Having just flipped the final page of another year spent working on behalf of fresh, our minds—like many of yours—turn towards the impending new chapter in our journey. What would we like to change this next year? What are we most proud of, and what ideas, goals, and aspirations most fuel our creative fires going into this fresh new decade? (And—fresh produce marketers, this one’s for you—how can we best plan ahead to ensure an incredible, low-stress Fresh Summit 2020 in Dallas?)
If we embrace the concept that “the beginning is the most important part of the work” (wise words courtesy of the OG philosopher Plato), it’s clear that the first quarter of the new year will be critical for determining the direction—and success—of your brand’s marketing in 2020. Whether you are looking to extend your brand’s present effective approach or you’ve decided it’s time to shake things up and take a leap into uncharted territory, here are some helpful resources to guide you along the way:
Planning and Strategy
As is extolled by every sport coach and English teacher in all four corners of the world (seriously, we checked!), it’s hard to deny that where you “fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.” If any industry is indicative of the truth of this adage, it’s marketing! From the logistics of launching promotions and email marketing...aaand also website, blog, social media, PR, creative design, copywriting, tradeshow prep, and more—plus approval processes—planning is essential.
- Fresh Produce Marketing Trends & Predictions—2020 and Beyond
- Statistics That Will Help Improve Your Marketing Strategy
- 5 Game-Changing Marketing Technology Solutions Worth the Investment
- Commodity, Trade Name, or Brand: What's it Going to Be?
- Creating a Marketing Plan? Here’s Where to Start
Writing: Returning to Our Roots
If there is one marketing truth that will stand the tests of time, change, taxes, and technology (and even your mother-in-law’s opinion), it is that content is (still) king. At the end of the day, successful marketing messaging relies on 1.) knowing and connecting to your target audiences, and 2.) telling a kick-ass brand story that centers the experience, needs, and desires of your readers and viewers. Both of these require an elevated level of communication. Here are some good places to start if you’re looking to sharpen your skills:
- 4 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer
- Editing Tips Marketers Should Borrow From Literary Greats
- 6 Tips for Writing Copy that Sells
- Common Copywriting Mistakes Marketers Make: Punctuation Edition
- Common Copywriting Mistakes Marketers Make, Part 2: Grammar Goofs
Crafting Effective Brand Stories
Across backgrounds, country of origin, language, age, and even cultural values, there is one constant of the human experience that unites us: we all love a good story. Throughout history, stories have had the power to generate empathy, build alliances, bring communities together, teach us about our roots and help form our worldviews…*and,* when marketers successfully demonstrate how their products fit into people’s own narratives, stories have the power to sell products, too.
- The Art of Data: Use Stories to Inspire Action
- Marketers, Are You Crafting A Story Worth Telling?
- How “The Hero’s Journey” (and Harry Potter) Can Help Shape Your Brand Story
- 4 Ways to Master the Art of Storytelling
- How Digital Storytelling Supports B2B Relationships
Up Your Google Game with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
On that note, a word of advice: no matter how great your story is, and no matter how eloquent the narrative, it won’t have an impact if no one ever reads it. Here are some of our best tips for how to “get found” on Google:
- 6 Simple SEO Tips for Marketers
- 3 SEO Best Practices You’re Missing
- How to Perform Basic Keyword Research and Search Engine Optimization
- The Importance of Metadata
A Website (and Blog) Worth Their While
Once people do happen fortuitously on your website, they need a reason to kick back and stay a while—and then hopefully, to return for more. Freshen up your digital footprint starting with these tips:
- 5 Reasons You Need a Blog (As Depicted by Golden-Age Musicals)
- Tips to “Spring-Clean” Your Website
- 5 Ideas for Attracting More Blog Subscribers
- 3 Tips for Improving Your Blog
- You Might Need a New Website If…
Email Marketing That Works
In this golden age of FaceTime and FaceTune (and seemingly as many Kardashians as there are emojis), it’s true that email is not our primary means of communication. However, the medium undeniably remains an effective marketing tool. Click below for a recap of the current state of email, as well as some tips for incorporating it into your strategy:
- A Fresh Look at Email Marketing
- How to Get Started with Email Campaigns
- 5 Pro-Tips to Improve Your Trade Newsletters
- How to Personalize Automated Response Emails
- How to Write Killer Email Subject Lines
Social Media That Starts Conversations
There is significantly less debate, on the other hand, about whether or not social media is going the way of the Atari (meaning actually “a-way,” not just to that sad far corner of the nearest pawn shop). We’re (virtually) all on social media, but familiarity doesn’t make it any smarter for marketers to “go live” on a whim on Instagram without some solid strategy to stand on!
- Social Media Plan or Budget: Which Comes First?
- Impressions vs. Engagement: Which is More Important?
- How to Measure Your Success on Social Media
- How Social and PR Teams Can Work Together
Visual Content: Photography and Videography for Fresh
As much as it is necessary for your marketing efforts to sound good, it’s important that they look good too—because let’s face it, despite the conventional wisdom...we all still tend to judge the (e)book by its cover. Here’s more on how not to let your marketing schtick look like it “got beat by the ugly stick,” as everyone’s grandpa might say (if he ever got off dial-up and found internet fast enough to load images, anyway).
- The Future of Food Photography
- The Compelling Reason You Need to Invest in Video Content for 2020
- The Telltale Signs You Need a Visual Content Upgrade
- 5 Videography Tips for Produce Marketers
- The Power of Imperfect Produce Photography
Public Relations That Protects and Promotes
Ah, PR. That valuable, necessary team tasked with conjuring up trade and consumer buzz, saving brands’ reputations when a sudden food safety recall rears its ugly prokaryotic noggin, and prepping all our C-suites for stellar interviews. We asked some fresh-focused public relations professionals what they wish all produce marketers knew about PR, and here are some of their answers:
- The Dos and Don’ts of Pitching Consumer Media
- 5 Tips for Setting Public Relations Goals
- How to Position Your Brand as a Resource to Media Outlets
- Is Your Product Pitch-Worthy?
Career/Fresh Produce Industry
All the above being said, there’s one last ingredient for wildly effective marketing, both in the new year and beyond. The “secret sauce” for success in every category listed above lies within the most valuable resource of every fresh produce company: the people you choose to execute the work on behalf of your brand.
- 10 Tips for Growing Fresh Produce Talent
- How to Host a Successful Internship
- Fresh Produce 101: Getting Started in the Fresh Produce Industry
- Don’t Hire Donkeys—Seek Out the Thoroughbreds Instead!
As motivation for the new year, we’d like to leave you with this final (paraphrased) thought, a lovely bit of inspiration courtesy of author/producer/journalist—and just all-around phenom—Germany Kent:
“Never underestimate the power you have to take your [brand] in a new direction.”
Fresh produce marketers, no matter where you’re looking to take your brand in 2020, we wish you growth, vision, excitement, success, and fulfillment. And, as always, if you’re ever in need of a little support with your marketing, reach out to us—we’ve got your back, and we remain ever grateful to be on this journey together.