Are you Disenfranchising Your Franchisees?

Just like any business, franchise organizations have two key marketing objectives: build a strong brand and attract customers. But unlike other types of businesses, they have a unique challenge when it comes to executing on their marketing initiatives. The need to reconcile their corporate marketing strategy with localized, franchisee-led initiatives can cause major complications, particularly in the areas of brand management, localized communications and compliance.

Often, the tools that power marketing activities such as the CRM, channel marketing like email, direct mail and SMS or loyalty programs do not account for the unique needs and structure of the franchise, forcing many franchisors to choose between brand consistency and empowering local owners.

One franchise category that feels this pain is the fast-growing Beauty and Wellness sector.

According to The Global Wellness Institute, the market is now valued at $4.2 trillion, representing an astounding 5.3% of global economic output, and consumer demand is on the rise. Focused on self-care for the mind, body and soul, the category includes everything from fitness studios specializing in yoga, spin, barre, or boxing to day spas, and meditation centers. Notable beauty maintenance behemoths include DryBar, The Lash Lounge, and SEVA Beauty.

Personalization is important for any industry, but in today’s frenetic, always-connected, media-saturated world, people are seeking refuge in experiences that make them feel nurtured and cared for, making customer-centric marketing key for the beauty and wellness.

We’ll discuss the three requirements for successful marketing communication that is on-brand, personalized and secure across any franchise organization.

  • Brand Management – the ability to ensure that all franchisees issue consistent outbound communication that adheres to brand guidelines.
  • Localized Content – the ability to support franchisee-led communications that target customers who visit a particular location
  • Data & Compliance – the ability to enforce data hygiene, protect personally identifiable customer information and adhere to regional privacy regulations such as GDPR and CASL

Brand Management

For the franchisor, maintaining a consistent brand identity and enforcing standards across the franchise is critical, but inflexible marketing tools can hinder personalization as a result.

A marketing system with customizable permission controls allows the franchisor to enforce the desired level of control over certain aspects of marketing communications while enabling customization in certain areas. Examples of global, brand level content management include:

  • Visual elements: logo size and placement, font and images
  • Formats: templates for emails, landing pages and email signatures
  • Content: globally updated content such as corporate announcements, standard brand copy, contact information and social links

Localized Content

For the franchisee, engaging with and retaining customers at the local level is critical for success. For beauty and wellness brands, fostering a personal relationship between the customer and their preferred location for service is directly related to brand loyalty and increasing a customer’s value over time. Often, this is achieved by segmenting customers based on the last location they visited.

A marketing system that enables these kinds of segmentation rules can facilitate location-specific communications such as a notification of available appointments. To further personalize the outreach, a franchisee may choose to send a photo and bio of the esthetician on staff and send the note from their business email versus a more formal corporate account address.

Another use case for this type of segmentation is to share local promotions or simply engage with customers that have not visited the location in a specified amount of time. The important caveat here is to account for the fact that a customer may visit multiple franchise locations, but this is another scenario that can be effectively managed by a marketing system tailored for franchise organizations.

Data & Compliance

Now more than ever, brands must enforce standards for data privacy and compliance. Sweeping regulations such as GDPR have left many organizations at a loss for how to manage the requirements on local or global levels, especially as many franchisees use discreet solutions to manage customer data and communications. Further, for global franchises, adhering to region-specific compliance regulations like Canada’s Anti Spam Law, or CASL, can cause further headaches.

The management of opt-in and opt-out records across locations and company-wide processes for the collection, storage and and erasure of customer data are now under scrutiny by both regulatory organizations as well as consumers.

Again, the tendency for some franchisors may be to mitigate risk by taking the reins and maintaining control over all customer data and communications, thereby squashing the ability for franchisees to build relationships in their local markets through personalized marketing. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Through centralized management of customer data and robust permission sets for outbound marketing, franchisors enforce and oversee critical business standards while empowering franchisees to build their businesses through creativity and personalization.

Start delighting your customers and boosting business

Watch your loyalty programs, gift cards, strategic offers and marketing communications over achieve when driven by Clutch’s comprehensive marketing solutions.