Franchisee Websites – Build or Buy?

Franchisee websites build or buy Franchisee Websites   Build or Buy?How to Effectively Plan & Implement the Right Solution for Franchisee Websites

Franchisors are quickly realizing just how important it is for their franchisees to have a strong online presence these days, to spread awareness of their locations in local markets, increase lead generation and customer acquisition levels, and help improve customer loyalty and retention – all of which directly benefit the franchisor by increasing royalty streams, expanding market share, and strengthening the brand. Exemplifying this point, the number one reason customers visit a franchise’s website today is to find information about nearby locations on their franchisee websites.

But when there is a lack of relevant, local content about the franchisee’s location presented on the website (often times little more than a phone number and address is provided), customers are left doubting the business’s credibility, and disappointed at the lack of information. This results in stagnant website traffic and lead generation numbers, especially if franchisees do not have dynamic web pages that are updated frequently with fresh content to boost placement in local search engine results.

Furthermore, an ever increasing number of franchisees who understand the value of a strong web presence have independently initiated their own Internet marketing programs, by launching their own local websites, creating social media profiles (such as Facebook and Twitter), and advertising online. The result of this is a very fragmented and muddled representation of the franchise brand on the web, not to mention the frustration franchisees endure while trying to navigate the complex and convoluted world of Internet marketing on their own.

What’s worse is franchisors are losing control over their brand online, and franchisee confidence and satisfaction is waning because these essential marketing tools are not being adequately provided by the franchisor. This shift has created a great dilemma for franchisors, especially those whose core business is not focused on web-based marketing and technology, since solutions for this unique problem have in the past been mediocre at best, costly, and time-consuming to implement and maintain.

Perhaps most difficult is the question of whether to develop the needed solution for franchisee websites in-house, work with an existing supplier, or leverage a specialized platform such as Empowerkit. We will examine some of the key issues to consider when evaluating this consideration, and offer a framework for prudent decision-making.

Read on to part 2, “Franchisee Websites – Assessing Your Current Situation

December 7, 2011

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