Now that market season is upon us, it is a good time to take a look at marketing and what it means for your agribusiness. Marketing is more than just advertisements, a Facebook page or a website. The term marketing really encompasses how your business, and your product are perceived by your customer. For those of you growing to sell to a consumer, whether it be directly to them or to a retail establishment, marketing is especially important. Below lists a few trends and tips for getting your product retail ready for this market season.
Your message is the most important aspect of your marketing strategy. It is no secret that consumers that shop local love a story. Your product is not just a tomato or an eggplant, but rather the fruits of your labor and the care you put into the crop and the earth. When it comes to your message, consistency is key. Farms with good marketing strategies have consistent messages across all channels.
One of the biggest trends stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic is the increased focus on local foods. But why shop local? While people like me really like the fact that more dollars stay in local circulation in the economy, the biggest reason consumers are shopping locally nationwide is the idea of sustainability. The average consumer who shops local will often tell you they do it because the products are more sustainable. The product didn’t have to travel far by truck, train, or air, and often the grower can tell them about their growing practices. So, how do you fold sustainability into your marketing strategy?
If your product has packaging, you can really drive home the sustainability idea with it. Consider switching to a more sustainable package, like paper, cardboard or similar. Don’t be afraid to talk about sustainability on your package either. Remember, consistency is key. You don’t have a ton of space to fit everything you want on your package, especially after any required labelling. Whatever you write on your package, make sure it is consistent with the rest of your marketing. Don’t write your whole story on the package in fine print, as chances are the consumer isn’t going to read it.
Another trend coming from the pandemic is the use of QR Codes. Instead of writing your whole story on your package, consider generating a QR code that links to your website or social media. The average American is now more comfortable using their phone to get information, think mobile scanning that QR code in a restaurant for the menu. Using this strategy allows you to put your story online, neatens up your packaging, and allows you to drive home your hardest hitting message. Using this technology also allows you to collect some important data on your marketing as well. Some QR Code generators allow you to track the number of scans your code has. If you sell 1000 units a month, but only have 10 scans on that code per month, you may find that this strategy doesn’t matter to your customer, and you can replace the code with something else on your package. With todays technology, you can tailor your marketing strategy to fit your customer, instead of using a one size fits all approach.
Putting it all Together:
No matter if you implement one or all of these strategies, remember that consistency is key. There is never a one size fits all approach when it comes to marketing your goods. What works well for you may not work well for your neighbor. Make sure that the message on your packaging matches the same message and ideas on your social media, your website, and your other forms of advertisement. All together, these platforms should be used to tell your story. If you have any questions or would like help putting together a marketing plan, don’t hesitate to reach out!