Marketing team discussing strategy
March 28, 2024

Are you building a steady fire with your marketing mix?

The renowned marketer Seth Godin uses an analogy that resonates with us where “kindling” represents short term promotions, and “logs” are strategies that build long-term awareness. Together they create a steady fire — continued, reliable performance. And just like a long-lasting fire, we recommend clients strike the right balance of logs and kindling, otherwise a business risks diminishing returns from constant discounts without building their brand.

Planning for the Right Mix

When drafting marketing plans, there can be a natural urge to place too much focus on the “kindling” portion of the marketing mix. Tactics with immediately trackable results such as free case offers, promotions, and discounts can come across as more exciting and engaging, but without longer-term support, the flame can die quickly.

Conversely, it’s possible for a marketing plan to become too heavy with “logs”. Those longer-burning tactics such as awareness-building print ads can be an important part of your marketing mix. But without tactics that ignite trial, sales can be left in the cold.

Common Logs and Kindling

Let’s dive deeper into these two categories and discuss useful examples.

Logs and kindling infographic


Industry insights

These are extremely valuable and should be regularly prioritized. Examples include competitive reports, target audience identification, user personas, white space mapping, and other research that helps you understand your place in the market.

Awareness-building ads

Placements that promote your brand at a higher level can often be deprioritized, but their value over the long run should not be ignored. Consider ads that highlight your employees, culture, history, total portfolio, resources, and other content not directly associated with a specific product.

Trade shows

Expos are back! While they can seem expensive and overwhelming, they provide outstanding marketing opportunities. See our 5 tips for maximum value from your food show investment.



Whether at food shows, from sales reps, or online offers, sampling gets your product in the hands of end users. For existing customers, consider including samples packaged with regularly scheduled deliveries. For potential customers, press kits with samples and other swag are almost always welcomed.

Rebates / free case offer

Many companies and especially restaurants are still on the rebound and welcome every opportunity to improve margins. Standard rebates, bulk discounts, and risk-free offers to try new products will immediately endear your brand with operators.


Operators and decision makers have enough on their plates, so when your brand is able to offer ongoing promotions or campaigns that help drive sales, you become a valuable partner who understands their challenges. Consider seasonal campaigns that promote changing product lineups or special food holidays relevant to your customers. The more valuable the promotion, the better off you’ll be — short- and long-term.

Interested in Other Expertise and Recommendations?

Be sure to download our 10 Essential Tips for Foodservice Marketers eBook. We’ve leveraged our extensive advertising experience to compile this new informative resource for your marketing toolkit.

And as always, if you have any questions or would like to connect, be sure to reach out today!

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