An Introduction to Targeting Strategy
The following is an excerpt from The Evangelists: Insights from Leaders of the Nation’s Most Beloved Brands. Written by Roselin Manawis, this chapter is titled “To Have a Hand in And to "Bizufy" the Creation Process.” In it, Chrissy Tanco, the Head of Marketing of Bizu, is interviewed about how the organization executes its strategy in target marketing.
Concentrating on your target market
Among many restaurants, Bizu stands in between luxury and affordable. Its very feminine aesthetic especially adds to its high-class branding. “Bizu means kiss in French,” said Chrissy Tanco, Bizu’s Head of Marketing. “The brand is about the women’s love, such as the gestures of love, or the languages of love.”
Bizu is not the first brand targeting women, but unlike others, they grew with their market. In the Philippines, they pioneered the macaron de Paris (macaron of Paris), or more commonly known as a macaron―a sweet meringue-based snack that can be infused with different flavors. Back then, the only people who were interested in the snack were those who frequently travelled, and the young women who were into western shows which featured the snack. When more people grew more exposed to other aspects of French cuisine through travelling and shows like Gossip Girl, Bizu slowly gained more customers.
As their customers grew older, so did Bizu. Slowly, they started curating their products to appeal more to what Tanco calls the “mature market,” or the market where today’s “titas” (aunts) fall under.
For Bizu, growing with their market also means adapting with the times.
When Tanco first joined the brand, social media was only starting to take off. “I made the very first fan page, and from there, it evolved to something more,” Tanco said. Over time, she watched her vision grow with her as social media transformed everyone’s lives. From there, she and her team delved deeper into the other aspects of digital marketing, such as email blasts and creating cross-platform digital advertisements.
While she is expected to have a hand in all aspects of marketing, Tanco said she particularly loves to delve into product development. She works with Bizu’s pastry chef when designing new products; he puts in his input as a chef, while she puts in her input as someone who sees from the client’s perspective.
Bizu also does their publicity materials on their own. “We shoot a lot of our products on our own, since we never had an agency do it,” she pointed out. “So during the pandemic, it’s actually me who’s doing it. I was the photographer, the graphic artist, and it was so crazy.”
Admittedly, content planning is very hard. “We have to consider who’s viewing this content: you want it to be more young, more hip, and consider how even the littlest font matters,” Tanco said.
They also created content categories per day, for example dedicating “cake day” on Fridays, then showcasing their weekly deals on Mondays. Before posting anything, they also have to consider how the posts would look together once online, especially on Instagram. “If you don’t have a guide or a theme, you might be unable to curate what’s happening on your social media,” Tanco said.
Content planning also requires Bizu’s marketing team to be well-versed on today’s trends; for this matter, they turn to social media for their research. Tanco personally uses Instagram for inspiration, but she also observes the communities on Facebook for any leads. They find trends that appeal to their market, and learn how to “Bizufy” them for their brand.
“To Bizufy something means we come up with our own version of what’s trending now,” Tanco explained. An example Tanco cited is the trending Ube Cheese Pandesal (Filipino salt bread) on social media. To “Bizufy” the trend, they made an ube macaron with cheese filling. Taking it a step further, they would use Grana Padano cheese instead of regular cheese for the filling. “It’s all about indulgence,” Tanco said “It’s like elevating the everyday to something more a little bit more luxurious.”
However, the Ube Cheese Pandesal-inspired macaron is not the first macaron to be the product of a trend Bizufied. Among other initiatives, trends that have been Bizufied come to light on Macaron day. Macaron Day is Tanco’s favorite marketing initiative; it is a day where they show homage to how Bizu was the first to bring macarons to the country by giving out special macarons for free. “So every macaron season in March, I put a twist on macaron flavors,” Tanco explained. For the last two years, Bizu has been putting twists on local flavors such as malagos chocolate and durian. For festivities, they also tried their hand at floral collections of macarons, such as jasmine and ylang-ylang macarons.
After a few years of holding Macaron Day, Bizu began inviting French organizations in Manila to partner with them. “What we do is if you purchase macarons during macaron day, the proceeds will go to the organization,” Tanco said. “So we’ve always been with Virlanie Foundation Philippines, a French organization run here in Metro Manila helping street children.”
During this pandemic, however, their online presence grew more important to their business. While their most trusted channel is still through their physical store, learning how to navigate things online early on has helped them a lot.
Initially, selling online wasn’t as easy as Bizu was afraid of ruining their cakes. “Our cakes, for us, are works of art and we don’t slice our cakes,” Tanco said. However, after careful planning, they decided to use cars instead of motorcycles to send their cakes.
Thanks to their online store, they were able to reach more people. In this pandemic, they’ve taken to also using courier services to send their products to places where they have no actual store. “We’re reaching people from Caloocan from Alabang,” Tanco said. “Before, we never thought that we had a market there but now, we were so surprised that because of our online presence, it has really expanded our reach.”
However, as a brand that knows to appeal to the mature market, they also have to remember that not all older people are well-versed with today’s modern technology. Tanco pointed out that, during the pandemic, they formed two selling teams in Bizu: the online selling team, and the team that makes cold calls.
The online team handles their digital marketing initiatives and collaterals , such as their social media presence on Facebook and Instagram, email marketing, and website. On the other hand, the people on the phone cater to senior citizens and others who have difficulty with online bank transfer or using the website. “I think that’s what a lot of brands don’t know―that there’s really still a market who isn’t online,” Tanco mused.
She added that she wants Bizu to be the big sister figure to their customers. It’s why they are very particular when dealing with their customers, and why they expend so much effort to assist those having issues with using their online platforms. Tanco has experienced assisting people on how to order online, so she can understand where they are coming from. She said, “Sometimes they really don’t get it and it’s very frustrating on their part, so we want to remove that frustration. We want it as easy as possible.”
Keeping the big sister figure branding is more important now during this pandemic. People are still celebrating the little things even from the comfort of their homes, and Tanco wants Bizu to help people share their love and happiness with others. “People still celebrate day to day and that’s what we’re banking on,” Tanco said. “You can celebrate by sending people something that they love.”
Tanco cited birthdays where people go on video calls together and eat the same food, and how they’ve also helped families celebrate Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. “They still celebrate the small things everyday,” Tanco said. “That’s what’s beautiful about it.”
To get more insights from other marketing leaders like Chrissy Tanco, please check out the full book, available for purchase here.
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