Just like in virtually every other business, marketing is rapidly changing for franchisors. The Internet has made it easier than ever for potential franchisees to look for new business opportunities, but it has also made it harder than ever for franchisors to get and hold their attention. If you are a franchisor looking for more franchisee leads, these trends can help you refine and modernize your marketing strategies. If you’re someone who is trying to become a franchisee, it might also be helpful to understand how franchises are trying to reach out to you and get you on board.
The Critical Importance of the Recruiting Website
This development was a long time in the making, and we have now reached the point where the recruiting website is the most important type of marketing materials for getting new franchisees. No matter where the individuals are coming from or what their questions are, they will undoubtedly check your website to try to learn more about your franchise, your corporate culture and philosophy, and whether it is a good fit for them. Good brochures and a presence at trade shows are still very important, but not as important as your website.
Mobile Optimization Is Key
Not only are people using your website to learn more about you, but they are using their mobile phones to look at your website. It is very important that your website is optimized for use by smartphones and tablets. Franchises that have old websites and websites that don’t look good on a smartphone will end up looking antiquated and outdated to potential franchisees.
Retreating from Social Media
Though franchises have invested a lot of time and money in the last few years for social media, almost no one has really cracked the code. Franchisors continue to struggle to turn social media leads into franchisees, and why this is the case is still unknown. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms are still a fantastic way to reach and communicate with potential franchisees, and the franchises that can figure this out first will reap the biggest rewards.
Increasing Phone Leads
In the last couple years, franchises have actually seen an increase in phone leads. Though less people are using the phone to learn about franchises then they used to, those who pick up the phone are usually more committed and more interested in becoming a franchisee. These are great leads, and franchisors need to make sure that they are providing these people with the information and customer service they are looking for when they call.
The Declining Importance of VPs of Marketing
In the past, people learned about franchises through a few select ways, and a VP of Marketing had a lot of power controlling how information was distributed and presented to potential customers. This is no longer the case. Potential franchisees have so many different ways to learn about and research a franchise, and VPs of Marketing no longer have as much control over the message and communication.