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Thread: Marketing Advice

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    Marketing Advice

    I have started a cooking school & would really appreciate some advice on marketing. Obviously my target market is the local community & so I have looked at an ad in our local newspaper. On a small budget this is not cheap (R4 500 for 1/4 page). I decided on a quarter page for the launch and then smaller ads on a regular basis. My question is how do I capitalize on this? Any ideas what to include to get the most out of my first ad? My thoughts so far...
    sponsor a course for an unemployed person (& see them through the process of securing a job) thought the paper might discount the ad if I did this but no such luck.
    There is an exclusive Health Spa that I could piggy back with
    Do you think discounted courses initially would work or do you think this would just make me look cheap?
    Any idea how to target the affluent neighbourhood nearby - something out of the box, not just pamphlets.

    Sorry for all the questions, just could really use some creative input! I realize how important marketing is...my head is buzzing with ideas, just turning it into reality is a bit challenging.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Cooking demos at malls/supermarkets/whatever?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    School career days?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    I agree with Dave, do demos and try and cater for some or other event where you can show case your talents. Let people know what you have on offer. Cooking at an event you do not have to make a profit but you can make a big impact. There is always someone asking who made the food.

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    You say you could piggy back onto an exclusive Health spa... Is that only for the ad you mean? Or to actually do their meals?

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    Thanks for the advice & replies, keep them coming! I wouldn't really want to share space on the launch ad with the health spa. Maybe run a comp offering a free course & one of their treatments. The owner of the spa was keen for me to do the catering (@ no charge) for a function for her clients in return for exposure. They are the ideal target market - LSM 9 to 10. Initially I will focus on classes for domestic workers. I was also thinking of flyers with a small edible freebie handed out by girls in chef's attire. Something I saw a school do overseas: http://www.guerrillapromos.com/2008/...guerrilla.html
    Don't know how I would get this past municipal laws? Maybe a bit too way out?!

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    I was also contemplating Groupon / similar social buying site. I wouldn't discount the whole course (4 modules), only the first class with no obligation to purchase the course. I would limit numbers to avoid problems. Anyone know the waiting period for Groupon?

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    Consider what Dave said 'School Career Days' some of this years matric class are potentially next years class.

    The mothers from the whole schools are this years short course pupils.

    And if you attend the school bazaars you could grow the potential base.
    "Nobody who has succeeded has not failed along the way"
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    That is the way to go, it is always good to offer a beginners course for free, creating interest to take further courses. Give a discount on the students who have completed the first course. You can then request your first batch of students to give you referrals, if the students enjoyed the course and learn t new skills they sure to enroll for a more advanced course.

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    Promoting a local business online

    Quote Originally Posted by YUM Culinary School View Post
    I have started a cooking school & would really appreciate some advice on marketing. Obviously my target market is the local community & so I have looked at an ad in our local newspaper. On a small budget this is not cheap (R4 500 for 1/4 page). I decided on a quarter page for the launch and then smaller ads on a regular basis. My question is how do I capitalize on this? Any ideas what to include to get the most out of my first ad? My thoughts so far...
    sponsor a course for an unemployed person (& see them through the process of securing a job) thought the paper might discount the ad if I did this but no such luck.
    There is an exclusive Health Spa that I could piggy back with
    Do you think discounted courses initially would work or do you think this would just make me look cheap?
    Any idea how to target the affluent neighbourhood nearby - something out of the box, not just pamphlets.

    Sorry for all the questions, just could really use some creative input! I realize how important marketing is...my head is buzzing with ideas, just turning it into reality is a bit challenging.
    The Internet is a good place to promote your business, even if you are only "local" Google Places is a good place to promote a local business. It also allows you to add your own discount coupons.

    Being Google, you will get a good ranking if someone searches your service in your area.

    Another place is Hot Frog

    This listings are free, and take little time to set up.
    Michael Vella
    Web Presence Solutions - www.solutionsweb.co.za

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