5 Creative Sources to Inspire Your 2023 Marketing Plans
Angela Paules, Buzz Franchise Brands
It’s hard to believe we’re already well into the fourth quarter of 2022, and with that, the planning season for 2023 has begun. When preparing your annual marketing plans, you should always include a mix of the tried-and-true marketing tactics (for our brands that includes things like search marketing and direct mail marketing) as well as a space to test new tactics. But sometimes that feels easier said than done. If you find yourself stuck with the same old ideas for your 2023 marketing plans, here are a few places to look for inspiration.
Franchising and/or marketing events are a great place to get new ideas for your marketing plan. Whether it’s the annual IFA convention, the Franchise Customer Experience Conference (FCXC), or a Wednesday Webinar, there are plenty of great opportunities throughout the year to sit in on marketing sessions and hear what others in the industry are doing. Some of the big topics this year have centered around influencer marketing, TikTok and using AI effectively. Worried because you didn’t make it to an event this year? Don’t be. Many of the presentations are available online afterward, and you can often find podcast or webinar discussions where people are recapping their takeaways from events. For a great place to start, find the latest IFA webinars on demand – as well as upcoming webinars – here.
Remember that great conversation you had over lunch at the IFA convention this year? Don’t let those relationships die! Reach out via email or connect on LinkedIn to collaborate with others in marketing roles to see what kind of unique tactics they’re trying out. If there’s one great thing about the franchising industry, it’s the collaboration and willingness to help one another, so don’t be shy. Just remember to pay it forward when you get a chance as well! Moreso, remember that you have a large network of franchisees to pull ideas from. Franchisors often feel the pressure to be the ones telling franchisees what to do for marketing, but we need to move past our egos and acknowledge that they have great ideas too. In fact, in many systems some of the best ideas – marketing and beyond – have come from franchisees. We all know the history of the McDonald’s Big Mac, right? Collaboration with your franchisees is key to a successful marketing program!
Whether through Facebook or LinkedIn, there are several online communities that offer opportunities for dialogue around marketing. The IFA hosts a couple of groups (including the soon-to-launch Marketing and Innovation Committee forum), there are many centered around digital marketing (Social Media Today is an example), and The Marketing Book Club on LinkedIn is another great resource to stay engaged with marketing professionals and keep your reading list full of new ideas. Search around and try out a few of these communities until you find the one(s) that suit you best. Pose a question or share something creative your brand has done recently to get the conversation going.
There are an overwhelming amount of podcasts to choose from these days – several of which offer episodes addressing franchise marketing topics such as Social Geek Radio, The Art of Franchise Marketing, Modrn Business and Franchise Marketing Radio to name a few. Seek out episodes focused on local marketing tactics, digital marketing, or interviews with incredible marketing minds from around the industry. A few recommendations outside of franchising include The CMO Podcast, Marketing Against the Grain and How I Built This with Guy Raz. Podcasts are great if you have a demanding schedule. Play one during your daily commute, or if you work from home, stream one while you’re walking the dog or fixing your lunch!
As previously noted, one of the wonderful things about working in franchising is the collaborative spirit across companies and the wealth of opportunities (see above) to network and hear from franchising peers. But don’t limit yourself. Go beyond franchising when you’re exploring marketing strategies that could work well for your brand. Getting involved with groups like the American Marketing Association (AMA) can expose you to other local marketing leaders and a wealth of online resources and events. There are also some great marketing blogs and books out there to provide inspiration. One of my favorite recent reads is Obsessed: Building a Brand People Love From Day One by Emily Heyward.
Your marketing plan should be constantly evolving throughout the year, but it’s important to have a solid starting place, so don’t wait until the last minute – start planning now! As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”