In Edible-Alpha® podcast #103, Sarah sits down with Noah Munro, MBA, founder of Taste Profit, a digital marketing and e-commerce consulting firm that supports sustainable farms and specialty food brands. They discuss the importance of crafting a marketing strategy that syncs with the overall business plan, as well as key suggestions, cautions, and benchmarks for growth.
After founding an artisan fudge company and then earning his MBA, Noah launched Taste Profit to help food and farm entrepreneurs grow their enterprises. The firm offers specialists in e-commerce, SEO, food photography, blogging, PR, direct advertising, and other aspects of digital marketing to meet each client’s needs. Noah is also part owner of sister company Kitchen Table Consultants, which assists entrepreneurs with financial management and business planning (featured in Edible-Alpha® podcast #62).
When thinking about marketing, Noah stresses strategy, as opposed to running random Facebook ads, as many young businesses do. He says a marketing strategy should be informed by business strategy, which should be informed by personal strategy. Thus, entrepreneurs should first figure out their vision for the company, margins, sales goals, and exactly what they want to market.
Also, what is their marketing budget? Noah says each case is unique but offers some guidelines for budgeting as a percentage of sales. These percentages are often bigger than entrepreneurs expect—and yes, they’ll eat into profits early on—but marketing spend is crucial for growth.
Next, Noah walks through Taste Profit’s framework for helping clients with marketing, which centers on the acronym SPEMA: S for strategy, P for planning, E for execution, M for measurement, and A for adjustment. Listen to the full podcast to get his detailed breakdown of each step.
Sarah notes that many new entrepreneurs are intimidated by marketing and don’t know where to start. She and Noah discuss how farmers markets and other direct-selling events can provide invaluable market research in the early stages. Food and farm entrepreneurs can even test out different marketing strategies to see what works and what doesn’t.
But no matter what stage a business is at, Noah suggests having a “marketing scoreboard,” a simple spreadsheet that tracks the number of strangers (total web traffic, number of farmers market attendees who don’t stop by, etc.), friends (email subscribers, social media fans, etc.) and customers (number of orders, average order size, etc.). Marketing’s goal is to funnel people from strangers to friends (aka audience) to customers to loyal fans.
After talking nuts and bolts, Noah outlines his own fudge business’s marketing journey, complete with missteps, lessons learned, and triumphs. Then he discusses common mistakes food and farm entrepreneurs make, such as overfocusing on sales at the expense of profitability and gross margin.
Finally, Sarah roleplays an entrepreneur seeking marketing help from Noah. He asks her crucial questions about her business and goals, and together they work through the SPEMA framework.
This podcast offers even more actionable insights to get entrepreneurs on the right track with marketing, so tune in today!