Mobile Marketing and the Franchise Industry


Whether it’s going mobile on smartphones to reach customers or literally hitting the streets, franchise owners are finding creative ways to take their products to the people.

Just last month the sandwich chain Subway inked a deal with mobile marketing technology company Velti to create a campaign for its shops. Consumers will be able to order their meals from their phones and pick them up at the nearest Subway shop. A mobile application and site also will allow them to look at the menu, nutrition information and store locations.

“We see enormous potential in our mobile campaigns and look forward to delivering a more robust experience with Velti,” Subway’s Digital Marketing Director Joost Zimmerman told Marketwire.

“Our goal is to utilize mobile marketing as a highly personal and direct way to reach our customers and give them access to Subway at any time, wherever they are.”

With smartphones and tablets — including Apple’s iPad — dropping in price and becoming more affordable, companies of all kinds including franchise owners are expected to turn to mobile advertising.The trade group Mobile Marketing Association said mobile advertising agency Smaato Inc. anticipated businesses spending $1.24 billion this year on mobile advertising, with that figure to grow to $5 billion by 2015.

The online marketing advice site gave eight ideas on how a business can use mobile advertising, including:
  • Make sure they can find you: Doesn’t matter what type of business it is, customers have to be able to find it. Tap into Yelp and Google Maps and mobile search advertising to boost visibility.
  • Get them back in: Use text messages and mobile coupons to encourage customers to come back to your business and go beyond mobile mayorships offered by Foursquare.
  • Check those prices: Smartphones have taken comparison shopping to a higher level with free applications like Red Laser for the Android and iPhone. Use the same tools to check competitors’ prices.
Other franchises are going mobile, but in a more traditional way — with food trucks.
“Ten percent of the top 200 restaurant chains will have a mobile presence in the next 24 months,” Mobi Munch co-founder Aaron Noveshen told Munch helps create mobile platforms and also runs several food trucks in California. Many of the large franchises are looking at the trucks as marketing tools including Taco Bell, Dairy Queen, Subway and California Pizza Kitchen.

In this era of frugal consumers, mobile marketing is another tool to put the franchise name in front of potential customers, get them interested and keep them coming back for repeat business.