I have recently started selling cake but I have yet to find the right market that want to /can afford to pay my prices. I love in a small town (pop 3000) with a larger town 20 mins away (pop 50,000) and a few small towns about 40 mins away. I get a lot of enquires but these don't translate into a lot of bookings. There is only one other decorator I know of selling cakes from a registered kitchen like myself.
I saw today in my regional paper that serves our whole district that the paper is having their 150th birthday celebration in November. I mentioned to my husband that this could be a good way to get my name out there to the market that I want to get. I thought about calling the paper and offering to make them a pretty awesome cake for their celebration in return for advertising or a photo of the cake with my name/business in their paper. They have a wedding feature coming out in October or November (our summer in NZ is Dec to Feb so that is when our wedding season is) so I thought I could use some free advertising for that.
I have no idea whether they would take me up on my offer or not but I don't want to offer if it isn't going to get me business. Advertising in the wedding feature is expensive so I am not sure if I want to pay for that until I know the business generated by it.
I placed an advert in my small local paper, which they accompanied by an article about my cakes which brought in no business at all. So I am a little wary of the returns.
What are your thoughts? Is this something that would bring me work or am I going to waste time and money by offering to make the newspaper a cake?
Do the customers in your target demographic still read newspapers?
I think some of them would but maybe more online. What i really need is to get people to see one of my cakes and go "that's cool", then the next time they want a cake, they remember that cake and then search online.
What my main issue is, is that I don't know how to get to my targeted market in the first place.
It doesn't sound like a bad idea, but I would only consider it if the newspaper has a strong Facebook presence and agrees to feature it there and in the paper.
I have never had any luck with print ads; people just don't seem to read the paper any more. If you're looking for wedding business, I would highly recommend a bridal show. They seem expensive, but usually if you book 1-2 cakes, you've made your money back. And it's great exposure.
It sounds like a wonderful idea, but very rarely works. Unless the cake is just WOW!!! and someone needs a cake within a week, it won't really translate to business. Otherwise, months later someone may say..."there was this awesome cake...but I don't remember who made it."
Most of my business came from word of mouth. I was really lucky to get a bride who had lots of friends getting married. In one year, I did 6 other weddings based on her friends.
My best suggestion is Facebook & online. If you are the only other legal bakery, your site should be on the front page of google search.
It also helps to get some reviews which are also searchable. I like wedding wire. It's free & pops up whenever I google.
That sounds good in theory, but that kind of thing rarely brings in any business. Depending on whether you want to do wedding cakes or not, a good way to get business referrals is to meet with local venues and wedding coordinators who have good reputations. Thet're the top of the referral chain when people start booking vendors, so referrals from them (especially venues) will get more business moving in your direction than a story in the paper.
Newspaper has a demographic of about 55 and above, a segment that is usually not considered because they have specific needs and buying habits based on their age.
One time will completely waste your money. Newspaper, radio, and Tv work off of repetition. They only work correctly if you start a campaign and never quit. But still you will be reaching a market that is not the best.
I owned a marketing company for years and have extensive background with these forms of media.
Thank you for your advice. From the sounds of what you have said, it will not bring in any more business for me so I will leave offering the cake. I will do some more research into getting my name out there.