So you’ve opened a coffee shop. The next thing to do: find some customers. One of the best ways to find new customers (and keep current customers coming back) is to start marketing your business.
If you’ve never put together a marketing plan before, we’re sorry to say that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all marketing plan that you can simply implement. The marketing plan for your coffee shop is based on your specific market, your target consumer and your business’s maturity – it’s unique.
With that said, there is a basic outline you can follow, whether you’re just starting a coffee shop or you’re a few years in and wanting to fine-tune your marketing.
Establish marketing goals
The foundation of your coffee shop marketing plan is your marketing goals. Marketing goals are the specific objectives that you want your marketing efforts to accomplish.
How should you determine your marketing goals? Your goals should support the long-term business objectives established in your business plan. Maybe that’s total coffee sales, the amount of coffee sold or an incremental increase in foot traffic.
Once you have listed out the specific marketing goals for your coffee shop, it should be easy to identify the key marketing efforts and promotional campaigns to help you meet them.
Analyse your customer
You can come up with compelling marketing goals and create supportive promotional campaigns, but these won’t be effective unless you target the right audience (your target market).
Understanding your customers and knowing why they want or need your product should influence all of your marketing efforts.
When you create a marketing plan for your coffee shop, segment your target market to identify different customer profiles. Then think about the best way to reach each of these audiences. Messaging resonates differently with each customer segment as well — some campaigns are more effective with certain segments than others — so think about how you might adapt your messaging for each customer profile.
Develop a calendar of activity
Creating a marketing calendar for your coffee shop is a great way to organise and prioritise your marketing strategy.
Brainstorm the various types of promotions and campaigns you want to execute for your coffee shop. These efforts should support the marketing goals you established and align with the maturity stage of your business. Before you open a coffee shop, you may consider a soft opening, online paid advertisements or social media marketing. Coffee shops that are more established may consider sending out monthly newsletters to subscribing customers or sponsoring local community events. You should also think about key dates in the national calendar and upcoming local events then decide how you can work those into your overall marketing strategy.
When you’re brainstorming different ways to market your coffee shop, be sure to include the various marketing channels you’ll use. Creating an Instagram account for your coffee shop is a great way to promote new products or announce deals going on in store. You may also implement email marketing efforts to send out exclusive offers or incentives to bring customers into your shop. There are various channels to think about that resonate with a specific audience, so consider your customer demographic before committing to a channel.
After you have your ideas developed, craft a simple marketing calendar using a spreadsheet and list out the marketing initiatives and campaigns you want to complete each month. Your marketing calendar should be a working document that you are constantly reassessing and improving. You can use customer analytics to evaluate coffee trends and create additional marketing campaigns that better target your audience.
Retain recurring customers
Many new business owners focus on finding new customers. But when you create a marketing plan for your coffee shop, you also need to think about how to retain the customers that have already walked through your door.
Customer retention both saves you money and can make you more money. In fact, acquiring a new customer costs your business five times more than keeping a current one. And according to research by Bain & Company in the US, increasing customer retention rates by 5 percent can increase profits by anywhere from 25 to 95 percent.
To improve customer retention and establish brand loyalty, you need to stay connected with the people who frequent your coffee shop. Customer engagement software enables you to increase customer satisfaction and retention with the following features:
- Email marketing – Email marketing allows you to make an announcement, share an upcoming event, or reward your customers with vouchers and other incentives. Targeted email campaigns like these allow you to send custom emails to a specific audience.
- Customer feedback – Give your customers a private channel to respond to their service while visiting your coffee shop so you can build deeper relationships with your regulars. Allowing customers to leave feedback directly through digital receipts enables you to see how your coffee shop is doing in real time and helps you better understand what can be improved and what is working. And if you do receive negative feedback, the ability to quickly send refunds or vouchers privately by way of apology can work wonders and prevent news spreading via a public forum.
- Customer loyalty programme With Square Loyalty, you can now incentivise your customers with free drinks and treats so they return and buy your products. Build your customer loyalty programme straight from your point of sale or Square Online store.
Effective, intuitive point of sale software
Follow the above and you’ve all the makings of a great marketing plan. But it’s also important to ensure you have a great point of sale system in place. The best cafe POS software is as easy to set up as it is to use through the working week. The ability to drag and drop items and categories, create simple, printable tickets for your baristas and customers and manage and improve your team’s workflow are essentials when choosing a POS for your coffee shop.
With Square Stand you can turn your iPad into the ultimate POS system It even comes with a Square Reader that allows you to manage card and contactless payments in-store. Quick to set up and easy to use, you can be serving coffee shop customers in no time.
Revisit and reinvent
After you have created a marketing plan for your coffee shop, it’s important to remain flexible. Consumer trends change and new opportunities surface as you manage your coffee shop.
It’s important to continuously revisit your marketing plan to make sure you are on track to meet your goals. Look at your campaigns and promotions to reinvent stale ideas that might not be benefiting your shop — you always want to look for ways to improve your strategy and elevate your business.