Five Franchise Marketing Trends For 2022
Fast track your growth with these insights as we head into the new year.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Marketing trends are constantly changing. It can be difficult to keep up — especially when you take into account the recent worldwide pandemic. Now we are seeing a new world that we are living in, with the old way of life we knew, gone forever. Consumers have changed and our franchises need to adapt. When it comes to planing our marketing plans, this is no different. What worked in the last year, we now may need to throw out the window.
Here are five marketing trends that franchises should take note of as we move into 2022.
1. Offline experiences
Since the pandemic, businesses have had to adjust expectations and procedures to survive the economic decline that accompanied the majority of their customers moving to an online market. Yes, things are still very much in flux, but you will have the exciting opportunity to return to the golden age of customer service and offer an in-person customer experience once again. While there's so much we can accomplish nowadays online, there is an argument to be made that we will always benefit from a person-to-person interaction. Whether you're in fast food or fashion, customers can always benefit from communicating face-to-face with you.
2. Tapping into publicity to get your message across
With the recent algorithm changes on Facebook and Instagram, many companies aren't seeing the ROI that they previously experienced from their paid social media campaigns. Traditional advertising is becoming more fragmented and reaching consumers challenging. You need to be where your target audience hangs out. From online news sites to YouTubers and even TikTokers, using PR to cut through to your customers will be more imperative than ever. It's not only less expensive than paid advertising but also more credible.
Creating a PR stunt or producing an Instgramable experience or product is also a great way to go viral and put your franchise on the map, often overnight. Thinking out of the box is imperative in making noise in your marketplace and getting people to notice what you're doing.
Related: 5 Ways to Make Your Franchise Go Viral on TikTok
3. Expanding into new markets
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that we are all well and truly one; united in the face of a global crisis. Among the many hardships and difficulties, the pandemic also made us realize that we are all connected. Thanks to technology, it is now a lot easier for you and your business can now have an international presence. Gone is the need to actually go out of the house for meetings with products like Zoom and Skype becoming more commonplace. These tools existed prior to the year 2019, but they now seem to almost be a necessity in today's modern workplace.
Having teams working remotely across the nation and even internationally is now easier than ever paving the way for the possibility of having your franchise reach new markets, more cost-effectively. No longer do you need initially offices in Los Angeles, New York and London, you could easily employ a team of people who all work remotely from their own homes to help you with your national or international rollout.
Related: 10 Ways to Get Global PR Exposure
4. The power of going digital
Nearly everyone on the planet owns some sort of smart device. Internet connections are as important as indoor plumbing. Now, more than ever before, customers are finding themselves willing and able to buy online. If you are solely set up for a traditional bricks-and-mortar business, it's time to expand that mindset and put yourself online or have a hybrid approach. Yes, while customers are yearning for the traditional face-to-face customer service experience, this doesn't mean you have to stop having a digital presence.
Have a look at your customer journey and see what you can automate and place online. Many fast-food restaurants, for example, are getting their own customers to place their orders at touch screen terminals and then simply collecting their food from the counter once ready. This approach still allows for an in-dining experience while reducing the amount of staff.
5. Create an app
Going hand in hand with going digital, it is vital that marketers and business owners recognize that with the implementation (and borderline takeover) of smart devices in consumers. The days of getting on a computer or laptop to browse the internet are also quickly becoming a thing of the past. Nowadays, nearly everything that a potential customer does is done through the portal of a handheld device, whether it be a tablet or phone. What does this mean to us? When looking at your user experience it could be vital to your success to invest in creating an app to better represent your brand and its engagement. At a bare minimum, it's important that websites are mobile-friendly, and are optimized properly for handheld devices.
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been an exponential increase in the uptake of technology that has influenced the way consumers behave. Your marketing strategies need to move with the times so you don't get left behind. While the world is moving into a metaverse, we are also seeing a return to old-fashioned customer value. Implementing these five trends above will help you keep your franchise advancing forward as we head into 2022.Related: The 5 Marketing Strategies You Should Implement Into Your Franchise to Make It Flourish