In a previous post, we explored the growing [importance of sales copy] to the foodservice equipment and supplies industry, as well as [how to effectively list your products online as a manufacturer]. The next step is to make sure your copy is as effective as it can be. To learn more about what makes for compelling marketing copy, we reached out to our industry partner, CFI Marketing, who agreed to share more about their insights as a marketing agency that specializes in the foodservice equipment and supplies industry.
AQ: What are the key factors a manufacturer should consider when creating marketing descriptions for their products?
CFI: Marketing descriptions can vary from short, splashy sentences designed to grab the reader's interest to longer, more detailed bulleted lists. However, there are three main areas of consideration to always keep in mind:
- Strive for consistency and clarity across the board, both within groups (like cookware or refrigeration) and then products within those groups. This is especially important in cases where there may be finer points that apply to certain items in a group but not all of them.
- Remember that sales copy is a balance between educating and informing buyers while keeping your words clear, concise, and easy to understand. It should not read the same as the information you get from a spec sheet. When sales information is run through a translator, it also needs another “once over” to make sure there aren’t confusing parts that will turn off the end-user.
- Most importantly, you need to know and then address the concerns and needs of your audience. If an item is geared towards healthcare operators, what challenges do they face? Be sure to always include selling points that solve those problems.
AQ: How often should marketing descriptions be updated?
CFI: While every firm does it differently, we typically see manufacturers update their product descriptions about once a year. However, for less complex products, there is no harm in waiting longer, as long as your descriptions accurately describe the product differentiators and tell a story that is relevant to buyers. Of course, descriptions will need to be updated when the product changes in a meaningful way, or when its positioning in the market shifts.
AQ: Not all firms have marketing teams to do this. How should a manufacturer decide between creating and maintaining copy in-house vs. outsourcing?
CFI: Ensuring the quality of your sales copy is top priority, and you need to determine if your team is prepared to take on this challenge in-house or if outsourcing it makes more sense. Crafting effective marketing descriptions requires a copywriter with dedicated time and resources. If you already have this position and the resources in place, an in-house approach will be your most efficient option.
However, some marketing departments are not big enough to fulfill this need, so outsourcing is the best option to save on time and money. When choosing an outside source, think about using a company that specializes in your industry. The unique perspective brought to the table with industry expertise and insight is an invaluable bonus worth your investment.
AQ: Thank you for that helpful insight! As AQ’s preferred partner, if a manufacturer decides to use your services for their marketing descriptions, what does that look like for everyone involved?
First, the goal of our partnership is to use our tools and expertise to streamline the process for manufacturers. We can take existing long-form sales copy, whether it comes from spec sheets or a website, and edit it down to fit into the AQ API framework for use as online marketing copy.
We’ll also make sure to retain their brand voice, and work with them to make each step as easy as possible.
Of course, if the scope of a project is larger than just cleaning up existing copy for the AQ API, we can also work with them to fit unique needs into their plan—like cleaning up translated copy into something more forward-facing, or creating sell sheets to introduce new products along with the new marketing descriptions. It can be as simple or as complex as they need to ensure that their marketing and sales information is where it needs to be.
Our partnership with AQ saves time for manufacturers since we can coordinate with AQ on their behalf and ensure that the most up-to-date and current information is passed on to the AQ database.
To help enhance listings on eCommerce sites, AQ is now collecting marketing descriptions that will be available via the Products API. Contact us at marketing@AQ-FES.com or reach out to your AQ content manager to submit your descriptions today.
Don’t have sales copy for your products, or do you need help maintaining it? CFI Marketing, a full-service marketing agency catering exclusively to the foodservice E&S industry, can help. Contact Sarah Scaggs at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
AQ and CFI are collaborating on a series of blogs to combine our unique industry knowledge and experience.
David Demres, Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Development - AQ
Sarah Scaggs, Vice President - CFI Marketing