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Why Restaurant Franchises Need a Local Marketing Strategy

By: Jody Scheldt, Sr. Marketing Manager, 9/20/17

Why Restaurant Franchisees Should Use a Local Marketing StrategyAn Avocado BLT in Los Angeles and a Shrimp Po’ Boy in Baton Rouge- two sandwich options not out of place on menus in their respective cities, however reverse these two and you may see a drop in sales. As a nationwide restaurant franchise, being able to tailor your menu to regional locales is critical to your success. When a franchise business is able to tap into the local culture, there is a higher level of authenticity associated with that restaurant and in turn a stronger tie within a community.

So, as a national (or even international) brand, how do you provide franchisees with the marketing materials they need to target their local markets? That’s where local marketing software comes in.

Brands like Subway® and Texas Roadhouse® use a marketing portal (a part of local marketing software) to simplify the process of getting marketing materials to all of their franchisees. Using this type of franchise marketing system, the corporate marketing team can add properly branded content in template format to the portal and then give franchisees the option to update menu items and associated imagery as needed to target their local markets.

For instance, Subway offers different breads and toppings in regional locations so each location needs to be able to promote their unique offerings on their menus, on flyers, in direct mail pieces, and on coupons. Franchisees can edit a direct mail piece with their new roasted garlic bread offering in seconds and have it sent directly to a vendor for printing. This workflow with local marketing software means corporate marketing has control, while giving the franchisees freedom to create the marketing they need on their own timeline.

Providing this level of personalization in marketing means franchisees can manage their own advertising instead of being forced to use high-level brand campaigns that may miss the mark at the local level. Branding at the national level will help with recognition, but it may not make a big enough impact on sales for a specific franchise location.

With local marketing software, franchisees can leverage corporate brand assets and tailor them to their customer base using their own expertise.

When the season changes to fall, a coffee chain in the Northeast may want to begin to promote their biggest seller of the year, the Pumpkin Pie Latte, earlier than other locations to boost their sales. That same chain in the Southwest may want to keep their Coconut Cold Brew on the menu longer since they’re expecting a long summer.

These options are possible when you use local marketing software, and more importantly, your national (or international) franchise brand can now tap into regional markets in a more authentic way. So, whether you are a food franchise or a retail franchise, a local franchise marketing system can assist with franchise development and the long-term success of your company. 

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