Five Keys to Successful Foodservice Marketing

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Successful Foodservice Marketing

Foodservice. We all love it, and we all hate it.

We love it because of the smells coming from the broilers, because of a perfectly stirred cocktail. We love it when a dish succeeds and because we don't get bored like our friends who sell insurance.

We hate it because it's ultra demanding. Hours can be tough, and profit margins are thin. It requires so much of our attention to stay ahead. It's trendy. It's too fast. We hate it because it can be hard to make an impact.

So how do foodservice companies cut through the noise? How can an equipment manufacturer drive demand from a particular type of end user? How can a food manufacturer educate buyers on a new type of organic product line?

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Let's take a close look at five keys to successful foodservice marketing.

1) Technology and Foodservice Marketing

2) Defining Your Foodservice Buyer Personas

3) Understand the Changing Landscape of Foodservice

4) Use Inbound Marketing to Supplement Traditional Foodservice Marketing

5) Continue to Develop Your Digital Ecosystem to Generate Foodservice Leads

Technology and Foodservice Marketing

New call-to-actionNot only do we need to go there, we need to start there. The first step in successful foodservice marketing, in any marketing for that matter, is to just begin to utilize some of the tools, techniques, and technologies currently available to us as marketers.

I'm not looking to offend anyone here, but if you answer "no" to any of these questions, it might be time for an upgrade:

  • Is your website mobile friendly?
  • Do you know how many visitors your website gets on a monthly basis?
  • Do you market to a database of contacts?
  • Are those marketing efforts personalized?
  • Does your company publish on all the major social media platforms?

What do you think? Time for a change?


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Define Your Foodservice Buyer Personas

New call-to-actionIn foodservice, we have scores of different buyers. Each buyer persona has a unique set of challenges, and in order for us to make a true impact, we have to understand those challenges and address them. Yes, there's the obvious features/benefits conversation that has to happen, but how does it happen?

You're never going to sell a keg rack or a bag of premium flour or POS restaurant software from a single email or phone call, so how you engage with your buyer personas over the course of time will determine the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Educate your buyers by providing remarkable content in the right context, within the time frame of their challenges. Find out where your buyer personas are in the buyer's journey. Then give them the information they need to take the next step, whether that be request a demo, a sample, a meeting, or something entirely different.


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Understand the Changing Landscape of Foodservice Marketing

Inbound Foodservice Marketing Cookbook CTAOnce you've joined the 21st century, it's time to go beyond it.

As Jack Welch once said, "The moment the rate of change outside an organization exceeds the rate of change within it, the end is near.”

And even as a leading foodservice marketing agency, TMC has to remember this one, as well.

The reality is, the rate of change outside is happening so fast it's virtually impossible to keep up inside. That's why just being open to those changes is often the most important part. It means you're willing to turn hindsight into foresight, to borrow an expression.

Remember when I said your website needs to be mobile friendly? Guess what. In the not-so-distant future, your website will need to be VR friendly. You'll be making important business decisions based on input from AI. I'm not kidding.

In order to harness the potential of the future, we first have to commit to being open to it. 


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Inbound Marketing Supplements Traditional Foodservice Marketing

Intro to Inbound Marketing for FoodserviceWe completely understand that traditional marketing isn't going anywhere. Foodservice manufacturers, reps, food suppliers, distributors, and everyone in between will still use direct mail. They'll still run print ads. They'll still go to tradeshows. (Isn't the NRA Show one of the things we all love?)

But how foodservice companies best maximize the potential of those tradeshows is another story. By embracing new strategies and tactics, foodservice marketers can actually determine how many leads from any given tradeshow wound up becoming a customer, as well as what touchpoints were required in order to nurture that lead. 

Same with print. If a gluten free food supplier is running print ads in six different publications, it's possible to actually determine an ROI on which ones are actually achieving greater engagement. With this type of knowledge, it's easier to decide which magazines are right for marketing dollars next year. It's easier to determine which tradeshow to attend.


Here's the One True Thing About Successful Foodservice Marketing


Continue to Develop Your Digital Ecosystem to Generate Foodservice Leads

[Inbound Experience] CTA 2020This is really where everything begins, so let's start with a little exercise.

First, think about all the amazing websites out there you frequent. Why do you like them? Functionality, design, imagery? What is it about those sites that make them successful?

Now, take a look at a handful of websites listed in the most recent National Restaurant Association Show Exhibitor List. Look at 10 of them. Look at 20. It's hard to believe that so many foodservice companies do not take their online presence seriously, much less use it as a source for lead generation, lead nurturing, or even e-commerce and sales.

The reality is, brick and mortar stores are closing. More and more businesses are utilizing the web to market, educate buyers, and to conduct sales than ever before. That is not a trend. It's a fact that is not going to change. The new brick and mortar are the pages of your website. Make sure they'll withstand a storm.

When you create evergreen content that is remarkable and is delivered in ways relevant to your buyers, you'll attract new visitors, nurture those visitors by educating them on their own time, and turn those visitors into customers when the time is right.


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Five Keys to Successful Foodservice Marketing-2

That was a lot to think about. If you'd like to learn more about the keys to foodservice marketing, check out our free Inbound Marketing Cookbook geared specifically toward foodservice companies. You can also schedule time with us to take the free Intro to Inbound webinar if you're tired of reading.

Intro to Inbound


Topics: Buyer Personas, branding, content, website design, brand, social media, website visitors, lead generation, social media marketing, online personalization, Responsive Websites, Mobile Website, Foodservice Websites, lead nurturing, foodservice leads, buyer's journey, foodservice sales, publishing content, sales

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