Is local store advertising for food franchises a waste of money?

Franchises generally involve a system where you contribute significant amounts into a centralized marketing fund, where you ultimately have very little say over where and when it is applied.  And their objectives are often slightly different to yours, where they are concerned about the overall brand health rather than your short term volume and profit objectives.

When they advertise they don’t care which of their franchises the customer goes to, where you want them to come to you rather than the other franchise outlet up the road.

  • The offers they promote tend to be ‘lowest common denominator’ in approach – those that are acceptable to everyone in the franchise group. You might want offers that appeal to your customer profile
  • Their campaigns tend to be set for an extended period, and lack the nimbleness you need to react to an opportunity or turn around a slow week.


But doing your own advertising as a franchisee is challenging:

  • It’s hard for customers to remember which particular outlet is advertising because the overall brand tends to dominate
  • You are forced to advertise in the catchment areas of other franchises, which happens a lot in radio and print advertising where broadcast or circulation is wider than your customer catchment area
  • You don’t want to invest a lot because you are already spending with head office


Digital advertising is ideal for local food franchises.  What it allows is:

  • Very narrow targeting, down to within a radius of a couple of kilometers of your targeted area. Your outlet is therefore the closest to where they are, and they are more likely to associate the offer with you
  • You can control the time you promote, where you advertise within say an hour of when you want people to respond. Get them to react spontaneously, and get a quick return on investment.
  • It is much lower cost by comparison with print and radio
  • You can switch it on and off as needed
  • You can try multiple specials at the same time to see which ones work best. You can use different offers at different times of the day. Radio and print only really allow for one special to be advertised


In a recent example of a campaign run for an outlet of a well-known coffee shop chain, they achieved an 800% increase in sales of a particular item by promoting it digitally in a very well planned campaign.


So to answer the original question – No, local advertising is not a waste of money because there are obvious benefits in promoting your own business over and above that done by the franchisor.  Digital advertising overcome most of the barriers of old, where now you can execute cheap and accurate promotions where your business directly derives the benefit.


For a free, no-obligation look at a digital advertising proposal for your business, click here.


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