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Planning the plan for the plans

Welcome to issue #100, a phrase I never thought I'd write. Here are my bullet point updates/things I'
Coffee Marketing
Planning the plan for the plans
By Jenn Chen • Issue #100 • View online
Welcome to issue #100, a phrase I never thought I’d write. Here are my bullet point updates/things I’ve noted:
  • My city extended its sheltering in place to the end of May, which left me feeling really exhausted on Monday (announcement day).
  • I DMed (shot in the dark) my favorite local bakery to ask if they could make this pie for me for my birthday and they responded and said yes!
  • Finally was able to pick up the camera and shoot something after five weeks without.
  • I’m seeing some announcements of cafes reopening, so remember you can always book a free brainstorming session with me if you need a pair of fresh eyes on your communications.
Thanks for reading!

Featuring my own work & press
Featuring my own work & press
Planning the plan for the plans
There’s a weird partnership between perfectionism and marketing. You spend too much time thinking about how a campaign can go poorly and you miss an opportunity. But if you don’t think about enough, you might end up trending on Twitter in a bad way. How do you craft a plan that feels good but also stops you from becoming a nitpicking monster?
The best kind of plan here is to plan out the plan before all the plans. Say what? Yes, you need a plan for plans. I’ll break it down.
Let’s say you want to create a new drink and then advertise it. There are so many components to consider: ingredients, presentation, name, photos, timing of the announcement, etc. Maybe all these things are managed by one person or maybe they’re not. Have you ever broken this process down? Do you have a checklist, just like you would for closers, on everything to keep an eye on?
Some examples of what you might need to consider:
  • Is the drink name appropriate? (for example, let’s please stop saying, “dirty chai” and “chai tea.” Chai IS tea. You’re saying TEA TEA.)
  • Are you valuing the ingredients and drink if you took inspiration from another culture? The number of cafes who are just mixing in turmeric and matcha in everything and calling it some sort of exotic name…
  • Does the announcement day clash with a major holiday or event?
  • Could the slogan, name, photo be taken in any other interpretive way other than the one you intended? This is where having some checks in place with coworkers is very helpful.
  • Is it a pretty drink? Sorry, I have to add this in here. We live in a mobile phone photography world and you know the prettier the drink, the more it will be shared.
This is just a starting list of things to consider in a campaign launch and your plan for planning launches should consider all the types of launches (e.g. new location, menu change, new staff member) you do and what each one might entail. Brainstorming this way and reexamining the plans from time to time keeps you in check from making big mistakes. I would argue that this type of advanced planning frees you up to focus on the creative part of a launch. 
Even in the most dire times like the beginning of this pandemic when things changed by the hour, you still need to check things like spelling errors, updating your hours across all digital presences, and making sure customers are consistently updated. 
Today, I did a quick check of the Instagram profiles of the first 10 coffee companies that came into my feed. Of these 10, only two had a profile highlight with recent posts that talked about how they were operating. Some had a mention of a virtual tip jar. I couldn’t tell how most of them were doing: were they pickup only? Roasting any coffee? Donating anything? As a customer, I wouldn’t want to visit the cafe only to realize something major had changed (perhaps they’ve switched to ordering online for a pickup in person only). It’s frustrating to see that these small communication misses could be easily fixed.
If you’re planning on reopening or you have some extra time to plan, make a plan for the plans. 
Quick text updates & links on what's new on the networks
Quick text updates & links on what's new on the networks
Instagram added: Live videos can now be viewed on the web, even more stickers (gift card, ordering, fundraising, challenge) and some tips on how businesses can best use stories. It’s testing: a DM me sticker, profile sharing sticker, and an option to simultaneously Live cast on both Instagram & Facebook (thank goodness).
Facebook added: a number of new video tools, new location transparency on posts, and a new care reaction. It’s testing: letting Pages charge for access to events with Live videos. It originally had wanted to make ad campaign budget optimization automated and mandatory, but it has reversed its decision on this.
Twitter is testing a way to display retweet data to include those with comments. It published data on how content has performed during the pandemic.
Google announced free Shopping listings and has made Meet (video conferencing) free to everyone with a Google account.
Helpful links on how to improve your digital marketing
Helpful links on how to improve your digital marketing
How to Pivot Your Content Plan in a Rush
Five Tips for Strategic and Compassionate Upselling in Times of Uncertainty
How COVID-19 Has Changed Social Media Engagement
Anything I've enjoyed reading recently
Anything I've enjoyed reading recently
The War on Coffee
In the Wake of COVID-19, Coffee Companies Reimagine Community - Imbibe Magazine
"For Gen Z, That Hope Was Never There." America's Young Adults Have Already Experienced A Lifetime Of National Crises.
An update from my container garden!
An update from my container garden!
Some plants thrive when they're ignored (this one has been ignored for 4 months).
Some plants thrive when they're ignored (this one has been ignored for 4 months).
I’m doing free 15-min brainstorming session consults for coffee businesses/organizations affected by COVID-19!
I’m doing free 15-min brainstorming session consults for coffee businesses/organizations affected by COVID-19!
What'd you think?
Feedback, questions, or fist bumps 👊 – send them my way by hitting the reply button. Also happy with the 👍 at the end. Or find me on the social networks @thejennchen. 
Did you enjoy this issue?
Jenn Chen

Thoughts on digital marketing as they intersect at specialty coffee, social media, writing, photography & social issues. 2x a month on Wednesdays. @thejennchen | https://jennchen.com

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