Local marketing tip for opening a new cafe – generating $1000 in sales from a $10 investment

Local marketing can be both easy AND hard. Easy because you have a nice, geographically designed area to target. Hard because if you can’t find a way to influence or entice that market, you’re in some serious trouble.

I’m a big proponent of the free trial- giving your product away with the confidence that if it’s good, people will come back for more.

Nashi is a cafe franchise in Melbourne – great sandwiches by the way. They’re moving into a new location near a client of mine, and they’ve done two very smart things.

1. They identified larger businesses in the “zone” they’ll be opening in and delivered a box of free food – per floor – to each. (They didn’t have anything IN the box about the store opening, my recommendation would have been to do this too).

2. They’ve managed to get the company to put a $5 gift voucher offer out by the company to all staff members, which also communicates when they’re opening. I’ve included this in the image.

This isn’t a totally zero budget example, but the whole exercise would have likely been $1-$2000 in product to reach hundreds of prospective customers. And they’ve ensured that all their potential target market knows the type of food, when they’ll be opening, and what is in it for the customer to come in early ($5 voucher).

So let’s say it costs $10 to reach each potential customer. But this campaign will immediately pay for itself. And the beauty of a cafe is that it isn’t a single sale. A loyal customer will return several times a week, if not every day. The annual value of a sandwich and coffee purchase twice a week is around $1000 PER PERSON. The lifetime value is going to be somewhere between $2000-$10,000 per person.

Suddenly a few free muffins and a $5 voucher looks like a pretty cheap idea, doesn’t it?!

This promotion look a bit of legwork no doubt, but is a great example of a zero budget marketing promotional idea.