Marketing coaching can be one of the hardest parts of franchising.
Getting leads, and customers in the door, is truly a matter of life and death for franchisees.
And while there are some things in Marketing that ARE black and white, there are others that are more shades of grey than anything else.
So – lets delve into the world of Franchise Marketing for coaches – we will look at what is black and white, and what is in that messy grey space in between.
One of the difficult truths in Franchise Marketing is that… things that work in some communities do not work in others.
It’s frustrating, but true.
Ask any pro marketer, who has accounts running across different areas.
While something like food safety rules is universal – Pay Per Click spend is higher in larger centers where there is more competition. In other areas, people rely strictly on word-of-mouth. In still others, trust of strangers is very low, so events are not as strong.
What makes it extra-tough, is that sometimes franchisees will say something that stretches them outside of their safety zones does not work.
So – you actually do want to dig deep and understand the differences.
AND – you want to have a Marketing Plan that embraces these differences by having one that diversifys the franchisees options.
Focus on Numbers
There are not many people that got into franchising because they LOVE numbers, or at least I have never met one.
Most franchisors are now embracing SMART goals when it comes to Marketing. It is a great start.
But, focusing on numbers does only come in the planning phase, it is measuring results.
We have seen this as one of the top Marketing failures in our clients. Measuring what works, and what does not, is a great indicator to send back to the Marketing team. Remember, Marketing is changing quickly, and there is no way to react if the activity is not being measured.
While connecting to the community is something we often teach in training, it is one of the first things that fall to the side when things get busy.
A business, any business, is about relationships. And – that competitive advantage can be achieved by being yourself out in the community. The brand of “you” is more powerful than any bid on an online ad.
So – it is great to have a “connect with the community” side of your audits when it comes to Marketing. These humble activities can make a big difference.
Take Things at Face Value
The book Getting to Yes discusses the idea of having a “Position” and then an “Interest”. According to a Harvard blog on this subject:
We tend to begin our negotiation by stating our positions. A homeowner might say to a developer, for instance, “I won’t allow you to develop this property.” When we stake out firm positions, we set ourselves up for impasse. In our goal of getting to yes, we need to draw out the interests underlying our counterpart’s positions by asking questions, such as, “Why is this property important to you?” By identifying what interests are motivating the other party, and sharing your own interests, you can open up opportunities to explore tradeoffs across issues and increase your odds of getting to yes.
In a nutshell, the franchisees may come to you with a problem – which is a position. For example, a problem of not enough leads could mean a few things:
- Not closing enough leads.
- Qualifying too aggressively, leaving good leads on the table.
- Not enough referrals and upsells from current clients.
As a coach, you are not denying the reality of the problem, but you are digging deeper into the true source, rather than just solving the “Position”.
When you are on-site with a franchisee, with your checklist, it is easy to get into the mindset of “different is bad”.
And, we do all have brand standards for a reason.
But, the best leaders will put the majority of their focus on the here and now, they do also look at what is next. Listening and learning about a new idea or innovation may not be something you can do today, but it could be rolled into plans for the future.
There is a sweet spot there.
It is not chaotically moving from idea to idea, anhialating the brand.
It is listening and looping in the ideas.
Like everything in Franchising, Marketing Coaching is a balancing act. Getting the balance right can make a transformative difference to your franchisees. The Marketing world comprises black, white, the grey in between along with all of the other colors.