Chef Using an IpadIf you find navigating through the sea of online marketing tools daunting, you’re not alone. Even after working in marketing for ten years, I still struggle to keep up as new platforms are added and existing platforms change.

Some “marketing experts” believe the key to generating more sales is promoting through social media. But growing an audience on Facebook and Twitter can gobble up time, with no guarantee that it’ll actually bring in new customers.

If you’re interested in supplying local products to restaurants and institutions, social media is not the answer. I learned, while working with chefs and kitchen managers at Aramark, that they aren’t looking on Facebook when they need to order their spring greens for next week’s dinner service. They want to scan available inventories quickly and order with the confidence that the greens will arrive on time and in the quantity they ordered.

Local Orbit provides a set of integrated online marketing tools designed for the way restaurants and institutions order, while making it easy for a Market Manager to quickly update and send a notification in just a few clicks.

Marketing DropdownOver the next few weeks, we’ll dig deeper into understanding how these tools can help you communicate more effectively and increase sales. Each tool gives you the flexibility to customize a message that best fits your market, while saving you time to focus on developing stronger direct relationships with your customers.

  • Fresh Sheets: These are the most valuable form of communications a chef or kitchen manager could hope to receive from you. Typically sent weekly by the Market Manager, the Fresh Sheet provides a list of products with available quantities. The chef can quickly review the email and then enter your Local Orbit powered market to place the order.
  • Discount Codes: Often used as a way to move inventory quickly, discount codes are also an excellent tool for rewarding loyal customers or tracking the effectiveness of a particular marketing campaign.
  • Newsletters: Sending a monthly newsletter is a great way to keep your customers informed of the latest news and information about your business. Market Managers can use the newsletter tool to promote upcoming events, note market updates or simply share what’s in season.
  • Featured Promotions: A Featured Promotion is the best way to spotlight a particular seller or promote a particularly delicious product directly on the shop page. Highlight your featured items at the top of the page, so your buyers are sure to notice the product right away.  It’s also a great way to highlight seasonal products that are in abundance and need to move quickly to maintain their freshness.

I’m curious: do you use any other integrated marketing services or suites of tools to promote your business?

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