How to Set Up a Marketing Plan for Your Cake Business
About Cake Businesses
As a cake professional, you understand the importance of baking a delectable cake that inspires guests to ask, "Who made this cake?"
Taste alone is not enough to market your cake business to potential clients, so it's important to develop a marketing plan that helps promote your baking services.
1. Create a clear profile of your target market; build an outline identifying the age, gender, income level, education level, lifestyle, hobbies and interests of the customers you plan to market your cakes to. This profile will help you develop marketing strategies and tactics to attract your core customers. For example, you may plan to focus on creating gourmet engagement and wedding cakes for 20- to 30-something-year-old couples who are headed to the altar.
2. Consider which geographical areas you plan to market your cakes to and what type of competition, such as bakeries and grocery stores, exists in those areas. Compare your product offerings to your competitors' by outlining the types of cakes you plan to sell and whether you plan to offer other services, such as cake decorating classes.
3. Perform a S.W.O.T. analysis to outline the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that exist in your cake business and how your business can react to them. For example, a strength of your bakery may be the culinary education you and your staff have earned while a weakness may be the limited storage space at your bakery. Similarly, an opportunity may be the fact that you're the only homemade cake baker within a 500m radius while a threat might be a mobile bakery that visits your area bi-weekly.
4. Develop a list of marketing objectives and goals. Your goals and objectives may include: inform the community about your bakery, partner with complementary businesses, participate in community outreach programs and get media coverage in local publications.
5. Create a marketing budget for your cake business. Epepea suggests that entrepreneurs dedicate up to 10 percent of their sales or projected sales to marketing purposes. The newer your business, the more you should spend on marketing so you can increase your business's visibility.
6. Develop a list of tactics that will help you achieve your goals and objectives, and that are within your budget. For example, you might decide to participate in cause marketing by donating a cake or cupcakes to one nonprofit event per month, pitching stories to at least three relevant media outlets/blogs per month, connecting with local supermarkets/stores to see if they'll buy your cakes at a wholesale price and distribute them, implementing a direct marketing campaign advertising your services to households with kids, setting up social media pages to display pictures of your cakes or hosting giveaways.
7. Identify how you plan to measure your results before you implement them. For example, you might expect that a press release would lead a journalist to publish a story about your cake business or a social media page dedicated to your business attract 20 new followers per month.
8. Track your results to determine which marketing activities best position you to achieve your business goals and objectives.