Events Interviews

Key Takeaways from the Building Your Healthy Food & Beverage Business Summit

By on November 4, 2018

With the end of 2018 on the horizon, Ainsley Moir, Founder of Engineer Your Brand put together a 10 day virtual Summit providing invaluable resources to those operating in the Food & Beverage Industry.


Each day, two exclusive interviews are released on the virtual summit containing practical and data-driven information for those looking to grow their business. Paul Davidescu is one of the 22 expert food marketers interviewed below are the key takeaways from Paul’s interview.


When should you invest in marketing?


In the early days, many businesses would rely on self-learning with the help of books, e-books, videos and even professionals within the industry. The key here is interacting with professionals within the industry and the best time to do that is when your operations are in order.


This implies that you’ve covered your operational bases to avoid having to put out ‘fires’ and allow your marketing tasks to slip through the cracks. Engaging with a third party agency too early can mean that you haven’t empowered them enough to understand your business and its goals. This can easily result in misalignment of expectations, an example being the expectation of overnight results when working with agencies.


If you want data, it’s suggested that 5%-10% of monthly revenues are committed to marketing so always make sure you stay in this range and when you do have enough to hire a contractor in the $600-$1200/month range, the advice above comes into play. Once you have allocated around $2000/month to marketing and want to scale your operations, bringing in an agency is highly recommended.


Key Takeaway: Consider getting marketing help when you have your operational bases covered



Can your business/marketing goals be achieved without a third party agency?


It depends on your goals and what current skills/resources you have today.


If you are a single location restaurant or small food brand, yes you can scrape by with your employee managing your social media and website and one of your regular customers who love you, trading their photo skills for free food – work the contra deals! At some point, this doesn’t scale and your customers (and staff) expect more from you,  Once you do plan to bring in an outside expert, you’ll need to gauge what’s more efficient – recruiting and training yourself or hitting the ground running with an agency – the former has many costs attached to it that go unseen by many. Hiring and training properly costs $4000-$5000 and needs to be done 1-3 times a year given how fast the young workforce looks for new opportunities. 


Let’s shine some light on these costs and see why they are important to overcome. When hiring for Tangoo earlier this Fall, the team spent a total of 86 hours examining over 150 applicants, conducting about 40 interviews, only to narrow down to the top two that got hired. Many businesses do not have the time to conduct such thorough hiring processes because of daily operations. Chances are they will talk to a few and hire the one they feel works best for them.


This leads us to look at the life of a new hire. These fresh young minds full of raw talent need support and guidance to be able to grow and deliver flawlessly, requiring time and attention that many business owners simply don’t have. In many cases, the business may not even have the right resources to empower the newly hired staff by training them on processes and best tactics. This means that moderate to good talent will seek other opportunities much sooner than business owners expect. 


Lastly, agencies specialize at hiring such raw talent, training and building them only to be launched into the world to deliver with finesse. Third party agencies tend to dedicate teams that focus on their clients, providing businesses the brain power of five to ten people at the price of one. This is where agencies excel because they’re able to be efficient, dedicate resources to employ talent, and support and empower them.


Key Takeaways:

  • Yes, if you’re running a single location.
  • No, if you’re looking to scale.
    • Because you probably lack the time to hire and train fresh talent.
    • Because agencies are efficient and can provide the brainpower of ten at the price of one.



What channels should you invest in and optimize?


As aforementioned, the rule of thumb is to invest up to 10% of your earnings into marketing. When that you have an idea of the amount you want to allocate, the question becomes: where should you allocate it? We believe that this is based on what part of the marketing funnel you are focusing on. Which means it comes back to your goals.


Looking at the top of the marketing funnel, one would be focusing on raising awareness towards their business, which makes sense if you are in the early days of your business. The best tools for execution here are social media marketing and influencer marketing. Strong visuals, optimized pages for websites and Google searches, and reviews are generally on the top of the checklist when deciding on a restaurant or food business. The stronger your awareness section for the funnel, the easier it is to drive your audience down into the next stage of the funnel.


Now that your audience is aware of your existence, what can you do to convert them into a customer? Paid social ads is the name of the game! Facebook as a social platform has shown decreasing organic reach down to less than 2% over the past year and clearly, the performance of paid ads is much higher in comparison. Now there are other options that require a bit more effort than running your paid ads, such as email marketing/contests and influencers which generally require more creativity.


You have now succeeded in securing new clientele with paid social ads, but what can you do to ensure they return? The final stage of the funnel focuses on frequency, utilizing tools such as email, SMS and Wifi marketing. By incentivizing customers on their first visit to return, and by engaging them based on their behavior, businesses can engage their customers in a more intimate and effective way. It’s all about customer service, at scale.


Key Takeaways:

  • Social Media Marketing: Raise Awareness
  • Influencer Marketing: Widen your Reach
  • Strong Branding  Create a lasting Impression
  • Paid Ads: Your Partner in Crime
  • SMS and Wifi Marketing: 1:1 Touchpoints at Scale



Curious to learn more?


With Paul’s interview launch on November 5th, we’d like to invite you all to visit the summit and check out his interview for a deeper dive on everything we shared above.


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