Can Franchisors Really Go on an ‘Organic-Only’ Diet?
By malden | December 21, 2011

Plenty of talk these days about franchisors moving to and relying on content-heavy, socially relevant websites that play well in long-tail search to garner quality franchise sales inquiries. Not a surprising sentiment and approach, and some interesting discussion developing. My early comment:

The most coveted franchise sales inquiries have always been referrals from existing franchisees and those originating from any positive WOM buzz about a franchise system’s success at the unit level in a prospect’s back (or adjacent) yard. No question, social technologies and intelligent (sincere/authentic) content production/distribution represent a real opportunity for franchisors to amplify ‘organic’ or non-solicited franchise sales activity.

For better or worse, however, paid directories (why are they called portals?) and lead management platforms exist because the majority of franchise development departments have continued to demand lead volume to feed the conventional ‘numbers game’ sales process. Historically, experiments around improving lead quality invariably come at the expense of volume.

It will be interesting to observe the extent to which franchisors are able to adapt to an organic-only diet, or if most will maintain a variety of sources while continuing the age-old battle of finding more of the ‘good leads’ (low cost and serious qualified prospects) to work into mix and improve recruitment economics.