Franchise Marketing Trends in 2014

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Hesham ElHamahmy - Nexus Online Media

These days, there is so much competition for the consumer’s attention and so many choices of online marketing solutions to reach them that it is easy to understand why today’s franchisee is bewildered about the best way to reach their customer.

For many franchises, the 2014 trends in franchise marketing are all pointing towards mobile advertising, semantic search, organic online marketing, and integrated marketing which suggest that while marketing your franchise is not getting any easier, the trends present exciting new opportunities to reach your actual customer!

Here is more in-depth look at these franchise marketing trends:

Mobile Marketing

The seismic shift in consumer reliance on mobile search places a greater emphasis on mobile marketing because of the significant shift of consumer eyeballs away from traditional media like television and PC’s to mobile devices when they need to make a purchase. Due to the increasing access of mobile platforms mobile advertising is up 138 percent from last year according to a study by IAB.

This number represents the importance of mobile advertising in the future, and if your business’s internet presence proves non-mobile friendly all investments in this sector will render useless. To increase profitability shorten content length for mobile devices, lower image resolution for instant download/ buffering times, and make it geo-location aware.

Semantic Search

Compounding the mobile marketing trend is a move to semantic search by giants like Google who are determining search result rankings for your business based on criteria that is much closer to what customers are typing into their search requests. Major search engines like Google have long abandoned the ‘one-word-search-system,’ and since upgraded to semantic searches which produce more relevant results based on multiple word phrases opposed to one key word.

This method provides much ease to the consumer but tremendous amounts of stress and frustration to the average online marketer. While once successful marketing required identifying key words; it now requires identifying key phrases consisting of three-five words that your potential customers are most likely to search for, and when there are 120 potential arrangements of just one five word phrase perfecting your search engine optimization can get overwhelming.

Companies such as Nexus Online Media have been developing technology to address this variable challenge. According to Nexus Online Media CTO, Mike Kogan, “the process begins by probing the internet on a periodic basis to capture the key phrases on a specific topic that are subsequently integrated into the website and social media content. This produces digital content that is both semantic friendly and semantic relevant to keep up with the changing user trends.”

Organic Online Marketing

Going away are the days of simply buying AdWords that simply achieve what good, native content, can achieve on your website and social media. Why? Today, $31B or 85 percent of online advertising is spent on Pay per Click (PPC) advertising. However, only 13 percent of paid Ads are actually selected by the consumer.

The result: Very poor ROI’s that are driving the inevitable trend by franchises to revisit their AdWords purchases. More and more companies are shifting the marketing dollars away from PPC to organically search optimized native Ad content that is catchy and relevant which will reach the 87 percent of consumers selecting non-PPC advertisements.

Integrated Marketing Providers

Finally, with such an overwhelming choice of mediums like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. to reach consumers, many marketing agencies are beginning to integrate website, social media, email marketing, etc., in order to offer the franchiser and franchisees one-stop shopping.

These companies provide services that bundle the company website, social media, SEO, PR postings, and email marketing services together for business so there is only one program to deal with. Proceed cautiously though because many marketing providers claim to do it all. However, under scrutiny, the services are often on separate platforms that can’t be optimized for maximum promotion at the lowest cost had they been truly integrated onto one platform. Having an integrated marketing company keep up with these trends ensures that no dollar gets spent on outdated promotion methods, which ensures customers will always find your business.

Why are these trends important to the franchise industry?

1. The majority of franchises rely on local advertising to reach their customers. The mobile device is location aware to within 50 feet of its actual location. Therefore when a potential customer is searching on their phone, only those businesses relevant to the search AND mobile friendly are presented to the customer.

2. Google’s move to semantic search means every business needs to revisit their online marketing content to ensure it is semantic friendly; otherwise, Google will gradually move your business down in the search results.

3. Your Pay per Click (PPC) advertising budget is reaching only 13 percent of online consumers. Native Ad content that is organically search optimized is more cost effective and more powerful at reaching the other 87 percent of online shoppers.

4. Franchises can’t just keep adding to their marketing budget every time a new advertising medium is launched. Your in-house team or outside provider must begin to integrate all the marketing technologies in order to manage the growing complexity and cost of managing them all.

Hesham ElHamahmy is CEO of Nexus Online Media. Hesham has over 20 years of experience managing and
growing businesses into new markets. His vast wealth of experience in technology and business development has enabled Nexus Online Media and its clients to gain a powerful advisor and mentor when determining the best growth strategy. Hesham holds a BSEE from the University of Toronto and MBA from Columbia University.

For more information: Website: www.nexusbeyond.com