21 Smart Foodservice Marketing Ideas

Smart Foodservice Marketing from a team that does it every day!

Smart Foodservice Marketing Ideas
The best foodservice marketing ideas and strategies are even more powerful by following a few smart, consistent tips.

One of the best ways to grow your food and beverage company is to appeal to foodservice establishments directly with smart foodservice marketing. For example, suppose you have a specific ingredient or a specific food and beverage product that appeals to a wide range of demographics, and you can get that ingredient in stock at a chain of restaurants. In that case, you can instantly multiply your sales many times over. Even better, you can get more exposure for your brand and ingredients, so you build your reputation and sell more in the future.

However, it would be best if you had an effective marketing strategy to get in touch with these foodservice brands and persuade them to buy your products. So what are the best foodservice marketing ideas to try?

The Top Challenges in Foodservice Marketing

Foodservice marketing presents several unique challenges for marketers, including:

  • Standing out. Foodservice businesses have an almost infinite number of food and beverage products to choose from. Additionally, they probably hear marketing and sales pitches every day. So if you want to close deals, you first need to stand out – which means differentiating yourself from the competition.
  • Reaching your specific audience. Foodservice industry decision-makers are a particular niche audience, so you can’t count on generic marketing strategies to reach them. Instead, it would help if you found a way to focus on them in terms of distribution and the relevance of your messaging.
  • Moving decision makers. You’ll also need to persuade those decision-makers that your food and beverage products are worth using – and many such people aren’t easily swayed.

Smart Foodservice Marketing Ideas

These are some of the best foodservice marketing strategies to utilize in your campaigns:

  1. Start with a sales market analysis. Everything begins with a thorough sales market analysis. Before effectively reaching any audience, you need to understand who they are, how they buy products, and how they think about their purchases. That means you must invest heavily in market research and analyze purchasing patterns. Once you have a better grasp on who will buy your product, how they make decisions, and what factors appeal most to them, you’ll be in a much better position to design, write, and distribute marketing materials.
  2. Focus on buying group marketing. Buying group marketing (BGM) is the strategy that allows you to discover and engage the buying groups most likely to purchase your products. After defining who these target accounts are, you’ll need to monitor them continuously, engage with them, and ultimately warm them up, so they’re more likely to purchase from you in the future.
  3. Leverage distributors. Getting your product on a distributor’s truck is a decisive move. That’s why marketing and selling to distributors make such a powerful impact. It’s a good idea to segment your marketing strategies so you can focus on different types of buyers with other approaches.
  4. Create detailed buyer personas. Buyer personas are akin to fictional characters that you create to model who your actual customers are. This exercise forces you to understand your target audience better and create valuable models that guide your marketing and advertising approaches. It’s a way of making your market research more intuitive, and it can improve consistency across your entire team.
  5. Develop a superior pitch deck. Generate enough interest with your initial marketing strategies. You’ll eventually be in a room with a decision-maker – which means you’ll have a critical opportunity to make a good pitch. You can solidify the deal if your pitch deck and your presentation are strong enough. But creating a persuasive pitch deck can be tricky. You’ll need to play to your specific audience, make persuasive, logical appeals, and use data to prove your points.
  6. Get active in tradeshows. Tradeshows are an excellent opportunity to meet new people in the foodservice industry. They require an investment, but it’s usually worth it; you’ll almost certainly generate new leads. Even in a worst-case scenario, you’ll learn a lot about your competition and build a more robust professional network.
  7. Create branded sales collateral. It’s essential to create brand sales collateral to effectively market your business and educate potential buyers about what you offer. Flyers, pamphlets, and more thorough documents can highlight all the things that make your products unique and help your brand stay memorable in the minds of your target audience.
  8. Utilize email marketing (and automate it). Email marketing remains one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies, thanks partly to how inexpensive it is to plan and manage a campaign. For example, if you have a list of email addresses and an idea for a newsletter, you can start sending out blasts and generating new leads. This strategy gets even more potent if you incorporate automation, especially in the drip email marketing campaign context.
  9. Use direct mail to generate leads. Printed marketing has fallen somewhat out of fashion, thanks to the abundance of digital marketing strategies available, but this is still an effective way to reach some audiences. Consider using personalized direct mail to increase your brand visibility and generate more leads.
  10. Exercise creativity with digital videos. Video marketing has exploded in popularity recently, thanks to the abundance of video platforms that make it easy to create, distribute, and watch videos. You can utilize this by exercising creativity and developing novel concepts for videos showing your best products.
  11. Target specific demographics with ads. Modern advertising benefits from precise targeting options. Whether you’re using Google, Facebook, or some other paid ad platform, you should be able to target exactly the people you need to reach most. This way, you can make the most of your advertising dollars and make sure your messages are relevant.
  12. Optimize your website for search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a long-term marketing strategy that increases your website’s rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). With the help of better content, stronger backlinks, and ongoing support, you can make your website more visible per search, relevant to your brand, and generate more organic traffic.
  13. Improve your web design for conversions. That stream of organic traffic doesn’t help you much unless you have a web design that supports higher conversion rates. Make sure to optimize your website for conversions to make the most of all your traffic streams.
  14. Conduct more site visits. You can increase sales by spending more time persuading your target audience in person. Be prepared to conduct more official site visits, complete with samples of your product and live demonstrations.

    You can make your foodservice marketing strategies even more powerful by using the following approaches:
  15. Highlight brand differentiators. There are probably many brands offering products similar to yours, but at least one thing makes you unique. What is it, and how can you highlight it? Emphasizing your brain differentiators in your marketing materials can help you stand out and make a more persuasive case for prospective buyers.
  16. Always stay top of mind. You’ll generate more leads and close more sales if your brand is always top of mind. Use a combination of outreach and communication strategies to ensure your prospects never go too long without hearing about you.
  17. Provide real value. You can secure better relationships and foster a better brand reputation if you provide real value to your prospects and customers. Initially, this can be as simple as offering a free whitepaper with industry insights.
  18. Cater to your specific target. Your target audience is foodservice industry decision-makers, but it pays to consider your audience even more precisely. For example, is this a gourmet restaurant or focused on fast service? Is this trendy or traditional? Constantly adjust your pitch deck, as well as your other marketing materials, to suit your audience specifically.
  19. Take bold risks. There’s nothing wrong with taking a traditional marketing path and conforming to standard best practices. But you must take bold risks if you want to stand out and generate even more attention. Don’t be afraid to try new things and strike up some controversy.
  20. Pay attention to the latest trends. Keeping up with the latest trends in the food and beverage world is vital if you want to make a better impression. It demonstrates value to your prospects while at the same time supporting the use of your product in foodservice establishments.
  21. Study your marketing analytics closely. Finally, make sure to study your marketing analytics closely. Some of your strategies are simply going to work better than others. Once you understand which are, you’ll be better poised to optimize your spending.

Foodservice marketing can be challenging, but it’s much easier – and much more successful – when you have an experienced B2B marketing agency working on your side. At NewPoint Marketing, we can help you position your product, generate more leads, and close sales with significant distributors and foodservice establishments. Contact us to learn more today!