One of the biggest trends in business performance management is the use of data to understand multiple facets of a business’s day-to-day operations.
According to IBM, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created on a daily basis, and 90 percent of the world’s data was created in the past two years. That volume of data is beyond the comprehension of most people, but it’s important to look at specific kinds of data to see how it can improve the way your franchise operates.
In the franchise industry, data can be a valuable resource to improve the way franchisors identify who their ideal franchisees are and how to best establish relationships with them. At the same time, franchisees can develop an infrastructure that supports the use of data to understand how to create a high-performing business.
Not Just a B2C Resource
In many discussions of big data and analytics, the key focus is on consumer-focused brands. That’s unfortunate because franchise brands stand to gain a lot by collecting and analyzing data related to their franchise opportunities, as well as individual franchisee performance.
The fact of the matter is B2C brands leverage consumer data to make better decisions about everything from product development, service offerings, sales strategies and marketing campaigns. An IBM infographic does a good job of showcasing the 360-degree view of consumers that big data can help create for brands. Capturing information from email, social media, customer feedback, calls and a wide variety of sources helps develop a fuller portrait of each customer.
For franchise brands, the ultimate goal is to build a strong system of franchisees, and using big data can help franchisors develop more efficient and effective processes.
How Data Can Help Franchise Brands
One way that B2B brands have had success in leveraging big data is by analyzing the buyer’s journey from start to finish with the most successful clients, according to Forrester Research. This is a strategy that franchisors should be employing to fully understand the journey from:
By clearly researching each step of the process, franchise brands set themselves up for success when generating new franchisee leads. For instance, they’re able to identify whether it was a paid ad, portal, broker, SEO, referral, event or another channel that first sparked the interest of an all-star franchisee and follow the pathway they travelled to research the brand. By doing so, you can adjust your marketing and advertising strategy to create messaging that reaches your ideal candidate wherever they are in the decision-making process.
The Power of Surveys
What data is important to your franchise brand? You’ll have a difficult time knowing the answer if you don’t start asking your franchisees. An article for Franchise Business Review emphasized the importance of surveys to help brands get insight into their system. After all, it’s the franchisees who truly dictate the growth of a brand once they get up and running. If the franchisor doesn’t consistently get an accurate reading from their franchisees about the direction of the brand, they may be flying blind.
With tools like annual satisfaction surveys, franchise brands can identify which operators are pleased or dissatisfied – and potentially resolve problems before they reach the point of litigation. Surveys also indicate to franchisees that their input is important for the future of the brand and they have a hand in sculpting the path going forward. As a result, franchisors have better year-over-year insight into their system beyond unit economics and can foster a culture of inclusivity and transparency.
Make Data Accessible to Be Useful
Ultimately, it’s impossible to glean insights from data if it’s disorganized and inconsistent. Platforms like customer relationship management software are a critical tool to help franchise brands capture information in a single location and give the franchise development team the data necessary to make better decisions.
What’s the Next Step?
Each franchise system is unique, so discovering the most effective ways to leverage data is up to the franchisor. For every franchise opportunity, there are aspiring entrepreneurs who want to make informed, well-thought-out decisions before making the investment. That’s why it’s increasingly important to take advantage of big data to improve lead generation, develop a more streamlined sales process and make adjustments to operations.