As soon as I hear about anything intriguing I go to Google.
As someone with interests that range from bicycle racing to finding the best falafel, it would be almost impossible to indulge them without the internet at my fingertips. I’m sure the same lets-go-to-the-web behavior is true for most of you.
Sometimes I find the hunt for a particular must-have item—such as a proper Italian exhaust for my Lambretta Series III Li150 scooter—to be part of the fun. But when I’m looking for where to buy a specific specialty food brand or product, say a great Stilton or a grilling sauce, I want to have it sooner rather than later. And just as with my scooter, I know that a substitute will not be as satisfying. So, I scour the web for great sites and helpful content to get me what I need.
My information quests are no different than those you in the specialty food business encounter daily. After our Specialty Food Magazine readers learn about a cool product or trend the next step is researching it on the web. (This is confirmed in our yearly readership survey where they say that whenever an advertisement piques interest, they go straight to the company’s website.)
The problem is that in the specialty food trade, effective website, you’ll find a dozen or more that, at best, are underselling the company’s products and at worst, turning customers away through a lack of information or difficult navigation. When I’ve asked these companies why there is a disconnect between the quality of their products and the quality of their online presence, the answers come down to one or all of three things: time, resources and money. The NASFT might just have the solution for you.
The Foodspring Network is an online specialty food marketing community developed by the NASFT to help you build your website and leverage the latest digital marketing tools while saving you time and money. Hundreds of design options allow you to represent your brands professionally, and you can leverage the Foodspring Network community to drive revenue and increase the number of customers—trade and consumer—that come to your site. If you’re one of the lucky companies that already has a first-rate site you can still connect it to the network to manage your e-newsletter, trade banner ads and develop cross-marketing partnerships.
I invite you to visit Foodspring Network to see if it is the right solution for your business. If it’s not, keep looking for the best answer for your company. The marketing power of the internet can be a great equalizer between the reach of both large and small companies—if you know how to draw in your consumers and they know how to find you.
Publisher, NASFT’s Specialty Food Magazine