How to harmonize the local marketing strategy of a network of local points of sale?

How to harmonize the local marketing strategy of a network of local points of sale?

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When managing a network of franchises, one of the fundamental points for the success of any good marketing strategy is the harmonization of assets. The more the message conveyed is clear and relayed, the more it is visible and impactful. To do this, however, it is necessary to ensure that each point of sale respects the charter, the guidelines of the campaigns… so how to do it?

1/ What should be understood by “harmonization”?

The harmonization of the local marketing of a franchise network promotes the good recovery of the group’s campaigns, the compliance of communication media and guarantees that the levers are activated for all points of sale. In other words, that each stakeholder works in the same direction.

If the harmonization of such a strategy passes above all through the local, it is because it is generally at this level that the group’s messages can be misinterpreted or distorted.

Generally, a stroll on the brand’s social networks makes it possible to assess the degree of standardization: a common editorial line should be felt.

2/ Why is it important to make the communication of the point of sale network consistent?

The experience of the consumer buying journey should be substantially similar between the different points of sale in the franchise network. This contributes, on the head of the network side, to having a global marketing strategy that is part of the long term, while, on the customer side, this consistency of communication is reassuring. Indeed, it participates in making informed decisions about consumption: which store to go to… The subtlety with local marketing is that it must both ensure this identity marker and allow sufficient personalization to infuse a Local DNA (practical information, specificities of the catchment area, etc.).

This harmonization has another advantage: it supports the strength of the franchise network’s messages. On the one hand, consumers give more credit to information from a local level, on the other hand, the messages resonate more widely, like a ricochet on water.

There is therefore a real interest in working on overall consistency and ensuring that the messages are taken up by local points of sale.

3/ The difficulty of local marketing strategies

Often it is a time issue. In effect, the brand cannot be behind the presence strategy of each of its local points of sale.

The local communicates every day, whether through flyers or posts on social networks, which greatly complicates a case-by-case control system. Imagine a situation where the network retail registers more than a hundred franchises!

On the other hand, all these small deviations in the brand image tend to discredit the group with professionals, and in the worst case, damage the branding. This is why many brands call on tools, solutions or experts to support them.

4/ What is a local marketing platform?

A local marketing platform brings together central modules for the visibility of points of sale (local referencing, social network management, marketplace, etc.). Overall, it is a question of providing the network with a dedicated space, in its image, to manage its communication.

In the notable advantages of a local marketing solution, we often mention the fluidification of network management. The group can centralize its actions for all of its points of sale. In the case of Social Media, it is for example possible to automate the publication of certain publications on all the local pages of its points of sale, or to group them by category when this is interesting (in the case of promotional campaigns by geographical area).

The retail network generally also has the possibility of deploying an internal marketplace to sell or make available its chartered marketing assets (and sometimes customizable from the platform) to all its local managers. In this way, each manager equips himself according to his needs, service providers and costs are controlled nationally, while the network has the assurance that everything produced conforms to its identity.

Finally, another module and not the least, what is commonly called local SEO, that is to say working on the local visibility of stores. This involves the creation of a Google My Business account, a site for commerce, the automation of Google Posts by the national, or even the management of Presence Management in centralized mode with the updating of schedules. exceptional opening / closing.

5/ The added value of local DNA in communication on social networks

As mentioned above, the local engages and will always engage better than the national. There are several reasons for this: on the one hand, the messages are more suited to the catchment area in question, on the other hand, the consumer feels more involved in a close relationship.

In the case of Social Media, if it is true that a local marketing platform allows the establishment of a safety framework by the group, the interest of a total control of the local pages by the national is less. Subscribers seek to feel a close relationship with merchants and are not necessarily interested in group communications (too impersonal for them).

The dilemma then arises: how to match the identity of the brand with local personalization (while knowing that local managers do not all have sufficient digital maturity, or simply the time or the desire to get involved in this project) ?

6/ The governance system: the solution for your digital marketing strategy

Governance is based on the premise that each franchise network is unique: some are more “social” than others, some grant complete national control over social networks, others encourage local outlets to publish…

A governance system makes it possible to adjust the cursor according to the specificities of the network: who can publish? do you need validation before publication? who has access to the media gallery? who can fulfill it?… By clearly determining roles and rights, the group’s processes become more fluid and each stakeholder knows exactly their field of action.

To take the example of social networks, it is possible to give complete control in the management of publications at the national level, or to establish a semi-control (with a validation process). It is entirely possible to see it on a case-by-case basis and to let certain points of sale offer content and restrict those whose digital maturity is not sufficient.

7/ 3 tips tested and approved

  • The handling of “technical” missions (graphics & others)

In order to better frame the identity of the brand, we observe a distribution of skills via the governance system where the head of the network keeps control of technical subjects: creation of visuals… The internal marketplace, or the media gallery are generally managed nationally only. On the other hand, a module is sometimes deployed to allow customization from the marketplace, particularly concerning practical information (address, contact, etc.) before ordering.

Regarding the Social Media part, the roles defined initially tend to be rather restrictive to avoid deviations. Tests are carried out on the fly, and the semi-controlled mode reassures the network head while experimenting with local managers.

  • Involvement through valuation

When the network head wishes incorporate its local outlets into the strategy social mediait mobilizes the group’s internal platform in order to highlight success stories, concrete results, etc. Also, discussion between managers is a good motivational lever promoting peer-to-peer exchanges.

In the end, the harmonization of the local marketing strategy depends above all on the implementation of processes and tools. It is by having clear and framed operations that the group evolves in the same direction. However, be careful not to sanitize local communication, which, by its nature, is intended to be personalized and unique.

(Photo credit: iStock)

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