What to Look for in a Franchise Digital Marketing Consultant: A Checklist

According to Franchise Direct, one out of seven U.S. businesses is a franchise. On average one to two new brands launch each day, and an average of 300 new brands start franchising each year. In an increasingly crowded marketplace, how do you find a skilled franchise digital marketing consultant to help your multi-location brand or business stand out from the competition? 

5 Things to Consider Before Choosing a Franchise Digital Marketing Consultant

Here are the top five qualities you should look for and the questions you should ask before choosing a digital marketing consultant for your franchise. 

1. Do They Have Franchise Digital Marketing Experience?

Anyone can say they can handle your digital marketing. However, few have the experience and expertise to handle complex multi-location campaigns seamlessly.

Ask potential partners what verticals and clients they have worked in. Find out if they have relevant experience in your field. Learn about their big wins, their biggest challenges, and opportunities. This will help you get a more clear picture of their track record. 

The best digital marketing agencies have custom turnkey systems, so your digital marketing campaigns can go off without a hitch. Are the systems scalable, so they still run smoothly when they ramp up to more locations? Here are a few helpful turnkey programs your franchise digital marketing consultant should have in place: 

Digital Media Program Enrollment

How do they handle digital marketing program enrollment? Is it through a web portal? If so, is the web portal well-designed, and easy to use? (Enrollment should take less than 10 minutes.) 

Multi-location Digital Advertising Creative and Offers

What’s the process to view and approve advertising programs, creative, and offers? How quickly can they get digital advertising live? Make changes? Switch out limited-time offers or gear certain offers to specific markets? 

Multi-location Digital Media Campaign Performance Reporting

Can they provide daily performance reports that are easy on the eyes and easy to understand? Can you get more analytics if you need them? Getting this campaign data will not only help you understand how your campaign is faring but give you insight into how to improve. Your chosen consultant can then use these findings to optimize your campaign in real-time. 

Multi-location Digital Media Campaign Billing

Billing is never fun. But, when many locations or individual business owners are involved, it can get downright complicated and confusing fast. Is your potential provider happy to wade through billing, compliance, and corporate advertising reimbursements and handle it for you, for all your locations? How involved do you have to be? Is it a straightforward, simple process? 

2. Do They Have Hyperlocal Marketing Knowledge?

Consumers like to connect with local businesses through search engines. According to Google research, 88% of people who use local search on their phones visit a related store within a week after the initial search. Also, 50% of people who research online before shopping look for store details like location and proximity to them. 

Your potential franchise digital marketing consultant should have the knowledge to help you hone your local marketing efforts to drive quality local leads to your door? They should help you turn these leads into customers. Find out if your prospective digital partners can build microsites to promote different locations and individual advertising offers and promotions. Can they map your locations on all the major platforms and add current and consistent contact info to local business directory listings across the internet? 

This is so time-consuming to manage and keep updated, but it is important so consumers can quickly find or contact you. Responding to customer inquiries and reviews in a timely manner can be tough to make time for day-to-day. Your potential partner should help you monitor and respond quickly to your customers’ questions and their reviews. They should also be able to advise and handle your paid search advertising and social media efforts. All these local marketing efforts can drive more qualified traffic to your locations, so assess their full capabilities. 

3. Do They Care About Research and Data?

To grow your multi-location brand or business, capture leads, sell more to current customers and pitch your prospects, you need excellent insights. Research and data can help you learn how to best speak to and reach your customers and prospects and tell you if your media strategy is effective and on target.

Qualified franchise digital marketing consultants should be able to tell you where your customers and prospects go online and how they get there. They should be able to conduct audience targeting across devices using a variety of channels. Most of all, they should be transparent with you about your performance metrics and audience data (your target segments, channels, and tactics) and how they’re affecting you financially. Whatever your customers or prospects are doing, research and data can help you identify leads and reach them. 

4. Are They Media Savvy?

The media landscape is different in every market, so taking a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work with multi-location campaigns. Can your prospective franchise digital marketing consultant adapt and personalize digital marketing at the local level? No matter the market size, big or small, you need someone familiar with the entire country. They should also have extensive regional and local knowledge to build a media plan that is specific to each market. 

Find out how well your potential digital consultants understand various markets and their opportunities. You can do this by asking them about a market’s target audience – their characteristics, demographics, likes and dislikes, income, education, challenges, needs, and desires. 

The franchise digital marketing consultant you choose must be nimble and flexible enough to take your overarching national plan and customize it. They should be able to test it and optimize campaigns for any area–using the best technology, channels, and tactics to fit your unique needs. 

5. Are They Easy to Work With?

Different clients and verticals can be challenging. How can you manage everything when marketing is only one of many things you need to do each day? 

Find a digital media partner that has extensive know-how, cares about all the little details as much as you, can answer all your questions, and dive right in to help you. Look for one that truly cares about your unique challenges and can quickly give you the research, answers, and solutions to help you succeed. Can your potential franchise digital media provider quickly learn about and support your brand standards across the country while supporting business owners’ local efforts as well? 

Building your national brand helps customers and prospects learn about and become interested in you. Uniformity and consistency are key. Local markets should share and build on the national message. No matter where a consumer goes, they should have the same customer experience across locations. 

Is your prospective consultant transparent and willing to share their knowledge? Are they willing to take the time to teach you so you can understand the benefits of digital marketing? Do they show how your investment will drive growth and traffic now and in the future? 

Your potential digital media provider should be approachable and accessible. Ideally, they can help you sort out your day-to-day concerns and build your presence in local communities. It’s even better if they can connect you to local prospects and customers, so you can build trust.

When you’re scoping out franchise digital marketers, it can be overwhelming to choose the right candidate for the job. It’s too big of a decision to choose wrong. 

Why Picking The Right Marketing Consultant Matters

A franchise digital marketing consultant may be expected to coordinate and support up to hundreds (even thousands) of business owners’ needs and demands.

If that weren’t enough, they must also provide the right strategies to engage different audiences in various markets at once. These tasks are incredibly hard to pull off, let alone do well. 

That’s why the one you pick must be well-rounded. When you discover one with all the qualities you’re after, you’ve found the right franchise digital marketing consultant for you. If you would like more franchise digital marketing tips and trends to maximize your budget and take your multi-location brand or business farther, we are enthusiastic to help.