10 Ways Marketing is Like Food
There are as many different ways to prepare and plan marketing as there are for preparing a delicious meal. If you sell a product or service then you must present your marketing to customers in an effort to tempt them to buy. Do you want to present them with something that will entice them or scare them off to the next competitor?
In a nutshell, every business needs some form of marketing as it is how you present your brand to your marketplace. It is your public image; your business has a corporate identity, and just as people will see how you present yourself in public by your dress and behaviour, your brand is the image of the company as seen by consumers in general. Just as you may need to prepare yourself personally before going out in public, your corporate identity needs to impress too and that is best achieved with planning and preparation. Just like a good meal.
A chef will tell you that presentation is very important in creating fine cuisine. It is also very important in marketing and it occurred to me one day that preparing food and marketing are not really dissimilar. Maybe I was just hungry as I composed this, but here are 10 ways that I believe food and marketing are alike.
1. If you do not have enough its hard to survive or grow.
Any business with no marketing or very little may be maintained through the successful performance of its products or services. Think of a business that sells Apple products. Their dealer/partner relationships will provide some marketing. Still, if your brand isn’t seen then why would a consumer buy from you? They’ll buy from anyone selling Apple. If you don’t sell a well-recognized brand then you’ll need to grow the business through marketing to reach your buyers.
2. If you rely on one type alone you can subsist for a time.
But you may not grow in a healthier, more stable and ultimately less costly way. Many business owners rely on long-term business relationships, their “bread & butter” clients; but if a couple of those suddenly disappeared what then? Just like eating a variety of foods is healthier, so too is utilizing a variety of marketing tools to draw in a variety of customers.
3. When it is mildly stale it may be somewhat palatable, yet hard to digest, and best left to recycling or disposal.
We’ve all done it. Put out a bit of marketing we thought was terrific; the right idea, an AMAZING idea… and it failed miserably because it was just bad or stale. Sometimes a dish turns out that way too. Maybe one ingredient was missed, a shortcut was taken but it spoils the dinner. So, do you never make that dish again or do you try to do it better next time?
4. When it is too old or past a Best Before date it can be bad for you, even deadly and it’s better to toss it.
Not too long ago I attended a trade show and the person working at the booth gave me a packaged sample. I read the label and was surprised to see an expiry date of a couple months back. I’d like to think they didn’t realize it, but maybe they did and thought it was a good idea to “get rid of these”. Delivering old substandard product to customers as a sample can do a lot of harm and not just to their health! Maybe it isn’t dangerous but would you give your potential client a VHS tape today that explains how to use your product? Some materials are better tossed and recycled if past their time.
5. When it is prepared cheaply it is often tasteless, less appetizing and no one wants seconds.
Marketing costs money but some marketing is free if you know where to find it. Just like preparing a gourmet meal with cheap ingredients is the wrong idea for trying to impress someone, so is inferior marketing. If it looks cheap or bland then your brand will be perceived in the same way.
Part 2 continues here.