5 Marketing Hacks for District Managers

The district managers require a multi-unit vision to supervise the operations of several stores and deal with the variety of challenges, environments, opportunities, and people that come with overseeing a large organization. 

But those skills and abilities have to be developed with the tools and the knowledge that’ll help them overcome the difficulties of that multi-unit leadership and do the job successfully. The American Franchise Academy has identified seven critical responsibilities of a district manager, and in this blog post, we’ll be discussing the sixth responsibility: market

Did you miss the prior responsibilities? Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to review the rest of the District Manager’s playlist!

This responsibility has to do with all the local store marketing that happens in the units of their district. Among the activities the district managers have to perform, they must support and execute the franchisor-driven marketing campaigns in all the units.

Franchisees pay a certain amount of marketing dollars to the franchisor so that they can come up with effective, efficient, and positive marketing offers and tactics. Therefore, the franchisees must support the marketing efforts so that they can get the expected return on the investment. 

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But beyond that, the district managers have to pay attention to five considerations regarding the marketing responsibility.


1. Co-create the marketing plan with the unit leader

The local store marketing plan has to be individual for each of the units, and it has to be created with the help of the unit leader. The district manager cannot create this plan on their own because the unit manager is the one person that knows the unit and the community the best. 

There’s another reason to do this co-creation process. The decided plan will not only be executed well and with the acceptance and willingness of the manager, but also will be driven by the manager's knowledge of their unit and the surrounding community. 

That’s why the district manager needs to know how to co-create that marketing plan in each of the units in their zone.

Learn all about the “Plan” responsibility of the district manager here. 


2. Align the local marketing with the unit profile 

Even if the units are of the same brand, each has a particular community that surrounds them. Some of them might be in the middle of neighborhoods. Others might be in a more industrialized area. Or perhaps in a combination of both. 

The surrounding of the unit, which translates into the unit profile, among many other things, is going to dictate the type of local store marketing plan that has to be developed. 


3. Develop effective tactics and smart offers

Tactics are different from smart offers. The first ones involve how franchisees are going to get the message out. For some neighborhoods, it might just be a mail drop; in other ones, social media is the way to go; but some communities only respo€nd to community involvement because they like commitment and serious partnership with the locals.

Every unit is different and the tactics that work in each particular unit are going to be very different. The district manager has to be able to identify what are the tactics that work so that the local marketing plan can be more effective.

Smart offers, on the other hand, are the publicity actions that customers respond to. Most people respond to free, but franchisees don't want to give their business away. So district managers have to understand what is the value proposition that will bring the customers in and keep them coming. 

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Defining both strategies takes time and this leader requires the ability to understand what they imply so that, along with their unit managers, they can have the right combination to increase the store’s revenue


4. The execution and the follow-up

The marketing responsibility involves a lot of information to co-create a plan that is in alignment with the unit profile and has effective tactics and smart offers. But the execution of all this planning is critical and the success or failure depends on how well the district manager can establish the key actions, assign the owners, and set the deadlines.

And, of course, there has to be a follow-up on those tasks because that’s where the magic happens.

Having the ability to execute the process and the procedures so that the money that franchisees are investing in their marketing plan actually works is a crucial responsibility of the district manager.


5. Determine whether a marketing plan is needed 

The market responsibility is the one that is not done at all times in every unit in the district because not every unit requires a local marketing plan. This strategy should only be executed when the store is operationally ready to receive new revenue

The last thing you want to do is invest money in a unit that is not operationally ready, either because of staffing or training levels or because the physical location is not in the condition it needs to be to offer the experience your customers deserve.

This is why district leaders have to be able to identify those units that are ready to receive that additional revenue to act upon and co-create a local store marketing plan. This is a very important consideration that district managers must follow.


If you like to learn more about the district manager’s responsibilities, you have two options. Number one: you can subscribe to our YouTube channel to see the past videos of the district manager series. Or, number two, you can register for our District Manager Training, a world-class development program for district managers.

Go to DistrictManagerTraining.com and register for our next free information session, where you’ll learn what are the seven district manager's responsibilities, why are they so important, and the skills and tools they need to do the job right and successfully.

And don’t forget to give us a thumbs up on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to get more business resources to help you thrive in the franchise industry.



  • How involved are the unit manager and the district manager in the creation of the local marketing plan?
  • Is your district manager familiar with the unit profile?
  • What tactics and smart offers resonate with your community?
  • Do you know how many units in the district are ready to receive additional revenue?



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