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The Great British Bake Off's recipe to marketing success

Tom Perry
by Tom Perry - September 6, 2019

The Great British Bake Off's recipe to marketing success

IT'S BACK! Ok, the sun is still shining and this year the bank holiday weather broke all sorts of records, but I still have my pumpkin candle on standby and with the return of the Great British Bake Off, I feel I can comfortably say farewell to Summer. So I thought it would be a good opportunity to share this blog once more...as the creating the perfect marketing mix is as important now as it has ever been!

There is nothing more quintessentially British than watching a diverse group of contestants surrounded by bunting, attempting (and often failing) to make delicious baked goods in a marquee, whilst sipping a hot cup of tea (who makes their tea by the way?!). It takes the nation by storm. But what makes this village fete on steroids so very popular? Well, the combination of humour, camaraderie, healthy competition and the magic of combining the perfect blend of ingredients to create a showstopper is utterly engaging. 

It seems that everything in life is about creating the perfect mix – this is especially applicable to marketing. The term ‘marketing mix’ is well defined and commonly used. That is because marketing is such a multi-faceted, multi-tactic mechanism. But it was whilst watching Bake Off through slightly envious eyes (tell me I’m not the only one who plans to bake every weekend, but inevitably decides life is too short when M&S does it so well), that I realised that there are plenty of parallels between creating the perfect cake and creating the perfect campaign.


To create the perfect showstopper, each step has to be perfectly planned out. An ABM campaign will have a completely different process to a Demand Generation campaign, so objectives, strategic initiatives and tactics must be carefully considered before turning the oven on. You need to know exactly what you want your outcome to be, what each step involves and how long it is going to take to create each element. Then there is the build time, where everything is brought together. Good planning will never be wasted.


When perfecting the flavour of your campaign, it is absolutely imperative to include the right ingredients. Whether that be email, paid traffic, social, syndicated content, blogs, webinars or video. But the key is balancing these ingredients and adding them at the right time. If you add webinars before the traction is there then you may be wasting time and resources. The key is to plan your ingredients before you start and make sure that each one adds to the balance. Do not just add the newest, trendiest ingredient for the sake of it…make sure that adding AI will compliment your creation, be appropriate for your consumer and not distract from the other content. (Apparently Rhubarb Gin is completely overpowering and not appropriate to add to a child's birthday cake...who knew?!).

timing is everything.

There is always a common theme in GBBO; they always run out of time. This should not happen in your marketing – contingencies should be built in and time for testing should be allowed for. A campaign should be allowed to prove and should not be rushed through. The process/methodology should be laid out and followed through to the very end. There is no point half baking a campaign…leave it to prove, make any adjustments and let it cook for the pre-determined time. The entire process must be respected – end to end. This also goes for omitting stages…if you leave out a key ingredient, your campaign may just fall flat. 

optimisation is key for a showstopper.

You don’t often see contestants enter the tent without having attempted their showcase piece a number of times. They start with a trial run, adjust mixtures, tactics, ingredients, presentation and build before finally nailing the showstopper. This is the same with any marketing campaign. You cannot launch a campaign and leave it to chug along; even if it has the best ingredients known to man! Campaigns must be tested, optimised, tweaked and tested again before the perfect outcome appears. There are always variables which will impact results, so optimising must never be overlooked.

presentation mustn’t be sacrificed for content and likewise.

Visuals are hugely important and mustn’t be overlooked. Nobody is going to try your cake if it looks a mess…this is the same with any content. Encourage people to read your material by making any visuals look appealing and ensuring the layout is easy on the eyes. Branding, typeface, headers, bullets and accompanying imagery all play their part in the overall presentation of your campaign. However, the opposite is equally true. A campaign which has style but no substance is a waste of time. There is nothing more disappointing that a beautiful apple pie with a soggy bottom.

share the love.

GBBO connects perfectly with its audience, which from what I can see, is made up from every age, demographic, race, and background going! They create conversation by live tweeting throughout the programme using the #GBBO hashtag. The controversy surrounding Ian’s sabotaged baked Alaska accumulated an astounding 10,700 mentions, with #bingate trending across the social network. The team at GBBO are very clever at turning their audience in to ambassadors who generate content on their behalf. This is something we should all be doing with our marketing. If our content is engaging, sharable and worthy of discussion, then it should be easier to push people across platforms and encourage conversation…(go on you know you want to...! Twitter icon Facebook icon Linkedin icon Google_circle.svg).

If you would like to create the perfect marketing mix, please get in touch as we have a tried and tested recipe, can solve your soggy bottom-of-funnel woes and will certainly rise to the occasion (I’m here all week…). If you would just like to chat through some of our case studies, we’d love to hear from you and would be happy to provide cake (I promise I will leave the baking to the professionals…God love you M&S).

Phone: 01234 964000
Email: letschat@sherpamarketing.co.uk

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