A new publishing system has hit the market this year, giving franchisees and group businesses the ability to produce their own marketing material in a way that was once available only to big business with big budgets.

Developed by marketing company iGoDirect and technology company Biz Express, iLamps gives franchisees a selection of designs, products, campaign messages and pricing options (set by the franchisor) to publish their own marketing materials. The franchisor then has the ability to edit the materials before the franchisee prints and distributes.

“Franchisees, like most small business owners, are short on time, resources and expertise when it comes to local marketing, yet it has never been more important for franchisees to promote themselves as a local business in their community,” says iGoDirect’s director Pat Dalton.

“Franchisees are in a unique position to know what their local customers want and now they can market accordingly, by producing their own flyers, brochures, posters, catalogues and marketing materials.”

Dalton says there has always been a conflict between franchisees and franchisors over marketing content.

“There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Franchisees need to create customised localised materials, but parent companies must protect the integrity of the brand and messaging.

“iLamps takes away this conflict by providing a publishing tool to give franchisees a ready-made marketing template, while still giving franchisors the control over the brand,” says Dalton.

Office Choice, one of Australia’s largest office supply franchises, recently launched iLamps product, MyFlyer, across its 130 stores and general manager Max Ritchie says the response has been very positive.

“Before iLamps, we had standardised materials all produced by head office. They lacked the customisation that our franchisees needed, and isolated our local markets. We have been pleasantly surprised at the degree of localisation that our members have begun using.

“We are looking forward to a great impact on our bottom line, by producing smarter, more targeted marketing materials. If a member chooses to run special prices on particular stocked items to combat local competition, they can select the product images, special pricing messages and prices to appear in their own materials. It is then submitted to head office and once approved, it’s off to print before you know it,” says Ritchie.