The Importance of Personas for Franchise Development

By Lora Kellogg posted 15 days ago

  

We all know that in advertising it’s important to define your target before starting any marketing initiatives. The same holds true with digital marketing campaigns for franchise development, particularly in how your target market relates to the content presented and where and how it is delivered.

Before you launch a franchise development campaign, develop your target personas. Who are you talking to? What problems do they need to solve in their lives? What parts of the franchising and entrepreneur messages resonate with them? How do they like to be communicated with?

With some focused efforts, you’ll be able to reach prospective franchisees that are more likely to convert. Here are five ways to create effective personas:

Start small. It’s best to select one or two personas initially. Each persona will get its own strategy, content and campaign. Narrowing to a single persona might create fewer leads, but they will be more qualified leads with higher conversion rates.

Provide as many details as possible. Include demographic information such as age, profession, etc., but also consider more abstract details such as what they value, what audiences they interact with and what platforms they utilize.

Establish how becoming a franchise owner can be attractive to them. Determine why this persona would want to be a franchisee. A teacher might want to continue to work with students, but outside of the classroom in a way that’s more lucrative. A nurse might want the opportunity to combine a love of healthcare with an interest in starting their own business.

Determine how YOUR franchise opportunity is perfect for them. What makes your franchise different from all of the others? Define the ways that becoming a franchisee with your business will help your persona achieve his or her goals in a way that no other brand can.

Determine the pain points. Brainstorm the possible obstacles your persona faces in becoming a franchisee with your company. Find ways to address the needs of those that are afraid of the implications of a career move or the financial risk of starting a business. Help overcome fears right away so that they can move to the next step in the decision-making process.

All of your franchise development marketing efforts are going to be directed to your selected persona. It’s important to clearly define and communicate that persona from the beginning. Focused messaging and targeting will involve everything from the copy content in pitch pieces, to the design of downloadable lead magnets, to the platforms where advertisements are displayed. Your efforts will yield big dividends: Strategically approaching a narrower audience will deliver more qualified leads.

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Lora Kellogg is president and CEO of Curious Jane. With 15 years of experience and a portfolio of top brands, Curious Jane is a leading ad agency specializing in franchises. Lora and her team work with Franchise Times' top 500 franchises and emerging franchises to grow sales, increase traffic, build brand awareness and generate leads.

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Love this post, and could not agree more with the idea of targeting personas over being "everything to everyone". One thing I may add, is to use current successful franchisees as the "template" for personas. It is neat to look at franchisees, and try to create "clones" of them based on their personality. For example, one network I worked with had a lot of "power couples" and we created a persona like that - where one was strong in sales, and one was strong in ops. Thanks for the forward-thinking article!