Marketing Myths Still Alive in the Franchise World

Sep 16, 2021

As CEO of Deliver Media, I’ve seen a progression in the franchise world over the past 10 years as marketers move to use data. Yet there are a few persistent data myths and misconceptions that still deter top teams from reaching data-driven potential.

It’s time to bust these myths and unleash maximum multi-location growth.

Myth #1: Market research is all we need.

As franchise veterans know, our markets are shaped by customer trends, competitor moves, and unexpected disruptions. But it’s a resource drain to bushwhack through reports, industry journals, and social media hashtags. Meanwhile, customer surveys can be misleading.

On the other hand, data doesn’t lie.

Combining all your available data points with third-party demographic and psychographic traits reveals much more about customer segments and behavior than most market research.

Active monitoring helps tame the chaos.

Following the facts in your proprietary data alerts you to market changes faster than occasional market research. Predictive analytics takes what you know about your customers and leaps ahead, digesting data to predict future behavior.

Myth # 2: Managing data is so difficult and dangerous, only the corporate office should have access.

NewVantage’s 2021 Big Data and AI Survey findings confirm the struggle to comfortably manage and fully maximize data. While 96% see ROI from data investments, only 24% consider the company data-driven.

Corporate offices that keep data sequestered are sitting on a gold mine.

Whether the barrier is safety concerns or cultural (lack of people, processes, or confidence), there are solutions. We’ve helped lead this transformation for businesses that need expertise, using embedded data protections and working within managed access. Even under HIPAA rules, data insights can be extracted.

Some franchises scratch the surface, using their data to make operational improvements or segmenting customers nationally. But it’s hyperlocal focus that shows us major ROI.

“Some franchises scratch the surface, using their data to make operational improvements or segmenting customers nationally.

But it’s hyperlocal focus that shows us major ROI.”

– Sean Johnson, CEO – Deliver Media

Many franchisees don’t have enough clarity about exactly who likes their product or service. And they’re in the dark when it comes to what degree and at which location. That changes when franchisees have data access and can act on the local level.

With customer transactional data, multi-location businesses like QSRs or home services can generate more revenue by relating to individuals. When we combine corporate first-party data with third-party data traits, we multiply market insights. This cracks open the gold mine, revealing both current customer behavior and likely future behavior. In the QSR industry for example, a franchisee can gain an advantage over other restaurants struggling to stand out on order aggregators like GrubHub or UberEats.

Myth #3: The best way to advertise our franchise is obvious.

We hear a lot about franchisees’ favorite marketing channels. Some like radio. Some think online ads, SEO, and PPC are best for multi-location businesses. Those preferences are often based on gut feelings or relationships with a customer group.

But what if data could guide us to better decisions?  

With a data-driven process, we can pinpoint tailored micro-campaigns that make the most of corporate brand resources, budget, and marketing pools. Over and over, we’ve seen the power of reaching specific customer segments with a finely tuned mix of marketing channels.

A targeted strategy uses marketing budget wisely. Remember, direct mail is more than coupon packs. PPC is more than just high-priced keyword bidding. Done with precision, these vehicles give franchises high-quality exposure with a small investment.

Myth #4: There’s no way to please every franchisee.

Local-first marketing is a huge part of proving impact to franchisees. If your brand captures customer transactional data in POS or CRM, analysts can extract hyperlocal trends for success with every location.

I’ve found these 3 aspects are likely to please franchisees:

Neighborhood-based targeting: Target down to the community level and optimize campaigns to retain customers.

Quantifiable ROI: We can measure return on investment, squashing another myth that there’s no real way to quantify franchise marketing efforts. When we help clients close the loop and find 1-to-1 attribution, the ROI numbers are eye-popping. Ideally, measurement should go beyond cost per lead.

Speed: When we consult with a client on which predictive models to build, the first can be in place within 2 weeks. From first call to first campaign could be as little as 30 days. And the speed picks up from there as machine learning kicks in to optimize campaigns for better revenue.

Which data myths are holding back your business potential? Would a sample data analysis help you move ahead? Get in touch.