Food distribution means many different things to many different people. At Zen Spirit Foods, we’re very aware that it’s both an incredibly standardized industry, but also an industry that is brought into question frequently as well. For that reason, we concentrate our marketing efforts on establishing our integrity as a company so that our customers can feel well taken care of. Listed below are some of the ways we do that through our marketing.
Deciding where to direct resources to in any company can be difficult especially small to medium enterprises experiencing growth. Sometimes marketing can feel like a something you can forgo, rather than an essential part of the business mix. At Zen Spirit Foods, we’ve always seen the need for a marketing strategy that can grow with the company, largely due to the oversaturation and specialization of the food distribution industry.
Tip 1: Pick a channel that’s manageable.
Start off small. A good marketing strategy doesn’t need to fully integrate every channel right away. Consider what you’d most like to achieve with your marketing plan. If there’s a need to build an audience or raise awareness, social media is a good tool to start with. Whereas, if you already have a loyal base of customers or followers, email marketing remains one of the best ways to inspire repeat purchases and brand advocacy.
Who are you?
This is the most difficult, but also the most exciting step. Known in the marketing world as developing your brand, it’s the first step towards developing your position in market and figuring out what you actually have to say about your company.
Tip 2: Ask and then tell a story.
Research as much as you can both within your company, as well as outside of it. Concentrate on asking questions around current perceptions of your company and then ask yourselves whether this matches how you want people to think and feel about your company. This is the beginning of your brand framework – from it, you can create a plan of action and formulate how to tell the story and communicate who you are as a company to the world.
Who are you talking to?
Identifying your target market should always go beyond demographics. Many progressive companies are turning away from demographics to a degree and concentrating more on behavioral tendencies and insights. It doesn’t mean you have to forego age, sex, location, and other prime indicators completely, but your targeting should consider exactly who your audience is as people rather than some monolith.
Tip 3: Go niche.
Don’t be afraid to get specific. At Zen Foods Spirit, we stock a high-quality range of superfoods and we know that our customers are discerning, conscious, and well-informed consumers. We treat them as such by creating valuable, specific, and informative content that we know will be appreciated.
What do you want to say?
Now that you are building your brand identity and you have identified whom you want to talk to, you need to figure out what you want to say. This is the communications area of your marketing plan and you’ll consider tip 2 and tip 3 a great deal when you’re creating it.
Tip 4: Think about the key takeaway
Consumers frequently feel indifference towards marketing messaging. Many companies look at their ROI for marketing and decide to pack as many messages as possible into their activity. Yet, some of the most successful companies have simplicity at their core. Ask yourself – if my customers are only going to take one thing away from what I’m saying, what do I want that to be? Refine that message until it is clear, concise, and solid.
What do you want to achieve?
This goes back to the first tip – choosing marketing and picking suitable channels. Even if you don’t work for a large organization where you have to justify your spending, you should still be justifying the distribution of resource to yourself. Decide what you want to achieve and set a budget for paid channels.
Tip 5: Track, track and track some more
Assign performance-based metrics that are appropriate for your industry and the channels you’ve chosen. Track those metrics and rework content and advertising accordingly. Then, look at the performance overall in terms of a long-term strategy.
From there, it’s easy to establish different channels, perhaps reach out to different or additional audiences and rework messaging. The important thing about these tips is that they are a step-by-step process that provides a foundation, but it’s a foundation that’s fairly fluid. If one area isn’t working, change it, see how it goes and measure its performance.
Our key takeaway: Focus on the “who”; who are you as a company and who are the people you’re talking to? Once you figure that out, the rest will fall into place.