The NAMA show, hosted by the National Automatic Merchandising Association in Atlanta, brought together leaders, innovators, and enthusiasts in the refreshment services industry. The VendCentral team had the privilege of exploring the trade show floor, attending panels, and networking with key players in the industry. From exciting innovations found at “Imagination Way” to the launch of new products, the show left a lasting impression.
Interested in learning more about the world of possibilities for the industry’s future? Keep reading to discover a few of the show’s highlights, latest product trends, and more!
Coffee, Coffee, & More Coffee!
Office coffee took center stage at the NAMA Show, capturing the attention of attendees at every turn. The Emblem bean-to-cup coffee brewer was ever-present with its exceptional on-demand brewing capabilities. Definitely, a staple to include on your office coffee equipment roster. National brands and local coffee roasters, including Segafredo, Seattle’s Best, Starbucks, Ellis Coffee Company, Bodecker Brewed, and more kept everyone fueled throughout the 3-day show.
Additionally, the popularity of on-the-go coffee options, including nitro brew, cold brew, and canned coffee is undeniable. Brands such as RISE, La Colombe, Wandering Bear, and Costa Coffee made a significant impact, offering unique coffee drinking experiences for attendees.
Bubbling with Excitement: NAMA Beverage Takeaways
The NAMA Show showcased the latest trends in the beverage industry. It came as no surprise that energy drinks continued to dominate. Well-established brands like Red Bull, Celsius, Monster, and C4 Energy drew substantial attention. However, the show also provided a platform for up-and-coming brands such as Alani Nu, PHOCUS, UpTime, and Sparkling Ice Energy Drinks to make their mark.
Better-for-you beverages were another highlight of the event. Healthy soda alternatives like Poppi, Zevia, and Good Mood made their debut, captivating attendees with their healthier and more flavorful options for the refreshment services market.
New-Age Vending Equipment & Technology
In the realm of vending equipment, the NAMA show revealed groundbreaking innovations. For example, Just Baked’s hot food kiosk was a must-see. Offering a wide range of delicious meal and dessert options, you can select, pay, and be eating in minutes. The convenience and quality of these hot and fresh treats left a delightful and memorable impression on everyone’s taste buds.
Supply Wizards Supply Wizards wowed the crowd with their revolutionized online ordering process. Their user-friendly software seamlessly integrates with operators’ Vending Management Systems (VMS), making invoicing and tracking inventory a simple task! On average, operators have seen an increase in order sizes by 24% when using Supply Wizards for their online ordering. Therefore, this product is ideal for operators looking to grow their office coffee and pantry services!
ZippyAssist ZippyAssist emerged as a game-changer, enabling vending operators to provide immediate support to customers. With simple-to-use features like instant refunds and maintenance requests, they’ve streamlined customer service. This text-based platform accessed from a customer’s mobile phone is helping operators across the globe enhance their unattended retail experience.
Embracing the NAMA Show Momentum
Overall, the NAMA show was a resounding success leaving operators inspired by new ideas and technology for the refreshment service industry. From the aroma of freshly brewed coffee to the introduction of cutting-edge vending equipment, this event set the stage for a future of innovation and growth. The VendCentral team looks forward to implementing the lessons learned and supporting the members of our industry through comprehensive marketing services.
VendCentral is solely focused on the refreshment services industry. Contact us to learn how our marketing programs can help your business GROW!read more
Blogging can help you get more vending and breakroom service leads. In fact, small business resource Fit Small Business reports that businesses that blog get 67% MORE leads per month. That significant boost in leads makes blogging a huge return on investment.
6 Benefits You Get From Blogging
What makes blogging so successful? What brings all those breakroom service leads? It’s a combination of factors, from better search engine optimization (SEO) to being considered a breakroom expert. Keep reading for more details on the 6 benefits of writing a vending website blog. Trust us; you won’t want to miss them!
1. Increase Website Traffic
Blogging helps people find your website. Keywords used in a blog, like vending and breakroom, are “seen” by search engines. That makes your blog and website more likely to show in search results; therefore, more people will find your company while shopping online for breakroom services.
2. Blogging Drive Conversions
Your vending-related blog is a great place to show customers and prospects your knowledge of breakroom services. And that knowledge can lead to conversions, where users fill out an online form or sign up for an email list. After all, when you want a product or service, you go to a company that knows its stuff. So, show off your expertise by publishing blogs!
3. Contribute to Social Media Efforts
Every company needs a social media presence. If you don’t have one, you should. But let’s assume you do have one. Blogging gives you more items to post about. Yes, it’s true. You can promote your latest article with a nice photo to engage your audience and drive traffic to your website. It’s a win-win! But don’t forget to include a link to the blog. Why? Because a direct link encourages clicks and reads without any leg work from the audience. Doing this also helps boost your SEO score and can help your website climb to the top of the search results.
4. Build Trusting Client Relationships
Just as knowledge of quality refreshment solutions drives conversion, it also builds trust. Blogging about services like micro-markets or office coffee shows your customers you are devoted to your businesses. In turn, they are more likely to trust you with their service needs.
Plus, it lets you show off what you can bring to your customers. And who doesn’t love that? Writing blogs about specific break rooms you’ve installed will help your audience understand what you do and what their break room could look like.
5. Reinforce Your Brand
Don’t forget what your blog can do for your brand. Most people, including human resource professionals and facility managers, prefer doing business with companies they recognize and trust. So, make sure they know your company with a blog tone and look that follows your branding plan.
6. Differentiate a Business From Its Competition
Not all vending companies blog. And that’s to your advantage. Blogging sets you apart from the competition. But even if your local competitors do have a blog, you can still use yours to stand out. Ensure your blog has a personal touch, introducing readers to your brand. Cover local issues, seasonally relevant topics, and the service and products that make you the best choice for breakroom services.
The Time to Start Blogging is Now!
Blogging is an important marketing tool. It brings in readers who can convert to breakroom service leads and sales. The key is consistency and industry knowledge, ensuring appropriate keywords appear throughout the blog for maximum results.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry; our team of marketing experts can help! VendCentral offers different levels of support for vending marketing. Contact us at (866) 699-8363 or visit us online.read more
Research shows there is power in building a network. Those who actively network get more jobs, opportunities, industry knowledge, and respect. That makes it a valuable skill and crucial to growing your vending company. With that being said, networking looks different today than in the past. In fact, it can happen in many ways, including social media, trade shows, cold calling, or in-person meetings.
But what is networking, exactly? And how can you do it well? Read on to find out.
What is Networking?
To put it simply, it means talking to people. For instance, you might talk to them about trends or breakroom ideas. At other times you might talk about your services and how they fit their needs. This is the best kind of networking because it adds value to both people.
What Does Building a Network Look Like?
It’s no surprise that networking can take place anywhere. However, building it with other vending operators and industry members will likely take place at a tradeshow, a community event, or a seminar. Think mingling during happy hour at conferences or talking to your dinner neighbor at a sponsored event. It can also happen at educational seminars. Showing genuine interest in what the presenters have to offer is sure to leave a lasting impression. Plus, it opens the door to chatting with them and getting their contact information.
Don’t forget about posting and commenting on social media platforms. Yes, it’s a new(er) yet vital place to connect with people. For some, it’s preferred. According to Novorésumé, 40% of people would rather network online. So, get out there and post!
What are the Benefits?
Networking is good for your reputation. How, might you ask? First, it adds to your business profile, leading others to see you as well-informed. On the flip side, it can help you gain industry knowledge. For example, you might learn new solutions that enhance your vending services.
Additionally, every connection you make will “humanize” your company. People like to do business with other people, not companies. Therefore, your connections to people can lead directly to new customers and more prospects. It’s also a way to showcase your brand and boost loyalty. That ultimately helps you can gain referrals and drive-up sales!
Network Often, Everywhere, to Win
In summary, networking is a must to grow your vending business naturally. Don’t wait. Start building your vending network now and reap the rewards.
Want some help with online networking? VendCentral has digital sales and marketing experts ready to assist. Our team specializes in the vending, micro-market, pantry, and office coffee service industry to help you grow sales. Contact us today at email@example.com or (866) 699-8363.read more
Running a vending contest or promotion for your vending customers offers many benefits. Both can boost excitement about your services as well as build loyalty to your brand. In addition, using social media for your promotional efforts can enhance engagement and gain you followers.
Read on for a look at how vending contests and promotions can increase your vending sales.
One reason to run a vending business promotion or contest is to create excitement. Why does it work? Because people love a chance to win. That means they will want to enter a drawing or buy a certain product to get a discount. It gets people excited to use your services and enjoy the products you’re offering. That drives up sales at your machines and markets.
People are looking for connections and brands to follow. In fact, a survey by Merkle in 2021, showed that over 80% of consumers want to form a relationship with a brand. And, these customers are willing to go out of their way to buy from brands they are loyal to. Promotions and contests give your customers something to be excited about. They can connect to you through a contest or promotion and ultimately become loyal customers.
Online contests and promotions that use social media are great ways to engage your customers. Social media makes it easy to post about promotions and contests. It’s also easy for your audience to react. They can follow a link to a contest page or post their thoughts on it instantly. Doing so shows that they want to engage with your vending company. And an engaged customer spends more and is more loyal.
Grow Your Following
Having followers on your social media strengthens your vending marketing efforts. It means more people will see your brand and messaging. This includes facility managers and human resource professionals.
Hosting online contests and promotions is a tried and true way to get more followers. People want more opportunities to play and win. Therefore, they will like and follow your company to get them. Plus, they are likely to share the contest or promotions with their social media connections. Who might then also become your followers. It’s a great way to get leads and grow awareness of your vending operation.
Give promotions and contests a try. There’s little risk and lots of rewards. You gain exposure, followers, loyalty, increased sales, and leads.
Struggling with time and resources to make vending contests a reality? VendCentral can help. We help vending operators increase sales with successful branding, marketing, and sales strategies. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (866) 699-8363.read more
A vending marketing program is your secret weapon for growing sales. It’s crucial for driving leads to your website. And for changing prospects into customers. A vending marketing program will drive new buyers to you! It will also spur upgrades with your existing customers.
Vending operators who want to stay focused on their daily tasks turn to VendCentral for marketing help. If fact, it’s why we created our vending marketing programs. All of our marketing programs include a brand-new, mobile-friendly website to attract more leads and convert more customers. They also include top-notch social media content to engage your audience online. But, our sales and marketing programs offer lots of other benefits too. Looking for more leads and more sales? Keep reading, because this guide will help you decide what vending marketing program is right for you.
The Works – a COMPLETE vending marketing program
Looking for a program that is completely personalized for your business? A program that drives sales? One that includes all aspects of digital and print marketing? This program is for you. Clients on our COMPLETE sales and marketing program rely on us to handle it all!
To start, we craft a sales and marketing strategy based on our COMPLETE clients’ unique needs and growth plans. From that, we develop their monthly promotional schedule. These clients work closely and regularly with their VendCentral marketing account manager to fine tune their marketing strategy throughout the year.
Clients on our COMPLETE program have the most robust website growth plan for top SEO results. They also receive the most social media and blog content. Plus, it’s all customized for their business. We help these clients tap into the power of social media to grow their audience and reach. Press releases and design services for email and print campaigns are included too. It is our highest tier program. But COMPLETE clients consider it a valuable investment that pays off big for company sales growth.
The Assist – a CORE program
For vending operators that need only a bit of marketing help, we offer the CORE vending marketing program. In this program, our marketing account managers focus on generating content to help our CORE clients get top search results. Blogs and social media posts concentrate on industry topics and promote our clients’ services and expertise. They contain great SEO keywords but minor customization.
The CORE program appeals to clients looking to establish an online presence, improve search rankings, and grow their websites over time. It works best when complemented by a member of your own team who can add personalized content.
The Best of Both – a CUSTOM program
Take all the benefits of CORE, pair them with several great options from COMPLETE, and you’ll get our CUSTOM program. This is our most popular program with good reason. It is a semi-custom approach that highlights what sets your vending business apart from competitors.
We work together with our CUSTOM clients to create promotional plans. These include both industry-related and personalized content. Website growth is also emphasized in this program to maximize SEO. Clients on the CUSTOM marketing program also get ZippyLead, a website IP tracker tool that can increase vending sales. It does this by capturing valuable contact information about website visitors.
Our VendCentral marketing account managers collaborate closely with our CUSTOM clients for maximum impact and maximum lead generation.
What Type of Vending Marketing Program Do You Need?
Looking to grow your vending sales? Want to stay focused on your operations? We have a marketing program that fits your needs. From full-scale sales and marketing to a more simplified approach, VendCentral will help you succeed.
Contact VendCentral today for more details on our vending marketing programs. We will help you find the best fit for your business. Call us at (866) 699-8363 or reach us online.read more
The vending industry is buzzing about social media. With good reason! A solid social media presence gives vending businesses some unique benefits. What benefits, you ask? Read on for the top reasons why social media helps your vending operation thrive.
Increases Traffic to Your Website
Social media posts can drive people back to your website with links for more info. And your website is a sales tool open 24-7. That means social media posts are part of a good sales strategy.
Drives SEO Ranking
Social media posts and YouTube videos rank with search engines. That means more hype for your services, photos, videos, etc. That’s marketing gold. Just make sure to include helpful keywords, like your city name and vending service offering.
Showcases your work
Social media lets you highlight what you do and how well you do it. Plus, you can talk about the benefits of your services in bite-size posts. That will help customers remember them. Social media is a great place to show real-world breakroom pictures. This gives potential clients visual examples of how you can improve their breakroom. It can also help upgrade your existing vending customers to a brand-new micro-market.
Helps Recruit Skilled Staff
Posting a job on social media helps you announce your open jobs to candidates. It also makes it a lot easier for them to see you’re hiring. Professional networking sites, like LinkedIn, can even reveal people with specific skill sets. These are skills you may need to help your vending operation grow.
Reinforces your brand
Well-crafted social media posts can be terrific branding. They show people who you are and what your company stands for. Customers like to do business with a company they can connect with. Social media gives them more chances to understand and connect with yours.
It’s not enough to have a logo and some images on social media. There’s a strategy for getting the many benefits a social media presence offers. Posting frequently and personalizing your content are two important components. Engaging with customers, prospects, and other industry professionals on social media is key too.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the need to create and maintain a social media presence, there is help. VendCentral’s team of digital sales and marketing experts is dedicated to the breakroom services industry. Contact us today at email@example.com or (866) 699-8363 to grow your vending sales and stay current online.read more
Vending operators often ask us how social media can help their company. Our answer? Social media makes your vending business stand out from the competition and attracts quality leads. It lets you connect with customers and prospects in ways that influence their decisions. It is a powerful tool for increasing sales. Did you know that more than 50% of customers say they learn about new brands and products specifically from social media platforms? That means your vending business needs to be there.
Keep reading for tips on creating social media posts that engage your existing customers and make new prospects want to do business with your vending company.
Showcase Your Expertise
Social media is a great place to display your industry knowledge. Use it to inform your customers about new products and equipment. For example, post about the latest single-cup brewer you installed and the features you love about it. Don’t forget to tag the manufacturer to get more exposure.
Another great way to show your expertise is by sharing the latest breakroom news and trends. It will show customers that your company stays on top of what is hot in the industry. Showcase your latest installs too. Make sure to mention how your breakroom upgrades improve the workplace and tag any clients who give you permission.
Keep it Consistent
Posting regularly on social media is key to building a relationship with your audience. That is because frequent posts help grow your online reputation. They also increase trust in your brand. But don’t worry. Social media posts don’t have to be long. In fact, short to-the-point posts are best. Bite-sized content is easier to scan and retain.
In addition, it’s a good idea to regularly ask questions or take polls in your social media posts. This will spark conversation. That means your audience will be better engaged. And, it will help you learn more about your audience too.
Remember the saying: a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, it’s true. Great visuals attract attention. But it’s not just photos. You can use infographics and video content too. A statistic from Twitter Business puts it in perspective, Tweets with video get 10 times more engagement than those without. The takeaway? Add visuals to ensure greater impact.
Make it Genuine
When you post on social media, an authentic and honest approach works best. Why? Because 86% of Americans want transparency from a company, says SproutSocial. That means you should show the human element in your business whenever possible. Plus, be open, honest, and clear in your posts. It will help you develop a stronger connection with your vending customers.
Need more reason to be real? LinkedIn posts with personal images get two times higher engagement. So, get personal to ensure your posts are read and remembered.
Now that you know when and what to post, it’s time to boost engagement. Invite your clients and industry colleagues to follow your business. And do the same to theirs. The larger your audience, the more powerful your social media will be at attracting new customers and maintaining current ones.
If thinking about social media posts makes you feel stressed, you’re not alone. The good news is that there are digital marketing specialists just for the vending industry. That’s us. Reach out to VendCentral for help today.read more
It’s important for vending companies to understand a breakroom customer’s journey. Why? Because it is the key to attracting new business, matching a buyer with the right breakroom services, and closing a deal that will satisfy your customer for years to come.
If you’re looking to grow your breakroom services client list, try our 3 step process for success in the customer journey.
Step 1: Be Where Your Customers Are
Ask yourself this question: if an office or facility manager runs a Google search for ‘vending services near me,’ will they find your business? And if it does appear, where is it on the page?
Ideally, your vending business is a top result on the first page. That way all potential customers see it. But how does it get there? A great vending marketing plan is a good start.
However, there is more to effective vending marketing than just being seen on Google. Publishing blogs and articles will help reinforce your vending industry expertise and establish your company as a service leader. In addition, strong social media posts will help you establish a personal connection with potential buyers. It will also ensure you are top-of-mind to those looking for vending services.
Step 2: Anticipate (and Answer) Your Customer’s Questions
Over 90% of business-to-business (B2B) buyers conduct research online and the most popular resource is a supplier’s website. Does your vending website give potential customers the information they need? Many office and facility managers complain of a significant gap between the questions they have and what breakroom service providers share on their websites. Therefore, to win new business, you must provide potential clients with a website that is easy to navigate and filled with the information they want. It can really help to enlist a digital marketing specialist who knows what drives buyers and how to showcase your breakroom services to match.
Step 3: Bring It All Together to Seal the Deal
Once you have the attention of your potential breakroom service customer, then what? How do you prove that you are the best choice so they reach out and ultimately sign a contract? The answer is ensuring everything comes together online to provide a great user experience. From powerful SEO to engaging content to lead capturing technologies, a full-circle approach is needed to showcase your business, interest buyers, and capture leads. When your outreach is seamless, informative, engaging, and complete, then it’s easy to close the sale.
Ready to enhance your vending marketing to impress customers? VendCentral is dedicated to assisting breakroom service providers with vending marketing, including enriching the customer’s journey. Contact us for help navigating online marketing and creating strong business leads.read more
Podcasts have seen tremendous growth. Forbes reports that in 2021, there were 116 million people listening to podcasts monthly. That number shows signs of going even higher in 2022.
Can vending operators use podcasts to boost business? Yes! Read on to learn more about using podcasts in your vending marketing.
Why people listen
There are many reasons podcasts are increasing in popularity. One reason is screen fatigue. Starting in 2020 (Covid19), people began spending more hours on screens. This includes working remotely, streaming content before and after work, as well as scrolling through social media. It’s nice to have a break. Yet, people still want to be tuned in to what’s happening and be entertained. That is where podcasts come in.
As an audio-only medium, podcasts are the perfect choice for making the most of leisure or errand time. More than half (52%) of listeners are tuning into podcasts while doing things at home, according to The Infinite Dial 2017. Another quarter is listening to podcasts on the go, from commuting via car to walking around on foot. The versatility of when and where people can listen to podcasts is part of what makes them so attractive. Plus, there is a podcast on nearly every subject. You can listen to one to boost professional development, be entertained, or explore a hobby. This variety in topics adds to podcasts’ overall appeal.
What to podcast
So how does a vending company break into the world of podcasts? A great way to start is by taking the digital content you already have and repurposing it for a podcast audience. Use the pages of your own website for inspiration. You could expand upon your origin story, company mission, and/or vision for the future in a podcast (all from your About Us page).
Another podcast idea is to discuss what’s new and trending in breakroom services. You might start by interviewing your employees. For example, what is it like to be a route driver in 2022? How have workplaces in your area changed in the past few years? Or, perhaps you would rather discuss how breakroom service technology is changing. You could report on the new services and hardware available along with how it benefits your vending customers and their employees. The sky is the limit on vending podcast topics. Try innovative food and beverage products, shifts in the way today’s workers are snacking, or anything that informs and educates listeners.
Get help from a host
When creating a podcast, a good host is invaluable. They can help guide the listener through the episode, add a level of professionalism to the finished product, and help you get your podcast published. Our talented friend, Cecil LeDesma, is an expert podcaster and can help you explore and create podcasts about a variety of topics that you or your business feel passionate about.
Podcasts are outside the box
Podcasts are not going away. Buzzsprout reports projections that listeners will exceed 160 million by 2024. This is a big reason for you to consider a podcast to market your vending business. It can help boost your brand and solidify your place as an expert. Most of all, it will reach an audience that could be potential clients.
There’s help along the way. VendCentral has been assisting breakroom service providers with vending marketing for decades. We can help you navigate the online marketing world to create strong business leads. Call (866) 699-8363 or email today.read more
Operators and manufacturers are using blogs more and more to connect with customers, display their expertise, promote their breakroom products & equipment, and generate leads.
There are many ways to keep blogs engaging for breakroom customers. But what types of content work well in a blog? Read on to discover ideas for incorporating interesting and relevant blog content into your digital strategy. And stay tuned until the end to learn one of the biggest benefits of creating blogs.
It is easy for breakroom operators to identify frequently asked questions when servicing their clients. Write blogs that can be used as a customer service tool for answering them. Consider sending these blog articles to your clients proactively to show you are in tune with their needs and have resources to help them.
Promote New Products & Brands
Use blogs to let your clients know you are working hard to keep your snack, beverage, and fresh food assortments new and exciting. Blog articles are an interesting way to explore new flavors, brands, and seasonal items.
Explore Breakroom Trends
The refreshment services industry is constantly evolving and there are always new ideas to share. Blogs that identify and elaborate on breakroom trends are a valuable tool for your clients. They can also create opportunities for breakroom service and equipment upgrades.
Breakroom equipment is constantly innovating. Write blogs that provide information on your most popular breakroom equipment – especially gourmet coffee brewers. These articles can help your clients maximize the use of their equipment and be helpful for troubleshooting problems too.
Use blog articles as an outlet for demonstrating your industry knowledge. It will show you stay on top of what is happening in the industry and reinforce your company as a leader in refreshment services.
Blogs are a great way to establish a deeper connection with your clients, build trust, and enhance your company’s brand image. Use these articles to get a little personal. Share your company’s values, highlight outstanding employees, or explain what you are doing to contribute to your community.
There are so many ways blogs can be useful for your breakroom customers. The added benefit? Blogs are one of the best ways to attract new customers and generate leads for your website. Blogs are often rich in industry keywords, improving your company’s SEO and search engine ranking.
Blog articles published to your company’s website remain online far longer than any social media post. This means its content will continue to be helpful to your existing clients and effective in driving new website traffic for years to come.
VendCentral specializes in creating thoughtful and impactful digital marketing content for the refreshment services industry. If you would like to learn more about our marketing programs visit our website or call us at (866)699-8363