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90s Flicks & the Digital Marketing Lessons They Can Teach Your Franchise


I bet you thought 90s movies were just something fun to watch on a Saturday afternoon when you were feeling nostalgic. It turns out you can actually learn a thing or two from these classics about how to improve your digital franchise marketing strategy.

Below are a few powerful insights you can glean from several of the movies that defined the 90s:

Titanic – Don’t Let Your Website Become a Sinking Ship.

Just like with the Titanic, it isn’t enough for your franchise website to just look pretty. It has to be able to stay afloat and carry you through. You may love the way your website looks, but if it isn’t actually getting your franchise more exposure and attracting new customers for your franchisees, it’s a wasted investment.

In addition to having the aesthetics, your franchise website should also have a layout, a design, and content that is focused on converting web visitors into new customers. Think clear navigation menus, persuasive calls to action (“Get Your Free Estimate Today!”), strategically placed contact forms, a simple layout that doesn’t overwhelm the visitor, and more.

In addition to that, you can use search engine optimization and marketing to drive more traffic to your website from online searches that are relevant to your franchise. SEO allows you to boost your organic rankings (or appear higher in the unpaid search results). And paid search advertising gives you added exposure in some of the best positions on the search engine results page, even in searches where your franchise isn’t getting high organic rankings.

Don’t sit by and do nothing as you watch your website traffic and conversions tank!

The Sandlot – You’ll Never Know What’s on the Other Side of the Fence Until You Look.

How fierce is your competition? You won’t know until you do some competitor analysis. Think of this analysis as peeking over the fence to see how big “the beast” is on the other side.

The first thing you should do is figure out who your biggest competitors are in your local markets. Once you know that, you can look at what they’re doing to market to potential customers. Check out their website design, website content, blog posts, videos, ads, social media pages, and more to see what marketing strategies they’re using.

You can also use competitor analysis tools such as SpyFu to see which keywords are targeting, and which keywords you can use to improve your organic rankings. Once you’ve gathered all of your intel, determine which online marketing practices or keywords your own franchise may be missing and what you can do to hit one out of the park against the competition.

The Sixth Sense – Don’t Ignore Unfinished Business. It Will Come Back to Haunt You.

Your franchise aims to leave each customer 100% satisfied, right? If so, then you should consider every less-than-satisfied customer who leaves one of your franchise locations as “unfinished business.” These days, when customers have a bad experience, they don’t just tell their friends… they turn to review sites such as Yelp to publicly blast your franchise online. Ignoring these reviews will only hurt your franchise (especially considering that 92% of consumers read online reviews).

You can take control of your franchise’s online reputation by:

  • Regularly monitoring your online reviews
  • Politely responding to negative reviews to let the disgruntled customer (and review readers) know you would like to resolve the problem
  • Attract more positive reviews by reminding customers (especially the happy ones) where they can review your franchise online

Forrest Gump – Search Engines Are Like a Box of Chocolates. You Never Know What You’re Gonna Get.

We’ve all heard the famous “box of chocolates” saying a million times, but it holds a lot of truth. Just like you don’t know what life is going to bring you (a war, a Medal of Honor, a quick jog that turns into a 3-year run, a best friend named Bubba), you also never know when search engines such as Google are going to change their ranking algorithm—or the rules that determine how high your website ranks in the organic search results.

Google is known for rolling out major algorithms (Panda, Penguin, Pigeon, Mobilegeddon), which have left many businesses seeing their organic rankings drop from Page 1 to several pages deep in the search results (practically off the grid). If you want to be prepared for whatever Google and other search engines have to throw at you, be sure to always remain up-to-date on the latest SEO best practices. It’s the businesses that have outdated SEO practices in place (such as keyword stuffing, link schemes, and websites that are not mobile-friendly) that tend to take the biggest hit when search engine algorithm updates are made.

Like the franchise marketing tips you learned in this blog post? Learn more by downloading our free e-book on how to market your franchise on social media.