from Jamie Izaks, president and co-founder, All Points Public Relations.
As business owners, it’s natural to want to say “yes” to everything – delegation of essential tasks can be difficult, and it’s challenging to let go of the reins when it comes to a business you’ve worked incredibly hard to build. But what operators should know best is just that – how to run their businesses. In these situations, it makes sense for multi-unit operators, franchise owners with several locations of a particular brand or many brands, to outsource rather than attempting to manage the overhead of an entire staff in multiple departments with dozens of specialties.
Specifically, marketing is a discipline that multi-unit operators should turn to for outside support. The marketing game is constantly changing and an outsourced expert partner can help bring you up to speed on cost effective, local market strategies. A good rule of thumb for multi-unit operators to take into consideration when thinking about outsourcing marketing services is the number of locations owned. Generally, if you have just a few locations, it’s advisable to lean on your franchisor for support. If you have 10-50 locations, that’s the “sweet spot” for multi-unit owners to outsource, especially if your business is multinational.
Keep your attention where it needs to be as a business owner, and let the experts take care of marketing – it’s more cost-effective in the long run, anyway. Here are a few services that are the most cost-effective to outsource.
Email marketing is essential for connecting with consumers and demands strong writing and editing skills, which is a specialized service that many business owners are not completely comfortable with. In addition to writing and editing, email marketing requires constant database maintenance, graphic design know-how, access to demographic data and the means by which to consistently monitor quantitative data to judge the success of email marketing campaigns.
While most people are active to some degree on one-to-four social media channels, it takes an expert to understand the ever-changing world of media. A good social media campaign is graphic and video-heavy, subtly branded and diverse, with a mix of images, videos and text. An effective social media campaign requires engaging content shared many times a day, as well as constant monitoring of the accounts and a deep understanding of the paid components of the channels. A social media expert can also help you manage your advertising budgets to get the most bang for your buck on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with boosted posts.
Public relations is an extremely effective component of any marketing program that requires finesse, sensitivity, writing skills, public speaking, expert-level communication and constant data monitoring. A good public relations professional will bring years of carefully cultivated media relationships that can be beneficial for promoting your brand. Extremely time-consuming at its core, public relations thrives on a delicate balance of market research, media outreach, quick thinking and strategic problem-solving with an emphasis on writing and, in the case of franchise public relations, lead generation know-how. A public relations professional can bring thousands of people through your doors and paint a very appealing picture to drive franchise leads for continuous brand growth.
As your multi-unit franchise profile grows, so does your need for trusted, qualified marketing support to aid in your brand’s expansion. Email marketing, social media and public relations are three essential marketing components that, if outsourced properly, can make a huge difference in the public perception of your brand.
Jamie Izaks is the president and co-founder of All Points Public Relations, a public relations agency focusing on the franchising industry.