We asked Charles Watson, Chief Development Officer at Tropical Smoothie Café, how he chooses the right marketing media to reach his ideal candidates, and how often he communicates with them. Here's what he had to say.
When choosing the media vehicles for communicating with your target audience, it's important to have a clear definition of that audience. If you are targeting Millennials who tend to be heavy digital users, then digital tactics such as Facebook and retargeting ads may be the best way to reach them. If your ideal prospect is an older "Corporate America" executive looking for a career change, then national business media may be the best way to connect with these potential franchisees.
Also keep in mind whether or not you're targeting a single-unit or multi-unit owner, as they usually have drastically different behaviors. The biggest multi-unit operators likely aren't going to read your generic e-blast - but they may pay attention if you invest in attending a key trade show like the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference and make a concerted effort to connect with them personally.
While there are many options to reach your ideal candidates, understanding their thoughts and motivations will allow you to get in front of them in the most effective ways and provide relevant content that hooks them in to learning more about your business opportunity. The key is to have a layered plan to reach potential prospects in their everyday lives, from radio and print to paid search, digital advertising, or trade shows.
Remember, the key to any marketing campaign is consistency and repetition. The more you are in front of your audience, the more they will be compelled to learn more. Though you may be sick of your ads because of the repetition, it does not mean your audience is. They're just getting to know you. People generally need to see your messaging multiple times before moving forward with a decision, especially one as big as signing a franchise agreement. Radio ads are the perfect example: it takes someone hearing it over and over for it to stick with them and get them to engage.
Finally, it's incredibly important to make sure everything can be tracked. That way you can determine the ROI and continue to reinvest in the marketing tactics that deliver the strongest results for your brand. Don't waste time putting valuable marketing dollars behind tactics that don't work just because you think you should be doing it - like social media. If it doesn't work, focus on your more successful avenues.
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