1. The Value Proposition
First and foremost, identify your value proposition. What is the real value you are proposing in the solution you are offering your customers? Hint: it’s more than the actual product or service. For example, if you are a physiotherapist are you offering standard rehab services in your local community? Or are you helping your clients cross the finish line with personalised advice and a suite of comprehensive tools to help them recover faster? Something we need to constantly remember in business is that we are here to create value for our customers. The first way to do this is by creating value in our business. Our Value Proposition is how we articulate the value we create for our clients.
This goes hand-in-hand with knowing your competition and knowing your unique selling point. What value do you bring compared to your competitors? Do you offer a money-back guarantee? If your competitors are trying to engage you in price wars, how do you stay out of battle? Maybe it’s the personalisation you provide to customers.
Athlete’s Foot exemplifies this with their free MyFit motion analysis, which provides a personalised report from 4000 sensors that help determine which shoe is best for you. Therefore, they provide much more value than simply selling sneakers. It positions their brand as the thought leader in their space. It lifts them above their competitors, leaving them in the dust, so to speak. Something to be careful of when looking at your competitors, is not to let what they are doing (positive or negative) get in your head. More on this in a future post.
2. Target Audience
Once you determine your value proposition, you can narrow down your target audience. The more specific your audience is, the most efficient you will be with your marketing budget. First, evaluate your current customer database. Does this align with who you had in mind when you first started your business? How old are the majority of your customers? Are they male or female? What is their family and marital status? What kind of income or education do they have? Where do they live? What do your buyers have in common?
Once you identify these standard elements of your target audience, consider their values, interests and online behaviour. What other brands do they engage with and who influences their buying decisions? What is the main factor that drives them to purchase?
We often observe business owners and leaders trying to cast the net far too wide. This reminds me of an ancient passage about entering the narrow gate. It leads to an abundant and full life. It is often misread as being narrow path, however it is actually a narrow gate that leads to wide open spaces with green pastures. In misreading it, it is easy to resist the narrow gate in fear of limitation. In reality, the idea of narrowing your target audience to a smaller group of prospective customers, you actually enter a wide open space of business growth that is less expensive and clients that have an affinity with your brand and offering.
3. Brand Awareness
The old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind” couldn’t be more true with marketing. Back in 2011, Dr Jeffrey Lant proposed the ‘Rule of Seven’, which stated a brand had to reach a customer at least seven times over 18 months in order to influence their consciousness. Fast forward 10 years later with social media and that leads to a much higher requirement for the frequency of brand exposure. Thanks to YouTube, Instagram & LinkedIn for B2B businesses, some brands need to reach consumers at least seven times a week. The bottom line: you must be at the forefront of your client’s mind in order for them to remember you.
This does not need to be in the form of costly advertisements or constantly hammering the market with your brand. A brand awareness strategy can consist of a considered approach to delivering well thought out content that adds value to your target clients. It can include engaging in local community events where you get to connect personally with your ideal client.
Brand awareness can be impacted by a poorly executed or aged brand image. It is easy to ignore or not even notice. Your target audience does notice, sometimes consciously, but often subliminally. Take some time today to consider how the market perceives your brand. Does it communicate the right message? Is it relevant today or is it time to revisit what your brand is saying about you, your business and your offering?
4. Content is Key
If your franchise has a small budget, you don’t always have to rely on expensive advertising to build brand awareness. Use content to help attract organic attention. Content can include so many things such as a FAQ sheet, an interactive Facebook poll, an email survey, a case study, a contest or quiz. The possibilities are endless. You can start by exploring social media and tag influencers relevant to your target audience. Encourage them to interact with your content! Ask them to post a giveaway to their followers where the rules include engagement and following of your brand. Always share relevant news on your LinkedIn or Facebook page and use your website as a platform to blog.
According to Hubspot, businesses that blog at least four times a week receive 3.5 times more traffic and 4.5 more leads than businesses that blog once a week or less. This sounds like a lot of work, but it’s important to remember all the content you create can be repurposed through your omni-channel marketing strategy. It’s also a long-term strategy to retain and attract customers. In today’s socially digital world, content is king. In the franchise world, the ideal source of great ideas for content subject matter is the frontline of your business. What’s being said on the frontline where your people interact with customers. Create content that answers questions, issues or challenges that are being voiced by your clients. Profile your staff and franchisees in the content you deliver. Profile a franchisee talking about how they solved the unsolvable problem for a client.
Other elements such as your call-to-action, brand authority and focus are important to your marketing strategy too. However, if you can determine your value proposition, your audience and what kind of content you will use to make customers aware of your brand, you have the top four ingredients of a successful franchise marketing strategy.
If you would like to learn more about creating a successful marketing strategy, get in touch with us today. We can help develop a new strategy for you or revise your current one to ensure you have all the ingredients needed.