I have travelled almost all over the country and I have seen an important phenomena across all markets. You will find almost all the competing brands positioned in the same market and they will be stone throw away or next door or ground floor or first floor and this give the opportunity for the consumer to choose from the choices that they have to pick their stuff from.
For example you find the jewellers, the hair salons, QSR format restaurants, the clothing retail stores and the super markets, computer hardware companies and why in those days, the kirana stores which were close by each other by providing the consumer the opportunity. But have you ever wondered how do they are survive in this very highly competing market and each franchisee needs to make his money after he puts up the store.
We need to look at 2 things clearly: 1. the franchisor through its national advt campaign or ATL (Above the Line) should keep attracting the customers to the store as a reminder 2. The local franchisee needs to understand the location and would have worked out the profiling of his customers through the POS software or the CRM he has installed and comes with the local marketing plan and should execute the BTL ( Below the Line) activities.
The consumer has a choice to buy from anywhere he wants but the factors that allow him to come to a particular brand many be due to many reasons.
- The product or the services that was of great need to the consumer.
- Marketing the new offers given on a particular hour/day/month/ season.
- The ambience of the store and having the feel good factor to enter the store again and again.
- It could be because of the sales manager or the customer relationship executive who has taken care of the customer building a great rapport and many other reasons.
How do we continue to hold the customer with each and every coming out with various attractive marketing plans. Buy 1 get 1 free, buy for 5000 and get 2000 gift voucher, go for a trip if you shop for x value, take a lucky dip and fly out etc.
Today the market is moving away from 1. Traditional marketing to 2. Digital Marketing. 3. Omini Channel. Before I go in to explaining these things, let me explain few basic fundamentals for the benefit of the franchisee.
The franchisee needs to do a MoM (Market Opportunity Metrics), the MoM is an important aspect to understand and predict the size of the market. Understanding the potential of the market is to understand the size of the opportunity to ensure the brand has reached everyone in the location.
Let’s discuss :
1. Traditional marketing done to attract customers. As discussed in one of the previous article the Brand board place a vital role to pull customers, some will invite celebrities on the day of inauguration, placing full page advertisements and sending in pamphlets and handbills as paper inserts and some hire “singara mela” to create a buz on the day of opening. Some may use props and some sales promotional girls, hoardings are put up across the place, flute boards, banners and so on and so forth.
But in towards world it’s more to do with
2. Digital marketing that has taken the world by storm. Facebook in the 3rd large country in the world after China, India and soon to take the first place in the world. Millions of smart phone users, who are always connected and many Apps that invite them to do their work on the go. Going forward the death of email is already in the rise and people have moved on to the cloud. So FB, Twitter, Google, Whatsapp, and all other mediums are the future to advertise and engage in pulling customers. For example today SMS campaign is a key communication to the customers about various new things that happens in a brand. Digital advertisement can be paid or even free. From a form of textual matters it now moving to video content.
3. Omini Channel: Today marketing is done both through offline and online channels, in India the online business through, Jabong, Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra have been pushed heavily but the fact is that they still take fullpage advertisements with huge investments to promote and lure consumers, but customers do check the price online and offline and some of them finally buy where they get better price and some of them may go to the store and buy if the price difference is not that much for the sake of the pleasure of having the shopping experience. However all this if focused on consumer marketing and if you see all the online channels do advertise both in the traditional media as well as the online media to get their customers to increase their base.
As a franchisee it’s important to understand all these marketing ways to lure customers to your specific store as there are multiple stores of the same brand in a city and that may attract customers since the brand is the same. But however the franchise owner is different, if the franchise owner cuts corners in recruitment of substandard staff, without any training or underpaid than the standard pay which will reflect on the buying experience inspite of all the marketing efforts made by the franchisor or the franchise. Efforts have to been made to ensure adequate stock is available while marketing is done as ROI on marketing will be calculated to see the efforts are maximised.
To end this article the franchisee should understand that by just putting up a brand with good investment does not automatically bring revenue to the cash box. Calculated effort with high commitment to protect the given territory is the key to the success of his marketing effort. His responsibility is to ensure the maximum customers will buy from his store to make profits for himself and for the brand that he has signed up. This will ensure customer loyalty for the brand because of the services provided by the franchisee and ensuring all marketing efforts are driven to get the best ROI.
To end this article let me explain what is the difference between Marketing & Sales: Marketing in simple term is “creating a need for the products and services in the minds of the consumer”, Sales is the fulfilment of that “requirement for a monetary benefit by exchange of goods or services.”
Dr.Chackochen Mathai, Founder & CEO of Franchising Rightway with over 28+ years of experience in the field of franchising in India and abroad and has worked with major brands. He holds a Ph.D in Franchise Management.
An author, family life educator and he is an invited speaker in many leading forums and Universities; visit www.franchisingrightway.com for more details.