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Opening a New Franchise Location? Follow these 5 Marketing Steps for a Successful Onboarding Process

Learn how to set up new franchisees with everything they need to connect with customers through powerful local marketing campaigns.
Franchise Onboarding Marketing

Getting ready to open a new franchise location? When it comes to onboarding and setting up the franchisee for success, there’s a lot for the corporate marketing team to consider. Will the new location’s leadership be able to reach its audience effectively? Will it stay in budget? Uphold brand standards? Putting the brand in brand-new hands can feel like a lot, but following these five steps will help national marketers get new franchisees up to speed in plenty of time for the grand opening bash.

Give Them the Keys to the Content

The first step to ensuring new franchisees are equipped to design and implement effective local marketing campaigns is giving them access to the latest collateral. This means familiarizing them with your digital asset manager or central content hub, where they have easy, 24-7 access to all the latest pre-approved marketing assets that they can customize or personalize as necessary and then either download or send to your trusted print and distribution partner.

What does all this mean? It means your new franchisee—whether they started as a marketing expert or not—now has everything they need to create and distribute beautiful, brand-compliant marketing collateral with very little oversight from corporate.

Open All Lines of Communication

Just like national marketing campaigns, local franchise campaigns are strongest when they reach customers across a variety of channels, both digital and print. Encourage your new franchisee to think multichannel as they’re creating their marketing strategy, setting up landing pages for their location as well as social media platforms and email list management. Show them how to set up Every Door Direct Mail and other print campaigns within your digital asset manager, and teach them how to monitor budgets, inventory, and campaign performance.

Today’s consumers want to shop with brands whose communication—online, in their mailboxes, and in stores—provides consistent messaging, up-to-date information and personalized value. Empowering franchisees to develop and implement robust multichannel marketing strategies gives them the tools they need to build lasting, loyal customer relationships.

Send the Invites

And what do you think will be the focus of the new franchise’s very first multichannel marketing campaign? The grand opening, of course! Building buzz about the store opening is a great way to leverage the power of digital and print marketing to work together to move customers through the awareness to purchase funnel.

For example, launch a social media campaign to introduce your brand to the new audience, building familiarity and getting potential customers excited about the new store opening. Then, send a direct mail postcard formally inviting them to the opening. When they receive it, they’ll already know who you are and what you’re about, and they’ll be primed to add the event to their calendars instead of dropping the postcard in the recycling.

Does this strategy really work? Well, a OneTouchPoint client recently saw a marketing ROI increase of over 200% when combining their direct mail and Facebook campaigns. Why? Because social media marketing breeds familiarity, and familiarity is the first step toward trust and, ultimately, purchase—or, in this case, launch party attendance and then purchase.

Adorn the Aisles

For brick-and-mortar retailers, marketing doesn’t stop when customers walk in the door. Rather, in-store materials such as shelf-talkers, directional signage, corrugated product displays, and point-of-sale posters add serious value to the customer experience. This in-store signage highlights deals, points shoppers in the direction of their soon-to-be-favorite products, and creates a buzzy, energetic feel throughout the store.

It’s not just the smaller marketing materials, either. Grand format signage like window clings, outdoor signage in the parking lot, and even vehicle wraps can be powerful ways to draw browsers into the store. And, of course, don’t forget that big grand opening banner out front!

(With access to the digital asset manager, new franchisees can order these materials for themselves, but it’s always a nice touch to send a store-opening kit from corporate with the basics to get them started.)

Stock Up on Swag

Finally, don’t forget the marketing materials that will add a little extra fun to your opening. From branded T-shirts, polos, and jackets for employees to giveaways and promo items like branded pens, notepads, or lip balm, swag goes a long way in building brand recognition and reputation. Think through what kinds of knick-knacks fit with your brand identity (stress balls for a wellness company, frisbees for an athletic store), and pack up those swag bags to delight customers, help them remember (and share) your brand, and get them excited to come back to the new store soon.

When it comes to franchise marketing, getting a new location up to speed comes with a long to-do list. At OneTouchPoint, we pride ourselves on making every step of the process easier—on day one and beyond. Our U.Connect platform is a digital asset manager that enables franchisees to access, customize, and produce quality, corporate-approved collateral at the drop of a hat, and our full-service production and distribution facilities can deliver anything from brochures to swag bags—and all the goodies that go inside—anywhere you need them to go.

Learn more about how we work with our franchise clients to showcase their brands through impactful local marketing campaigns. Then, when you’re ready, we invite you to contact us or request a quote on your next project. Our experts will provide insight and ideas to deliver phenomenal results at a great price.

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