As a franchisor, you likely have a solid idea of what it takes to be successful in your system. You’ve paid attention to your top-performing franchisees and may have even noted their similarities, from their age to their education level. But did you know this information could be used to develop buyer personas? Let’s learn more about this useful strategy and how to incorporate it into your franchise marketing plan.
What is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a detailed description of your target audience. Not only do buyer personas cover top-level demographic information like gender and location, but this strategy takes things a few steps further. Marketers will develop imagined personas complete with names, histories, and interests down to the kind of shows they watch and what they do for fun. Here are a few characteristics you’re likely to see included on a buyer persona profile:
- Education Level
- Income Level
- Pain Points
- Use of Technology (frequently visited websites or platforms)
Why Are Buyer Personas Effective?
Buyer personas remind marketers and salespeople to centre their efforts around the customer (or in your case, the franchise candidate). The better you know your audience, the more effective your marketing collateral will be. Rather than drafting generic marketing messages, you can write webpages, emails, advertisements, and other franchise marketing collateral that speaks directly to your desired candidate. Each time you create a flyer or direct a photoshoot, you’ll think, “How will this appeal to this particular persona?”
How Do I Use Buyer Personas for Franchise Marketing?
Think of the buyer persona as your perfect franchisee; the one that checks all of the boxes and then some. To begin developing buyer personas for your franchise, follow these steps.
1. Conduct Audience Research
While buyer personas can seem whimsical, they’re actually based on facts, data, and research. Collect demographic information on your franchisees and pay close attention to those that are thriving in your system. Connect with team members who spend the most time directly speaking with franchisees, like your sales team, support team, and business coaches. They will likely have real-life information and anecdotes about your franchisee’s less obvious qualities.
2. Create Multiple Personas
Now for the fun part. Gather your team and start creating buyer personas! Based on your research, decide how many individual personas you’ll need (typically somewhere between three and five). Each should be a distinct representation of different types of ideal franchisees, though there may be some overlap in things like goals or pain points (e.g., Jose and Debra are both seeking better work/life balance). Here is an example of how a candidate’s persona might read for a fitness franchise:
- Cindy is a 45-year-old woman living in Houston, TX with her husband and two kids.
- She has worked in a corporate sales position since graduating college with a degree in business administration.
- She has in-depth knowledge of business structure and is financially literate. She dabbles in investing.
- Cindy and her husband average a combined income over $300K and like to enjoy the finer things in life.
- Cindy belongs to at least one boutique fitness studio and attends classes multiple times a week. She considers it self-care.
- Since she’s worked in a similar position for most of her life, Cindy is ready for a new challenge in an industry she’s passionate about. She wants to be a single studio owner and sees herself as very hands-on.
- Cindy uses Facebook and Instagram frequently and has been known to post about her workouts.
These personas can be as detailed as you believe necessary. You don’t need frivolous qualities, but if you think including certain characteristics will help you better target your franchise marketing efforts, then put them on the list!
3. Address Your Ideal Franchisee’s Pain Points & Goals
When creating franchise marketing collateral with your new personas in mind, be sure to address their pain points and goals. A common structure used in advertising is introducing a problem and stating how your business provides a solution (Stinky gym bag? Use Febreze!). For example, if your ideal franchisee feels stunted by corporate life, you can use this sentiment to catch their attention. Then, you will discuss how becoming a business owner will positively impact the franchisee’s life. Tactics like these will help you attract more of the right kinds of candidates.
Looking for more franchise marketing expertise? Reach out to TSCA to learn how we can help connect you with qualified franchisees and grow your franchise.