‘One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is that we are doing and devote our attention to eating.’ Luciano Pavarotti
You’ve put in so much hard work getting your concept, brand story, menus, kitchen and your whole concept right – now you’ve got to look at how you’re going to sustain your business now that it’s open.
How are you going to make sure you attract the right customers, which in turn will make your business grow and give you a profit?
Marketing is an important part of your business and it starts early in the process without you even realising it; the work you’ve done through your business plan, developing your concept and planning the premises has been setting the stage for your marketing further on
down the line.
Remember, marketing is not a one-off project you set and forget. This is an ongoing process that will evolve and grow with your business and your customers. Marketing is something that you will work on throughout the whole life of your business. Marketing goals will start small and grow as your business grows.
There’s so much information around marketing; everyone has an opinion, and there’s no hard and fast rule about what works and what doesn’t. The sort of marketing that you put into place for your business really depends on what sort of business you have, what your target market is and who your customers are. The benefits of marketing are many and include brand exposure, developing trust and building relationships with your customers.
Let’s have a look at some of the reasons why marketing is so important for your business. The first reason why we want to get known is it allows customers to actually discover your foodie business: when you are open, what you do, and why they should come to you. This involves identifying your target market, finding those people who will find value in your product and understanding their behaviour so you can attract them to your business.
Another reason why marketing is so important is to develop a brand story. People are inspired by stories; making sure that you understand and promote your own brand story can be huge for your business.
Creating a dedicated tribe of true fans of your foodie business is a time-consuming process, but with patience and consistency, you can gather a loyal audience of advocates.
Remember: talking to real people about real stories and real situations, really emphasises that you know your target market and who your customers are.
Also, share who you are, share your stories – make yourself real to your customers and
they’ll connect with you.
There are many different platforms available to get your message out there to the marketplace; understanding and using these different platforms is the key to a successful marketing strategy. The days of using flyers and the Yellow Pages to market your business has evolved into a minefield of websites, social media and content marketing. The trick is to find what works for you and your customers.
As your business grows, those things will change and people will be looking for you in different places and on different platforms. The landscape will change and you need to move with it.
By starting small and growing your marketing strategy, you’ll find your customers and they’ll help grow your business. If you fall into the trap of putting marketing into the ‘too hard’ basket, you run the risk of opening on the first day and no one showing up. That may be manageable in the short term, but when the same thing happens on the next day and the next and the next, your business will surely suffer.
Your key audience is out there; they just don’t know how to find you. Marketing needs to begin before you even open the doors. With the digital age upon us, trying to understand what will work for any particular business can be daunting.
Depending on your business, I would suggest having a website, Facebook page and an Instagram account as they all perform different functions. If you haven’t the budget for a website then at least have a Facebook page and Instagram account as these are the go to places for customers researching new cafes and restaurants.
Be bold and start small, allowing your website to grow with your business. When customers first hear about you, the first thing they do is get on Google and try to find some
information about you: menus, opening times and photos. They want to know what type of food you serve, the specials you have, where you are located and how easy are you to get to.
One of the most important things is what your premises and food looks like, so make sure you also put up some gorgeous photos of your food, coffees, smoothies, milkshakes and your signature dishes.
Once you open the business and people come in, they start taking photos of food, drinks and the atmosphere and posting all of these images, so you’ll get that organic growth of photos once you open the business.
You’re probably asking yourself after reading this, ‘What if I’m not that into tech and I don’t understand marketing? I just want to produce amazing food and I don’t know how to attract customers.’ I understand that marketing can be daunting to those of you who haven’t had the exposure to it; however, with a little research you can learn the basics and grow from there.
Remember to look at the people in the business to help you on your journey. These are the people who are already working for you: they might be the barista, the dishwasher or the chef. There will be someone there who loves social media that you can delegate some or all of those marketing duties to. Remember, you won’t utilise all marketing tools, so look at
your business and see what best suits.
For more tips and ideas head to the website www.foodiedream.com.au or contact me for more information.
Written by: Jodie Terzis