One of the greatest challenges that new franchisees face is driving traffic to their location. To drive revenue, you need to convince local customers to visit your specific store or restaurant. In other words, you need to implement local store marketing strategies.
While franchising provides the benefits of a recognizable brand name and national marketing campaigns, national brand recognition is not a guarantee of local success. To truly drive revenue, you need to convince customers to visit your specific store or restaurant.
For many franchisees, local store marketing is a daunting task. Juggling the competing pressures of running a business leaves little time for marketing campaigns, which means most marketing efforts are reduced to store signage changes, t-shirt giveaways at community events or putting fliers on windshields.
But today, franchisees have more options at their disposal for reaching potential new customers efficiently, thanks to advances in consumer analytics and marketing technology. If driving foot traffic to your store is an issue you want to address, here are our tips for success:
1. Know Your Audience
The first fundamental of marketing is knowing who you are trying to reach. Are you trying to reach soccer moms who are strapped for time, or image-conscious young professionals? Describing customers in these terms moves beyond demographic characteristics, which provide just a surface-level view of your customers, to psychographics, which provide insights into lifestyles and purchasing habits to help you clearly identify your best potential customers.
Once you’ve identified who you are trying to reach, you need to know where consumers who fit that profile are located. Traditional marketing strategies involve blanketing a ZIP code with direct mail offers, but this isn’t an efficient use of your advertising dollars as you end up sending offers to households who aren’t likely to become a customer.
In the past, only large brands had access to customer analytics and “big data,” but today there are lower cost alternatives, such as LSMx – a local store marketing app, that can help you to define your customer profile and identify where consumers who match that profile are located. Technology can also help you to define your drive-time trade area, which is the region where the majority of your customers will come from. Customers think in minutes rather than miles, so focusing your marketing budget in your drive-time trade area is likely to yield the best return on investment.
2. Leverage Multichannel Marketing
Today’s consumers are inundated with marketing offers. To reach distracted consumers, you need to leverage more than just a single touchpoint. Consider combining offline marketing techniques with
online marketing techniques to build awareness. Channels options include the following:
· Google Search – The customer journey for many consumers now starts with a search engine, making search engine marketing (SEM) an essential part of a multichannel marketing strategy.
· Website Ads – Rather than purchasing ads on specific sites and hoping that your potential customers will see them, you can leverage technology to place ads on the sites that your potential customers actually visit to improve click-through rates.
· Facebook Ads – Facebook offers some of the most cost-effective social media advertising available today. You can place ads directly through the platform and select your targeting criteria,
or leverage technology such as LSMx that defines the customer profile for you based on your business type.
· Email Marketing – Email marketing is popular for existing customer relationships, but is an untapped resource for prospecting. To maintain compliance with anti-spam regulations, be sure you are
working with a reputable vendor.
· Direct Mail – Contrary to popular belief, direct mail isn’t dead. With volumes declining, direct mail marketing can be a way to cut through the online marketing clutter and capture
a potential customer’s interest.
3. Prioritize Local Event Marketing
Events are a great way to market your brand and have been a go-to local store marketing technique for many years. However, local store marketing at events goes beyond sponsorship or catering; you can design marketing campaigns designed to appeal to likely event attendees. For example, if there’s a 5K race happening next month, then you could offer a discount to customers who bring in their bib after the race.
Find out which events are coming up in your area and identify which ones make sense for your brand. For example, if you cater to families, then a community festival or school sponsored event may make sense. Once you’ve identified the events that make sense for you, use that opportunity to market to potential attendees.
In the next post of this series we’ll discuss the marketing to customers around your competitors and spending your budget dollars on the customers that are closest to your location with that are most likely to spend money in your store.
If you’re ready to take a test drive of LSMx, it only takes a few minutes to see what customers are around your location that you could be reaching with marketing. The Quick Look option allows you to view now: https://us.mylsmx.com/