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Check Marketing Compliance with Mystery Shopping

When you think about mystery shopping and compliance, you usually don’t think of marketing compliance. There’s age compliance checks for alcohol and tobacco, and marijuana compliance checks in those states that sell marijuana legally. There can even be compliance safety checks at businesses where safety is a prime concern.

But we don’t really talk about what I like to call marketing compliance checks. These are the checks a brand might want performed on their franchise owners to ensure they’re posting the month’s latest promotional signage and materials.

A Subway in Texas. A mystery shopping agency can help with a marketing compliance check here, looking for proper signage.For example, brands like Subway, Dairy Queen, and McDonald’s are often franchisee-owned, but all of the promotional materials comes from the corporate office. Otherwise, every franchise would have their own separate promotions, their own graphic designs, and as a result, different levels of quality of their promotional materials.

So to avoid all of that, the corporate headquarters will produce all of the materials, usually in-house, and then send it to all of their franchisees with strict instructions on when to put them up. They usually up on on the 1st of the month, but many times, they have until the 5th.

Of course, they can’t be sure the franchisee didn’t actually get the signage and promotional materials up in the first place. There are too many to visit, or they’re spaced too far apart, or the regional manager doesn’t have time to get to them all in a couple of days.

If a restaurant brand — or even a retail clothing store — is running a national campaign, you can’t very well spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on it and then have a few franchisees who mess it up for their own region because they didn’t put their posters up until the 15th.

This is where a mystery shopping agency can step up and help out. With the help of a small army of mystery shoppers, a corporate marketing department can determine when all the franchises are in compliance with their monthly promotional activities.

The mystery shopper can snap a couple of quick photos of the promotional materials that have been put up, upload those to the corporate brand’s account, and the marketing staff can ensure that all materials are in place by the deadline.

And you can kill two birds with one stone by asking the shopper to perform other checks, such as bathroom cleanliness, employee friendliness, and food tastiness.

(Sorry, I was trying to rhyme everything.)

Since mystery shopping agencies spend a lot of their time already doing restaurant shops, checking out food quality and facility cleanliness, it’s easy enough to ask the shoppers to do a marketing compliance check at the same time. (Or to do a bathroom check while they’re on a marketing compliance shop.)

If you’re going to spend a lot of money every month ensure that your franchisees have the latest and best marketing materials, doesn’t it make sense to ensure they’re actually using them? Marketing compliance checks can help you to make sure every franchise of your brand has the right signage, promotional materials, ingredients, and even the pricing in place. To learn more, please visit our website. You can also speak to one of our marketing compliance experts and get many of your questions answered.

Photo credit: Cxshawx (Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)