The Franchise Centre

Marketing Fund Benchmark Survey & Report 2015/2016

Marketing Fund Benchmark Survey & Report 2015/2016
  • How confident are you that your marketing fund budget is up to franchisee interrogation?
  • Do Franchisees keep demanding an Audit on the Marketing Fund?
  • Do you need assistance to push a business case for more digital marketing funds?

If the questions above hit a nerve then you need to participate in the Marketing Fund Benchmark survey and evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing fund spend.

It would seem that requests for the audit of marketing funds are on the rise. However, in our discussions and observations it appears that in the majority of these instances the underlying issues for Franchisees are not one of proper accounting practices but rather questions as to the application of funds and the associated network value being achieved. 

The cost of these audits are not insignificant but in reality do not effectively answer the concerns being expressed. Often, in these cases Franchisors can only point to historical spend patterns or if measured the results of the various campaigns and promotions undertaken. However, in the current business climate with volume pressures, margin compression and increased costs, marketing costs are being more closely scrutinised. 

Given these developments, The Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence at Griffith University is conducting a research and benchmarking project on Franchise Marketing Funds as a way to improve best practice in the Australian franchise sector. Griffith has partnered with Avatar Consulting, so Franchisors can evaluate their marketing budget spend against industry averages. Griffith has collaborated with Avatar Consulting on several projects including the Franchise Performance Metrics project.  

This will allow Franchise groups to have a much more informed discussion on these matters by being able to compare their spend components of the marketing fund to industry/segment performance. Going forward we aim to identify best practice in relation to market share gains.


Why should I participate?

It would certainly assist most groups to demonstrate how the marketing fund has been spent and segmented, and how it compares to industry averages for the latest marketing strategies and tactics, i.e. LAM, digital, social media, eDMs and websites.

You can use the report to help address any network concerns that may arise on the marketing spend and support your spend or future adjustments based on benchmarked industry averages. 

Franchisees are looking for improved value and effectiveness in their marketing spend and here is a way to demonstrate the value being offered via spend evaluations.  

‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’ is a marketing truth that requires industry evaluation in this case to show effective management practice and the survey will assist franchisor best practice.


The initial survey period is for the financial years ending 30 June 2015 and 2016. In terms of the Franchise Code these reports should be readily available. To ensure you receive your complimentary report and be in the first 30 respondents, we will need your data by 30th April. The reports will then be compiled and released in April/May to all participants.   

How do I participate and what’s involved? 

A short survey (10 questions) is to be completed online at via the Marketing Fund Survey application, where contact details and P&L files can be submitted taking only a few minutes of time. The data will then be mapped and a matrix will be produced showing participants how their P&L was mapped into the standard chart of accounts being used for this exercise.

What is the Cost?

The first 30 participating Franchisors will be given a complimentary Marketing Fund Benchmark Report, then after this $199 will be the processing and report fee for the 31st participant onwards. The RRP to buy the report for non-participants is $499. Remember if you participate in the first 30 group the report is completely free.   


  • Q1: Will this be anonymous?
  • Yes, don’t be concerned about anonymity as the report is 100% anonymous. No franchisor will be identified in the report, your confidentiality is assured under Griffith University’s research privacy and ethics policy.  
  • Q2: Will further information be required? 
  • Possibly depending on how your P&L is grouped, classified and broken down. We may need to come back to you and ask questions about certain figures included.  
  • Q3: Is this in-line with the Franchising Code of Conduct requirements? 
  • Yes the Code requires franchisors to document their marketing fund figures by October 30 for the previous financial year.  
  • Q4: Will franchisee’s understand the report? 
  • The report will benchmark participants spends and show your spend in percentages compared to industry averages, in easy to follow bar charts. See examples.  


The examples provided in the report sample are indicative only and may vary depending on the quantum and details of the  P&L data received.