Your Cost Per Lead Matters

Here's what matters more.

"Building strong dynamic connections are a prerequisite to building a culture of innovation"

-Paul Brown CEO, Arbys (IFA, 2015 keynote)

At Thought House, we build together.

An Understanding of the Web is Paramount

It encompasses every aspect of your Brand.

In franchising, the web is paramount to building a business. Arguably, the web is both tactical and holistic. Though CPLs are an important aspect of building and scaling your franchise development strategy, it is no longer sufficient to view this channel as a "lead source" based on CPL. More appropriately, the web is a foundational aspect of your Brand, engaging and informing prospects along their journey.

Lets view examples of those in Franchising doing it right »

Doing it Right

Right at Home: With a focus on validation, Right at Home communicates to educated audiences who are conducting research and more likely to convert.

Franchise Update: With a learning academy containing more than 100 hours of paid and free content, potential, "empire builders" can learn about what it takes to build their footprint.

ARCO ampm: Connecting with "like me" prospects, ARCO ampm has one of the most powerful pieces of video content on the web regarding franchise ownership.

History of CPL

A very short and anecdotal opinion on cost per lead.

Many in the franchise development world were schooled by sages of franchising with the methodology that generating leads for the dev sales team is ALL about volume. Inspire (or Kill) those development guys and gals with LEAD VOLUME and they'll close deals through their sales skills, organic lift from store referrals and your leads.

Then, sales teams will demand more leads and the franchise world will perpetually grow. The birth of the $50 franchise development lead was born! And along the way, though the sales team may have a lot of weeds to sort through, it works - just look at the data!

Our thinking differs. This guide is focused on taking two key steps to improve your Brand in 2015; educating your executive team and building a web experience that is rooted and flexible.

All sales trickle down from the web; all of them

We must reset our assumption that the Internet is not a channel, but the channel.

Franchise Update continues to report on the web. Get a snapshot here.

Understanding the Web

Figure out how the Internet works before listening to enterprise sales and slick buzz words.

Work on these key items over the coming quarter:

  1. Executive team awareness and understanding of publishers, brands and end users.
  2. Executing a foundational strategy for the web that is both rooted and flexible.

Start with Education

Build executive understanding of the web.

With a most simplistic mindset, the web is made up of publishers (they place stuff online), Brands (they sell stuff) and users (they consume the publishers and brands' stuff). What's challenged this mindset is the birth of easy publishing tools (WordPress), writers that need jobs (the Great Recession), and a diminishing barrier to entry to own and validate Brands; all while every demo, geo and person who has buying capital is connected, at all times.

I haven't seen a study, but I suggest that 9.8 in 10 of all new franchisees have a smartphone within reach that is connected to the web.

Placing our intelligence into action »

Action Item 1: Collaboration

Collaboration Matters

All departments should build under the same Brand strategy.

It's all about owning traffic. Your teams must be on the same train track, though each discipline may have its own train car (PR, Consumer Marketing, Local Marketing, Development). This can be done by investing in tools that allow for cross channel collaboration. Many good ones exist that are built to improve collaboration. At Thought House, we use Asana to collaborate internally and encourage our clients to adopt as well.

Action Item 2: Competition

Everyone is Competing

Share of voice from online traffic is publisher and brand agnostic.

Anyone who has a website and garners traffic-share online is a competitor (for more insight on this topic read about the challenges the New Republic faces after Chris Hughes decided to "better monetize subscribers"). Therefore, why are you allowing other Publishers (like Portals) to use your Brand to generate traffic? A recent search study for a client, measuring impression share online against competitors showed that top competitors bidding on "branded and industry keywords" were not franchisors and rather were Portals.

Here is the screenshot. Clearly, the competition is between Brands and portals. What is limited, in fact, is competition among Franchise Brands.

Action Item 3: Operation

Be like the NY Times

Tips to operate like an editorial team.

Operate a portion of your marketing and communications strategy (at least 20%) like a publishing company.

Determine how to make these things happen in your organization.

  1. Capturing content from new franchisee’s during Discovery Days or Conventions can be used for internal qualitative research in addition to external campaign elements. Try and produce internally to keep costs down.
  2. Hire marketing teams that are content and project management focused. Marketing teams should have as many journalists as they do project managers.
  3. Incorporate OPN (Other People's News) into your publishing strategy. Our research suggests that OPN within your advertising may drive better conversion rates on your Funnel pages, should it be relevant to your Brand or industry.

Franchising is Finicky

...And Everything is Local.

Franchising brands are built for many different reasons and have varying degrees of success, but they are all local. As prospects meet and engage with you online, their journey to open a new business and impact their local community begins. Getting beyond "leads and lead volume" will improve your ability to convert, find better candidates, and grow your business.

We build systems together. Thought House.

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