Franchise owners can sometimes be overwhelmed by marketing, but simplifying it can be a surefire ticket to success
This article is powered by Scorpion
The world of digital marketing can be a complicated beast to the uninitiated; the world of digital marketing can be a complicated beast to the uninitiated; particularly for franchises that use multiple marketing platforms and yet seem to run into the same problems as their competitors who have zero strategy. Specifically: a lack of clarity from data, confusion on how to act on statistics, and where a business can grow in its market.
One of the main causes of these pain points? An oversaturation in the number of marketing tools and vendors. After all, the digital marketing landscape has grown exponentially over the previous decade, but that has only made it trickier to narrow down what works for your brand.
The headache stemming from adopting, integrating, and analyzing all these marketing options is acutely felt by franchises. In fact, according to a study conducted by Scorpion, only 30.8 per cent of those owners feel that they are harnessing the potential of their digital marketing tools.
Essentially, this results in solutions that are overpaid and underutilized. It’s no wonder that the same study revealed 66 per cent of franchise owners would prefer to work with one vendor for their marketing needs. “Last decade’s conventional wisdom told brands not to keep too many of their eggs in one proverbial marketing basket. But that was before the number of marketing technology solutions grew from 150 in 2011 to 8,000 in 2021,” says Kenny Wu, director of vertical marketing (franchise) at Scorpion. “In such a fragmented digital world, a unified marketing partner provides brands with several key advantages and efficiencies:
- Increased time and bandwidth: “Fewer vendors means franchise teams no longer have to spend days speaking to multiple points of contact and diving into dozens of different reports. With a unified marketing partner, franchise corporate teams (who are already stretched thin) get more time and energy to be strategic.
- Strategic clarity and optimization: “Marketing channels that were previously siloed with various vendors are unified with one partner system and dashboard, allowing brands to see what is working with less guesswork and confusion. Franchises can build a more holistic and harmonious marketing plan while getting guidance and advice from a strategic partner.
- Technology integration: “One unified partner means fewer custom API integrations for all the tools and apps a franchise needs to stay current with today’s digital marketing landscape. Franchises get a streamlined and seamless user experience when it comes to planning and executing their marketing strategy.”
The key to conversions
Scorpion’s data indicates that 68 per cent of business owners feel that their digital marketing vendors are ‘very helpful’ in reaching their goals, yet less than 15 per cent are ‘extremely satisfied’ with their digital marketing performance. The former of these statistics is undoubtedly positive, but what’s causing this disconnect between vendor support and marketing effectiveness? And perhaps more importantly, how can these factors then be funnelled into exceptional customer service?
As Brad Voreis, senior vice president of strategic marketing for Scorpion, explains: “One of the best key performance indicators that franchisors, as well as franchisees, can focus on surrounds phone/lead handling and closing ratios in the field. With form submissions and phone calls being the lifeblood of almost any service brand, it is critical that customers are taken care of professionally, properly, and promptly through all aspects of their customer journey.
59.9% of franchise owners using two or more vendors want to consolidate
“In my experience, the total number of leads isn’t the problem holding franchises back from growth. Rather, the chokepoint comes from the way potential customers or leads are being taken care of.
“Sometimes, that boils down to service touches as basic as making sure your staff is picking up the phone when it’s ringing, and not letting it go to voicemail. Or getting back to a potential customer immediately after you receive a lead via an email or alert. In addition, listening and reviewing inbound leads, measuring closing ratios, and coaching franchise teams on their interactions with customers is key.
“Giving constructive feedback to location staff is a necessary part of raising the bar, both in the office and in the field. Simply put, at the end of the day if your customers aren’t your number one focus, then you need to reevaluate your priorities!”
Streamlining your solutions
As mentioned above, one of the primary challenges that franchises face is an overabundance of marketing data coming from siloed or disjointed sets of tools and vendors – rather than acting as a valuable asset, this can dilute the main takeaways and inhibit useful development action.
From franchise owners who reviewed marketing reports daily to those who seldom looked at them, the number one pain point in Scorpion’s survey sample was not being able to interpret or understand the data. When taken in conjunction with the sheer number of marketing options available to franchises nowadays, it’s easy to see how processing and analyzing data from dozens of disconnected channels can be extremely time-consuming and frustrating.
Only 31% of franchise owners feel like they are harnessing the potential of all their digital marketing tools
What this shows is that franchises need consolidated reports that tell more holistic stories of what’s working across their marketing mix. These reports need to be able to show the synergies of how distinct channels affect and positively influence a customer’s journey.
“[I’d like to] have one application that does everything, instead of multiple applications for each aspect of the franchise. A ‘hub’ for everything,” said a home services franchise surveyed in Scorpion’s recent study.
THE BIGGEST TRENDS COMING TO SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE
Eric Tanner, senior vice president of franchise marketing at Scorpion, outlines three of the leading trends that brands will need to know about within the SaaS space:
1. Confidence within the franchise community will increase as it relates to incorporating SaaS into their day-to-day operations. Many manual processes will be replaced by automation and the use cases for artificial intelligence will become more and more apparent
2. As franchises become more technically savvy, they will start looking for way to utilize data that had previously been overlooked. Finding underutilized data can be a treasure trove for franchises looking to break out of a growth plateau. As such, brands that are able to unify and centralize data from various channel silos will have a huge leg up. Conversely, businesses that don’t centralize their data will become increasingly dependent on API connections to third parties
3. Innovation and growth within the SaaS space over the next few years will be tremendous and the companies that are able to adapt quickly to market changes that better suit their clients will win. The SaaS companies that can easily be integrated into a business’s current operations and are easy to build on top of will emerge as the leaders in this segment