Developing a Marketing Plan for a Coffee Shop

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Whatever you have to do in life requires planning. Whether big or small, you must plan, unless you are willing to take chances—which equates to planning to fail. Benjamin Franklin put it best when he said “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Therefore, the importance of planning cannot be overemphasized. 

If you just set up your coffee shop under Papparoti’s, you need a lot of planning, and honestly, you do have a lot of planning to do, one of which is developing a marketing plan. You need to strategize and analyze every decision you make towards your new business, especially at its infantile stage.

This is the major reason why we will enumerate the steps on how to create the perfect marketing plan for your new café so that you can rake in new customers, and convert them to loyalist over time. Stick with us!

The first thing you have to bear in mind is that there is no one-size-fits-all method for creating a marketing plan for your coffee business; therefore, the process may become daunting and stressful. It’s challenging to choose the best course of action because your coffee shop and market are as distinctive as the customers you serve. Creating the unique strategies, setting the unique objectives, and aiming for unique goals are all components of developing a marketing plan for your small business—those are the major tasks you have ahead of you.
Even though the task is big, you still shouldn’t worry too much. Buying a franchise under companies like Papparoti’s is one good way to relieve yourself of some tasks. This is majorly because franchisors like Papparoti’s usually do most of the dirty and background works for their franchisees.

Therefore, with the proper guidance and perhaps, a basic outline, you should be able to develop an effective and efficient marking plan for your café in Michigan. Having said that, let’s get into the business of the day.

How to Develop a Marketing Plan for a Coffee Shop

If you have come this far, then we believe that you are hell-bent and very determined to create an effective marketing plan for your new franchise. If that is the case, we have enumerated some cogent steps to follow to get new and loyal customers walking through the door of your coffee shop in Michigan. 

Your goals for marketing should be crystal clear and precise

Crystal clarity and precision both come from you knowing the uniqueness of your new coffee shop, as well as the marketing goals you have envisioned. Of course, just like every other business owner in town, you want the best for yourself and your business. You want your coffee shop to be the most successful, and the topmost choice for all coffee lovers around your vicinity. But what is the story behind your café? Why was it established? What is its mission? 

Once you are able to provide crystal clear and precise answers to the questions above, only then can you be able to define your brand identity. Fortunately, you can steal ideas from your parent company if you are under franchisors like Papparoti’s.

Going forward, the next thing in line is focusing on your market goals. This is very important! You see, when you mention the word “marketing,” it is like randomly pointing a DSLR into the space without rolling the focus ring for the camera to focus on an object. The term marketing is so broad, and it can mean anything. You have to be specific; you have to be focused on one or two goals.
Before laying down any plans, you have to lay out the specific marketing goals while keeping your brand identity as the center and point of origin. You can have goals such as:

  • Boosting overall sales
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Improving and increasing profit in specific departments
  • Creating a prominent social media presence, etc.

Once your brand identity and marketing goals are intact, you will have created a standard to emulate and follow for the sake of future marketing plans.

Get to know your target customer

Applying a generalization to everyone who enters your café may seem contradictory and counterintuitive. After all, each buyer comes with their uniqueness. But generally speaking, in order to create more successful marketing plan, you really need to have a better grasp of your target audience. You do not have to know every single thing about them, but don’t miss the chance to know the following things about the customers that walk through your coffee shop door: 

  • Gender
  • Age group
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Address

Once your target demographic has been identified and established based on the basic information extracted from them, you may then choose the most effective advertising and promotional strategies that will appeal to them. Also, you may make use of this information while deciding what flavors of coffee to prioritize

Understand your market position

A crucial component of any marketing plan is understanding your place in the local market. What exactly is your café renowned for, as we all know it’s hard to please everyone? What are you hoping it will excel at? Creating a slogan or a short sentence that matches your marketing plans and symbolizes your position in the market may be a part of this. For instance, you may decide on something that highlights how you get to know your customers personally. This could also influence your coffee flavor choices, furniture arrangement, musical selections, and ambiance in general. Take for instance, if you posit your café as the best coffee shop when it comes to offering the best specialty coffee buns, then, you also want to establish how it supports your position. Backing your positon, you can decide to rearrange the tables and chairs so customers can easily munch on a loaf of coffee buns as they sip their cup of coffee.

Articulate your marketing strategy

Perhaps, the largest, and most important piece of the puzzle is your marketing strategy. This is where you begin to arrange the pieces together, including your target market, your objectives, and how you want customers to perceive you in the market. Your day-to-day marketing decisions are based on your marketing strategy. 

It's time to write down concrete plans and put them into action. Below are some of the strategies you can utilize to this effect:

Creating a competitive analysis

It is highly essential to be on the lookout for your competitors. You have to keep them at arm’s length to know what they are up to. You want to be sure if their strategy is introducing new flavors or products monthly or bi-monthly, or if they offer subscription services. Knowing this, and how it is working for them may give your business direction. While you do not have to be a copycat, it is still important that you know and understand how they run things in your local market. Because they are there before you, you just have to admit that they know some things that you do not know.

Creating social media presence and launching a company website

Your café definitely needs a website and a significant social media following at the very least. This narrative may change over time when you have become established, and turned to a household name, but in order to meet customer demands now, you must give priority to these things—social media presence and website. 

If you believe that this is too difficult for you to concentrate on, outsourcing it by employing someone else or having one of your staff assist you is a possible solution.

In our blog post, “how to market your coffee shop to reach your target customers,” we established the importance of websites and social media pages. You can check it out if you are interested.

Don’t underestimate online reviews

What customers say about you on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and dedicated review platforms such as TrustPilot is very important, and you should never underestimate it. 

Customer reviews have never been more important in the past than they are today. No matter how beautiful your café is, there are some customers who will never visit unless they are convinced by reading reviews online. Therefore, prioritize these reviews. Make sure you are always at your best so that your customers will naturally want to leave you a 5-star rating on all platforms. You can even politely ask your customers to leave you a review on their way out. Better still, create polls or ask direct questions about your services on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Also, try as much as possible to appreciate every good review, and promise to improve on your services for every bad review.

Developing solid advertising campaign

More will be required than just words-of-mouth awareness, particularly in the early phases of opening your café. To help your advertising strategy, you have to come up with a solid plan. 

Consider including Facebook advertisements in your café campaign strategy, which is one recommendation we really endorse. You will be surprised at the whole community many business owners have created based on the success of Facebook paid promotions and sponsored posts.

To get the best of Facebook, we recommend that you leave the job to an expert, or take professional courses on it. If you don’t have much time to spare, you know which one to do.

Creating a marketing calendar

Nearly every day of the year, your customers will desire coffee, therefore you must always have a calendar on the go. It can be the calendar app on your phone, PC, or a physical one that you can tick with a pen.

Planning and strategizing months in advance (if feasible) will save you from the eleventh hour rush, and also help you cut advertisement cost and expenses.

Which style of calendar do you require? Consider all that have to be planned in advance in relation to marketing to your customers. These may include:

  • Social media strategies, including new posts and campaigns, giveaways, etc.
  • Promotional activities such as special offers, events, seasonal sales, menu specials, etc.
  • Updating the website with new service pages, blog posts, images, events calendar, etc.
  • Dates set aside for all the planned marketing campaigns

Although, this may seem to be a lot of information to keep track of, consistent pre-planning will keep everything on track for you so you can easily stick to your overall marketing strategy.

Focusing on customer retention

It is quite important to get a new customer to walk through the door of your café with the purpose of buying a cup of coffee or two for the first time. But what’s more important is getting them to come back again and again. 

Customers can be won over in a variety of ways. Naturally, it all begins with wonderful customer service and a fantastic cup of coffee. However, how can you be confident that your marketing strategies complement your emphasis on customer retention?

Here are a couple of ideas:

A scheme of incentives

This might be a stamp or an app where users accumulate points to redeem rewards as they patronize your shop.

Offering apps or online ordering

After visiting your coffee shop, a customer could feel more at ease placing an online or mobile app order. This option of convenience could be enough to turn a first-time customer to a forever one.

Sharing online

You can ask your customers to help you share your posts on social media, or tag you in their posts related to you. A customer that agrees to this will not only publicize your shop on their timeline, but also become emotionally invested in your shop. Boom! There comes a loyal customer.

Parting words

One thing about planning is that there’s usually no one-size-fits-all model on the shelf. Therefore, you have to prepare to be flexible and try things out for yourself. Only you and time will be able to tell the best strategies for your new business. However, we hope that the enumerated tips above may give you a head start. 

Also, it is not compulsory that you go through every phase of planning and strategizing when you can easily identify with brands like Papparoti’s, that already have working models in place for their franchisees.

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