Franchise marketing isn’t easy – and when you’re up to your eyes with umpteen other things to do, helping your franchisees with their local initiatives may be in danger of lurking forever at the bottom of your to-do list.
But your franchisees still need the help if they’re to make the most of their opportunities, which is why the easyStorage franchise decided right from the start to put that task into somebody else’s hands. They had to be a safe pair of hands, able to act as a guardian of the brand as well as firing the imagination of the franchisees about the difference a good local marketing campaign can make.
So Louise Harris, Head of Strategic Partnerships, turned to Chantry. “They were the obvious choice,” she says. “Chantry provide a source of energy and enthusiasm that we don’t have available – yet they feel like an extension of our own support team.
“We needed them to deliver our local marketing support by making sure our franchisees knew what to do and how to do it and had the tools to make it happen.” That help, or most of it, came in the form of Esther Boughton, Chantry’s Marketing Communications Manager, who took charge of the entire local marketing support function for easyStorage’s franchisees and liaises between them, the marketing team at easyStorage HQ, and Louise. Esther acts as the franchisees’ key contact and, with her designer colleague Megan Holland, ensures they have all the local marketing materials they need to succeed. “Megan develops designs and campaigns alongside the team and together we provide advert design and creation, Google ads and social media design content,” says Louise.
“Esther holds our franchisees accountable, drives the development of the marketing materials, and ensures they receive timely responses to their needs. “The fortnightly reviews she has with the franchisees – all specific to marketing – keep them, and us, on our toes! “She has regular contact with the franchisees, which we can’t, and we love it that she manages us as well as the marketing materials, and gets it right. “So often, we have so much else on our plate to do that it goes into the Too Hard pile, but Esther calls us and we talk about it.
“Whenever there’s an opportunity for a franchisee to do local marketing, Chantry drives us to get the materials ready – and the available collateral has increased significantly since they began work. “We have regular strategy review meetings with four of their team, the creativity and ideas flow, and the plans are put in place for the months ahead. “They’ve always got their eye on what’s around the corner.” Louise is delighted with the results. “We saw immediate benefits in franchisee turnover,” she says.
“Those who engage and drive their local marketing have significantly better returns than those who don’t, and are at the top of the pile. “They’re driving business, getting it right, getting good Trustpilot reviews and getting more business. “And because it’s successful for some, they’re warming up the other chickens in the flock. They’re all talking to each other.” Louise describes the local marketing function as “a hole we were desperate to fill” and says that, as easyStorage is in its infancy, outsourcing it made sense. “Chantry has filled such a gap for us,” she says.