There’s the big question: With the huge number of franchises out there, it is still wise to say that they make great digital marketing agency clients? With about 750,000 of them in the US alone having over 9 million Americans, you are likely to get the chance to market a business with this specialized model at some point. Here is how it works in this system:

There is a Franchisor and he is the one who grants permission to others so they can operate under its trademark. This means selling goods and services supported by an operating system and marketing.

The person who pays the franchisor for the right to use the trademark is the Franchisee.

As simple as this structure may look, it gives franchise marketing its peculiar complexities.  To enter marketing relationships, you need an understanding of the setup to prevent bewilderment over why execution bogs down with franchise clients.

Here is some useful coaching on the franchise model:

What Make The Unique Clients In Franchises?

Two basic things: Roles and goals. Franchise marketing is a unique kind of activity. Sometimes, Franchises can be like a game of football with confusion over roles and goals. The franchise shares some characteristics with corporate marketing and SMB marketing. However, it’s more like a joint business than that, as a joint custody arrangement. And like all custody arrangements — can get contentious at times.

The issue with this most times is that everyone desires the best for the brand. The problem with this is that everyone’s “best” is a matter of their point of view and goals. Usually, in this arrangement, there are at least two stakeholders (there can be more). The stakeholders and their goals tend to play out as follows:

There are corporate Franchisor goals. These are:

  • Create a great brand to license more franchisors.
  • Control that brand to avoid negative impact.
  • Support franchisees with strong branding and resources.


Then there are the Master Franchisor goals. They are:

  • Work with corporate to protect the brand.
  • License more local franchisors.
  • Support franchisees with resources so they succeed.


We also have the Regional or Area Franchisee goals:

  • Drive customer traffic and revenue at individual locations.
  • Grow a portfolio of locations.
  • Support location managers with resources so they succeed.

Finally, we have the Owner Franchisee goals

  • Increasing location(s) foot traffic.
  • Increasing location(s) revenue.
  • Building customer loyalty at the location(s).

What is the Difference between Franchise Marketing and SMB Marketing?

Some unique challenges are peculiar only to franchisors and franchisees. Some of them are:

  • There are different opening hours, menus and promotions for different locations
  • Sometimes, there are conflicting goals between franchisor/franchisee
  • Lack of precise marketing roles
  • Getting your agency’s head in the game
  • Competitors on both the brand side but also among local SMBs

When you have a playbook that respects the difference between Franchise Marketing and  SMB, your agency becomes a better coach to franchises clients. However, differences don’t have to mean weaknesses.         Ready to get your head into the game? Good luck!