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5 Proven Strategies to Increase Adoption of Digital Advertising by Franchisees

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Patrick Pleiss
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Getting franchisees to adopt brand-safe and cost-effective digital advertising remains a massive challenge. If you’re like most brands, no more than 20% of your franchisees are active on paid channels like search, social and display. In fact, closer to 0% are active on all three at once. 

Some franchise brands don’t permit their local owners to execute their own local advertising. That’s been a problem in and of itself. Consider search. By allowing franchisees to buy local search ads, the risk of bumping up against national efforts remains too high. Or by allowing franchisees to buy their own targeted Facebook or Display ads, the thought of franchisees going rogue with off-brand and potentially non-complaint creative messaging keeps brand marketers up at night. Both are non-starters. 

Many more complexities exist that have prevented better adoption of local digital advertising by franchisees, we can keep going. Instead, let’s talk about solutions!

Solving for Low Adoption

To solve for low adoption, franchise brands have had an option (rhyme intended). Traditionally, they’ve vetted and approved local vendors (platform services or agencies) for their franchisees to work with 1:1 and launch ads in their community, using brand-safe assets provided by the brand.

Despite training, webinars and shiny collateral, adoption from franchisees has remained frustratingly low. 

Why? There’s a host of reasons, including the varying degrees of marketing know-how at every level of franchise organization. Franchisees are business owners, not marketers – even seemingly simpler marketing decisions like when to advertise, what channels to leverage, or how much budget to spend are a bridge too far to cross. Instead, they opt to not make that call to the local vendor for 1:1. Their community goes without effective digital advertising. 

Here’s 5 ways to increase adoption of franchisee local digital advertising:

  • Take care of the hard stuff for them

In-house a new technology solution that allows you to build, customize, and analyze brand advertising for every brand location and franchisee. Create a menu of pre-configured, cross-channel ad campaigns for your local-budget franchisees to adopt and launch in a few clicks. With the hard stuff taken care of, your franchisees benefit from sophisticated ad tech previously reserved for your national brand budget.

  • Limit the amount of steps needed to launch their advertising

If your franchisees decide on anything other than what creative offer, image or message will resonate best for their business needs and community preferences – then they’re likely making too many decisions. Your technology partner should empower your brand team to build campaigns and customize in bulk – leaving the final decisions about creative selection, or perhaps how much budget to contribute within parameters your brand team pre-set, to the franchisees themselves. Cross-channel advertising, specifically customized for their community, can be launched by franchisees in minutes.

  • Their dollars, their results

Franchisees usually aren’t eager to contribute to a fund without knowing how their dollars are helping their business. Partner with a technology solution to give franchisees the ability to easily launch ads for their community, ensure every local ad dollar spent is served in their market, serve brand ads customized for their location or services, and drive consumers to their unique landing page. 

  • Do it for them, with increased visibility (yes, really!)

About that ad fund…franchisees buy-in to your brand to leverage your systems and the support already in place, including your brand marketing prowess. Invariably, however, most franchisees are clamoring (or maybe silently hoping) for greater visibility into how the brand ad fund is working for them. It’s been a hot button at many major brands. 

Find a tech partner that will allow your brand advertising to deliver individual budgets, individually customized creative, individual results and individual reporting for everyone in the organization. Creating transparency creates trust! Really, this is now a possibility.

  • Put them on a pedestal

Franchisees talk! They share stories. They want to hear about successes with their peers. Look to leverage local insights from your brand advertising to find success at the individual location level. Create impactful case studies and success stories to be shared internally. This has been difficult to do when all locations are executing their digital advertising in silos…a single dashboard to see everything in one place will help.

If you want to dig in more on the topic, read our guide to Transforming Multi-Location Digital Advertising - just click the button to open!

Transform multi location digital advertising


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