For franchise marketing campaigns to be effective, franchisees need to be engaged.

Former Price Attack Marketing Manager Darren Gunton shared his six top tips and tricks for achieving franchisee engagement for successful franchise marketing campaigns at the Franchise Marketing Forum 2011.

Effective franchise marketing campaigns tip 1: Involve franchisees in every step of the process

The more you involve franchisees the less unhappy franchisees you’re going to get because they’ve had the opportunity to be involved, says Darren.

“When you involve franchisees they actually know you have heard their voice so it makes the whole marketing process much easier for you,” he says.

Effective franchise marketing campaigns tip 2: Listen to franchisees

It’s really important to listen and learn from your franchisees.  Not only will the process help you engage franchisees, you can receive some great ideas and feedback too, says Darren.

“I’ve got big ears for listening because franchisees will have some great ideas,” he says.

“They may have done some things in the past before your time that have not worked, you might be doing the same and they may have a better way of doing it.

“Franchisee feedback is invaluable because they’re so close to the customer.”

Effective franchise marketing campaigns tip 3: One size doesn’t fit all

It’s important to recognise one size may not fit all with your franchise marketing and you may need to run different campaigns and offers in different states.

“It’s very, very simple from a marketing perspective to drill down and find out what sort of different regions, states, demographics, socio-graphics and the like exist among your markets,” says Darren.

“It’s very, very easy to do.  For example, we do letter-box drops where different flyers go to different people in different households even within the same city.”

Effective franchise marketing campaigns tip 4: Test campaigns in a single store first

Test a campaign in a single store before rolling it out across the franchise system.

“We run a national test it to see if a campaign works. If it doesn’t work we refine it,” says Darren.

“If your campaign is a dog, don’t do it nationally. It’s much easier doing a test than rolling something out untested.  Franchisees always want to know the sales results. For them it’s about dollars in the pocket.

“You can even run a campaign in different ways and look at seeing where the sales come from. Measure results in different ways before taking it national.”

Effective franchise marketing campaigns tip 5: Guide franchisees in campaign delivery

Darren says don’t assume franchisees are going to put everything in place and do everything correctly.

“Guide the franchisees in the delivery of a campaign. A lot of the time franchisees just do what they want or they’ll do it completely differently.  It’s always good to just try and guide them as much as possible.

Effective franchise marketing campaigns tip 6: Incentivise

Incentivising the successful implementation of marketing campaigns can be highly effective.

“Incentivise where franchisees are performing above the normal, and that incentive doesn’t need to be a monetary thing,” Darren says.

There might be other ways of offering incentives to trial as well.