[Market-farming] Marketing

Steven Rogers singingpigfarm at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 9 23:22:19 EST 2005

There is no "marketing industry". Marketing is a busines function
that every business does no matter what size. Often, people are 
marketing when they don't even know it. When you make the decision
to sell your goods at a farmer's market or a farm stand etc you have just
made a marketing decision.
I have taught several workshops on marketing, and it always scares me
to see how many people don't even know what marketing is. Marketing
is not loading your harvest into your vehicle and setting up a stand at
the market. That is selling an merchandising, not marketing.
Marketing is a long term strategic business activity. Sales is a day-to-day
operational activity. You can't have sales without doing some marketing
even if you are unaware that marketing is what you are doing. You can have
marketing and not generate any sales. Marketing defines your market where the 
sales activity will take place. My market is a very tightly defined niche market:
I sell only to fine dining restaurants in the downtown Portland area who will buy on
average more than $200/week from me. Someone else's market may be much
broader:  10 farmer's markets in the greater Metro area, produce markets, restaurants
and internet sales of select items. Your price points and margins are determined 
by marketing. Your product selection is determined by marketing. I performed
a one year long marketing study before starting my business. It consisted of,
among other things, Checking prices monthlty on a variety of produce items
to track pricing trends, interviewing produce managers, farmers,consumers,
anyone who would talk to me. Then I ran the numbers, built some proformas
and went for it. The numbers were conservative and it looked marginal at best
but I caught some luck and the sales came in.

Steven Rogers
singingpigfarm at earthlink.net
EarthLink Revolves Around You.
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