Franchise marketing campaigns should be more effective than a singular business’ marketing campaign for a simple but profound reason. Group learnings.

Despite the pervasive view of advertising as being a creative enterprise, it’s never been more analytical. The modern marketing campaign is data driven and runs to a constant rhythm of test, learn and iterate. And that means that franchises pooling resources have an advantage.

There’s no substitute for scale

Find something that’s working and expand it. Identify unsuccessful elements and shut them down. It sounds simple enough, but the speed at which you can reach these decision points depends largely on one thing. The scale of the campaign.

Simply put, you need an adequate amount of test data before you can say if something’s working or not. Seeing a headline generate 6 clicks versus 4 clicks for an alternative headline is not conclusive!

There’s no getting around the fact that you need a significant sample size before optimizing a franchise marketing campaign. And when you take into account the number of tests the average campaign undertakes you start getting an understanding of why scale is important.

Headline A vs headline B. Instagram Stories vs Gmail display ads. Video Facebook ad vs static image facebook ad. Desktop Google Adwords vs Mobile Google Adwords. On and on it goes.

Only by split testing all these variations - with adequate test data - can you definitively say what’s working. By pooling franchisees’ budgets and leveraging group learnings you can find out what’s working sooner. Which means better results across the campaign for everyone.

Group learnings image
By pooling resources and sharing campaign learnings, the whole franchise network stands to benefit.

New media in franchise marketing campaigns

The digital media landscape is evolving at breakneck speed. Every month sees new offerings from the world’s top digital advertising companies such as Google and Facebook.

Click-to-buy options in Instagram Stories. Location targeted e-commerce ads in Facebook. Custom filters and lenses in Snapchat.

Don’t worry if you don’t know what some or all of these are. All you need to know is the media options for any digital campaign are vast.

Upon release of a new media option there’s only one surefire way to know if it’s worthwhile. Test it. Test it versus existing performing channels, and test it comprehensively enough to know categorically that it’s worth persevering with or not.

And that requires budget.  In a franchise scenario, that might mean allocating 5% of the total pooled spend to the test. Completely acceptable if the new media looks to make intuitive sense at the outset.

But were it a single franchise location, or any small business for that matter, that same test might absorb 90% of the budget. As we’ve discussed before, testing new media makes little sense in this scenario.

So not only can franchise marketing campaigns benefit from existing group learnings, they are best placed to gain new learnings and capitalise on the raft of new media opportunities. 

A case in point

We recently ran a nationwide member acquisition campaign for a global fitness franchise. Just as we did at the same time last year (it was an end of financial year sale).

Last year’s campaign was a success. We brought in plenty of new members at a very acceptable cost-per-lead. The offer was well received so all parties were comfortable running that again, completely unchanged.

Without any significant changes in the competitive landscape nationally, the campaign produced a 112% increase in leads, with cost-per-lead dropping by over 35%.

How was this achieved? The campaign had the benefit of another 12 months of group learnings, and a host of proven new media at its disposal.

Talking specifics, Instagram Stories - which didn’t exist 12 months ago – were instrumental in driving campaign traffic to the campaign landing page which itself had been further optimized from a year prior.

It’s the perfect example of group learnings evolving over time to drive a successful franchise marketing campaign.

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