If you have a food truck business, you already know that trends change and this includes food favorites. A food truck business typically offers a selected type of food category, such as tacos, barbecue beef or gourmet hamburgers; however, with current trends driving popular choices, food trucks now also offer sushi, French pastries, and Vietnamese vegetarian one-bowl meals. This is good news for the food truck owner and also information to be considered and used to one’s advantage in the competitive food truck industry. How can a food truck increase business and garner more customers via marketing strategies and advertising? Let’s discuss
Before arranging for marketing and advertising, you’ll want to first consider who your demographic customer might be. This is a combination of the various traits, likes, and groups that align with your customers. Customers of food trucks are usually from all walks of life, but share a love of street food. Prepare a list of those who you believe your customers are in age, socioeconomic levels, likes and dislikes in food, occupations, and other factors. Create a single demographic customer from this exercise to create the food truck “customer.” This demographic is the customer to whom marketing and advertising will be directed.
In the same fashion, perform research on your competitors to determine which foods are being served, pricing for those items, any special or unique offers that are being extended, wait times for food, and any exact matches to food items offered by your food truck. This demographic also needs to be considered because just as your competitor is working to overcome your business; you must do likewise if competition for food truck customers in your area is intensive.
To create marketing and advertising campaigns, you’ll want to first build a business plan that will form the foundation for all elements of your food truck business. The process is one of completing segments of the business plan separately before compiling them together in one document. The food truck business plan template will serve as your roadmap and include everything needed to take the food truck business to long-term growth and success. Included in the business plan will be the analysis of customers and competition, a financial plan and forecast, marketing strategies for a six-month period of time, an operational plan, and other elements of your business that pertain to the plan.
After completing the business plan, the next step is to strategize effective marketing tools and select advertising options to drive traffic that will inform growth in your food truck business. The budgeted funds and efforts need to conform to both the assessments of customers and competition, as well as meet the business plan parameters for the whole of the business. Following are suggestions to meet these needs:
- Invest in direction from a marketing consultant who specializes in the food truck business industry.
- Create leading opportunities for the food truck businesses in your region; collaborate with competitors at certain events to present “paired partners,” such as food truck tacos served with partnering food truck margaritas, thereby maximizing the buyers for both trucks.
- Social media is the first wave of marketing and advertising for food trucks; engage a social media marketer to post the food truck locations with maps each day, advertise the daily food specials, inform followers of special discounts or “customer appreciation” perks, and maintain a presence for followers overall.
- Use food truck decals as a lower-cost advertising campaign: present a decal to each customer on select days or at various events. Ensure the decal is well-designed with the brand, logo and the food truck name clearly outlined. This, in effect, allows your customers to advertise on behalf of your business; if they are followers of your fare, they will be incentivized to do so.
- Conduct a poll among followers to determine the next offering from the food truck and advertise the change on all social media callouts. With permission, Include images of customers who were in the poll and helped drive the change. This marketing strategy includes customers in ownership as they feel valued, and increases loyalty across the board.
These concepts are merely the springboard to several others that can scale and grow your food truck business through marketing and advertising. After each campaign or strategic plan, use key performance indicators to identify the results. Review and add the results in the business plan as a reference item for future growth. Such initiatives will move your food truck business to increased profit margins and satisfied customers on every street curb.