One of the biggest reasons food trucks fail these days is due the lack of the owner’s marketing skill, or rephrased, their lack of marketing skills. I’ve spoken with hundreds of food truck owners in the last 5 years and I’ve yet to meet many that didn’t underestimate the importance of food truck marketing tactics.
In the past, I’ve said that marketing is 1/3 of the reason a food truck will succeed or fail. Over time, I am leaning toward awarding marketing an extra 1% when splitting reasons for success into 1/3rds, and say that it is even more important than good food and service, or a vendor’s management skills.
Here is a point about food truck marketing that every single vendor needs to know and understand: No matter how fantastic your food truck’s food is, if no one knows how great it is, you can’t sell it.
Prioritizing Your Food Truck Marketing Tactics
Word of mouth marketing isn’t for everyone
Too many times I see new food truck owners buy into the old adage that they can market their new truck through “word of mouth” marketing.
Don’t get me wrong, word of mouth marketing is awesome. New customers are more likely to act on the recommendation of friends and family that are past customers than they are an ad you run. This is true.
The problem with assuming word of mouth marketing is going to make everyone in your local market rush to line up at your food truck service window is that when you’re new, no one knows about you. You cannot depend on word of mouth marketing until you’ve established your food truck brand in the community.
For this reason, a marketing program driven only by word of mouth marketing for a startup food truck is the first ingredient to the recipe for failure.
You need a better plan
While I won’t go into great detail as to what that plan should include in this article, I will tell you that one of the best food truck marketing tactics you can employ in any food truck, is to gather contact information from every single person that walks up to your service window, and market to them.
The Bottom Line
Marketing to your existing food truck customers represents a much greater opportunity for increased sales in your food truck business than spending big bucks trying to reach new customers. Your existing customers are a better source for new customers than any marketing method out there targeting people who haven’t been to your food truck and aren’t already familiar with your menu.
Do you have any suggestions for young food truck owners on how you targeted your marketing efforts when you first started? We’d love to hear them. You can share food truck marketing tactics in the comment section, our food truck forum or social media Twitter | Facebook