
- Gain greater visibility for their franchise
- Interact with customers and potential customers
Some of the social media platforms facilitate targeted marketing. An English language franchise can use targeted marketing to reach the populace of their area, and further narrow down the audience by age group, interests, and so on. By consistently building presence on popular social media platforms with millions of users, a franchisee can gain access to thousands of potential customers in their area.
Conducting a comprehensive search about the local groups (online and in the physical world) that concern themselves with English learning can provide instant access to potential customers. These groups can be useful to study customer preferences and gain new customers. For example, a local WhatsApp group about foreign language learning in Paris will have members that want to learn English.
Providing them with information about your English Language Franchise without overtly marketing your learning center can be beneficial. Building a reliable and trusted presence at many of these groups can boost the franchise’s local brand image, ultimately leading to an increase in customers and sustainable growth for the business.
A comprehensive understanding of the local market and specific customer needs helps a franchise to narrow the market and deliver better within that market. Local groups can also be used to gain knowledge about the local market, buying patterns, customer needs, and market trends. Thus, you can develop more precise marketing strategies that deliver better results.
Partnering with Other Organizations
Local libraries, educational institutes and bookstores are places that are frequented by students. An English language franchise can partner with them for promoting its brand. Depending upon the budget, sponsoring large or small local events conducted in libraries, colleges, and bookstores can help to build brand awareness among the local student population. Combining promotional activities such as offering freebies at such events is another effective tool to gain attention.
Even with a limited budget, a franchise can gain customers by using innovation. Organizing fun activities, giving out cheap freebies such as stickers, or holding interactive sessions at locations that provide visibility can help a new franchisee to gain publicity without spending more in marketing.
Advertising in Local Magazines, Newspapers, and Books
Reading material that is read by the students in your area is a great place to advertise your English language franchise. As with every other marketing tool, knowing the specific reading materials that your targeted customers read is essential to gain the maximum result.
An advertisement placed in a magazine recommended to the students of a top university is more likely to bring results than an advertisement placed in the newspaper. Narrowing down your marketing efforts to reach a specific audience will keep the success rate high and marketing costs down. Monitor the results by using surveys and adapt your marketing efforts accordingly.
Holding Educational Interactions in Your English Learning Center
Word-of-mouth is still an impressive marketing strategy when it comes to local marketing. Holding educational talks and activities in your learning center that are open to all will bring in potential customers.
Students that are already learning at your English learning center can become valuable marketing vehicles by bringing in their friends. It is important to provide them with value at such events. This can lead to establishing your educational center as an efficient and respected institution of learning. Furthermore, having fun educational activities breaks the monotony and improves customer satisfaction.
A consistent, targeted and well-monitored marketing system can boost the growth of your English franchise franchise quickly. A franchise that understands the market in which it operates, and uses effective marketing tools and techniques to consistently create new customers, meets an early success.