Foodservice Advertising Tips:
Marketing doesn’t look that hard, right? From an outside perspective it just looks like you throw up a bunch of signs, maybe get a radio ad and publish a Facebook post out and you can instantly improve your revenue… Simple! Is there any strategy that goes into it?
Foodservice Marketing 101
Obviously, yes… There is a ton of strategy that goes into a successful advertorial campaign for your location. Without a strategy, you are essentially throwing out ideas and money without any way to measure success. It’s like shooting a shotgun and hoping one of the hundreds of pellets finds its mark. You are wasting the rest of that shot…
The Marketing Experts Advice
Let’s be honest, you don’t have to rewrite the marketing book, or countless wasted checks for that matter, to have a successful foodservice location. The retail marketing experts at PFSbrands have years of experience creating and running successful marketing campaigns. In fact, we have been so successful with helping our stores generating revenue and opening new locations that we’ve been named One of America’s Fastest Growing Privately Held Businesses by INC. Mag for the last 8 years in a row. Yeah, we’ve got the credentials to help your location.
This got us thinking, “Why not share that foodservice marketing knowledge with everyone?” So that’s what we are about to do! We reached out to two of our retailer advertising specialist to get 6 sure-fire advertising tips to improve your store’s marketing that we help our retailers implement daily.
Your Marketing Expert: Anthony Pierce
Your first marketing specialist is Anthony Pierce. He has been developing marketing strategies, analyzing data trends and finding creative uses of customers’ budgets to grow their sales, train their team members and help small businesses become successful for over a decade. With an additional 15 years of background ranging from big-box and chain store management to small business ownership, he has first-hand experience in the day-to-day operations of a variety of business models.
You walk into a grocery store and as you pass the deli, you see a monitor playing a short video about the products in the hot case. It shows the chicken cooking fresh in the fryer, mom & dad picking out an entrée along with side dishes, then quickly flips to the kids enjoying the hot, fresh meal, followed by a variety of meal options and specials available…right now.
You saw how easy it was, how enjoyable it can be and now realize two things: 1) There’s an entire hot case full of ready-to-eat food right in front of you, and 2) You’ve just stood there and been engaged in their products for 15 seconds. Many retailers have taken this new approach to consumer engagement, from big box chain stores to restaurants, Edutainment is here and it works.
As Millennials and Generation Z become a larger part of the economy, and Gen Xers become more interested in their families nutritional consumption, educating these consumers about your products and why they should choose you is becoming more and more important. However, these consumers don’t just want a textbook definition of how the food was prepared; they have Siri and Google for that.
A 15 second, colorful visual explaining the process not only educates but grabs attention and entertains, as well. Thus, the naming of the concept, Edutainment.
Another concept and approach to building brand engagement, consumer loyalty and trust, is not a new one at all. The Value Proposition is a term used to set apart the difference in of your product and offerings versus those of other consumer choices.
In business, you are either a “Price Point” destination or a “Value Proposition” destination. As a Price Point retailer, you will typically find yourself always competing against lower margins, cost-cutting methods and as a result in most cases, lower quality product offerings. The consumers you gain are easily lost when the next guy’s deal is better. This doesn’t mean that running an aggressively priced offer is a bad thing, it just shouldn’t be the way of life for your location.
Strategically timed, aggressive offers do well to attract consumers who may have little interest in your location initially. A strong Value Proposition business can leverage the extra traffic from this offer to expose consumers to all you have to offer.
As a Value Proposition retailer, you will want to take the time to properly train your staff so that they, too, can communicate the higher quality and typically, better consistency your product offers over local competitors. With consistency and higher quality, consumers begin to see the value in doing business with your store. But it’s much more than that…
Your staff needs to be professional, dressed and well groomed and have name tags on to develop relationships with consumers. As representatives of your brand, the team needs to engage consumers, be friendly, make suggestions of what foods to try and describe why the suggestions is a great choice. They need to be brand champions for you, having tasted and tried all the foods themselves.
This creates an opportunity to offer samples for the consumer to try these new, exciting foods. The extra value in how you care for the customer as a guest, the ability to personally describe the quality, taste and freshness of your product to them, while maintaining superior cleanliness and friendly service from a professional team member all adds to the value of visiting your store and making purchases. Those purchases can come at higher prices since the full value is so much more than what they expect to pay for your product.
The customers you acquire as a Value Proposition destination become loyal to you and spend more, more often.
In the end, there are many, many avenues to advertise and market to consumers. Regardless of your chosen strategies, taking the time to measure and analyze the return is an important step in determining the overall success and impact those strategies have had on your business. Tracking coupon redemptions, direct mailer usage, social media boosted posts and sponsored ads, as well as other responses are important.
When promotional strategies are in place, be sure all team members actively ask what brought the customer in today? Many times, like with radio, there is not a tangible coupon to count or flyer to redeem.
In these cases, simply stating to the customer that you are curious what brought them in today so that you can know when certain marketing options are working better than others, etc., is not only a helpful tracking method, but it creates conversation with your guest and feeds back to the practice of engaging with consumers.
Your Marketing Expert: Beth Outz
Your next set of advertising tips come from marketing expert Beth Outz. She has been a Retail Advertising Specialist with PFSbrands since November of 2015. Her focus is to create strategic marketing plans with retailers on how to receive a better lift in sales through the utilization of their Marketing Development Funds. Beth has a variety of experiences in the areas of public relations, retail and consumer education, website design, and advertising.
We can’t emphasize this enough! How do people know your deli even exists without the signage to let them know you are there? One of the easiest pitfalls of retailers is the assumption…the assumption that every customer knows you exist and knows where everything is. I hate to tell this to you…but they don’t.
It is critical to make sure that each of your signs in your store serves a purpose. A purpose, in this case, that guides customers to the deli, educates them on what is on special, educates them on what the price is, and even educates them on what the items are of what they are potentially buying.
For our retailers, we take pride in the efforts we make for all of our graphic images to be bold, enticing and speak to the customer. We just need your help in placement!
Place large bold exterior signs on the outside of your building so that anyone visiting your location or driving by your location is aware that you have a deli. You should also place signs highlighting your deli and specials at the very front of the store so that each customer walking in sees that there is something for them. Third, where is your deli? Direct your customers to the deli by having eye appealing floor decals or arrows/instructions (i.e. located in the back of the store), pointing them in the right direction. And fourth, don’t just showcase your deli in the deli.
Give your customers reminders that the deli is a great place to grab a quick meal on the run for themselves or for the entire family by placing signage all throughout your store in places like the beverage cooler, cart corral, food aisles, etc.
Takeaway—there should never be these 2 questions asked by a customer: 1. Do you have a deli? and 2. Where is the deli located?
Getting your store on a customer’s digital radar is essential! Your customers are constantly on the go…and in case you haven’t noticed, they are constantly on their phone as well!
As society changes, customers are receiving their information through more various resources—the primary one being social networks including: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Social Media gives you the ability to instantly notify your customers of specials, promotions, product information, as well as engage in conversation with them to develop a stronger connection and loyalty to your brand. Customers want to be in the know, so providing consistent and informative updates on what’s going on at your store will help them deepen that connection.
Social Media also provides you analytics that you may not be able to get from traditional types of advertising. These analytics can help you make more effective decisions more quickly.
The ability to zone in on your target market and demographics (location, age, gender, job type, etc.) also makes social media an ideal advertising method. Boosted and sponsored posts (paid advertising), will ensure that you only pay for the customers you want to reach.
If you are interested in getting more information about Social Media and your fried chicken franchise, please reach out to a Retail Advertising Specialist for Social Media 101. They can provide resources to help guide you in the right direction to run an effective social media campaign as well as develop a strong media presence.
Also known as the timeless customer magnet. No matter how “old school” you may think coupons are, they are still very much a legit advertising tool to bring in a strong customer base. The key thing to remember with coupons is that the value of the coupon has to be worth the customer’s time.
Would you be motivated to drive to a location for $.50 off an item? Most likely not. Attract your customers with deals that they can’t refuse, such as a BOGO (buy one get one) deal on value meals or family meals. These provide value to the customer as well as value to you as they have the opportunity to get an entire sampling of products rather than one simple small item.
You should also not be afraid to run aggressive deals that will drive volume out the door. Offering items, such as chicken tenders, in larger, cheaper quantities is a way to appeal to families and larger groups.
For example, a tender special such as 5 for $5, 10 for $10, or 20 for $20 coupon has seen great success in a large portion of our retailers because not only are they moving protein out the door, but our delicious signature side items were an automatic choice to accompany the meal.
It’s crucial to take these 6 foodservice marketing strategies and advertising tips into consideration before beginning any campaign.
From having the proper amount of signage to being able to track the campaign with analytics, a lot goes into a successful program. Take heed to these advertising tips today as you work towards increasing your foodservice revenue with these steadfast marketing tools!
For more information, advertising tips and strategies on how your location can be even more successful in 2017, reach out to our Retail Advertising Specialists at MDF@PFSbrands.com.