Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Annie Brown


Franchised small businesses will not survive their first 5 years if they cannot implement marketing strategies that appeal to their customers. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the marketing strategies that successful franchise small business leaders used to retain customers. The population comprised 4 business leaders at franchise small businesses in North Carolina. Competitive advantage theory and blue ocean theory grounded this study. Data were collected using semistructured face-to-face interviews and review of company marketing materials. Data were thematically analyzed, and 6 themes emerged: personalization of customer service, market segmentation, innovative advertising, networking, brand identity, and loyalty programs. Market segmentation and innovative advertising are fundamental strategies for retaining customers within the target market, whereas personalization of customer service can help build positive relationships with customers. These findings could improve customer loyalty and customer satisfaction, which might increase the number of successful small businesses in the United States. The implications for positive social change include the potential for business leaders to develop effective marketing strategies to retain customers, which may benefit customers through an increase in job opportunities in the local business community.