Foodservice product training messes with your marketing

I’ve written a lot about the ever-tightening relationship between foodservice product training and marketing over the years.

So, I was stoked when I got to recently work on a significant product training project.  In fact, I’ve helped produce video-based training programs for three different companies over the last few months.

Training sales reps, brokers and distributors is the ultimate foodservice marketing reality test.  Participate in training down at a local level and you’ll quickly see how those marketing messages you diligently worked on get translated (or not) for use with customers

Gone are the clichéd market research studies.  Over-used buzzwords.  And glossy photos.

Foodservice product training=bare essentials

Most training I see strips products down to the bare essentials to answer tough questions buyers will ultimately ask.  This happens because of one simple fact.

Restaurant owners and other operators often measure the likelihood of buying a brand by the knowledge and relationship they have with the rep who is recommending the product.  Credibility is built by answering questions like how are other customers using the product (and who are they), why does it cost more and show me the yield difference between your brand and competitor X.

Customers are a lot smarter thanks to the unending sources of information these days.  So marketing that only consists of pretty pictures, five-word taglines and a few feature-and-benefit bullet points no longer cuts it.

Of course, marketing isn’t meant to be the ultimate FAQ vehicle.  But influencing customers is now more about education than offering up an aspirational look and feel.

Consider re-prioritizing core marketing strategies around expected customer questions.  You just might speed up brand awareness — and the sales cycle.