Spice Up Your Marketing: 12 Food-for-Thought Tips

Is Your Marketing As Predictable As Your Lunch Order?

If you’re like a lot of New Yorkers, you’re predictable when it comes to lunch. Day in and day out, you go the same restaurant or take out place and order “the usual”. Is the same true of your marketing? While this makes planning easy and low cost, do your prospects and customers find it predictable or, even worse, boring? Does advertising blindness cause them to miss your marketing because it blends in with the other messages bombarding them? If so, you’ve got a problem since you’re not maximizing results for your marketing investment.

12 Marketing changes to spice up your results

Just as you need to spice up your lunch choices by trying new foods or restaurant options, you must keep your marketing fresh. While some branding advertising uses repetition to build recognition, consumers today are more likely to block these ads to reduce message overload. Here are twelve food-for-thought changes to spice up your marketing.

  1. Photographs. Sometimes you need to get a change of scenery and take a walk to another locale of your favorite fast food. For your marketing this translates to using different photographs with a variety backgrounds, not just a close-up of an item. To minimize costs, take an assortment of product shots in different locations when you do your photo session. Plan your shots in advance, especially when you use an exotic location. Keep some of these photographs for later in the season to look fresh
  2. Products. Alter your main course selection. For example, get a salad instead of a sandwich. Similarly, show diverse outfits or combination of products in different ads or promotions. This can be useful to show consumers how to coordinate different product options.
  3. Offers. Many restaurants offer daily specials to change up their offering. For marketer, this is a must, since the more often an offer’s used, the less effective it becomes. To this end, have a set of promotional offers and rotate them to reduce erosion of their effectiveness.
  4. Headlines. Who hasn’t gone to their local restaurant and found their favorite dish missing? Did one of the chefs get creative and changed the name? Sharpen your pencil to engage readers. While testing can help you get the best performing advertising, you need to mix it up just to make it interesting. Here are tips for killer headlines.
  5. Information. For a change of pace you may opt for corn beef on rye instead of your usual tuna salad on wheat toast, use different information in the body of your advertising. This is particularly important for emailings.
  6. Call-to-action. Just as your usual sandwich can taste dry or bland without mayo or mustard, it’s a good idea to periodically change this element because it needs to stand out and get readers to act.
  7. Incentive. If you have lunch at the same place every day out of habit, you can be enticed to try a new eating establishment with a taste or a discount coupon handed out on the street. With customers, the incentive is important. While free shipping and handling outshines other incentives, try other options to ensure customers don’t assume they can always get free shipping and handling (unless you’re Zappos!)
  8. Advertising formats. Just as you might change to a sandwich from the soup and salad lunch special once in a while, use different advertising options within the same media. For example, change the dimensions of your print catalog or use a video pre-roll instead of a banner ad on digital media.
  9. Media titles. Like your lunch, do you only advertise in the same media entities? If so, broaden your horizons. Just as you might try a Chinese or Indian restaurant for a change, try another title in your niche.
  10. Channels/devices. Do you go out for lunch or do you have it delivered (remember I’m in New York City where real estate is at a premium!) Is your marketing delivered via television, magazines, digital, social media or mobile? If it’s limited to one device or channel, test another one to see how receptive your target audience is to your offering. You’ll probably need to modify your advertising to be effective.
  11. Geographic markets. As you might venture into another neighborhood or walk a few blocks over to another deli, consider other ways to expand your marketing reach. Adjacent locations can provide different media options as well as new prospects.
  12. Spokesperson. Like going to a top New York City restaurant for a special event, a marketer may change their brand or firm’s spokesperson. However this is expensive and requires other marketing changes.

Just as people feel the need to spice up their eating options, it’s important to to keep changing your marketing so that your target market doesn’t get bored.

Is there anything else that you’d add to this list?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Here are some other food inspired posts to help you with your marketing.

Photo credit: Lju via Flickr

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