A few months ago, I got an Innovation Support Grant (ISG) from the Food and Drink iNet. The purpose of the grant was to help me improve my marketing and PR. Here are some things we did with the ISG grant:
- we engaged a web designer to develop our website www.ricomexicankitchen.co.uk (with sections still under construction, but almost there);
- we improved our packaging and included suggestions on how to use the products we make;
- we worked with a PR agency to hopefully help us get some editorial coverage in magazines and newspapers...and yes, we were in the Editor’s feature section of my favourite magazine, BBC Olive.
This is a small mention but I hope we can build from here.
The best thing about this grant was its emphasis on working with experts so we learned the tools required so we could sustain the work they had funded. And yes, I learned lots about copywriting for the website and packaging. I also learned that if you want to be in magazines, this is a labour of love and perseverance: you need to contact each magazine, phone the right person, agree to send them samples, then the samples get lost, you follow up, and start again.
Imagine what I felt when I opened the magazine in the shop... and yes, there it was, the article “Olé for Mole” feature and a photo of our Mole (pronounced Moleh, a wonderfully rich Mexican cooking sauce). I got on the train and I wanted to show everyone the feature, but I resisted the temptation.
Now we are going to appear in some glossy magazines, the question is: How can we turn these articles into real, tangible outcomes, e.g. sales?
Well, as it happened, I was visiting our newest stockist, Partridges of Sloane Square in London. He said he would stock salsas, but not the Mole sauce because people wouldn’t know what to do with it. I showed him the Olive magazine and he suggested I laminate it and place the article by the chiller. Perfect. However, I won’t be able to do this everywhere, so the question comes again, how do we use these articles and turn them into sales?
Do you have any suggestions for Marcela? Add them to the comments section below.
You can find out more about Marcela on the interactive business website www.inafishbowl.com