SMS Marketing for Artisan Food Producers
The UK’s artisan food market is booming and small, artisan producers have seen significant growth in recent years. Typically characterised as creative, net-savvy, small-scale and locally based, these manufacturers are making a notable impact on the UK food and drink sector, as well as helping to drive a wider growth in the profits of SME’s. Despite the boom, artisan food manufacturers as small operations by nature typically have extremely limited resources, meaning that regardless of its importance, little funds are available for marketing. SMS Marketing is an option that, with its low costs and highly personal feel, is ideally suited to the artisan food marketplace.
Artisan Food at a Glance
According to research conducted by law firm EMW and published on FoodManufacture.co.uk , the UK’s dedicated daily news website for the UK food and drink manufacturing industry, in the twelve months up to October 2016 SME’s in the sector saw a growth of 6.8% in turnover. This is compared with 6.1% for the preceding year and 3.1% 2013-14. With October not yet complete, we’ve yet to see what the results for the current year are but all the evidence suggests that this figure could yet again be exceeded.
The increase has been driven by changing tastes of the British consumer, who is increasingly attracted to more sophisticated and unique tastes rather than the mass-market food products that have dominated the retail sector for so long. This, in turn, has led to increasing demand for luxury and niche products created by smaller manufacturers.
In addition, there has been growing interest in local produce which artisan manufacturers have been perfectly positioned to take advantage of.
The market is not just for the affluent either – research indicates that the market is continuing to grow despite recent inflation beginning to make a real impact on consumer behaviour – indeed, it appears that consumers from across the spectrum are looking for alternatives to huge weekly supermarket spends – and the small scale and low operating costs of these versatile artisan companies are playing to their advantage.
SMS Marketing: Why it matters for artisan food producers
Whilst word of mouth is increasingly important for food producers and retailers as a whole, the big players have the advantage of decades of building their brands, the success of which has often come at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds invested in marketing through traditional mass-media channels such as TV.
With the emphasis on local produce and the human element at the heart of the ethos of most artisan food producers, word of mouth is by far the most important form of marketing for a consumer relationship that is much more personal and individual. This personal feel is a significant part of what the customer is buying into and a big part of what distinguishes such companies from the ‘faceless’ giants of food.
With this in mind, it is important that marketing strategies are sensitive to the very personal nature of the brand. At the same time, due to the small-scale nature of such companies, there is often a minimal budget available to invest in marketing. SMS Marketing is both highly personal and incredibly cost-effective, making it an ideal solution.
SMS Marketing techniques for artisan food producers
So just how can artisan food manufacturers use SMS Marketing to their advantage? Here are some ideas that can be adapted to suit the needs of your business. Of course, these are just a starting point – to make the most of this powerful channel, we encourage you be creative and create campaigns that are as unique as your business and product.
Provided you have obtained your customer’s express consent to send them SMS messages, there are numerous ways to use the channel such as:
- Loyalty Discounts: Loyal customers should be looked after and rewarded, especially if they purchase from you regularly. SMS Marketing is a great way to remind them that you care, even if you haven’t seen them face to face at your shop or stall for a while.
- Special Offers: Whether you have a seasonal special offer on certain lines or just need to clear some stock, SMS offers a great way to make sure all your customers know that you have some special offers up for grabs – and quickly get orders coming through your website without having to wait for your next appearance at the local food markets or waiting for your commercial clients to place orders.
- Sales: Notify customers of early bird sales and discounts on selected items in your range, as well as new products. A simple text announcing the type and dates of sale can help to direct more customers to your store, stall or website.
- Loyalty Programs: You don’t have to be a large, established retailer to set up a reward points system. Once you’ve come up with something that works for you, keep customers informed of their points tally and send them rewards for being part of the club. Or why not reward them for being a loyal SMS subscriber, just because. Customers are often driven to the artisan food market by a sense of loyalty, and it makes sense to ensure this is recognised and rewarded.
- New Recipes/Products: Inform regular customers when you introduce new products or recipes and give them the website link to view if relevant. Use some creative language that describes tastes, smells and textures for example to whet their appetite.
- Order & Delivery Status: If customers have placed orders online, make sure you keep them right up to date with the progress of their order – and don’t forget to ask how they enjoyed your product once it arrived if selling direct to consumers.
- News & Tips: Upsell and provide great customer service by sending links to relevant and interesting topics that are either related to the products you sell that will appeal to the artisan interests of your customers. Like other marketing strategies, SMS Marketing is not just about the direct sell, and interspersing your SMS campaign with this kind of messaging can help to improve your brand’s reputation and keep interest levels in your brand high.
Here at FastSMS, we have helped businesses of all sizes and profiles to grow with our low-cost bulk business SMS packages. As well as offering some of the UK’s most competitive prices, we pride ourselves on our exceptional customer service and offer 24/7 help to ensure that you can get the most out of SMS Marketing. To learn more, call us today on 0800 954 5305.
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