We have Terra’s Kitchen’s CEO/Co-founder, Mike McDevitt, on the show today. Terra’s Kitchen is a meal prep company out of Baltimore and they are sweeping the nation with their one of a kind meal prep delivery service.Customer Acquisition

They were founded in 2016 and already have a run rate of $20 million a year. Pretty phenomenal.

Their business model is unique to the industry, which allows them to offer up to 60 different meal choices at a time. Terra’s Kitchen is set up in a really interesting way, allowing them to focus heavily on customer acquisition and retention, which is primarily what you’ll hear more about from Mike in a second.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to growth hack digital advertising without sacrificing your brand
  • Why analytics should be your marketing teams best friend (if it’s not already)
  • How to make sure your marketing dollars are used as efficiently as possible

And so much more.

Listen to the Interview on iTunes >>>

Mike is an extremely savvy marketer and outstanding business man, and you’ll have plenty to learn from his approach to growing Terra’s Kitchen

Book Recommendation:

How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life – Russ Roberts

Show Notes:

Mike McDevitt started Terra’s Kitchen with the goal of providing busy people with the convenience they need to gather around the table.  Mike started his career in the world of private equity, which he later left to take over a small Health and Wellness business.  The business had been selling its products wholesale to doctors for over 20 years, and Mike decided to make a shift to sell the products directly to the consumer.

While he’s no stranger to the B2C or Health and Wellness world, the success he’s had growing Terra’s Kitchen in such a short time is impressive (to say the least).

Mike explains that brand awareness, though difficult at the starting stages of a business, is key.  With Terra’s Kitchen, he leveraged the success of pioneers in this space by utilizing the consumer awareness they’d created.  He then, identified what set his business apart from these competitors.

Terra’s Kitchen has three key attributes that differentiate them from their competitors: convenience, nutrition, and environmental waste.  It’s the only meal prep box with pre-cut ingredients, it has over 55 meal options available, and the vessel each meal is delivered in is reused multiple times.

Mike also took a different approach than his competitors on the Supply-Chain side of things.  His competitors were building their own infrastructure.  Whereas food is not new, and the infrastructure to support food is not new, so there’s no need to build one.  So instead, Mike befriended a company already in the business of fresh food and plugged into their existing infrastructure.

This, in part, is what helped him grow the company so quickly, because he didn’t have to learn the fresh food industry the way his competitors had.  It also helped the company he partnered with because he just became their B2C player in the game.

Mike explains that it’s important to play to your strengths.  By leaving the fresh food industry side to those who already know it best, he could then primarily focus on what he and Terra’s Kitchen could do best: customer acquisition.

Customer Acquisition

When starting a business, Mike notes how important it is to gauge who your customer is, and what they really want.  There is a huge difference between which consumer will respond to your advertisement, and which consumer will buy your product.  And, nothing is more expensive than advertising to a consumer who is only going to purchase your product once.

With this type of subscription business especially, he relies on the consumers who are going to continue to buy.  But, the consumers who cancel are also important because they provide insight as to why others may cancel.

As far as reaching these potential consumers, social media and digital advertising have been very successful for Terra’s Kitchen.  However, it is important to have a brand awareness that matches these efforts.

And, as a startup, Mike had to build brand awareness without breaking the bank.  He did this by infiltrating the market specifically enough to find his niche of consumer.  After finding this consumer, he relied on them to spread the word, while backing it up with digital advertising efforts.

There is a huge difference in the consumer searching your brand specifically, and the one who just searches key words associated with your brand.  And, the consumers specifically searching for Terra’s Kitchen tend to be the more long-term ones.

Terra’s Kitchen is constantly putting out content.  Mike explains how content is key.  It’s important to see what’s working and what’s not working.  It’s not about having 100 posts, but being able to identify which posts worked, and why.  20% of the content put out should drive 80% of the success.

And with this content, it’s equally important to measure the social effectiveness of it.  Mike does so primarily by looking at engagement.  What caused users to engage, and was it positive or negative?

Mike pays special attention to what’s valuable to his consumer.  He’s always aiming to add value to the consumer’s life, and in doing so, he’s be able to continue building brand awareness without only specifically talking about his brand.

And lastly, some business advice from Mike: authenticity is everything.  Understand what drives you, and use your strengths.  If you want your brand to be successful, you want to always have your eye on what the purpose of your brand is.

For more on Terra’s Kitchen, check out www.terraskitchen.com.

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