As well as helping you focus, retailers are always keen to know what you’re going to do to support your brand. Documenting your food marketing plan is a vital step. It’ll provide an overview of how and when you plan to support your brand over the coming year.
Producing a plan is an excellent visual way of detailing, understanding and developing your marketing activities – what you plan to do and when. It’ll keep you focused throughout the year on your key objectives, activities and actions, and how you’ll achieve your goals. It will also help you spend your marketing budget as effectively as possible.
What are your objectives?
Firstly, you need to identify what your objectives are for the year. Do you want to target a new type of consumer? Is it important to raise awareness of a new line, increase sales or engage with consumers more? Each piece of marketing activity you consider needs to take you towards your objectives. If it doesn’t, you shouldn’t be doing it.
What’s your budget?
It’s easier to set aside a certain amount of money at the beginning of the year and have this earmarked for your marketing budget. You can then build your marketing budget into your overall P&L, giving you a much clearer projection of your net profit. Also, having a budget in mind makes you less likely to overspend as you can track your marketing spend each month. Another way of doing it is by allocating a percentage of each unit sold as your marketing budget.
Your food marketing plan: What to include?
Your food marketing plan could be as simple as a one-page spreadsheet that you use on a daily/weekly basis. Just something that will keep you on track with your marketing activities. You should split it by areas and months, with a column for tracking expenditure. The areas I would include are:
- Consumer Advertising
- Trade Advertising
- Email marketing
- Social Media
You may well not have the time or the budget to do all these activities. Many of them rely on you creating good content to showcase your products (blogs/social media/email marketing), and these can all be linked together to save time and ensure your messages all tie together. Depending on your objectives, money and time, you may choose to focus on three or four main areas.
You can also track on this planner what you have booked/confirmed activity you are planning to do against your marketing budget – then you’ll always know how much budget you have remaining for marketing investment.