My marketing plan needs a makeover - where do I start?
I'm an English major, an idea person and right brain thinker. I thought I wrote a "good" plan, but realize that even though it initially worked, it isn't working now. I've upgraded my label from a primitive version, changed the packaging, and made the products consistent in branding and logo design. My products are an all natural line of gluten free fruit fillings, sauces, and a bisque that are versatile in both cooking and baking recipes. I'm stuck. I tested these products when they first came out last fall, and received over 1,000 comments. I made some adjustments and it continued to sell, then dropped off significantly in the spring of this year. The website is www.juliesfinefoods.com.
This may be a basic suggestion, but have you turned to the resources at https://www.score.org/? Or talked to a mentor at your local SCORE office? I'm another of those English major/right brain thinker types, and I've found them to be incredibly helpful! Online communities are great, but sometimes you can't beat a one on one conversation with an expert (free!) in order to get the ideas flowing.
Having an online business can be quite fun yet tough. Why? Of course, competition in online business world is far different that the usual ones we had before. Yes, it can be easier to reach your customers but keeping them engage with your business or catching the attention of other potential and possible customers isn't a game you can simply play carelessly. In this situation comes the need of unique ideas such as compelling and stylishly fun videos like animated ones to get them interested and keep on checking your business which then leads to further understanding what your business is and how great the offers and services you can provide - which is of course, only the best for them .
In Product life cycle two stages are very important 1st intrducation 2- in maturity stage in both stage excellent mk plan needed ,what i feel though you make good plan but you miss some thing and that some thing play vital role and your plan fail if you send me your written plan i will ndicate the problem
Julie ... What you are experiencing is part of the problem with open loop systems. You need to close the loop. We utilize a 6-step process — Discover, Define, Create, Test, Broadcast & Measure — for engineering our client's success.
I believe you need to go back to the beginning and research, research, research, research.
Research the marketplace. Dig deep to understand the dynamics of the food industry specifically the gluten-free segment. What's the size of the market? Who are the leaders? How are they selling their products? Where are they selling them? What are their processes? You must have competitors do a thorough competitive analysis. What's their structure? What's their business model? How do they price their products? How do they get their products to the consumer? Conduct a gap analysis. Go to the grocery stores and look at the packaging of your gluten-free brethren.
Research the consumer. What are their needs and wants? What are their likes/dislikes? What triggers their purchasing decisions: rationally, emotionally and physically? Define who your target audience is: demographically, psychographically, behaviorally, etc. Where do they go to get their decision-making information? What type of information are they looking for? Have you ever conducted focus groups to get insight on your product, taste, and packaging?
Research the distribution channels and get their insight. Who are the existing distribution channels? What lines do they carry? What are their criteria for handling a line? What are the potential distribution channels? Is ecommerce a viable alternative? What are the issues and concerns of each potential distribution channel? What are the distribution channels emotional, rational and physical buying triggers?
Research yourself and your company. You're going to have to really dig deep here, look in the mirror and ask yourself some very hard questions. Am I cut out for this? Conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis: individually and company wise. Conduct a PESTLE (political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental) analysis. What's your mission, vision, goals?What makes my company and product unique? If you have employees, gauge their attitudes. Do you have the right employees to fit your company's needs and philosophies? What are your processes, practices and policies? Do they fit the needs of my target audiences? What are my costs: fixed and variable? Segment product purchases by geography, demographic, product. What's selling? What's not? Do you have the right product mix? Conduct a gap analysis.
Once you do the above then you can really define your blueprint for success, create your products, marketing and other key infrastructure, test them, broadcast/sell and then constantly measure and readjust.
Maybe it is time to hire outside counsel to help you be successful.
4.Position your message/brand/product in front of those most apt to be interested/to buy. Develop a keyword commonality list- WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS? How are they identified? Are they 'Moms' (yes), Moms who follow healthy lifestyle/living (yes), Moms who blog (yes)...are you 'pitching' your product to your target via blogs (Celiac and Gluten Free blogs-theres tons of them)...
Lastly- FOCUS on marketing DIRECTLY...with content..give fans a reason to follow, talk about you and then they'll buy....hope this helps..g
Invest in some coaching. Find someone who can help you look at the heart and soul of your business, and help you make sure that every action you take for your business is in alignment with, and a manifestation of that heart and soul.
Wishing you love and blessings...
First time I've commented on mosaic hub so I hope it's useful. There are so many places you could start it would be impossible to be thorough here. However, I'll give you 2 sources to get you started
1 Read Persuasion Engineering by Dr Richard Bandler and John La Valle. Any NLPers out there will know what this is. Cost new is about £25 off Amazon. ISBN 0916990362
2. Go and have a look at any of the marketing ideas from Joe Polish and Dan Kennedy. First place I'd go to, to revamp my marketing strategy. (Also look for Piranha Marketing)
Good luck and let us all know how you get on
Based on what you've presented here, your focus has been primarily internally driven. I'd say that's 50 percent of it.
For your marketing plan to be effective, here's the other 50 percent:
Who's your audience? What media/social media outlets are they using that you can use to get their attention? Who's your competition -- your space is MUCH more competitive now. What are they doing to gain market share? How much market share do you have vs. what you think it should be? Are your products fulfilling your customers' needs in a special way, or can they find similar products easier or at less of a cost?
How's this for starters? -:)
Wow, what a loaded question. This is a problem that plagues many small businesses. There's such an excitement to get to market that you don't really focus on fully understanding your target customer.
It sounds as if you made a lot of the right moves initially — testing the product, adjusting the product based on feedback, etc. But did you do the same with your branding and other marketing efforts? I can only assume that by your decline in sales that the answer is no.
My first suggestion to you would be take what you've learned and try to better understand your ideal customer. This alone will help you get started in the right direction.
You also mentioned that your branding was consistent, but after reviewing your website, I can't help but notice that your website doesn't aline with what you've done on your packaging.
I'm a branding designer and believe wholeheartedly that your marketing success begins with developing a strong brand. That doesn't mean simply creating a pretty logo or functioning website. There's a lot to this branding and marketing stuff and it's tough to learn on your own, especially when it isn't your day-to-day business.
I just happen to be located just up the road from you, in Greensboro, and would be happy to talk to you about your branding and marketing needs, in further detail. Feel free to contact me any weekday from 9-5. You can find my phone number here: https://plus.google.com/+BlakeDesignSolutions/about.
P.S. Noting that you're an English major, please ignore my grammar.
Hello Julie , Let me start by saying that your website is very weak , I was looking at it , yes It is not reflecting the shape of your products , there is a different between picturing products & showing the real shape of it , Regarding your marketing plan ,I thin you have to schedule marketing taste for certain period of time according to your targeted market on different dates for publication your products ,Let the people know the taste & the price , You can send emails to different sectors too . You have have widen your market , work hard for certain period then you can gain the results after sometime .
There is no simple answer to your question but if it is not working I would check your most recent SWOT analysis to see what has changed. Also, I would look at where are you in the social media space; i.e FB and T.
I suggest you look to develop a Mission Statement, Vision Statement along with a tagline for your business when prospective customers visit your web site....
You basically have to grab their attention right away.....
To start with clean up the website, instead of the big black box that leads to 'suggestion' have it brighter colour and discribe it as 'endorsement from customers' (The big black clock until clicked looks like you haven't got any. Once you get there you should see sound bites not a wall of text, this is probavly one of your most valuable pages, tweet/facebook the endorsement over a period too ... that's just a tip)
are you Pinterest? add a customer comment over a pic of whatever they are commenting on an pin it.
Go into gluten free forums and comment ensuring your website link is there as part of your signature.
Get the SEO sorted on each and every page on your site so that people can hunt you down.
The list could and does go on ... good luck
Being a HUGE fan of gluten free goods... I am now going to be frequenting your site more often. But, back to your question. I wanted to start with one of my own... prior to a marketing plan, have you taken time to create or revisit your business plan? Perhaps the answer lies more in tightening the business side than the marketing side. If you are hoping to gain more advancement in the search engines, then a visit to your site is highly recommended. There have been several big changes to the various internet platforms that really have had a huge impact business websites SEO standings. Companies that once were top of the pile have been shuffled to the bottom due to some of the new search engine algorithms. There are some really easy, cost effective tweaks that can be made to your site and some domain name suggestions I would make that could increase your ranking pretty quick. If you would like, contact me and I'll be happy to share a few ideas over a complimentary consultation with no apron strings attached... (lol, sorry I had to toss a pun in there.) Many wishes for your grand success... the world needs more tasty gluten free options and NOW is your time!
Have a beautiful day!
If there is one immediate take-away from your website that I could point out - it would be the lack of social media usage and cross-marketing using several platforms. As a food-based company, you should embrace your development and creative process (without revealing trade secrets of course) by blogging about your industry, favorite food items within your category, blurbs - all while integrating your product offerings and concepts. Tweeting about your #1 flavors, create exciting events and contests for your fans on google + and facebook, vlogging on youtube with some DYI's for your fans or a sneak peek of what it's like to create your fillings are some suggestions I could over for greater exposure and customer interaction.
Are you selling to retail, manufacturing or distributors? Do you have a catalog of goods or a brochure? I can help you prepare a direct marketing campaign to sell via postal, email and/or telemarketing to your target audience. Please feel free to reach out if you need help with that.
If you wanted some one to give you tactics and how to implement them you got that in spades! The only person who told you to go directly to your customer Janice Dacres-Jones. It's imperative you talk with your customers directly. Call them, email and ask for their phone number whatever it takes, but speak to these real people and find out what they are thinking. No amount of speculative planning will take the place of direct contact when it comes to finding out where you stand and why things slowed down. You already know who your customers are because you have customers. What you need to find out is how to attract more and how to keep selling to the ones you have. This is the first step to modifying your Action Plan. There's more information about marketing and the other aspects of running and building a successful business at the Small Business Learning Center (SBLC.Biz) Got a question? let us know. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
An outstanding 73% of U.S. prefer direct mail for brand communications because they can read the information at their convenience. I would recommend adding a print advertising campaign to your marketing plan. With coupon codes, they're easily trackable to see who is using which platforms to get to your brand.
Let me know if there is something I can personally help you with. We have some great formats that are mailed directly to your target audience and are personalized too that our clients really like and have found a great return on!
Hello Julie. Great comments here and very helpful to me also. I looked at your site. looks good and the visit was not a bad experience on the surface.
Questions. Do you have a web master or do you do it yourself..?
Problems you might want to correct. slow to load, meta tags, and your sign up did not work for me as I did not receive an email.
I did not find your location but will try again. Tireponyman (tm) that's me thinks you and I need to submit our sites to the search engines after tweaking and making changes on a monthly basis. You might try what worked for me when I was marketing the "PHONY PONY" (TM) my secret for top ranking?
Tireponyman is my name and marketing is my game You haven't lived till you google "Tireponyman" (tm)
There is two approaches of selling produces
1. Produce as per the existing market or on market demand
2. or Create a market that you specialize in producing.
Regarding your production which has TASTE orientation.. then your marketing approach should be based on the target audience.. since the taste differ from person, region, age, gender and culture. Random publicity might give you awareness of your product but will not be able to pull buyers.
Food products if get a market is a money spinning business.