Top 5 rookie mistakes in franchise campaign execution

Rachael Dao on September 10, 2018

Running a campaign can be an exciting but stressful time for any franchisee. Execution is essential to securing a successful result. But it’s not just about handing over money to an agency and waiting for the tills to start ringing.

Even if you are hiring a marketing agency, each franchise location needs to hold up their end of the bargain. More specifically, you’ll want to avoid these rookie mistakes in franchise campaign execution.

1. Not training front line staff on new offers

An all too frequent error that franchisees make is failing to adequately train and inform ALL their staff about a campaign offer. It puts an understandably sour taste in any customers mouth to walk in and ask about an offer only to find that front line staff know nothing about it.

In franchise locations where the staff are predominantly part time or casual, this happens a lot.

Have a staff meeting with all front-line staff or hold a manager meeting and then follow up with them to ensure they have trained their casual staff. Put up notices and posters in break rooms on current campaign activity. And make shift managers accountable for briefing staff at the start of their shifts.

Don’t let anyone slip through the cracks and inadvertently let down customers. Also, make sure that staff are equipped with the tools they need well ahead of the commencement of the campaign.

2. Not providing feedback on lead quality from a location level.

Are you getting the right <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">type of leads</a> from your campaign? If not, let the agency know as there is likely things they can do to tweak the campaign.

Prime examples include customers coming in feeling they were misled about offer costs, too many ‘tyre kickers’, or people coming from catchments too far away. All are cues to tweak campaign creative and targeting.

If you’re using multiple advertising platforms such as television, radio, print and social media make sure you ask your customers about how they heard about the offer. That way you can gauge which platforms are most effective and worth increased investment.

3. Not converting first time trialists

Offering free trials is a proven customer acquisition tool across many industries. From health and fitness, to cleaning and maintenance, and even automotive dealerships.

In any of these scenarios, you only get one chance to make a first impression so make sure it’s a good one.  Make yourself available during the trial period, encourage prospects to ask questions about your product or services, don’t leave them hanging and unsure of precisely how to proceed.

Also make sure not to overwhelm prospects with a slew of information at once. Allow people to trial your service without bombarding them with terms and conditions. During a trial, not scaring prospective customers away is as important as wooing them.

Most importantly, don’t forget to follow up first time visitors or trialists and ask them how their experience was. Be proactive in addressing any hesitations they may have and actively close them at the end of their trial period. Not proactively converting trialists is one of the most critical mistakes in franchise campaign execution.

With so much time and money invested into attracting new trialists, it’s amazing how many franchisees get lackadaisical with converting.

4. Not defining key measures of success

If you have only an arbitrary understanding of your campaign objectives how can you say with any certainty whether it was a success or not? Take the time to compile a coherent and comprehensive list of objectives for your campaign.

What is it you hope to achieve in terms of awareness, sales, leads or additional revenue from existing customers? Make sure that your sales objectives in particular are not just wishful thinking but are based on empirical evidence and what you think is realistically attainable. You can't manage what you don't measure!

5. Having concurrent, conflicting offers

Having multiple offers in market at any one time frequently leads to customer confusion and frustration.

For example, having a referral offer for 2 months free membership for both the referrer and referee. And also having a one month free offer for all new members.

So do new, referred members get 3 months free? Often franchisees point to the fine print and a 'not compatible with any other offer' line. While legally this stands up, it may not be reasonable for new customers to anticipate this, in which case they might feel cheated.

Retail stores are notorious for '% off everything' sales advertised ad nauseam, with fine print exclusions for already discounted items. The net effect is offers that aren't as good as they originally appear. This frequently leads to the marketing campaign behind one of the offers being undermined, and customers feeling misled.

Both marketing agency and franchise locations need to execute

These mistakes in franchise campaign execution may seem easy to avoid, but they are made again and again. Even seasoned franchise owners and managers are susceptible, especially when they are reliant on new staff for their campaign execution.

Stay vigilant, pay attention to all the key executional elements and avoid these common mistakes to ensure campaign success.

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