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Food trucks and healthcare marketing

SVP, Sales & Client Services

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Food trucks have become a big time culinary trend. Although the idea itself is not new, food trucks have exploded in popularity within the past year. Many attribute its’ success to the slow-growing economy. Due to the lower capital costs and decreased risk, this craze is attracting many chefs to jump on board the food truck “bandwagon”.

Though food trucks appear to be the small fish in a big pond of restaurants, they are thriving! With a lean onsite team, limited menu and next to no marketing how is this even possible? And, more importantly for us at Digital Rx, what can marketers learn from the food truck phenomenon?

Lesson #1: Research goes a long way

In the food truck world, success is largely driven by differentiation and a quality product. The same is true for marketers. The quality of the product can ensure repeat business but it’s the ability to set them apart from the competition that will draw new customers in. Knowing what your competitors offer and how you measure up is half the battle. Hence, research and data must always be top of mind. Understanding the evolving needs and desires of your target market in combination with the knowledge of what your competitors do not provide is critical to success.

Lesson #2: When the going gets tough, keep on truckin’

Another contributing factor to food truck success is location! Prime locations can be identified where large groups of underserved, hungry individuals congregate. Sometimes one single area can provide enough business to last an entire day. Most of the time, this is not the case. But when business is scarce, drivers don’t just stick around to weather the storm. They pack up and move on in search of new customers! With the robust analytical tools that exist in this technological age, marketers should think in the same way. When one channel of your marketing campaign is not performing – re-evaluate, reset and re-invest in the areas that are doing well. Get the maximum return on your investment.

For digital marketing this can mean moving location (a different site address) but more often means moving the location of the “good stuff” on your website. Try moving your calls to action to a different location on the home page, try making your secondary offers more or less visible, try changing copy or images.

And then test. All changes should be conducted one at a time and, if possible, use A/B testing to determine the winner. This constant “movement” will allow you to optimize your digital return.

Lesson #3: Keep it simple

Food truck menus are limited, which allows them to be flexible at lower risk. When you walk up to a taco truck, it’s likely that you are going to get a taco. The same goes for the doughnut truck, ice cream truck, poutine truck, and so on and so forth. They keep it simple! Sometimes, as a marketer, you have so much information to share that you overload your audience. Instead of doing what you wanted them to do; they end up getting confused and do nothing at all. Don’t overcomplicate things! Determine what your highest value call-to-action is and stick with it. Provide your audience with one specific path to follow.

Strive to be the industry standard that customers will constantly crave!

Image by: Frances L Fruit / Shutterstock.com

More About the Author

Alec Melkonian

Alec entered digital marketing in 1996. One of the boldest engagements he worked on was one of the first monster eCommerce sites, launched in 1998 and highlighted in Cisco's annual report that year and has rebranded a major bank. He has worked on brands such as MSN, Nike, Starbucks, and BMW.

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