Your Food Marketing Plan: Wasting Dollars or Moving the Needle?

A Food Marketing Plan that Moves the Needle

One of the most frequent questions we get from emerging food brands is, “Where should we be spending our marketing Don't throw your Marketing Dollars Out the Windowdollars?” This completely makes sense. We understand brands are eager to grow.  However, these brands need guidance on how and where to invest in the right food marketing plan.

When these conversations start, we talk about goals.  Typically, we talk about wanting to increase consumer awareness of the product, growing their social media following, and a myriad of other goals. However, the ultimate goal is to drive sales.  Either through their website or increase velocity in-store.

With that goal in mind, mainly when your pockets aren’t that deep, you need a common-sense plan that can efficiently move the needle.  This may include something like, say, a trial invitation in the form of demos. It generally wouldn’t include more expensive tactics, such as radio commercials or billboards.

Once we stress the importance of a plan, we have to talk budget.

What’s the right amount to spend?

As a general rule of thumb, we say an annualized food marketing plan should be at a minimum 7–12% of revenue.  But for emerging brands trying to cut through a crowded marketplace, the first couple of years might land in more of a 15–25% range.  There’s an upfront investment of getting your product out in front of people.

Additionally, it’s not enough to have a plan for current sales.

A food marketing plan and budget should include anticipation for growth. Marketing spends should grow along with the brand. For example, with a significant increase in distribution, such as what occurs when your product gets picked up by a national chain, you should be prepared with a strategy to support those turns on a shelf.

So, what’s your mix of tactics?

And how should you allocate across everything from social and other digital media to shopper marketing, as well as promotions, trade pubs and a whole host of other options?

We typically evaluate tactics through the lens of Reach, Relevance, Scalability and, most important, ROI. But we also look at retailers.  How can you capitalize on their programs, or maximize that partnership in other ways?

I always like to remind emerging brands that 80% of shoppers use more than one promotional medium to make a purchase decision. That said, the smartest move is often to start slowly with cost-effective tactics such as social media. The next question about the right platform to use which ties back to your audience and the role of identifying your buyers.

All in all, having goals, a plan, and a strategy on marketing tactics can help emerging brands avoid spending dollars on marketing that are wasteful or don’t “move the needle” right away.

Call NewPoint, Let’s move the needle.