How to Create a Solid Marketing Plan for Your CPG Business
There’s no understating the importance of a dynamite marketing plan when it comes to launching and growing a CPG brand.
As you well know, the consumer goods market is overly saturated. As a consumer, the convenience is excellent. But when you’re running a CPG, it can be a challenge to stand out in a crowded market.
A CPG marketing strategy is essential for success
A solid plan will help you be seen and be memorable, and establish yourself as a trusted brand for consumers.
Increasingly, marketing plays out primarily in an online space. But just because social media is easy and popular, you can’t forget to nail your offline strategy as well!
This blog will take you through creating a solid marketing plan for your CPG, so you can make your voice heard above the noise. There are two main segments: online, and offline.
Offline isn’t dead
Offline content refers to anything that isn't on the internet and is still vitaly important. Think print ads, in-store displays, events, tastings, press packs and magazine placements.
Yes, social media is convenient. But you can’t beat an in-person interaction to really solidify your brand in a consumer’s brain. Some great offline marketing efforts include:
Partner with your retailers to set up eye-catching displays in store. Think leaflets, wobblers, stands, and stickers to draw attention to your brand, announce new products, or share discount offers.
Don’t just give away free testers of your product –– make it a whole experience! You could host cooking classes, run food and beverage pairing events, or come up with an interactive game that consumers must play before they can get a sample.
Create a pop-up store
It doesn’t have to be anything too elaborate. Even a stall at a farmers’ market is a great way to spread the word about your brand and products.
Take time to chat with customers, talk to them about your brand, and show them why you’re worth spending money on.
We all love a good deal! Consider creating some discount coupons to help get new customers introduced to your brand.
You could share them via letterbox drop, or ask local shops and cafes if you can place a stack of coupons at their register for customers to pick up.
The importance of online marketing for your CPG
Sure, offline content is an essential part of marketing your CPG, but every brand absolutely needs to nail their online content.
While shopping used to be an in-person experience only, that’s definitely shifted in the past decade. As McKinsey & Company summed up in 2017, "Consumer packaged goods, which were once purchased almost exclusively in stores, have moved into the 'digital battleground.'"
Thanks to the pandemic, online spending increased 35 percent year over year in 2020. But that wasn’t just a passing fad –– consumers love the convenience of shopping remotely, so the trend is here to stay.
Disrupting the online market with your brand and products is the best way to gain new customers, remain top of mind, and in turn, boost your sales.
Creating a digital marketing campaign for your CPG
While social media is a big part of digital marketing, there are a lot of other elements to consider in your strategy.
Brands can no longer rely on passive banner ads or other static forms of communication. It’s all about engaging your customers, bringing them into the story of the brand, and reminding them that shopping is about experience as well as product.
Here are the main things to ensure you’ve got covered, to make your campaign really take off.
These are a great way to stay in touch with your customers. Even if they don’t open or read every single one, you’re keeping your brand top of mind –– which we know can directly result in sales.
You can use newsletters to:
- Keep customers informed about new product launches.
- Attract new customers into signing up.
- Share discount codes.
- Hold giveaways.
Just please, please don’t spam your customers. If you’re in their inbox every day, with poorly-written CTAs, they’re just going to get sick of you and unsubscribe.
Blogs, keyword marketing, and search-engine optimization (SEO) can do absolute wonders for promoting your brand –- but you have to be careful.
If you have a website for your company (which you definitely should), it’s worth adding a simple blog to your site. Here you can publish articles about your company and the industry you’re in.
By creating written content around hot keywords and topics that users are already searching for on Google, you have a shot at getting your brand in front of new eyes.
When you’re writing the content, though, remember that though you’re technically crafting it for an algorithm, it’s going to be read by real people. Avoid stuffing it with keywords and phrases to the point where it doesn't even make sense.
At the end of the day, your content is for your followers.
The bulk of your digital marketing plan will undoubtedly be centred around social media.
Before starting anything, you need to understand your audience.
Who are they, and where are they in the online world? Do they spend more time on Facebook, or do they sway toward Instagram or TikTok? Once you’ve got a good understanding of your target audience, and the kind of content they interact with, you can then begin working on a comprehensive social strategy.
Instagram and Facebook are definitely great places to start. Try not to reuse the same content on each platform though; they’re different online spaces and you should tailor your posts accordingly.
Here it’s all about being engaging and offering people something in return for following you. Maybe that’s educational content, maybe it’s access to pre-sales, or fun behind-the-scenes videos.
Here are some examples of CPGs who have nailed their Facebook presence.
This is definitely more of a visual-focused platform. It’s worth spending time creating beautiful, eye-catching images or videos. Using user generated content is also an excellent strategy for Instagram, and it’s worth experimenting with short-form video in your Stories and on Reels.
Want more in-depth info about boosting your IG presence? Here’s our essential starter pack for marketing your CPG on Instagram.
This can be a a hard one to master. If your audience is mainly Gen-Z and young millennials, then it’s definitely worth trying to build up your brand on the platform. The algorithm on TikTok is incredibly powerful, it rewards users who jump on trends and get creative with their content.
Accounts with less than 10 followers can get one million views on a video overnight, so it’s a good platform to experiment on! If you’re not overly familiar with TikTok, spend some time in-app, following creators within your brand’s niche, and checking out what your competitors are doing.
Soon enough you’ll get the hang of it, and be ready to start creating your own videos.
Without analyzing the performance of your marketing plan to date, you’re never going to be able to succeed.
Each day you need to be analyzing the reach of your social media posts, engagement from your newsletters, and the performance of any ad campaigns. You should monitor your share of brand voice, what users are saying about you on social media, and replying to any customer feedback in your inbox.
Furthermore, it’s important to always be checking up on relevant SEO keywords, so you can create and tailor new content when it’s needed. Create two-way discussions with your customers – in-store and online – to see what you can be doing better as a brand.
The only way to grow is to learn from past mistakes and be inspired by past successes. Once you've figured out what works best for you, and your customers, you'll be on your way to success!
Once you’ve started spreading the word about your company, you’re going to need a reliable distributor to partner with.
It’s essential to find a F&B distributor who aligns with your values and brand ethos. Buffalo Market leads the way in distribution of purpose-driven food and beverage brands. We work with small and big CPGs who are focused on products that are good for the planet.
We help our partners to sell their products at both mainstream and upstart retailers, as well as food service establishments.
Want to learn what it’d be like working together? Tell us about your brand and your requirements and we’ll be in touch.