2021 AFDR & AFMR: Franchise Development & Marketing in the Time of Covid
This introductory article to the 2021 Annual Franchise Development Report (AFDR) and the 2021 Annual Franchise Marketing Report (AFMR) will be followed in future issues by shorter, specific excerpts from the combined report.
2020 will go down as one of the most difficult years in at least a century. Not only did Covid-19 dominate the world stage for most of the year, it is continuing right into 2021. No examination of the state of franchise development and consumer marketing would be complete without recognizing how the pandemic has affected the business landscape, from franchise sales to consumer marketing, as buyers in both categories have put many of their pre-Covid plans (and dreams) on hold.
No surprise then that the results of the 2021 Annual Franchise Development Report (AFDR) and the 2021 Annual Franchise Marketing Report (AFMR) asked participants a new series of questions about Covid-19’s effects on their systems. The two studies were unveiled in October at the Franchise Leadership & Growth Virtual Conference (FLGVC).
The once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, coupled with franchising’s already competitive and frothy landscape, has strengthened the need for development and marketing executives to dig deeper than ever to better understand how their brands measure up against the competition and their performance in the wider marketplace.
The 2021 AFDR and AFMR have been combined into one comprehensive report, providing benchmarking data that spans both Franchise Development and Consumer Marketing. This data offers a view of how the respective departments stack up vs. other industry brands.
Participants in the AFDR consisted of senior-level franchise development executives who completed a comprehensive online questionnaire. Responses were aggregated and analyzed to produce a detailed look into the recruitment and development practices, budgets, and strategies of a wide cross-section of franchisors.
The AFMR is intended to assist franchise consumer marketers in understanding how their team - and results - compares with their peers and, more importantly, help them allocate their limited resources to the most effective channels for achieving their system-wide goals. AFMR participants consisted of high-level franchise marketing executives who completed an in-depth questionnaire. Again, responses were aggregated and analyzed to produce a detailed look into the marketing practices, budgets, and strategies of a wide cross-section of franchise brands and sectors.
In addition to the aggregated, anonymized information, the data gathered here has been “sliced and diced” to provide more in-depth analysis— and, we hope, better results for the franchise development (AFDR) and consumer marketing (AFMR) executives and teams working to understand how they can best adapt and plan for the future, from budgeting to hiring to staffing, all while remaining flexible and agile as they navigate a world no one was prepared for only a year ago.
We also added a series of questions about essential vs. non-essential businesses, as closures and limited capacity affected all aspects of a franchise system. While businesses declared non-essential took the biggest hits, we also heard from brands that prospered during the pandemic - and why.
The data in both reports has been thoroughly dissected and analyzed so readers can examine results and trends in the aggregate or from varying perspectives. Likewise, benchmarking, for both essential and non-essential businesses and sectors, is a key feature of these reports, as are insights into the key impacts, behaviors, reactions, and tactics franchisors revealed about their processes.
The overriding goal of these two reports is to provide you with unique, invaluable data and analysis, to not only help you understand how a diverse set of franchise brands adapted to the changes of 2020, but also to provide a look into how they plan to meet the challenges of 2021.
The combined 2021 AFDR and AFMR is priced at $350. (All attendees at the FLGVC received a complimentary copy.) Order here.
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