Marketing Planning (BF 201)
Pricing, Positioning in the Market, and Guerrilla Marketing Tactics
Most of us go into farming with the thought of making some – or all – of our livelihood through the sale of what we make or grow. As you grow your operation to provide more of your family’s income, having a carefully planned marketing strategy becomes more critical. Completion of this online course will enable you to better understand how to price your products, position yourself in the “buy local” and direct sales marketplace, and understand low-cost “guerrilla” marketing tactics to get the best bang for your buck and make your farm operation financially sustainable. Students will have a beginning marketing plan at the completion of this course.
New farmers with 1-3 years of farm management experience and/or serious aspiring new farmers who have already explored the basics of marketing and are ready to develop a formal marketing strategy.
This course will help you:
- Link your farm’s mission and vision to your commercial goals and marketing strategy
- Understand the key elements of a solid marketing plan
- Understand & use effective marketing strategies
- Understand and use various pricing strategies with your products
- Create a marketing plan through weekly input from the course instructors
The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in MOODLE, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from outside presenters, ask questions, and collaborate with other participants and the instructor to address your farm issues in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing. Access details will be posted in MOODLE once you have registered and logged in.
Qualifying for Loans
If you are considering applying for a low-interest beginning farmer loan though the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), completing this course may help you qualify, if you meet other eligibility requirements. For farmers in NY who have already applied for an FSA loan and been told they need borrower training credit, all of our courses are pre-approved to provide you with this credit, if you complete all course requirements. For more information, visit the FSA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Loans website.
Laura Biasillo is an Ag Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County.
Rebecca Schuelke-Staehr formerly worked for the NY Farm Viability Institute and now co-owns and operates a crop and vegetable farm, the Cayuga Pumpkin Barn in Cayuga County, NY.
This course will next be offered in late 2013. If you want to make sure you get the announcement about course dates, follow us: sign up for Small Farms Program e-news, subscribe to our blog, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter
- Week 1: Navigating the online classroom, introductions and welcome to course
Topics Covered: Introduction to Marketing; Farm Mission Statement & Overview of Current farm production, Goals & Overview of Market Channels (farmers market, CSA, restaurants, farm stand, wholesale)
- Week 2: Marketing Strategy – Where Do I Fit in this “Buy Local” market?
Topics Covered: Who are your customers? How Do They Get Their Information? How Do You Access Them?
- Week 3: Expense Budgets – How Much Should I Charge (or How Much Does It Really Cost Me to Produce This Product?)
Topics Covered: Sales Tactics, Expenses (real & perceived), Promotions (incl. point of purchase), Pricing
- Week 4: Marketing Tactics and Market Research
Topics Covered: Low-Cost, No-Cost, Cooperation and More. How to conduct market research & what to do with the information once you have it. Who is your competition & should you really worry about them?
- Week 5: Forecasting
Topics covered: Setting 1, 3, & 5 year production goals can often be daunting, but production and marketing go hand in hand. So we’ll discuss how to forecast, using all the information from previous weeks, where your production, marketing and profitability will be in the short and long-term so you can plan.
- Week 6: Tying it all Together: Implementation of Marketing Tactics, Pricing and Local/Global Economy
Cost and Registration
Course fee is $200. Registration will open in August 2013.