Today we’ll share some marketing errors that are often considered legitimate quick fixes for food truck vendors. Developing an awareness and understanding of past mistakes is one of the best ways to pave a path to future food truck success.
When we look at how food truck vendors have run their marketing campaigns in the past, we’ve noticed many of the same issues coming up time and time again. Being aware of the most common marketing errors can help ensure your truck avoids them in the future, so with that in mind, here are some of the biggest errors food truck routinely make.
8 Common Food Truck Marketing Errors
Blame everything else without looking in the mirror.
The first of our marketing errors revolves around blaming others for your lack of business. In many cases when business is down, vendors point to the local economy or their competition and decides to run ads to overcome the problem. Unfortunately in most cases the economy and the competition aren’t the real reason. Business is down because customers have defected because the quality of your food or service is lacking.
Running ads before perfecting your food and service will only put a spotlight on the problem.
Make your customer out as a fool.
Trying to be funny or grabbing attention by showing the customer as inept, wandering through life in search of your truck is hardly the way to win customers. Build an honest relationship with prospective customers instead of poking fun at the very person you’re trying to introduce to your menu.
Open your service window and trust customers will come.
Sorry, but consumers aren’t just sitting around waiting for the next food truck to open. They need to be told, reminded, inspired, and given reasons and incentives to track down your truck. When you build it, build a plan to market it at the same time.
If you don’t act fast, you’ll miss out.
This is often irresistible for food truck businesses that operate without a marketing plan. They don’t know their own objectives and strategies, and so any tactic sounds awesome.
As a result, when a proposal comes in from an event promoter, or even from a charity that wants to partner, the vendor is ready to jump in, afraid that they may miss an opportunity without digging into the numbers.
Think people will care that you’ve celebrating your anniversary.
Or think that they’ll care that you’ve added a second truck to your fleet or any other self-congratulatory announcement that produces low enthusiasm. Move the spotlight off yourself, add provide a customer benefit. Turn “We’re celebrating our third anniversary!” into “We’re celebrating our third anniversary with three menu specials you won’t want to miss.”
Remember, customers typically care most about what’s in it for them.
Believe that starting a website will instantly draw visitors.
Contrary to the belief that launching a food truck website and instantly winning business from your local market is as likely as opening your service window for the first time and immediately having hundreds of people standing in line.
To do well online, invest time and money to drive attract people to your food truck website.
Believe you’re the only option.
The last of our marketing errors comes when a food truck thinks they are the only option consumers have. The reality is, your customers know they have other dining options. When someone is standing in your line and you turn your attention to talk on the phone, they notice. If you offer new customers a better deal than current customers enjoy, they notice. If you spend more time attracting new customers, they will notice and in time will begin to disengage from your business as a result.
Understand that customer loyalty is the key to profitability, and that earning it is a never-ending process.
The Bottom Line
Errors, blunders and mistakes no matter how much you hate to admit you make, often turn out to be your best teachers. If you’re afraid to make mistakes as a vendor, the best advice we have for you is: Don’t be.