As a marketer and businessperson, you seek to create great advertising and social media campaigns that your customers and prospects will eat up like cake, resulting in leads and ultimately, purchases.  If you want better results, take some tips from an industry that you might not expect: Bakeries!  I know this sounds strange but as a former baker, I can tell you, there are many similarities between creating a great bakery and great marketing campaigns.

In Bakeries and Marketing, Reputation is Everything

Trust ratings Just like a bakery, your business derives its best leads and customers from word of mouth.  Most of the time, it is your current customers that tell others how great you are or what a great job you did for them.  When looking for a wedding cake, would you visit the bakery that made the cake for your friend’s wedding that s/he talks about to this day?  Sure you would! 

So how do you cultivate and communicate your reputation?  Depending on your business type, you could use services like Trust Pilot, Bazaarvoice or TurnTo. Prominent display of testimonials on your website is another way of communicating your reputation. 

Sometimes you will get negative feedback.  Don’t be upset, this is your best way to enhance your reputation!  Make sure you listen to your customer, acknowledge their criticism and do whatever it takes to come to an amicable agreement.  You may not get a repeat purchase but if handled correctly, you may earn the respect of a dissatisfied customer, which is valuable beyond measure!

Listen to the Customer!

Customer VoiceDoes this even need to be said? Yes, it does!  Your customers are your best source of information.  Bakers listen carefully as customers bite into a cupcake or cookie. They watch the faces of delight or disgust and alter the recipes to suit their clientele and so should you.

Listen to your customer on Social Media, through their testimonials and most importantly, listen to what they DON’T say! If no one is talking about your great prices and this is something you think you have, chances are, the prices are not as good as you think.

Begin with a Recipe

Recipe for successBakers use tested recipes because they create a consistent product each time they bake.  Furthermore, extensive testing of new recipes is performed so that there are no surprises when the goods come out of the oven during the production run. 

Like a baker’s recipe, your advertising & marketing programs need to begin with a basic recipe so you establish a benchmark of success.  Experimenting with the campaign ingredients, platforms and timings may not deliver the expected results first time out so proceed with a plan and have realistic expectations. 

Keep Good Notes

Note takingWithout keeping good notes, the baker’s experimental recipe successes may be lost! Over time, taking basic recipes and adjusting them to fit customer’s desires creates a repeatable result that sells well. Only if the baker takes good notes and refers back to them will they be able to minimize the time necessary to get to the ‘perfect product’ and then re-create it at will.

The same is true with marketing & advertising! Your basic ingredients are item, price, image and text.  How you combine them and in what proportions makes a huge difference in the result.  Each customer group will have their own tastes and respond differently to your ‘recipe’.  Your job is to maximize those customer results. In addition to documenting success, you will retain a record of what not to do, which may be more important in the end, saving you time and resources.

Add Variety

Variety is LifeA good bakery makes more than just cake or cookies. Customers have a wide range of wants even within a tightly defined niche. 

From a marketing perspective, there are hundreds of ways to add variety to your mix.  Perhaps Facebook marketing has been successful for your business. If so, you may want to try Instagram or Pinterest. Quora is becoming a platform for B2B companies to share insights and expertise in a way that customers find engaging and empowering. As you discover new outlets for your message or new places where your customers spend time, try adding them into your marketing mix to see how they perform (using your notes and recipes of course!).

Don’t be Afraid to Experiment!

Advertising experimentExperimentation is the vehicle that can bring you wild success.  Using new elements and combinations of elements in your marketing campaigns may make the difference between going viral or hitting the delete key. 

What might happen if you included video in an email campaign?  Might you be able to use humor in an advertisement for a traditionally ‘dry’ product?  Can you include the customer in a campaign by asking for user generated content?  Remember, the first baker to put frosting on a muffin invented the cupcake – and look at how that turned out!


Taking a structured approach to marketing and advertising and remembering the six basics that bakers know will help you get better results from your campaigns.  Following these steps won’t guarantee you will be successful, however your chances will rise exponentially. 

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