Annual Franchise Marketing Report: Top Challenges for Marketers
2019 marked the debut of the Annual Franchise Marketing Report (AFMR). For a short time, we will publish highlights in this newsletter. Ordering information is below.
This new annual report provides franchise consumer marketers with invaluable data and analysis they can use to benchmark their performance against other brands, within both franchising and their industry sector – a resource they can use to improve the effectiveness and ROI of their marketing efforts.
Franchising’s increasingly competitive landscape has strengthened the need for marketers to better understand how their brand measures up against the competition and is performing in the wider marketplace. The AFMR is intended to help franchise consumer marketers understand how their team compares with their peers and, more importantly, help them allocate their limited resources to the most effective channels for achieving their system-wide goals.
Brands participating in the first AFMR represented more than 13,000 locations, $8.3 billion in annual revenue, and $131 million in annual marketing budgets. Diane Phibbs, EVP and chief content officer at Franchise Update Media, presented highlights from the report at last year’s 2019 Franchise Marketing Leadership Conference in Atlanta.
Participants consisted of franchise marketing leaders who completed an in-depth questionnaire online. 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. The data and accompanying commentary and analysis provide the basis of the 2019 AFMR.
Marketers have plenty of challenges today, so we asked them to name their biggest ones. More than 1 in 4 (27%) cited differentiating their brand from those of their competitors – a challenge that long ago preceded the digital and online world of today. From 20 Mule Team Borax to Chesterfield cigarettes to automobiles to pizza, chicken, and burgers, this will always be a marketer’s biggest challenge, made more difficult by today’s oversaturated marketplace and instant communication. As the saying goes, “Only the technology changes.”
Second on the list for 1 in 5 (20%) respondents was the rising costs and limited budgets marketers must make do with – at a time when their higher-ups have access to results on a near-instantaneous basis. (Can you spell ROI?) This also is not a new challenge, only a more immediate one, as the C-suite can look at monthly, weekly, daily, and hourly results, compared with the longer time frames of really not all that long ago.
Coming in a close third at 18%, was the abundance of marketing channels, platforms, and content to manage, with marketers pressured to produce short-term results while they labor away to build longer-term, sustainable campaigns. And the more data that becomes available, the greater the pressure… unless CMOs and marketing leaders are able to convince their bosses to be more patient and understand the bigger picture.
The remaining 3 top challenges, all at 11% were rapidly changing technology/digital, driving quality leads, and motivating franchisees to participate in local store marketing.
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