The 5 Foodservice Marketing Tips You Need to Beat the Competition
Foodservice marketing ensures your brand is as visible and attractive as possible to your target audience. If done right, it could help you grow your
audience many times over. If done wrong, it could come back to hurt you.
So what are the best foodservice marketing tips you need to continue growing?
1: Define Your Buyer Personas (and Your Customer Journey)
If you want to increase the effectiveness of your marketing and advertising strategies, you first need to understand who your customers are. If you don’t have a target audience, or if you don’t have a good understanding of how your target audience thinks or behaves, all your advertisements are going to fall flat.
That’s why our first foodservice marketing tip is to define your buyer personas. Essentially, that means creating a profile for each segment of your target audience and using those profiles to guide your marketing and advertising work in the future.
For example, after conducting ample market research, you might figure out that your most relevant target audience is middle-aged men looking for a quick bite to eat in the middle of a workday. Or you might find that your most relevant target audience is young parents looking for a fun eating experience with their children. Whatever the case, once you create detailed buyer personas, you’ll be in a much better position to craft messaging targeted explicitly to those personas.
Additionally, it’s essential to document and understand your average customer journey. Each new customer that comes to your brand will go through a process of discovery as they learn about your brand for the first time and become acquainted with it. What does this process look like, and how can you make sure to appeal to your customers at every stage of the journey?
2: Harness Technology to Reach New People
Use the power of technology to reach as many people as possible. For example, the vast majority of modern consumers use online searches to conduct research before making any purchasing decision; long before they ever step into your restaurant, they will look up reviews of your restaurant and photos of its menu.
To get ahead of this, you need to take advantage of modern, tech-driven marketing strategies like:
- Mobile optimization. Did you know that more than half of online traffic is now on mobile devices? If you want to appeal to your target audience, especially if they’re on the go, you must ensure your website is fully optimized for mobile.
- Online ordering. People want the most convenient ordering experience possible. Sometimes that means ordering online; make it as fast and easy as possible to order food using your website or an app.
- Search engine optimization (SEO). Search engine optimization (SEO), especially on the local level, is compelling for making your brand more visible to people searching for foodservice businesses like yours.
- Remarketing. What happens if someone thinks about ordering but leaves your website prematurely? Remarketing and retargeting are perfect options, allowing you to directly target people who left your site without purchasing in the past.
- Social media marketing. Social media is free, easy to use, and potentially incredibly valuable for your brand. Don’t neglect it.
Harnessing the power of technology also means staying up to date with the latest developments. In the near future, you may have to pay attention to technologies like:
- Virtual reality (VR)
- Augmented reality (AR)
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
Don’t allow your competitors to beat you to the punch.
3: Practice Competitive Differentiation
Speaking of competitors, it’s important to practice competitive differentiation in your foodservice marketing strategy. There are probably hundreds of food service businesses like yours, and if consumers can’t find a good reason to choose yours over the others, they’re not going to.
Start by creating a unique value proposition for your brand. What are the factors that make you inherently and uniquely more valuable? For example, do you offer a more down-to-earth experience? Do you offer fresher ingredients?
Then, make sure all your new marketing and advertising strategies are focused on at least one element that differentiates you. Emphasize the things that make you superior to other brands.
4: Get Directly Involved With Your Community
Next, consider getting directly involved with your community, especially if you only have one location for your food service business. There are several ways you can do this.
For example, you can get involved with local events by distributing free samples of your food or just distributing coupons for discounts on a subsequent meal. You could also stage a volunteer effort, involving all your employees in a local cleanup or a good cause for your community.
You can also occasionally stage events in and around your foodservice business. For example, consider having an open house where you welcome new people and allow them to try some of your foods and drinks, or throw a customer appreciation party on the anniversary of your opening.
5: Keep Up With the Latest Trends
Finally, keep up with the latest trends in the foodservice industry (and in the food and beverage world in general). For example, modern consumers are especially interested in:
- Sustainability and local ingredients. Are you practicing environmental sustainability? Are you servicing your ingredients locally and in a sustainable way? How are you handling food waste? Is your business actively recycling or using sustainable energy sources?
- Transparency and accountability. Are you officially publishing the sources of your ingredients? Do you keep a clean kitchen, and are you willing to show it off?
- Vegetarianism and flexitarianism. Do you have vegetarian options, or do you cater to flexitarian eaters? Of course, not everyone is a vegetarian or flexitarian, but many people appreciate having the options.
Are you in need of more help with your foodservice marketing strategy? Are you a food and beverage brand needing more resources to make your strategies effective? Then, you’re in the right place. Download our latest eBook on shopper marketing, Own the Cart, or reach out to us for a free consultation today!