It's very easy to lose money in the healthy vending machine business if you don't know what you are doing. It's ten times as easy to lose money if you don't know how to market and sell your product properly. I wrote this blog to help you make money instead of lose it.
Healthy Vending Machine Marketing Tip #1: Market To The Right Customers
What's interesting about the healthy vending machine business (Think businesses like Farmer's Fridge in Chicago or Milwaukee) is that you will spend 99% of your time marketing your product to property managers instead of consumers. This may seem counter-intuitive at first, but you need to make sure you know how to build relationships with property owners or property managers that can get your product in front of the right customers.
Years ago when I did property management in the Fortune 500 space, I worked with vending machine business owners. Other than responding to customer complaints about the machines eating their money, he spent a good amount of time with me to make sure we continually saw the value he was adding to our commercial venture.
Don't worry, we'll cover a cool way to market to consumers later in the blog.
Healthy Vending Machine Marketing Tip #2: Location! Location! Location!
Before you start networking with property owners and managers, you need to make sure you know where your customers are.
As awesome as it sounds to have access to healthy food in place of the poison that's in most vending machines, the majority of the world still wants a Pepsi with their Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Make sure you market to properties that have patrons who would actually prefer to buy healthy food.
This is especially important when you consider that your offer comes with a premium price. Placing your organic salad machine at the laundromat next to the porn shop in the seedy part of town is probably going to guarantee that you don't meet your sales numbers.
Healthy Vending Machine Marketing Tip #3: Don't Ignore Social Media (to include having an awesome website)
Why? Simple. Your clients live there.
Building a strong following on social media shows your clients that you are an authoritative brand. If you can show them that you have a large, engaged following, they will be more likely to believe that you can drive sales with your healthy vending machines. My team and I help clients all over the world build massive engaged followings for this exact reason.
Further, social media is a great place to network with potential property owners and managers. This is especially true on LinkedIn where potential clients actually expect you to reach out to them with business opportunities.
Last, don't neglect your website. Showing that you have a professional website will put you ahead of 99% of your competition who don't care to put in this extra work. Will it cost you a few bucks. Yep. But it will pay you ten times the cost on the back end if you use it properly.
Want Me To Help You Build A Huge Engaged Following on Social Media and an Awesome Website?
Check out my Social Media Master University (SMMU) for DIY Coaching
Healthy Vending Machine Marketing Tip #4: Have An Awesome Product
I know you think this should go without saying. But I've coached thousands of entrepreneurs who don't get this. They think jazzy marketing will sell their crap product. It won't. You can polish a turd, but don't expect to sell it to anyone.
Healthy Vending Machine Marketing Tip #5: Proximity Marketing - A Healthy Vending Business Owner's Secret Weapon
In case you're not aware, many tech companies have developed small beacons that send out marketing messages to potential customers within range. This could be a game-changer for a healthy vending machine business owner as it can help you drive awareness and sales to your machines daily.
One of my marketing clients, Foresight Augmented Reality (click here), provides this exact product. Not only can it help you reach consumers, but it also provides support to the blind and visually impaired people in your community. So not only would you attract customers, you'd be helping your property owner get new business and helping the visually impaired better navigate their surroundings.
In the interest of full disclosure, I don't earn a dime directly if you buy one of these beacons from FAR. However, I do indirectly benefit as my company handles their digital marketing.