Farm Marketing

In many communities across North America, small farms are nearly extinct. In other areas, small land holders are coming back with products that appeal to the local diet market, the tourism market and the educational excursion market. On Vancouver Island, for example, where most of the landholdings are small, agritourism has the potential to make agricultural pursuits on small holdings more profitable. To be successful in your agritourism venture, it is important to create and work from a marketing strategy which maps out your market-driven actions in detail so that you can promote your operation effectively and sell your farm-related products.

One of the toughest things to get straight is coming to a full understanding of your market and how your buyers actually seethe unique aspects of your enterprise. John Jantsch, principal at Duct Tape Marketing and a great leader in the online marketing business tells the story of an architect looking to determine what his unique selling proposition was. Through review and research, it was determined that, apart from being a good architect, clients were impressed that if they used this architect, their paperwork went through municipal authorities quickly. This ultimately meant that contractors got paid quicker because the jobs were not held up by paper problems at City Hall. The differentiating factor for the architect was obvious: he was a contractors’ architect and helped his clients get paid faster. He went from being just one of the architects in town to the number one commercial architect in his market.

One way to differentiate your enterprise is to ask each of your customers what one word they would use to describe your product. Use the common words to build a picture of how you are perceived by these customers. If you have a chatty person buying from you, ask more questions like “what made you decide to buy our product?” or “what one thing did we do that others in our business don’t do?” Close the conversation with “would you refer us to your friends and neighbours?” and finally, “what one thing can we do differently that would make us even better?” From short visits with your customers, you will find out a lot of information about how the world sees your operation. More importantly, you create a picture of what sets you apart from your competitors.

One word of advice: if your customer says “you provide good service” or “you always have the right vegetables,” try to dig a little deeper by asking “what part of our service do you think was good and what made it that way? How about “which vegetables did you especially like and how are ours different from others?” The more you ask, the more information you will be able to use to determine what makes you different from everyone else in the marketplace.

Try to come at the unique marketing proposition from a fresh point of view. That will give you a perspective that isn’t the same as your competitors and may very well lead you to the perfect spot where sales and customer lists grow rapidly.

Do you already have a unique marketing proposition? Share it with us below and tell everyone how you discovered it.

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