One reason small business operators sign on with franchise companies is to obtain marketing support and access to proven management systems. During the recession, franchisors weren’t able to sell as many franchises because candidates couldn’t secure bank loans. But with banks beginning to fund small businesses again, franchisors are expecting a positive year for new openings which means more marketing dollars will be spent as well.
Constant Contact, which started out as a small business email marketing services provider, is now a marketing advisor, recently issued its findings on the franchise industry. They note that 86% of companies polled are predicting a strong 2012. Similar results were reported by the International Franchise Association. Industry operators say the number of units should increase 2% this year which translates into a lot of small business grand openings. And for franchising organizations, revenues could increase 5% to $782 billion dollars.
Franchises are using the following tactics to market themselves to potential small business owners:
- Websites 79%
- Public relations 64%
- Online advertising 62%
- Social media marketing 60%
For both established and new franchise organizations, the biggest challenge is finding new customers. The path to success for many is person-to-person communications. Franchise companies say in person communications (93%), telephone conservations (88%) and websites (85%) are most effective in starting these conversations.
Eliot Grossman, senior manager for franchise, distributors, and direct seller groups at Constant Contact says, "We've seen franchise businesses improve their results by taking an integrated approach to their marketing, combining email and social media marketing along with direct person-to-person communications.”
The new marketing initiatives in this industry is a welcome change after 3 years of decline.[Source: Constant Contact Poll. Constantcontact.com. 10 Feb. 2012. Web. 27 Feb. 2012]