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Fractional CMOs for Franchises

Casey Slaughter Stanton

Casey Slaughter Stanton

Founder and CEO
CMOx®, The Fractional CMO Company

Franchises, in all of their shapes and forms, have exploded in popularity in recent years. Whether it be from brand recognition, familiarity, or comfort, people are attracted to franchises in one form or another. That said, franchisees will continue to need to generate new leads to keep business coming in, and with that is an essential need for a robust digital marketing framework. That’s where a Fractional CMO comes in; they’ll work closely to identify the unique aspects of your franchise and leverage your location to drive new business to you. 

Below, we’ll cover the importance of digital marketing for franchises and how a fractional CMO helps generate business.

Franchise Fractional CMOs

Not every business needs or can afford a full-time chief marketing officer to lead their marketing efforts; that’s where a fractional CMO comes in. A fractional CMO provides your franchise with a part-time solution for your marketing leadership and strategy needs. These consultants are a combination experience without the high cost. Typically, fractional CMOs have experience in many fields of marketing, including SEO, PPC, sales, data collection, social media, and much more but often specialize in a specific niche.

Marketing Strategy for Franchises

Franchises must have a marketing strategy which works for all franchisees involved. As such, the strategy must be repeatable and work in each locale.

Essentially, franchises need a “playbook” ready to deploy for each franchisee in each locale. A franchisor’s playbook should follow three basic tenets:

The franchisor needs to make a decision on what makes sense between finding capacity for an in-house marketing team or an external agency that works for the business.

Whether using an in-house marketing team or working through an external agency, a fractional CMO serves as the bridge between the marketing department or agency and the franchisor. A fractional or outsourced CMO looks for what’s best for the franchisor and the franchisees. In contrast, an ad or marketing agency might concern themselves with what’s best for the franchisees and themselves, not necessarily the franchisor.

Digital Marketing for Franchises

Local SEO

Local SEO is crucial for one simple reason: customers or potential clients need to know where you are. Since franchises are a part of a larger brand, customers usually aren’t as averse to shopping with your business since they more than likely already have some experience with the brand. 

Local SEO creates individuality and directs local searches toward your location, which is essential for generating leads. In addition, franchises need to follow the growing mobile trends as a majority of all website visits come from mobile.

Content marketing

A good way to create authenticity and authority in your franchise is by creating content that reflects your franchise. Some franchises will resort to duplicate content from a centralized marketing department, which works in some cases, but not all. Creating content that distinguishes your franchise as a helpful or knowledgeable source can generate return users or potential customers.


Each franchise will ultimately have its own goals, so a cookie-cutter approach to paid search won’t work. While there will inevitably be aspects of your ads that will reflect your brand, it’s a good practice to include local ad copy. Like any PPC campaign, it’s also a good idea to do your keyword research and optimize your landing pages to generate the leads you desire.

Social media

It should come as no surprise that a lot of people use social media, but many also research their brands or services before making a purchase or visiting a location. It’s for that reason, and many more like it, that creating a meaningful online presence matters for growing your business. Social media profiles do a few things for your franchise:

Email marketing

Email marketing is the modern-day equivalent of direct mail marketing in the sense that it is a direct brand message to your end consumer. While it may not seem as important as other marketing campaigns, it can still be extremely effective. Email is readily accessible from mobile devices, meaning many people consistently check their email throughout the day, which opens up opportunities for them to interact with your messaging. It also allows them to access your messages at a time that’s convenient for them and not intrusive like other digital marketing campaigns.

Benefits of hiring a Fractional CMO for your Franchise

Hiring a fractional CMO for a franchise comes with a number of benefits.

First, a fractional CMO provides oversight, strategy, leadership, and accountability to franchisees at a much lower cost than a full-time position. A 1% ad fund from each franchisee, on top of regular spend, could be used to fill the leadership seat of a marketing department with a fractional CMO.

Next, fractional CMOs come into a franchise with a marketing strategy process applicable to all franchisees. They bring knowledge and experience in identifying what works for franchises and develop a systematic approach to deploying that strategy.

Four phases of a franchisee's launch

Generally, launching a new franchisee follows four phases:

1. Pre-launch

In the 30 days leading up to the grand opening, a Fractional CMO puts together a pre-launch strategy to encourage as many people as possible to attend, claim a benefit for attending, or sign up before opening. this helps ensure the franchisee opens with a full book of business.

2. Post-launch

For the next 60 days after open, there needs to be a specific campaign for the grand opening letting customers know the franchisee is now open.

3. First year

For the next 60 days after open, there needs to be a specific campaign for the grand opening letting customers know the franchisee is now open.

4. Mature

After the first year, your marketing strategy moves to a more measured cadence of certain promotions at specific times. all campaigns become deployable at the same time with the global marketing strategy a Fractional CMO defines.

A fractional CMO develops a marketing strategy for each stage of a franchisee’s launch with measurables and processes to execute by either an in-house marketing department or external agency.

Difficulties in marketing for Franchises

Marketing for individual franchises can be a challenging endeavor. In most cases, they share many of the same problems any business has but also run into issues that come from being a part of a greater organization. Typical issues businesses face include a lack of a cohesive strategy, leadership, experience, data collection, and much more. In some cases, these issues are compounded by factors unique to franchises. 

Franchises tend to avoid local content and SEO that can differentiate themselves from their other locations or the brand as a whole. For this reason, and the others below, are the reasons that franchises ultimately struggle with marketing. 

Becoming an outsourced CMO for Franchises

As you can see, there are a variety of obstacles that can hamper the growth of a burgeoning franchise, and the need for marketing strategy from a fractional CMO is evident. At CMOx, we work with individuals to help them be effective fractional CMOs for all sorts of industries. Our goal is to help you get started as a fractional CMO on the right foot and create meaningful value for your clients. 

If you’re interested in becoming an outsourced CMO for franchises, book your Introduction Call with us today or call us at (219) 804-0797.

Finding a part-time CMO for your Franchise

Finding the right fractional CMO for your franchise is essential for your growth. At CMOx, one of our fractional CMOs will work with you to differentiate your franchise and generate leads to grow your business. 

To learn more about our fractional CMO services for your franchise, schedule a call today with us, to see how our fractional CMOs at CMOx can help. 

Casey Slaughter Stanton

Casey Slaughter Stanton

Casey S. Stanton is a marketing strategy expert and founder of CMOx®, the Fractional CMO company. For over 10 years Casey has been leading marketing strategy for 7 and 8 figure businesses in both digital and brick-and-mortar markets.

Casey Slaughter Stanton

Casey Slaughter Stanton

Casey S. Stanton is a marketing strategy expert and founder of CMOx®, the Fractional CMO company. For over 10 years Casey has been leading marketing strategy for 7 and 8 figure businesses in both digital and brick-and-mortar markets.

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