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Over 70% of Franchisees Work With an Advertising or Digital Agency, According to New BIA/Kelsey Report

Feb 3, 2016

BIA/Kelsey will highlight report findings at BIA/Kelsey BRANDS, a one-day summit on March 22 in New York examining the latest trends and best practices in brand-to-local marketing.

CHANTILLY, Va. (Feb. 3, 2016) – A new report from BIA/Kelsey titled “Advertising and Marketing Trends of Franchisees” reveals 70.6 percent of franchisees surveyed work with an advertising or digital agency, the majority of which are small local agencies. The report is the latest in a series based on data from BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor™ (LCM) Wave 19 survey of small and medium-sized businesses. This new report specifically examines the media and marketing spending behaviors of the SMBs that self-identified as franchisees or licensees of a national company.

160203Findings from this report will be highlighted at BIA/Kelsey BRANDS: The Brand-to-Local Marketing Summit, March 22, in New York. This one-day summit will examine the drivers of $61 billion in spending by franchise and brand marketers targeting local audiences, as well as the roles of agencies and adtech/martech companies. More information about BIA/Kelsey BRANDS, including the agenda, speakers and online registration, is available at

New Ad Platforms Offer Top ROI for Franchise SMBs

The report reveals franchisees are accelerating their adoption of new technologies, using more digital media and platforms, including some of the latest formats, such as sponsored content, native ads and video display ads.

“Franchisees are not only testing the waters with these new formats, they are reporting good returns on their investments,” said Celine Matthiessen, VP, analytics and insights, BIA/Kelsey.

Seven of the top 10 ad formats identified by franchise SMBs for ROI performance are digital. When asked about ROI performance, 87.2 percent of franchisees surveyed ranked sponsored content as a top performer, followed by native ads (76.0 percent), specialty print directories (70.5 percent), video display ads (70.3 percent), out of home ads (68.6 percent), online deals (66.7 percent), online display (65.4 percent), Facebook news ads (65.3 percent), print coupons (62.8 percent) and online coupons (62.5 percent).

Report Contents & Availability

The 48-page report, Advertising and Marketing Trends of Franchisees, includes more than 35 data charts covering key findings, such as:

  • Top 10 media used by franchisees for advertising or promotion
  • Ad budget allocation by media category and percentage of ad budget allocated to digital
  • Spending intentions for the next 12 months and factors determining ad spend
  • Use of co-op advertising programs and percentage of marketing costs paid by franchisor
  • Engagement with ad agencies, do-it-for-me, do-it-with-me and DIY solutions
  • Behaviors related to specific ad formats, including mobile, social media, customer lists, customer loyalty programs, leads tracking, websites, reputation management, beacons, mobile POS payments and cloud-based services.

Those who would benefit from reading this report include executives in charge of marketing and/or product development targeted to SMBs, senior leaders evaluating opportunities in the SMB marketplace, any executive with a role in selling digital or traditional media products, and anyone focused on the trends and direction of franchise SMBs. Learn more about this report, including how to order it, at

Local Commerce Monitor™ Methodology

Local Commerce Monitor (LCM) is BIA/Kelsey’s ongoing tracking survey of small and medium-sized businesses conducted online with research partner Ipsos. Since 1999, the survey has measured where SMBs are spending their advertising and promotional budgets and how their media usage and spending habits are evolving.

The data regarding franchisees are based on the responses of 119 respondents (11.8 percent of the full LCM sample of SMBs) who self-identified as a “franchisee or licensee of a national company.” Of this group, 45.4 percent are “single location” franchises, with the remainder having two or more locations.

For this study, SMB is defined as a business with one to 99 employees. Local Commerce Monitor draws its sample of business respondents from a mix of nationally scoped MSAs, primarily based on first- and second-tier markets. LCM19 was conducted in July 2015 via an online survey of 1,010 SMBs. The LCM19 findings have been weighted to reflect the incidence of SMBs by size bracket, according to the SMB size bracket data provided by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

About BIA/Kelsey

BIA/Kelsey defines, organizes and analyzes the multibillion-dollar Local Commerce Universe (LCU) for media, technology companies, brands and agencies competing in today’s multiplatform, interactive local media and marketing arena. LCU, the firm’s proprietary vision for tracking the evolving local marketplace, provides an effective framework for delivering meaningful data-driven analysis, consulting and valuation services, competitive intelligence and state-of-the-industry conferences. Learn more about BIA/Kelsey at

For more information contact:
Eileen Pacheco
(508) 254-1440