[Opinion Piece] The Key to Effective Marketing within a Franchise
Key to the success of The Fish & Chip Co.’s marketing activities is creating a working strategy that meets customers’ needs, grows profits, strengthens brand loyalty and creates solutions within the communities in which the franchises operate. These activities can only be achieved if the communications team works together to continuously evolve the ways in which they communicate to customers. So says Pertunia Tsotetsi, newly appointed Marketing Manager at The Fish & Chip Co, a successful local brand that brings old England’s national food of batter-fried fish and fries to South African consumers. She shares more insights below.
As a starting point to securing success in the marketing sphere, marketers need to hone their skills on a continuous basis, all while exploring different ways of communicating with their target markets. The traditional way of marketing is becoming obsolete and brands constantly need to stay ahead of the times by not only planning ahead, but listening and observing things that are topical in society. In an ever changing environment, where even the customers move at the rapid pace of the technology they consume, brands, along with their communications teams cannot afford to be caught on the back foot. And while it is all about being proactive and planning ahead, due to the fast paced world we live in, being reactive also keeps a brand top of mind.
There is no denying that a detailed marketing plan is vital to the business. Planning is important to determine how people are going to consume information in the next five to ten years. It helps us to forecast the growth of the brand, the need for its products and to put strategies in place should business not be booming – for whichever reason. There is simply no place for assumption and applying stereotypes to the communications shared. These are often used should a clear plan not be in place. This approach not only wastes money, but can cost a brand its integrity.
In the current space that marketers are operating, the key to driving successful engagement lies in listening and understanding the needs of the customer. Marketers forget that so-called ‘audiences and target markets’ are people just like me and you. The old way of marketing using LSMs and demographics is proving futile. Instead, the foundation of effective marketing is understanding people, their interests and what moves them, and this is done through consistent research and analysis.
While a proactive plan can account for these dynamic interests, it is important that brands be prepared should they need to be reactive to anything topical or ‘viral’ at the time.
The Internet is full of examples – Gangnam Style, the Harlem Shake, planking, the ice bucket challenge and even the selfie – just to name a few. These are all fads and trends that have taken the world by storm with many brands capitalising on the joy that people experience when they take part in something that is popular and topical.
Marketing is not something that is one dimensional. It is made up of a myriad of activities like branding, public relations, traditional and social media, events, sponsorship and sales. It can also not always be cut in stone. Yes, the brand’s overall strategy needs to direct the way in which activities are conducted. However, brands should also be flexible when it comes to their customers and adapt accordingly, where it is deemed needed.
Of course not every new trend should be pursued – you don’t want to look like a chameleon that is only there to entertain the crowds. Careful consideration still needs to be taken when new trends pop up as the activities around it still needs to be aligned with the brand image.
It is clear to see that The Fish & Chip Co. group understands the importance of all communications elements working together for the good of the brand and a great marketing mindset has been established.