Home' The Franchise Review : March 2015 Contents The Franchise review
Phew, you’d hope so...
8. Many franchise brands would send an extensive follow-up
email, including requests to complete a lengthy application
process and confidentiality agreement in order to further
9. Many franchise brands were sending a brief follow-up
email, requesting a telephone conversation to get to know
the enquirer and discuss the opportunity further.
10. in both instances 8 and 9, however, brands were
experiencing low lead to candidate conversion rates, and
were frustrated and wondering why.
This last point is the one that i am really interested in. why
would a sane person, who has taken several very distinctive
steps to research a franchise brand or opportunity and send
an email, suddenly drop off the face of the earth? it’s the $64
million question, isn’t it?
well, not quite. it’s possibly closer to being a $50 million
question, which is the approximate cumulative spend on
franchise recruitment advertising every year in australia, based
on data from the Griffith university 2012 Franchising survey.
with so much being spent to acquire prospects, and so many
prospects being written off before the first hoop has even been
jumped through, the potential for wastage is equally high. The
key missing link to improving conversion lies, in my opinion,
in the very specific best-practice of how to ‘nurture’ a lead
into a candidate, and ultimately into a buyer, at scale, with
consistency and with maximum cost-efficiency to the business.
lead nurturing is still a relatively unheard of term for many franchise
marketers, but elsewhere, it’s a multi-billion-dollar industry.
lead nurturing is defined as ‘the process of building
relationships with qualified prospects (often by delivering highly
valuable content that helps them progress along a buying path)
regardless of their timing to buy, with the goal of earning their
business when they are ready’.
in australian franchising, it seems that if a candidate is not ready
to buy, or is unwilling to enter into a discussion about buying as
yet, in many cases, they are dismissed as a tyre kicker.
sales teams will naturally focus on the ‘low-hanging fruit’, but
when potentially 80 per cent or more of prospects are still in
earlier stages of the purchase journey, then pipeline practice
sure, many of these supposed tyre kickers may sit on a
database and receive a regular monthly company newsletter
in the hope that they re-engage, but, really and truly, is the
brand actually providing any meaningful content that is going to
nurture a prospect closer to the buying point?
in most cases, it seems that it won’t, and that largely comes
down to brands not fully understating which content can
achieve this goal, or not having the capacity to act like a
publisher as well as focus on the core business activities. it’s a
very common problem for franchise brands of all sizes, sectors
and levels of maturity.
Think about that last time you bought a car, a home or
• Did you do research before engaging a sales representative?
• Did you want your own time and space to digest the
• would you have had a higher likelihood of returning to the
provider that helped you by providing valuable information to
make a better purchase decision?
• would you have liked to have been written off as a tyre
kicker if you chose not to give up all of your information or
sit through a sales pitch the first time you walked into a car
• would you have continued your buying journey elsewhere,
and ended up purchasing from a provider that offered more
information up-front and allowed you the time and space to
come back when ready?
i certainly know what i would do. it’s clear that franchisee
research behaviours and enquiry patterns have changed. as
australian consumers, we have developed an increasingly low
tolerance for product-push advertising, and for sales reps being
the gatekeepers of information that we can gather in our own
time and on our own terms.
when we are ready to buy, we increasingly go to those who
we perceive to be trusted experts that have added value to our
it’s time for franchise marketers to catch up, and content
marketing-driven lead generation and lead nurturing is the
Raffael is a leading expert on content marketing and lead generation
for franchisee recruitment, and is currently head of the franchise
media portfolio at Cirrus Media, which includes the Franchise Council of
Australia’s official directory, franchisebusiness.com.au.
Lead nurturing is defined as ‘the process of building relationships with qualified
prospects (often by delivering highly valuable content that helps them progress along
a buying path) regardless of their timing to buy, with the goal of earning their business
when they are ready’
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