by Chris Ford
In a perfect world, execution of a mobile foods marketing strategy should begin six weeks to three months prior to launch, in order to have your truck rolling smoothly on the streets right out of the gate. But, in too many cases, execution often begins long after, despite the fancy long-range planning in the marketing plan. Or worse, marketing isn't really a consideration at all.
In fact, a vast number of new mobile foods entrepreneurs believe that Social Media Marketing means setting up a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account - they're done, and it's free. Social Media Marketing is the free alternative to the expensive, not-so-effective, yet far-more-expensive traditional marketing, so the cost of marketing is drastically reduced. Not so.
It usually happens when you're reviewing your operating expenses for the month - you realize there's more month left than budget, and the epiphany strikes. There's more to marketing a food truck or stand than meets the eye.
After countless hours frantically searching for easy, cheap, or free solutions, and an empty bottle of Jack Daniels, the tightness in your chest and sinking feeling in your gut tells you that you've either drank too much, or you're going to need to do something serious about that marketing plan.
The six most basic questions to ask to kick start a marketing strategy are:
1. Who do I need to reach?
2. How many of them are there?
3. Where are they?
If you've done a thorough market study, your marketing plan will identify your primary customers, the size of the population, and the locations where they would be likely to stop by your truck or stand for a meal. The next three questions deal with execution.
4. How do I reach them?
An effective execution of your plan should include a combination of blog advertising, Facebook ad campaigns, print advertising, writing on other blogs and influential social network pages, as well as Public Relations campaigns.
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