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We talk often about the importance of brand marketers having a direct line of sight into search data at the local level. For franchise brands, it’s critical that search insights are made accessible to franchisees, as well. 

Data is key to many decisions made at the enterprise level—in fact, 56% of organizations leveraging analytics are experiencing faster and more effective decision making, and more than half are realizing better financial performance, according to Microstrategy’s most recent Global State of Enterprise Analytics report. What’s more, 46% of organizations have been able to identify and create new product and revenue streams through their analytics use and 45% are currently leveraging analytics to develop new business models.

All told, 94% of business professionals say data and analytics are important to business growth and digital transformation.

What we don’t touch on as often is the importance of how those insights flow outward from the brand—particularly from the brand to its franchisees. While 81% of management teams and 76% of executives have access to their organization’s data and analytics to make informed decisions, only 52% of front-line employees do. And when those employees are required to get data to make a business decision, only 3% are able to do it in seconds. For 60%, it takes hours or days.

Brands have a great opportunity to improve their local marketing programs for franchisees, particularly in the way reporting is used to demonstrate value and inform local operations and service. In this post, you’ll learn what franchisees need from their local reporting, how custom reporting helped transform a franchise’s local marketing program, and five key elements of a successful reporting solution for franchisees.

What type of reporting and data do franchisees need?

Franchisees may pay a fee to the brand for marketing support, or pay into cooperative marketing fund(s). Often, it is a part of the contract, and expectations are high. In addition to the franchisee satisfaction, benefits of a successful local marketing program are the obvious revenue and brand-building benefits, as well.

In order to truly support marketing at the local level, the enterprise needs a robust reporting platform to not only gather and analyze local search insights in a way that is accessible to brand marketers but to local owners, as well.

More than half (58.9 percent) of franchisees’ total ad budget is spent on some form of digital advertising and for the majority, half to three-quarters of the average franchisee’s ad budget is covered by co-op programs. Of course, each business is unique. More often than not, an out-of-the-box reporting solution simply can’t deliver the specific insights franchisees need to make informed decisions and truly understand their local search performance. 

Brand marketers must also contend with and take into consideration the dramatically different levels of marketing knowledge and experience among franchisees. Remember, when franchisees are paying a premium for marketing there is an expectation of value there. But that doesn’t have to mean “do it for me;” in fact, the best results come from local owners being deeply involved in local review management, creating hyperlocal content, and keeping critical business information such as store hours and current promotions up to date.

Brands can deliver great value to franchisees through a local marketing program that is:

  • Easily accessible 
  • Understandable 
  • Comprehensive
  • Supportive

What does this look like in practice?

How custom reporting helped drive 99.75% franchisee adoption of European Wax Center’s corporate marketing program

When European Wax Center (EWC) first came to Rio SEO, a lack of marketing knowledge and support at the local level was hindering the brand’s ability to take ownership of local listings and GMB accounts. Part of the solution we created to solve EWC’s local data challenges included the implementation of custom reporting for franchisees.

Delivered from a brand email account, this automated monthly recap curated key local marketing insights from four sources:

Now, franchisees could see exactly where their marketing investment was going. Each email also contained an invitation for franchisees to sign up for ‘Office Hours,’ where they would receive personalized marketing support.

As franchisee satisfaction in EWC’s marketing program grew, the brand was eventually able to achieve near-total adoption. Two years after implementation, they made the option a standard part of their franchise package. In addition to the local marketing improvements gained through greater franchisee involvement (which you can read about in the case study here), EWC was able to reduce the disconnect between franchisees and the brand and provide franchisees tangible, easy-to-understand insights into how their marketing efforts were being supported.

5 facets of a successful local reporting program for franchisees

Looking to improve your franchise’s local marketing program? Here’s what you’ll want to see in your local reporting solution:

  1. Customization. Don’t confuse franchisees with a multitude of data points and information they don’t need. Using a custom, built-to-purpose reporting solution ensures that your franchisees can see all of the insights—and just those insights—that they need to make decisions. Look for the ability to custom design your dashboard and control the appearance of franchisee reports.
  2. Automation. Focus your creative efforts on franchisee engagement, not manual data input. Brands require reporting solutions that are built to scale. Take the legwork out of data collection and analysis with reports that automate the curation of data from the various sources that are relevant to your franchisees such as Yelp, Google My Business, local listings, etc.
  3. White-labeling. Enhance the value of the program and highlight your brand’s investment in your franchisees’ success by including your own branding on reporting. When you use Rio SEO as your local marketing partner, you get a level of service and support that most software tools simply don’t offer including direct access to an account director, a dedicated support team, and the on-demand expertise of local search experts including a Google My Business Gold Product Expert. To your franchisees, this all becomes part of the benefit of your local marketing program.
  4. Accessibility. Brand marketers should be able to control permissions and access levels, deciding who can view and edit local search reports. We can create a custom report, for example, that can be embedded, accessed online, downloaded as an Excel or CVS file or even exported to a spreadsheet program for those who want to print out a hard copy in that format. Franchisees are going to have their own unique preferences as to how they view and engage with your reporting solution. 
  5. Visual appeal. You shouldn’t need a degree in statistics to understand local search data, and this is particularly true of your franchisee-facing reports. Keep your reporting insightful and non-intimidating with clear views and simple visualizations to highlight important information for local users. 

Getting started with custom local reporting

The days of cobbling together manually populated reports with data gathered from this tool and that are over—at least, they should be. If your franchise business is still struggling to engage local owners and demonstrate the value of your marketing program to them, we can help. Get in touch with the local search experts at Rio SEO and let’s talk about how custom reporting could transform your franchisee program.

Download the EWC Case Study Now