Hard question to answer for 2015 foodservice planning

Every year about this time the predictions start flowing about next big foodservice trends.  No doubt you don’t want to miss a big culinary wave — especially if the trend is smack-dab in the middle of your product category.

But understanding new trends misses the bigger point as marketers, sales pros and trainers plan for 2015.

Regardless of any trend, what are you going to do that’s different in 2015?

That’s the hard question to answer.

The only trend you can rely on is that communicating about your new Codfish-Flavored Pancake Batter is going to be messy.  Operators, distributors, brokers and sales reps are more scattered than ever in terms of how they stay linked to their respective worlds.

So, is your plan still filled with traditional tactics of sell sheets, online ads, sales promotions, rebates and 20-page PowerPoint training decks that are dimming in value?  Or are you planning at least one major initiative to wrangle the wild and fractured communications channel?

  • Metrics. Have you really looked at open rates?  Feedback forms on sell sheets? Cost-per-lead?  Incremental business increase per promotion?  Nearly everybody claims they do this religiously yet very few tactical (let alone strategic) shifts are made from year-to-year.  How can that be possible in this age of turmoil?
  • SWOT. When is the last time you conducted a comprehensive SWOT analysis on your business?
  • Technology upgrade. Look back at your last three techie-related ventures — be it social media, mobile apps or interactive training. Are you still supporting them fully?  Or are they sitting alone and neglected?  What happened… and why?

So, what’s your answer to that hard question above?  I’d love to hear from you.

Considerations for November planning