Like any business, Coffee Shops need paying customers. Sounds easy, right? Get paying customer = profit, then success. Wrong, getting a paying customer through the door is very difficult. Then delivering an amazing experience that they will love and share with their friends and family is practically impossible, then getting them to love your coffee and come back for more is even more difficult.
OK, you get the picture.
The very reason many coffee shops fail is that they simply don’t plan their marketing strategy. There are so many great opportunities you can get from a simple marketing strategy.
Getting your strategy right can be the difference between success and failure, you have to spend time on this aspect of any business.
When you complete your marketing strategy, you are sowing the seed for your business to grow.
You are ensuring that you don’t make ill-informed decisions later on.
It is easy to find businesses that carry out their marketing well, it is also very easy to take their ideas, you should always seek out the businesses that market well and use what is successful.
You can take all of the success out of their plans, adapt them to suit your needs and then identify key improvements.
A fun little exercise is to get your phone out, install every social media platform you can, some are better than others for this.
Simply type in Coffee Shop into the search and have a browse, you will notice the companies that take marketing seriously straight away.
It is very surprising to see people not utilising social media but trust me not everyone does. Making sure you do already means you will beat 10-15% of your competitors.
If you browse every day for say 2 weeks and make a note of the business that you remembered most from your searches, you will get an understanding of what some businesses are willing to do to reach you.
Now in our lives, as we go about our daily business we don’t automatically just think about where we are going to go and just do it, sometimes we make choices without even knowing we are making choices.
Advertising and brand awareness can mean the difference between someone walking into your amazing coffee shop, or the average coffee shop just down the road.
Sometimes having your brand out there will tip the odds in your favour that they choose you, that is most likely the hardest part of any business, standing out from the crowd.
Just think, if you can influence say 1 person per month with some of your social media, that person tells their best friend that they enjoyed your coffee shop and coffee.
Then their friend tells someone from their family.
The yearly figures
12 You Influenced
12 Their Friend Influenced
12 Their Family Influenced
This is a very simple way of looking at it but as long as you are doing the right things in your shop there is no reason to believe it wouldn’t happen this way.
Another thing to note here though is that this effect works in the opposite direction too, one bad experience per month can have the very same effect.
That is why it is key in your marketing strategy to also identify what type of customer you have and how you will deal with any negative publicity.
COFFEE SHOP MARKETING STRATEGY
So a great way to look at this is simply to grab a piece of paper and a pencil and writing down some ideas, at this point, any idea is a great idea.
Write it down! No matter how silly the idea you have in the early days of building your marketing strategy it will help you in the long run.
Your marketing strategy should be built around your business idea.
To be able to start your marketing strategy you have to understand your target market. This can only be done when you understand your business first.
- Who are you?
- What do you want as a business?
- Understand your market
So starting with Who are you? If you are the owner it can be a good exercise to write a little information about yourself.
What are your strengths? Communication, patience, creativity, technology.
Do the same for your weaknesses, ask for advice from friends and family and always take any criticism constructively.
This will help you identify issues before you begin.
What will you want to achieve to consider your business a success? Success can be measured in many ways, obviously, everyone needs to be profitable eventually and we know that we need money to survive as a business.
Money shouldn’t be the only driver for any business, the reason we exist as a business is that we feel that most companies we approached when we needed help were overcharging.
As a result, I decided to set up my own business as there was clearly a huge gap that I feel like we can fill.
Our goal is to be the most successful marketing company in Cardiff, it’s ambitious but achievable.
Understanding your target market will give you a great advantage and help you find your customers and then develop the strategy that will pull them through your doors.
Marketing Strategy – Marketing Plan Example
Just some examples of this, we will use Cardiff as an example
Let us assume we have a Cafe on Duke Street right in the centre of Cardiff (Sorry for any Cafes that are there).
So the first steps we would look at to give us an idea of what our target market might be.
The first thing we will be doing is looking for anything that is a maximum 20-minute walk that we could potentially tap into and make a little list.
Ok so we have the University, more specifically the school of music
Cardiff Central Police Station
Cardiff General Population
Cardiff School of Mathematics
St Davids Hospital
Now that we have looked at the nearby areas we can get an idea of the type of individual that may be a potential customer, this can give us some ideas on our attraction strategy.
There are a number of ways you can attract customers, some more effective than others, knowing your customers will help you get the right balance.
Now our scenario suggests that quite a lot of students will pass through the area, it is important to understand the type of student that may pass through.
It will be likely that we need to ensure that look at giving our Cafe a creative vibe and finding ways of attracting some of the music students.
Starting with music will help here, obviously, a Cafe requires careful consideration for other customers, making sure that you do not isolate one type of customer is key. Talking with the school of music will be a great help here and understanding the courses they teach, reading the course literature can help you make the right choices.
You may well get a leaflet on a noticeboard if you are lucky.
The hospital has some bad reviews around their parking fees, now where you see issues like this you can take advantage in your marketing strategy, your website can simply point out great places you can park near the hospital without incurring fees.
You are giving information and building trust and you can simply throw in your Cafe address for anyone needing a coffee before and after their appointments.
Student Union is a little over 20 minutes away on foot but can potentially bring a lot of customers when they have events. For example, They are hosting Baby Metal in February 2020, this can be a great opportunity for us to tap into that market.
Why not setup a little event yourself, maybe theme your cafe based on the band and pick up some official memorabilia, attract your customers by offering a signed T-Shirt or anything that might be tempting to your customers if they meet up at your cafe before the gig.
The Police Station, this is a very big station based in Cardiff and can potentially bring us, customers. This is going to be a tricky one, get creative, the police hold public meetings from time to time.
I don’t think any Cafe we have would be able to accommodate a meeting due to the number of people attending is generally large and maybe a little beyond our capabilities.
That doesn’t mean we can’t capitalise on the opportunity, social events a great way for the police force to bond, meeting places are always hard to come by.
Leaflets with discounts offered for any events they attend where they visit us would be a potential opportunity.
We could also look at offering our amazing coffee at their meetings, free advertising to a lot of potential customers.
This Cafe has a lot of opportunities due to the amount of footfall as well as local amenities, not all marketing plans will have the opportunities presented in this fictional Cafe.
This will give you an idea of the type of processes used to develop and execute a plan.
Goals and milestones are a great way to move your business forward, making sure you don’t have unrealistic expectations will help keep you motivated during slow periods.
Your goals can be very simple, things like your first 100 customers, the first time you broke even, make sure it is something you can easily measure.
The key to setting goals in any business is ensuring they are not vague.
Every business needs a marketing strategy, any business that fails to address this will find that they will be behind competitors that ensure this task is complete.
Developing a marketing strategy will not be easy, or cheap, but it will keep you on the right path and help you develop ideas and therefore increase your likelihood of success.
Celtic Digital will help you with any questions you may have and we offer a free three-hour consultation.