[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]For most Franchisors, mobile marketing begins in the marketing department. The marketing manager starts working with self-service tools on a popular mobile platform. This approach works great in the beginning, but as the complexity increases and campaigns scale and you want to roll this out to franchisees, that model breaks down. The manager becomes overloaded. The marketing team isn’t set up to move fast enough to support all the Zee mobile marketing needs and they may lack the resources to maintain close relationships with all the major media buying platforms, which makes media planning less efficient. If this sounds like your situation, perhaps you’re ready to seek help? I read a recent article by Gregory Kennedy, VP Marketing at TapSense who wrote about selecting mobile marketing partners. What follows is my take on how it might apply to Franchise Systems.
The best reason to engage with a mobile expert is to maintain your focus. A Franchisor should focus on the business, not become experts in mobile advertising technology. A good partner provides you with expertise, knowledge and access that otherwise would be difficult to get. Even the most well organized and thoughtful Franchisors rely on outside partners for many tasks. Why? Because companies like AdSmart can attract and manage talent that wouldn’t thrive in the very culture that makes your company successful.
Creativity Comes Unleashed
If there is one single area that mobile marketing partners excel in, it’s creativity. They have experience and personnel who are great at generating ideas, lots of good ideas. Good ideation is at the core of every good creative approach. Franchisors should leverage this capability of a partner as much as possible. Generating these ideas is time consuming, but having a great creative team frees up marketing to work on other more essential aspects of the franchising business.
Stay On Track With a Rigorous Process
Securing approvals from different stakeholders in your organization is another key function a partner can manage. Because they’re a third party, they have nothing vested in any particular strategy, in fact they’re highly motivated to ensure that your campaign is a success from the start. This means they will push for what they truly believe will work based on experience with other franchisors who have faced similar challenges.
Hiring a Mobile Marketing Partner: A Checklist
Once you’ve made the decision to bring in a partner, you should meet with your potential partners and review the following:
Get a list of services and capabilities. Ask which services are filled in house and which are filled by outside contractors. If they use contractors, try to understand the depth of those relationships
- Franchise Experience
Review the experience a potential partner has in the franchise space. Franchising is a unique business model with special challenges associated with franchisee stakeholders, national, regional and local advertising accounts and brand protection.
Understand the platforms or partners they have direct relationships with. Some specialize in a particular platform. A good partner will have access to multiple systems.
- Business Model
Take time to understand their monetary incentives. Some charge hourly, while others a percentage of media spend. Match the model to your performance goals.
Potential partner culture is surprisingly diverse and varied. It ranges from nerdy and quantitative to quirky and irreverent. Find the culture that best matches your expectations. Make sure they know what the difference is between a Zee and a Zor.
- Key People
Meet with the principals and key partners to find out exactly who will be assigned to your project.
- Success Metrics
Determine with the partner what the success metrics should be. Clearly articulating this from the start is the best way to ensure a successful engagement at the end.
Steve Bridge is an executive at AdSmart, a mobile advertising business, and provides insights into the direction of mobile marketing for franchise systems and large dealer networks. The Franchise space is unique. Any mobile marketing partner you choose must understand how franchising works. Careful selection and partnership with the right partner helps assure the success of your long-term mobile marketing strategy.