Franchise marketing

Definition, examples, types, and tips

Franchise marketing is the advertising of multiple businesses under the umbrella of a larger brand. To create an effective franchise marketing strategy, a company must increase awareness, expand brand recognition, and drive business to the individual franchises under the larger brand.

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What is franchise marketing?

Franchise marketing is the promotion of a larger brand, helping drive awareness and revenue to the individual businesses that support the larger franchise. A franchise marketing plan might include brand awareness campaigns and messaging that help unify the larger brand identity of the franchise. Think of your local chain pizza restaurant: While it might have the same name as multiple branches across the area, or even the country, it’s still your local pizzeria.

Franchise marketing is a two-way street, with both the franchisee and the franchisor working to help the overall perception of and loyalty to the brand. A franchisor is the owner of the larger brand, while the franchisee is the person who acquires the rights to use the brand likeness.

Why is franchise marketing important?

Franchise marketing is important because it helps establish an overall brand strategy for a franchise business. Whether through social media, digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), or email marketing, franchise marketing helps build brand awareness and ultimately bolsters the profile of local businesses that use the franchised brand.

Types of franchise marketing

Operational franchise marketing

Operational franchise marketing

Operational franchise marketing is franchise marketing that focuses on local businesses and their goings-on more than the larger franchise. Consider a nationwide sandwich chain that offers a deal applicable at all the franchised businesses across the country. In the realm of small-business advertising, it’s about connecting the individual franchise to the larger franchisor. In this case, the franchisor and the franchise owner may work together to help the individual franchise feel like a piece of the larger business.

Franchise development marketing

Franchise development marketing

Franchise development marketing is about the larger franchise business. A franchisor may want to develop a marketing campaign to attract more potential franchise owners to establish franchises as local businesses. In that case, the target audience would be new franchisees looking to start a local business. On the other end, franchise development marketing can help establish the footprint of a brand. This can be done through SEO, digital marketing, email marketing, and content marketing.

Elements of a franchise digital marketing strategy

Maintaining brand consistency

Brand consistency is especially important in franchise marketing. If you’ve ever been to a fast-food restaurant, customers tend to expect the same experience, no matter the location or the owner of the franchise. The business model and franchise advertising should remain similar.

Establishing an online presence

A key to franchise advertising is establishing a recognizable online presence. As a franchisor, making sure that your brand has effective SEO placement will help marketing efforts. Establishing a marketing plan that has key points addressing social media strategy, SEO, and email marketing will help set a precedent for the small businesses that support the larger franchise.

Working with franchise owners

Ultimately, any franchise marketing strategy is a relationship between the franchisor and the local businesses that make up the franchisees. Still, the two parties should work together to identify audiences and optimize their marketing campaigns to reach those individual groups.

How to create a franchise marketing plan

Creating a franchise marketing plan begins with understanding the audience a franchise is trying to reach. From there, the franchisor should work with individual franchisees to expand that marketing campaign in a way that feels relevant and meaningful to local business patrons. Though each marketing plan may look a little different, franchise marketing should follow a similar business model established by the franchisor.

Benefits of franchise marketing

Though franchise marketing can seem overwhelming, an established franchise relies heavily on franchise marketing and the power behind the collective. Some benefits of franchise marketing include:

  • Consistency with individual franchisees
  • Widespread brand awareness
  • Built-in reach to further expand the franchise

Examples of franchise marketing

Case Study

In 2020, McDonald’s saw an opportunity to expand a delivery service first piloted in Canada. After a global pandemic closed indoor dining, McDonald’s and media agency OMD worked together with Amazon to create delivery “hubs” on, after discovering a shared audience between the two.

The engagement with McDelivery ads and traffic to McDelivery landing pages exceeded campaign expectations: Users’ dwell time on the McDelivery campaign hubs was nearly 250% above Amazon standard benchmarks, and three-quarters of all clicks within the McDelivery hub were on the “Get McDelivery” button. In addition to clicks and orders, the campaign helped shift perceptions of the McDonald’s brand as a delivery leader.


Case Study

As the cricket frenzy reached new heights in October and November 2022, Taco Bell India, a Mexican-inspired restaurant brand, unveiled their nationwide campaign, “See a six, catch a taco,” for fans of cricket and tacos in India. As part of this campaign, every time a batsman for the Indian cricket team hit a six, consumers would have an exciting chance to redeem a free taco from Taco Bell India.

The brand worked with Amazon Ads to generate excitement for the campaign, which focused on driving awareness to audiences during match days. The campaign, which ran across two days, delivered 12 million impressions with video completion rates trending above 55%, which is higher than the Fire TV benchmarks for video completion rates.1

Taco Bell

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What is a franchise?

A franchise is a business that grants an individual or group the ability to use its name and brand to facilitate business.

What is a franchising strategy?

A franchising strategy is the plan behind a business to expand its likeness by granting others the right to its name and likeness.

What are the types of franchises?

Different types of franchises include job or operator franchises, management franchises, retail and fast-food franchises, and investment franchises.

What is an example of a franchise?

Examples of a franchise include businesses like McDonald’s, Macy’s, Dunkin’, or Marriott International.

1Advertiser-provided data, IN, 2022