There are nearly 775,000 franchise businesses spread out in hundreds of locations across the United States. Franchises vary in size from two locations to thousands, occupying local markets as different as two areas of the same town or multiple locations nationwide. With a need to serve markets that are often vastly different, newcomers and veterans in the franchise business frequently struggle with marketing alignment.

Challenges in brand messaging can stem from miscommunications internally between the people running a location or externally between the franchisor and the franchisee. A one-size-fits-all approach is not the best option when dealing with businesses that have multiple locations. What you need is a national strategy that you can localize for each market and location. That is where yorCMO can help.

Keep reading to learn how our customizable, proven process can help your franchise overcome some of the most common challenges in marketing.

5 Common Challenges in Franchise Marketing


As seasoned marketing executives leading companies across various industries, we’ve found that the most challenging obstacles franchisors and franchisees face with marketing to multiple locations typically involves the following aspects:

1. Lack of an Effective Marketing Launch Plan

A launch plan that includes promotions before opening day and continuous marketing efforts are essential to spread brand awareness and get the franchisees off to a great start. When franchisors do not have an effective marketing launch plan that caters to specific local audiences, it’s often not strong enough to meet franchisees’ business goals, like reaching a profit.

 2. Dependence on Traditional Marketing Channels

In today’s digital world, franchise marketing includes much more than traditional channels of direct mail, PR, print, and TV advertising. To augment sales, leads, and profitability, franchise owners need to become, as Gary Vaynerchuk explains, “the mayor” of their market, investing in digital marketing tools, including:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Local search engine marketing
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing

Franchise businesses need to go beyond the traditional and digital channels to be known in their market—which is why we encourage you to enlist the services of a reliable team of marketing experts who can help get you there.

 3. Poor Communication

A lack of communication between corporate and franchisees in strategic leadership can take a severe toll on franchisee business owners, particularly in marketing. Marketing strategies can trickle down from a corporate level to individual franchisee locations without a clear message or response from those franchisee owners. That, in turn, restricts franchisees’ abilities to voice concerns about alignment with local markets and provides limited time to make necessary adjustments to promotional efforts.

4. Inconsistent Marketing Systems

A franchisor’s primary objective should be to sustain quality standards throughout its franchise locations at the corporate level. Failing to establish and maintain consistent marketing systems and measurements to track success for:

  • Advertising
  • Lead generation
  • Promotion
  • Sales

… eventually result in the downfall of many individual franchisees. Strategizing how to complete marketing tasks with consistent systems between corporate and franchisees can undoubtedly improve a franchise system.

5. Sporadic Marketing Engagement

Some franchisees are very engaged in marketing while many are not, leading to irregularities and varying performances. Though providing franchisees some flexibility is essential, it’s also vital to ensure that there is consistency in each franchisees’ marketing strategies. When franchisees adapt too much individual freedom, they lose overall brand cohesion. Consequently, one franchisee may find that their marketing poaches the marketing of another individual location.


    Simplifying the Approach to Franchise Marketing

    Franchise marketing can be tricky and is surrounded by many potential pitfalls and challenges. Ensuring that your franchise’s local and national marketing strategies are working to scale the company’s growth is vital, and here is where you can benefit from an experienced CMO who can guide and develop a proper marketing strategy aligned to your business goals.

    However, not every business can afford to hire a full-time CMO and most marketing agencies and consultants fail to meet the expectations you may have. This is where the fractional model can help you find C-Level marketing expertise for a fraction of the cost.

    At yorCMO we offer strategic marketing leadership and a proven process that will provide you with a step-by-step plan to fix your franchise marketing plan by:

    • Developing an overall brand strategy that is well communicated and supported
    • Pre-launch reputation building
    • A strong marketing launch to help franchisees break-even faster
    • Alignment of sales and marketing across all locations
    • Local SEO plans to engage your audience before opening
    • A practical, ongoing campaign to create consistent results and help owners truly know their cost per acquisition

    Much more than what an outsourced agency or a marketing consultant can deliver, an established CMO can assess your business and provide a proven marketing system for consistency of results, no matter how many locations you operate.


    What Can Franchise Businesses Expect after Implementing a Proven Strategy?

    As experienced fractional CMOs, we have implemented our proven process with optimal results because it’s a 100% customizable and its repeatable which means we can apply it both at a national or local level and delivers consistent results.

    The implementation of our proven marketing strategy comes with the immediate benefits of higher sales for franchisees, more royalties for franchisors, and better communication all around.

    Our approach has helped boost franchise businesses’ profitability and long-term success through:

    1. Increased sales
    2. A stellar reputation
    3. Increased referrals
    4. Promotions and events

    Cut the confusion out of franchise marketing and turn to the marketing experts at yorCMO for dependable solutions tailored to fit your franchise business’ needs.

    Make Your Franchise Business Thrive


    Successful franchise marketing requires planning, knowledge, and hands-on management. In many cases, franchisors do not have a Marketing Director or CMO on their team and find it challenging to get franchisees up to a higher level of sales. Whether operating as a franchisor or franchisee, you need a marketing system as good as your operational one, and yorCMO can show you the way.

    yorCMO team of 10+ CMOs has collective experience in 20+ industries. Our marketing experts can provide you with a strategic plan with experts to orchestrate a brand strategy customized to your local markets and specific needs.

    We can help fill the void by cutting confusion and delivering higher revenues with effective and sustainable franchise marketing strategies.


    Stop meandering in your marketing

    Keep it simple – you have other important things to do. Franchise businesses need a clear direction for successful marketing that benefits all parties involved.  Book a free chat with us and we’ll discuss your needs and business goals. Wherever you’re going in your business, we can help!

    Book a free 30-minute consultation today to see if our model is the right fit for your business.

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    About the authors: 
    Jay Gordman

    Jay Gordman

    CEO & Co-Founder of yorCMO

    Jay Gordman is a successful 20+ year marketing professional helping companies across multiple industries grow revenue and profits using a broad range of marketing and sales strategies.

    (402) 630-5440

    Connect with Jay on LinkedIn

    Dave Blanchard

    Dave Blanchard

    Fractional CMO

    Dave has contributed leadership in a broad variety of roles and business units over a 26-year marketing career with a Fortune 50 Technology Market Maker. 

    (360) 953-8898

    Connect with Dave on LinkedIn