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.
I always say don't shirk on strategy -- but I understand that not everyone would know where to start their *marketing* strategy.
I took the liberty of browsing the site. The business model is standard and the products and services are solid. The website could use a redesign, some optimization, and a blog for fresh content, but no, strategy doesn't start there. It's great that you've upgraded the label and the packaging, and that's a good step towards focusing your brand identity.
From what you've said, it seems your product was enjoying a bit of launch traction when it first came out. Hype was high and word of mouth helped a lot, but now the hype has died down and real-time, traditional marketing isn't getting the same volume of clients.
I think you've got the brand development down and your offering is feasible (proven, even, given the comments you had). I would recommend you start with aligning your offering to your target market -- develop buyer personas first. The 1,000 comments you received previously would help towards that, as well as insight from previous clients.
Once you definitively know who needs your products and services, you can start to market to them: I would recommend a content strategy including social media. If you have the budget, some paid advertising on PPC and social channels would work to create a following as well as actually land clients. While working on your content strategy and building up reputation, list-building and cold calling wouldn't hurt -- this brings in short term funds while you're constructing the infrastructure that ensures long-term sales.
Finally, if you want to build long term, sustainable marketing infrastructure through digital channels, I would highly recommend you start ASAP -- going from 0 to 60 in terms of full inbound marketing takes some time, during which your sales will stay in the same levels as they are currently unless you're willing to spend on advertising or perform some aggressive cold calling as you go.
I hope that helps. Good luck.
I am a systems and processes kind of guy -- even for marketing. When things go stale, I always recommend getting back to the basics. The basics, I have found, for sales and marketing are the same as the NO COST ways to increase sales that I have researched and pulled together. So it can be a double winner.
Take a look at http://bit.ly/bizgrowthresourceguide , which are guaranteed to increase your sales and profit in and of themselves, plus also form the basis for being successful at any other marketing tactics chosen. Try it. It works.
Hi Julie, the product sounds great! Definitely something more people are interested in nowadays.
I would shift gears and focus on your website. I think there is room for improvement making it more SEO friendly along with strengthening the voice of your brand. You want to make people come back to your site because it triggered an emotion of some kind.
Best of luck!
Maciej (ma-chi) Fita
Hey Julia. This is a broad based question that is hard to answer without knowing some specifics. What was the content of the 1000 comments? What has been the feedback from the sales have processed? Have you offered any promotions? Most importantly, what are you currently doing to drive awareness of your products?
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Hope you are doing great .See first of all I will suggest you to create a brand image with your business logo & website and and social media and SEO promotion where I can help you with that.since we create brand.
And I have gone through your website need to add blog and more pages to do proper SEO.
Let me know if I can be any help to you.
Any marketing effort must tell a story, and while I love the about page, the rest of the site is very bland in terms of writing (in my opinion). Does this food scintillate the senses? Food and taste can be fun, why not make it sound exciting? Marketing is primarily to elicit an emotional response that makes customers buy, so you may want to consider that!
Hey, Julie. Congratulations on your business. I was an English major also and understand how you feel. I think you have an opportunity to tighten up your website and create a more engaging presence. My company, Propel Media Group, has clients in the food industry and has helped create increase visibility, greater engagement and of course, new customers. One of my clients has secured business with OWN, Nickelodeon and VH1. Happy to offer a 30 minute consultation.