Online Marketplaces: How to Increase Brand Awareness and Generate Quality Leads for Franchisee Recruitment

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Online marketplaces for b2b consumers and franchisors

Marketplaces, or online portals, are digital platforms that connect sellers and buyers. While the model has gained a foothold in B2C and B2B markets, they have quickly become the main channel franchisors use for franchisee recruitment. Marketplaces are a powerful lead acquisition tool with many advantages. Here, we take a closer look at how online marketplaces are meeting franchisors' recruitment needs.

B2B buyers have evolved in the last 15 years; they rely increasingly on online channels. According to a study by Google, 90% of B2B buyers use the internet as a decision tool before buying, conducting on average 12 searches before making a choice. Moreover, consumers are independent: they prefer looking for and comparing solutions on their own before getting in touch with a seller. In fact, around 75% of buyers already have an idea in mind when they contact the company.

These behaviours have an impact on B2B digital prospecting, especially knowing that 71% of B2B customers will not look up the name of a brand but rather for a solution that fits their specific needs. About 60% prefer avoiding commercial contact during that research phase altogether.

71% of B2B customers will not look up the name of a brand but rather a solution that fits their specific needs.

This has parallels with franchisee recruitment. The 2018 Franchise Landscape Report from the BFA and Natwest showed that during the past 10 years, the channels most used by franchisors have shifted towards digital. In 2018, for example, between 37 to 48% of franchisors in the UK stated that websites were a useful recruitment channel compared with only 16% who thought that magazine advertising was useful. The report also stated that one in ten franchisors now use third-party brokers and match-making services.

5 benefits of an online marketplace model for franchisors

1. Increased brand awareness

No matter the sector, weve seen that potential franchisees prioritise speed, easy access, and the possibility to compare different franchise opportunities online.

In the B2B sector, more specifically, manufacturers and distributors have already figured out that a B2B marketplace model is more profitable: these platforms allow them to engage with potential buyers at every stage of the buying process, which can significantly increase the number of leads for their business. Indeed, marketplaces display thousands of products and many technical sheets, which gives them the added benefit of a preferential SEO ranking on search engines.

Through the power of online marketplaces, you can feed off of brand equity to reach a greater number of potential leads than you could ever on your own.

Reaching the first position on search engines means you could absorb 33% of the pages clicks.
Do you have what it takes to appear in Googles "golden triangle" (the first three results)?

2. Generate quality leads

With online platforms, user navigation data is collected and analysed, which helps detect a users intent from the moment they start browsing. This is useful on two fronts:

  1. For the user: can easily be instantly retargeted and provided with information relevant to their search;
  2. For franchisors and businesses: can use this data to build look-a-like audiences on third-party paid advertising channels and lead to external retargeting.

3. Build long-term trust

In the B2B market, clients seek content from sources they can trust. Marketplaces offer a wide range of products that will match client needs to near perfection and precision. Presenting a variety of options, without bias, helps build a trusting and lasting relationship with the client.

This is similar in the franchise market as, in the UK, there are over 1,000 franchise systems with many new brands appearing each month. Its important for the user to understand that the brands presented have been vetted and are trustworthy.

4. Tap into more sales channels for lead generation

For franchising and the B2B market, online portals and marketplaces allow businesses to reach prospects on an array of channels beyond their website or the lead generation channels they use most frequently. Thanks to these platforms, businesses can build up their brand awareness and potentially generate more qualified leads quickly.

They can specifically target the visitors who may become eventually leads by collecting and analysing navigation and search data on online platforms. For instance, you can regroup users in clusters based on their searches. Likewise, you can target those who compare the different products or franchise opportunities, as they display more of an intent to buy. Defining potential prospects can allow franchisors or businesses to convert prospects into leads through targeted marketing campaigns such as:

  • Retargeting: targeting those who have already shown intent to request information from a franchise (i.e. those who have looked at a profile page or filled out an online form);
  • Targeting based on user characteristics (i.e. current job, role, geolocalisation, and so on).

5. Boost year-round visibility

Franchise exhibitions will give a franchisor visibility for two to three days, whilst an online platform allows franchise businesses to be visible all year-round.

Find out more about advertising on the UKs leading franchise platform!


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