Making Sense of Franchisee Digital Marketing

19 Feb

The franchisor/franchisee relationship is a crucial business relationship.  Franchisee digital marketing and advertising is a core component for both entities to flourish.  The brand needs to be displayed and messaged that encompasses the corporate vision, but have the personalization needed for the franchisee to be successful as well.

This sounds simple, but when you have hundreds or thousands of franchisees, it gets complicated and messy fast! Custom ad message, geo-targeting, phone tracking, budgets, reports, and more, it can turn into a full-time job for several people.  Sure, you could ignore all these factors and run generic campaigns hoping it drives traffic to your franchisees, but generic and hope is not a strategy.

Custom Ad Messaging

Mention the franchisee business name and/or location in the ad.  This appears to the visitor personalized and meant for them, particularly if this is a business they can visit.  Google makes this very easy utilizing ad customizer data.  Ads can be similar, with small adjustments like the name and/or location.  You utilize a placeholder that flips out to the customized message when the ad is served.


Knowing customers and how far they will travel is key to the location you target. It may just be a couple of miles, or it could be an entire DMA that needs to be targeted. This is key to better quality prospective customers and usually on less spend. Plus, if franchisees are closely located, this will help distribute to every location.

Phone tracking

Again, may depend on your business, but there is still a heavy reliance on phone calls as part of the customer journey.  Tracking calls that were generated from paid campaigns is made easy with Google’s call conversion tracking. Track calls directly from the ad, calls to a phone number on your website, and/or clicks on a number on your mobile website.   It does require the use of Google forwarding numbers.


Not every franchisee is equal, and some may require more or less marketing dollars than others.  Having a full system that monitors and optimizes budgets of thousands of campaigns is essential.  While the engines can have limits, they can still spend 20% higher than your budget.  Investing in a tool (or an agency with a tool) that uses an algorithm to update budgets and bids throughout the day based on thousands of signals, so you do not overspend but, more importantly, gain better traffic.


Generating hundreds or thousands of reports for each individual franchisee can take a lot of effort.  And that is just to pull the report, not to mention customizing and providing insight.  Again, another tool to invest in, or an agency that can provide the reports.  Reports are important, but spending all the time on generating reports, means time is not spent on optimizing the campaigns, which in turns means poor performance.

Tapping into an agency that has scale and tools to make this easy might be the right approach for you and your franchisees.  The Digital Hawks as an agency works with franchisors on their franchisee digital marketing with different models, including either franchisors or franchisee’s paying for all the media, with contribution from both, and in some cases contribution from distributors as well.  We do all the customizing mentioned above, and more, and can provide a single franchisor report, or individual franchisee reports. Contact us today to see how we can help your franchisor/franchisee marketing.

Jen D

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