What Does Artificial Intelligence Mean for Franchise Marketing?

Marketing
Three people looking at a laptop, one person is pointing to the screen.

Sponsored content by Kenny Wu, Scorpion.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a hot topic in franchising for several years now. Still, with its broad scope and technical nature, AI has often remained just a buzzword for many franchises that don’t have a clear understanding of how it can tangibly benefit their businesses. As consumers, we’ve seen AI at work in everyday digital platforms, such as Google and Facebook, as well as in virtual assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. But how can artificial intelligence use machine learning—where computer algorithms automatically improve with experience and data—to change the game for franchises, especially when it comes to marketing and advertising?

Let’s take a look at how machine learning improves franchise marketing and advertising from a few different angles (or datasets):

Geography

Geography is a huge factor in franchise marketing because even though all locations live under the brand umbrella, each local market is unique and distinct. Even individual zip codes in a local market can have different characteristics.

Where should franchises advertise to create the best return on investment? Which specific combination of areas will produce the most leads? How should an advertising budget be split to cover a franchise’s territory most effectively?

Artificial intelligence uses machine learning to answer these questions by analyzing every ad click, website visitor, and lead to understand where ideal customers are coming from. It then ranks areas based on performance and helps automatically portion a client’s advertising budget where it can be best spent.

Time & Day

Running advertising campaigns 24/7 can be a tremendous waste of money since not every hour or day of the week has the same value. Customer behavior can vary dramatically depending on a franchise’s industry type as well as a location’s local market.

Machine learning looks at historical advertising volume and inbound lead data to help prioritize the times and days of the week when customers are most likely to convert. This can be automatically adjusted to account for seasonality or an individual location’s business hours.

Demographics

Properly defining and adjusting ideal customer profiles helps make advertising as effective as possible. After all, 18-year-old high school graduates are not the same as 40-year-old working professionals with families.

By mapping out the best-converting leads against available customer demographic information, such as age, interests, homeownership, or family size, machine learning helps ensure advertising campaigns are targeting the right audience. By basing decisions on data rather than human assumptions, franchises can rest easier knowing they’re not wasting money on testing out theories about how they should be reaching their customers.

Advertising Channels

Over the past decade, the number and types of digital channels competing for our attention have increased and evolved dramatically. While Google and Facebook are still giants when it comes to advertising channels, franchises need to be considering other platforms, such as Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

Instead of manually deciding which channels to use and dividing their advertising budgets arbitrarily, franchise owners can use machine learning to figure out which advertising channels bring in the most leads and work the best for them. Machine learning can then automatically portion out budgets with a scalpel to provide the most bang for the buck, down to the dollar.

Finding the Right Partner for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

All of these improvements in advertising can sound great to franchises, but figuring out how to adopt artificial intelligence can be technologically daunting. It's important to find the right partner to help you get started.

While there are more AI tools and vendors available to franchises than ever before, it’s important to feel comfortable embarking on a new technological journey rather than feeling forced to “adopt or die.” Finding a partner who can balance technology with service and guidance can be the difference-maker between making an expensive, confusing blunder or using artificial intelligence to carry a brand into the future.

About Scorpion

Scorpion is the leading provider of technology and services helping franchise brands thrive. We help franchises understand their unique market dynamics, maximize their marketing efforts, and delight their customers.

Scorpion offers Website Development, SEO, Review Management, Paid Advertising, Email Marketing, Live Chat and Messaging, Social Media, Appointment Scheduling, and more.

We bring everything together in a way that's easy to understand and manage, blending AI and support to help customers in setting, measuring, and reaching their goals.