Balancing brand control and franchisee autonomy with collaborative social advertising | Global Franchise
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Friday 9th December, 2022

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Balancing brand control and franchisee autonomy with collaborative social advertising

Case Study

Balancing brand control and franchisee autonomy with collaborative social advertising

Make the most of your advertising opportunities with a collaborative approach

Content Partnership*

Brands often struggle with the competing need to retain brand-level control and consistency while ensuring that each franchisee has the freedom to build success through advertising. Collaborative efforts to date have focused more on traditional forms of marketing and media (direct mail, out-of-home advertising, local television and radio commercials, in-store signage and more), and have been slow to embrace more targeted forms of digital advertising. Advertising on social media, one of the largest, infinitely targetable digital audiences available, remains absent or ineffective when brands structure ways to collaborate with their partners, primarily because advertising within the franchise business model requires a delicate balance between the brand control needs of the franchisor and the local personalization desires of their franchisee.

Put simply, franchisees will often launch Facebook or Instagram campaigns with or without the brand’s support, often, going rogue without the right assets or tools. They know Meta’s Facebook and Instagram social outlets still reign supreme, with nearly 3 billion monthly active users spending an average of more than 30 minutes per day consuming content and engaging with their social communities. Yet, most franchisees are time-strapped non-marketers, a dangerous combination that often results in low-performing ad campaigns that can dilute your brand’s voice, risk compliance, and fail to deliver the desired business outcomes.

At the same time, franchisees don’t fully recognize the value in national or brand-level campaigns because rarely can they measure the ad’s impact on their specific location. Franchisees instead want the flexibility to create locally relevant and easy-to-implement social advertising that delivers on their business objectives; whether that’s driving foot traffic to their locations or recruiting campaigns that attract top employment talent. So why don’t more brands offer this option? Because it’s not just hard, but onerous, to launch high volumes of hyper-local campaigns in the top social media platforms; think building a sandcastle with tweezers.

Social advertising at scale requires specialized tools that can scale efficiently, perform consistently, and most importantly, demonstrate value in the eyes of franchisees. When it comes to collaborating in social advertising, brands are learning the painful lesson that pursuing the promise of an ‘all in one’ solution usually leads to an overly basic offering, leaving franchisees frustrated and not fully adopting the solution.

What constitutes an effective collaborative social advertising solution?

The right social ad technology can and should remove the friction and barriers to scale. Let’s review the necessary elements to enable efficiency and simplify execution through the lens of the franchisor/franchisee relationship.

Ensure brand safety

Brand-level controls should enable corporate marketing teams to provide and lock-down ad creative, copy, and other strategic parts of a campaign, maintaining brand integrity and dramatically reducing the risk of errors or policy flags. For multi-location franchise owners and agencies, make sure the ad technology centralizes all campaigns into an optimized workflow, making multicampaign creation, including complex funding models, easy.

Consider payment modalities and security

Flexible funding models are incredibly important for program adoption and success. Some brands choose to fund the campaign media from a central marketing budget, while others require franchisees to fund their individual store-level campaigns or pay in aggregate across all of their store locations. In some cases, they may utilize a co-op model to support the campaigns. Therefore, it’s critical to ensure that the ad technology offers this level of flexibility and the advanced tools for user management and greater security through roles and permissions to safeguard platform and data access based on the franchisee’s approved role.

Let them know what they are achieving

Franchisee marketing budgets are simply too small to afford bad advertising spends. Ad technology with local-level reporting dashboards enables franchisees to see exactly how their campaigns are performing and provides them with insight into how to best utilize their ad spend in the future. When franchisees are left in the dark and are unaware of what is working, they will most likely waste ad spend, undeserving both the brand and the franchisee.

Drive adoption with tools built for non-marketers

Understand ease of adoption as a crucial component to an effective social advertising program. Franchisees will appreciate turnkey methods to connect their local business pages and launch best practice campaigns that automatically localize to their store, but at the same time, want more than just a ‘cookie cutter’ approach to the ads. Franchisee empowerment and optionality doesn’t need to be sacrificed for simplicity.

Franchisees know what they know: how to run their business. Yet, they realize they need more education when it comes to marketing”

Accelerate performance

Performance optimization capabilities enable brands and their franchisees to optimize campaigns using data intelligence to discover the assets and strategies that resonate with consumers to enhance campaign effectiveness. Capabilities like automated A/B testing ensure franchisee dollars are spent on the most effective ad variation(s), and creative automation enables advertisers to add dynamically-enhanced images and video with location, product, or promotional details. The technology should also permit secure sharing of exclusive first-party data with franchisees, jump-starting campaigns by targeting potential customers they would have historically missed when building audiences from scratch.

Encourage education

Franchisees know what they know: how to run their business. Yet, they realize they need more education when it comes to marketing. To this end, make sure your social ad technology partner offers service as well. Training and support via quality materials like FAQs, how-to videos, webinars, one-sheeters, and a responsive help desk ensure program adoption and partner success.

Effective franchise social advertising requires a balance between the brand’s needs and the franchisees’ needs. Collaborative advertising addresses the crucial need to connect a brand’s power with their franchisee’s unique customer base. Think of it like 1+1=3. When brands and their franchisees collaborate in advertising, they realize results greater than either entity could achieve on their own.

About the Author

Paul Elliott is CEO of Tiger Pistol, a collaborative advertising platform focused on connecting the power of brands with the knowledge and credibility of franchisees through simple and scalable location-level social advertising.

At a glance Tiger Pistol

Year established: 2011
Location: Austin, TX
Contact: Donny Dye; donny.dye@tigerpistol.com

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