Franchise Level Marketing Plans

Leading End To End Franchise Solutions

From Strategic Planning, Legal, Operations, and Training setup to Marketing, Sales, and Compliance…. we customize all phases with you and your team and assist you in executing them while building the associated materials.


A healthy franchise needs a constant flow of leads flowing into the franchise office’s CRM to acquire potential franchisees.  Franchise Science writes your marketing plan, but more importantly studies and connects with each content contributor, marketing vendor or agency,  trade shows, and your other industry-specific lead-generation mechanisms to recommend and assist in implementing your brand’s marketing efforts and budget most effectively.

Seven Systems to Fill the Funnel

Marketing and Selling to ideal franchisee candidates is one of the most rewarding and fun parts of the franchise journey!  Due to the complexities and ever-changing digital environment in the search for franchise leads, FSI spends a great deal of time setting up each client’s “franchise office” whether a physical space, or a virtual one.  Once the franchise foundation has been laid with proper Strategic Planning, Legal, Operations and Training preparation, and we tighten up any design or engineering elements needed, it is time to execute the vital Franchise Marketing Plan to achieve a sufficient volume of leads to acquire multiple “Discovery Days” for serious buyers, and to create the conditions for profitable sales and ideal franchisee acquisition and growth.

Some franchisors do most of their marketing efforts in-house and work with multiple vendors to achieve adequate lead-volume, and then process each lead with their own salesperson and other leadership.  Other franchisors reach out to various “broker networks,” such as FranNet or other such third party, who have multiple salespeople who will  at first “qualify” the new franchisor for quality purposes, and then sell for the franchisor for a large cut ( $25-30K or more per sale is quite common) for each franchise sale.

Whether you decide to pay the price to use outside brokers, or are more possessive of your sales process, you are going to be fully involved in the Discovery Day and Contracting process at some juncture, whether thru UFDD disclosure, presentations, discovery, or contract execution with the new franchisee.  In other words:  you really need to understand how to execute the entire franchise sales process regardless of insourcing or outsourcing various functions and lead-generation.

When getting ready to sell to your initial franchises, FSI will assist in recommending various software options (ERP Cloud Systems)  for both the marketing and sales CRM, as well as other modules to run everything from compliance to administration daily, of which there are many fine options.  Once the appropriate software has been investigated, evaluated, and chosen by the franchisor client, it is FSI’s job to train any and all owners, salespeople, and anyone directly involved in the franchise sales process, and to do this training on-site.  Once the franchisor office is trained and all software, checklists, required registrations and filings are in-place, it is time to start marketing our franchise, assuming all starting fundamentals are in place.

The first thing to understand is that to execute a responsible marketing plan is going to require a budget that is commiserate to the goals we are setting for the client’s sales. Although estimating the budget was done much earlier in our “Strategic Planning” process, costs, and technologies in marketing shift so quickly, it is essential to revisit and update the SP and to make sure that the marketing methods, plan, and budget match what is realistic to succeed.

The second thing we look at as we build your customized marketing plan is what type of lead-generation is the most effective both currently and historically for your type of franchise business.  A typical plan consists of an aggressive digital strategy, including primary efforts on SEO, Pay-Per-Click, and a barrage of Video and Streaming venues of content across appropriate platforms shown to be successful in your industry.

However, your franchise cannot live by digital marketing alone.  Historically, we have found that ideally a highly-functioning franchise marketing effort should consist of at least SEVEN UNRELATED lead-generating systems.  A typical system would include our most-valuable type of lead, which is Referrals.  PPC may be second in value, followed by Public Relations, Social Media, Seminar Marketing, Trade Show Marketing, and LinkedIn campaigns.  This is only an example of lead-gen components in any given plan, and definitely not customized for you.    Remember, ideally you should have seven or more lead systems running that are not in the same advertising category/method.  However, diversifying is meaningless if you are not constantly tracking and improving, removing ineffective measures after enough time has passed to adequately measure them for ROI effectiveness, and replacing the failed vendors with better performing ideas as your knowledge grows.

So, what do you think your preferred method of franchise marketing and sales should be with your model?  Is your model so simple that an outside broker could sell it as effectively as you can?  Or you split the difference and have a combination of broker efforts and inside-sales from your team?  Or do you want to strap a billboard over you and walk around town like Liberty Tax people do?

The answer to the question of most-effective marketing approach is not to just jump in and write up a plan, but to start with the knowledge derived from months of in-depth consulting and analysis to place the best bets we can for your system, and then be smart enough to evolve the marketing plan as the feedback loop of constant, dependable, automated lead-tracking allows us to do.  This is made simple through the use of any appropriate all-inclusive franchise office software/ERP package, in which all of the lead-gen and CRM activity can be aligned to create active and accurate performance reports for each method.

Franchise Science and our marketing team are dedicated to your success, and to review and evaluate multiple marketing choices with you as we build your ideal plan.  Let us use the best available marketing intel to achieve the ROI goals as we scale your franchise future!

Why Franchise Science for Franchise Marketing Plans?

The universe of digital marketing, A.I., and other marketing automation, and machine learning is only the beginning when analyzing the best approaches to deciding on lead generation to acquire the best franchisees for your franchise organization.

Proper seminar training showing the most updated methodology for everything from “How to Do a Trade Show” to utilizing influencers and social media are covered in-person at your FSI events.  Let FSI create the most well thought out marketing system to fill your CRM with qualified opportunities for your franchise sales professional and follow it up with both in-office and live seminar support to stay current in today’s evolving marketing ecosystem.

Marketing Plan
Have a Franchise Marketing Plan built in a way which forces the evaluation of all the best marketing methods, appropriate vendors, and newly-emerging tech
Marketing Data
Pick the best ERP and CRM system from the many options to Measure What Matters in your marketing data
FSI Seminars
Stay current on each lead-generation method by frequently attending FSI Seminars either online, or in-person to your convenience.
ROI Measurements
Evolve your marketing plan carefully by measuring ROI consistently

Attend multiple events of the International Franchise Association by becoming a member as soon as your franchise is live! Events include a multitude of round-tables focused on marketing and technology, and the IFA meeting calendar should be part of your schedule for both Trade Shows (and) franchise education and CFA training for your sales teams and management.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many franchise brokers in our industry right now, such as FranNet or Transworld, along with a host of independent brokers. FSI creates and develops your marketing plan and trains you along with any other franchise salespeople and staff in your organization as part of our development and consulting duties regardless of the path you take because your owners and your team need to fully understand the entire sales process, but we are not franchise brokers or a sales organization. If we develop your franchise, a major part of our decision-making process in both Strategic Planning and Franchise Marketing is if we are going to encourage/allow broker participation. The best use of brokers (speaking) is when simple models with very few “moving parts” are involved, and the franchisor simultaneously can afford to forfeit “most” or “all of” their up-front franchise fees to the broker or organization. Let us review your model and build your plan to base our advice and your decision on the best available data and testing.
Although there are differing opinions about the level of testing for best practices on franchisees who we are trying to develop a relationship of long-term trust with, I would definitely err on the side of “caution” and include a customized package prepared for you by one of the many Myers Briggs spinoffs in our industry that is focused on child care questions. Awarding a franchisee is like getting married, and you cannot afford to marry a serial killer. You can easily explain your more cautious process, and it will be welcomed by the kind of franchisees who you want in your system, who will be adamant about any kind of reasonable questionnaire method to protect our children. A complete background check should be part of every franchise application process, and in sensitive industries involving children I would advise further profiling of this type.
There are multiple ERP packages to choose from, including ERPs that are highly-customized for your industry and require a substantial investment, to “off the shelf” systems that are more all-inclusive packages for the hospitality industry and simpler service models. All relevant packages should be evaluated for your franchise office, but in all cases, you should choose a package with the following modules: Well-Designed CRM, Operations Management, Legal Compliance, Field Audits, Royalty, and Income Mgt, and a solid Franchisee Portal (if not provided by other software). Some popular brands even have their own built-in Learning Management System, but historically we have recommended stand-alone LMS systems separate from our ERP, although this may change with new developments. FSI will both recommend options and coordinate demonstrations with the best vendors which can meet your needs upon request, and typically make this part of the “end game” of our franchise marketing process, installing and training on a system prior to training the sales staff and owner/director(s). In this way, our Marketing, Sales, and Training time with you will be focused on “method” and “execution,” and not vendor-training or support issues.
We have added a lot of current marketing methodology in just the last 14 months. The “old fashioned” lead generators such as Google PPC, SEO Optimization, Franchise Portals, and LinkedIn campaigns are all still relevant to a large degree, with franchise portals getting the worst “grade” for quality and performance of-late. However, modern technologies in A.I. outreach are gradually maturing into useable connections by “Self-Learning” into more valuable “Franchisee Seekers” on a daily basis. Tradeshow and Event Marketing are still truly relevant, in spite of the reduction in ROI compared to years past for many models. Your franchise marketing strategy needs to be fully explored and evaluated, and general recommendations are not useful in what is the most challenging lead-acquisition market we have ever seen. Demand a plan, Demand the logic behind each method, and Test, Test, Test in the front end, and Measure, Measure, Measure on an ongoing basis.
Remember, we are marketing to find our next franchisee or area developer for our system. This is a “relationship building exercise” whereby the romance is typically a slow-building joyful exploration of the “fit” on both sides, and not a used-car sale. Using remarketing to sell shingles is one things at the unit level, but some buyers think its very “tacky” at the franchise level. Although it is an individual decision or “test” if you want to try it, I will shy away from tactics that appear overly-aggressive and find more creative ways to reach out to potential franchisees one-on-one.

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