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KRC Sustainable Agriculture Management Guide MGIOA.1 Marketing the Market “Marketing is the whole business, taken from the customer’s point of view.” - Peter Drucker Coming Together Maximize Your Focus on the MarketGetting the Word OuMarket Newsletters Connecting with Your How can the market,Business Experience Paper or e-mail: whiCommunity vendors, media, local Are you doing all you is right for your maMuch can be gained business and the can to make your and what do shoppersthrough partnerships community collaborate market a welcoming, want you to include?with your community. to create a thriving, lively and convenient Page 6 What might work for vibrant marketplace place to shop? your market? each week? Page 4 What are the best Page 6 Page 2 What factors draw shop methods to get the buzz pers in and which can going about your send them running? market? Page 3 Page 5 Word-of-mouth story will be noticed and remem- Marketing bered more than an advertisement. Word-of-mouth is far more effec- Principles tive than paid advertising. If a Advertise Wisely market is well organized, custom- Effective paid advertisements rely Most markets have preciously few ers will perform the bulk of adver- advertising and promotion dollars and on repeated messages with a sim- therefore need to seek the biggest bangising and marketing in their con- ple, consistent message delivered for their bucks. Even if your market isersations with friends and ac- through a medium (newspaper, quaintances (Corum, 1999). En- radio station, TV station, sign) that blessed with a large ad budget, you wicourage frequent shoppers to want to spend it effectively. The bring their friends and family and your targeted customers use regu- following general principles of larly. On average it takes at least marketing can be helpful in guiding offer them ﬂyers to share. six exposures before a consumer your market in getting the most from responds to an advertisement. your money. Get Covered An industry rule-of-thumb is that Your market might want to con- 80/20 rule editorial coverage is seven times sider prominently placed, unclut- tered signs as your ﬁrst marketing Keep the 80/20 rule in mind: 80% as valuable as paid coverage (Co- priority. Having a logo or a clip art of your business comes from 20% rum, 2001). Your market’s money of your customers. (Koch, 1998). might be best spent by hosting image you consistently use to Getting to know the names and special events. If your event is symbolize the market will increase the likelihood your shoppers will preferences of this core group so- based on market products and of- notice and remember your ads and lidiﬁes their commitment to your fers something for consumers market and helps to ensure they (demonstrations, recipes, givea- signs. keep coming back week after ways), chances are the local media week. will cover it. That article or radio marketing the market▯ 1 KRC Sustainable Agriculture Management Guide MGIOA.1 W HO A RE YOUR PARTNERS ? Farmers’ markets are multi-leveled partnerships. Be- son to highlight specialty producers—they’re what ginning with the farmer’s connection with the land; if make the market unique. care is not exercised, the land may lose productivity. The market and local media also have every reason The vendor is in partnership with the market; and to collaborate. If you are hosting a special event, that is again, if care is not exercised, productivity may suffesomething the community will hopefully be interested There are also interdependent partnerships between the market and shoppers, media, local business and the in and the media will take notice. The market can be an community as a whole. When we ignore anyone of asset to the press, as well. By creating a media packet (see page 5) and building relationships with reporters, connections, the market and its vendors may not the market can save the day when news and story ideas achieve their potential. are slim. Through marketing the market, many of the preced- ing relationships can been strengthened. When vendors If attendance at your market is sizable, local busi- nesses should appreciate the trafﬁc you bring to the make the effort to market the market as a whole (see area. Considering approaching these businesses with ideas at right), the market is able to fully realize itideas for cross-promotions. Ask stores to place market promotions—be it special events, newsletters, media posters in their windows and offer to distribute store coverage or other activity. coupons good only on market day. The market can, in turn, market its vendors to a And ﬁnally the market’s partnership with its shop- wider audience. Farmers can be proﬁled in newsletters pers. Convenience is the buzzword of the day—grocery and on the web, included in media kits, and celebrated stores are open 24-hours a day, carry every imaginable in special market events. Once the community learns fruit and vegetable, and even offer complete ready-to- details about a vendor, it’s more likely they will speneat meals. Are you making it as easy as possible for their dollars with that person. Markets have every rea- folks to shop with you? (see page 4) marketing the market▯ 2 KRC Sustainable Agriculture Management Guide MGIOA.1 Selling is a Job Interview Stall Display It’s true! Shoppers generally have little idea of what it Everyone has a personality; your challenge is to make yours to bring your products to market. If your product display come to life through your choice of colors, materials and caught their eye, they then turn that eye on you. What imaprops. Chances are someone else offers similar products and are you conveying? Like it or not, they evaluate the care you want shoppers to notice you. you’ve taken with your appearance and apply that to the care you take with your product. Are you ”saying” what you •Keep it high and watch it ﬂy-your products gather want people to “hear”? more attention when your display has many levels beginning with crates raised off the ground up and •Remember you represent your farm ending with an element at about shoulder height •Offer friendly, knowledgeable service: remember •Restock after each rush-when things begin to look names, invite them back next week sparse, start consolidating •Aim for a short wait time; when things get busy, ac- •Employ color contrast to enhance eye appeal-if most knowledge those waiting of your available products are of a similar color add •Be a picture of health and cleanliness props or purchase a bouquet from a ﬂower vendor •Go in costume if its your style and not too outrageous •Use signs: farm name, state prices next to product, •If you aren’t experiencing a comfortable atmosphere add product characteristics at the market, neither are your customers •Be enthusiastic Vendors Marketing the Market •Avoid eating and smoking Katherine Kelly and Joan Vibert, vendors at Kansas City’s Salesmanship Brookside Farmers’ Market, offer the following possibilities Every so often, step outside your stall. Walk the market as a vendors to contribute to the success of the market as a shopper and evaluate what customers are drawn towards. whole. Some vendors always attract a crowd; take time to notice •Promote special events to customers what you might be able to improve about your own presentation. •Use your personal networks to promote the market as a whole •Keep active •Do mailings/e-mailings to your own customer list- •Place your scale up front to avoid turning your back toot not only your own horn but that of the market as •Orient cover to give shade to your customers well •Know your products: how are they grown or made; •Include the market in all personal business promo- how to best store and ways to prepare them tions: business cards, ﬂyers, mailings •Build loyalty: give some free extras for your best cus- •Encourage customers to sign-up for the market email tomers or mailing list •Offer recipes and interesting facts •Promote customer interactions at the market to build •Give away a new offering for your shoppers to sam- a sense of community ple; ask them to come back next week with feedback •Involve customers in special market events •Notice what’s already in their bags—what might you •Recruit new vendors have to complement their purchases •Announce the market on your voice mail •Offer a sample: “Have you ever tried …” then follow- •Volunteer for market duties •Recruit customers to help with market organization, up with an interesting fact about the product to serve on the board or to plan as speciﬁc market •If you get a complaint comparing your price with a competitor’s, respond politely with “I believe they event know the value of their product.” •Ask customers to serve on the market board marketing the market▯ 3 KRC Sustainable Agriculture Management Guide MGIOA.1 Serve Convenience While farmers’ markets may have the highest quality products available in town, our shoppers are accustomed to all the conveniences of the modern grocery store. Consider if your market is doing all it can to address the following issues: • Convenient hours • Ample, close parking • Manageable packages • Assistance with carrying large purchases • Shade and shelter • Eliminate congested areas • Accessible for the elderly • Tasty breakfast with a place to sit, eat and talk •Clean, accessible restrooms Signs and Banners Signs and banners can be signiﬁcant investments for a market. If designed with care and sited well, they can also be invaluable marketing tools in informing passersby of Create a Vibrant your locations, days and hours of operation. Working with a professional increases your odds of crafting durable, Market Experience effective and attractive products. Keep the following in The goal is to draw as many shoppers as possible on market mind when creating your next sign or banner: day. After recruiting sufﬁcient vendors who can bring the •Use a simple, consistent logo or image freshest local products, you might want to focus on making the market an exciting and interesting place to be. •Use an easy to read font Numerous factors can contribute to a lively marketplace •Present information in a clear, logical sequence •Overload them too early with too many messages including sights, sounds and aromas... and they will give up •Invite musicians and “pay” them a gift of market •Confuse them and they will ignore the message produce and products •On market days, utilize yard-type signs at key inter- •Create a Chef at Market program where the chef sections to guide customers creates dishes with market products—try to offer •Consider seeking sponsors shoppers a sample •Consider activities like theater, balloons, play equipment, face painting, petting zoos for kids •Provide places to eat and sit along with shade •Invite school bands and tours •Explore having a market during evening-in-the park concerts •Host parades such as a Halloween Costume March •Decorate the market •Make whatever you provide beautiful … bouquet for restroom … nice seating •Recognize that aromas of ready to eat foods such as BBQ or sausage biscuits are a big draw •Provide a “Community Booth” for local not-for- proﬁts to share information with the community marketing the market▯ 4 KRC Sustainable Agriculture Management Guide MGIOA.1 Getting the Word Out Your market’s atmosphere is vibrant and much thought has been given to the needs of your customers. Now it’s time to focus on letting your community know who and what can be found at your market. Studies show that your best avenues to achieving this goal are word of mouth and media coverage. While advertising can be effective, it requires a signiﬁcant advertising budget—on average it takes at least six exposures before a consumer responds to an advertisement. Media Promotion Word of Mouth Advertising •Prepare a preseason press kit that includes informa- •Consistently satisfy customers-they will rave about tion about the upcoming season-dates, locations, the market to friends, family and coworkers hours, a list of market products, a chart outlining •Turn core customers into ambassadors-ask if they when fruits and vegetables are in season, a schedule would share ﬂyers with friends and coworkers of special events as well as a short history of the •Reward bringing a friend-every time they bring market and a few vendor proﬁles someone new, enter them into a monthly market •Follow up with a phone call basket drawing •Consider selling T-shirts, caps, tote bags—they are •Submit a great photo •Send out press releases for special events or when great walking billboards for the market key crops (sweet corn, tomatoes, peaches) come into •Solicit letters to the editor from your shoppers, nu- tritionist, and others that recognize the beneﬁts of season local agriculture •Take time to build relationships with key media personnel-ﬁnd out if the food section editor is inter- Participate in Community Events ested in a recipe of the week, see if the garden •Create a promotional display for your market to ex- writer needs leads on the new and hot perennials. •When someone from the media contacts you offer, hibitduring garden and home shows and health fairs—don’t forget to have ﬂyers about the upcom- “How may I help you?” and be sure to follow through with requests, promote creative story an- ing season to hand out gles and upcoming special events •Enter a market theme ﬂoat in parades •Take advantage of community calendar listings in •Create a produce display for the county fair newspapers, on radio stations and websites •Offer to read an agriculture-themed book during •Send a gift basket to the editor (check ﬁrst, some story time at your public library, local bookstore or companies don’t allow this) school classroom •Acknowledge coverage by sending a thank you or bouquet marketing the market▯ 5 KRC Sustainable Agriculture Management Guide MGIOA.1 Bring the Market to Your Shoppers Connecting the Community Electronically or the Old Fashioned Way to Your Market Market newsletters are a great method of reminding your Chances are your market is one of the biggest weekly shoppers of why they love the market. The trend in this typegathering spots in town. Sharing this forum with your of communication is the e-newsletter delivered via email. community can earn your market goodwill and provide Many companies offer e-newsletter services with affordable countless marketing opportunities. Whether you provide a rates based on the number of subscribers on your list. And stall that not for proﬁt groups may use or offer to collect they make the process of creating a newsletter fairly simpleexcess produce for a food pantry at the end of the market day, When compared to traditional newsletter costs, copying and reaching out to the community can really pay off. mailing, e-newsletters are a bargain. Plus if you have access to digital images, color photos can bring your market to life.rtnerships •Consider designating a weekly stall to a worthy Whether you go with paper or electronic distribution, keep group-you can decide whether it can be used for in- the following points in mind: •Include a banner with market name, logo, date and formational purposes only or if you will permit fund- raising through rafﬂe tickets, bake sales, etc...either contact information and be consistent in style and way, groups will be delighted to have access to your with your publication schedule-monthly, weekly shoppers and will most likely bring out folks new to •Highlight upcoming events •Share what is currently available and offer tips on the market •Partner with a food pantry or soup kitchen to high- selection and storage light the issue of hunger in your community-host a •Incorporate farmer proﬁles, and news from your food drive or glean excess market produce to donate vendors •Bring readers into the “family” by soliciting recipes •Collaborate with a local restaurant or cooking school- have a “shop with the chef day” where shoppers can and testimonials tour the market with a culinary expert to learn tips •Offer your vendors the opportunity to include cou- and receive recipes pons or special offers-they’re an excellent way to move abundant product •Invite your county’s extension ofﬁce to participate- Master Foods graduates can offer food preservation •Include a sign-up box on your website and those of information and the Master Gardeners give great hor- the city and any of your sponsors •Recruit readers for speciﬁc market volunteer ticultural advice opportunities-coordinate for special events, web de- •Don’t forget to publicize these appearances in a media release sign, graphics work to create ﬂyers, even writing the newsletters themselves Local Businesses •Banks are required by law to do a certain amount of References community service. Talk to the neighborhood bank Corum, Vance, Marcie Rosenzweig and Eric Gibson. 2001. and ask them to sponsor a special event, musicians, The New Farmers’Market. New World Publishing. Auburn, ﬂyers or mailings California. •See if local merchants will put market posters in their Corum, Vance. 1999. Small Town Farmers' Markets. APA windows or consider placing ﬂyers in shopping bags National Conference: Economic Development Division. •Inquire with the city about including ﬂyers in mu- Koch, Richard. 1998. The 80/20 Principle. Doubleday Pub- nicipal bills lishers. New York, New York. Kelly, Katherine and Joan Vibert. 2004. Presentation at Kansas Farmers’ Market Conference. Lawrence, Kansas. Kansas Rural Center PublicatiMG10A.1 The authors of this publication are Jerry Jost and Mercedes Taylor-Puckett. The Kansas Rural Center provided support with USDA’s Risk ManagementAgency provided funding. The Kansas Rural Center is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the long-term health of the land and its people through education, research and advocacy. The Kansas Rural Center cultivates grassroots support for public policies that encourage family farming and steward- ship of the soil and water. The Rural Center is committed to economically viable, environmentally sound, and socially sustainable rural cul- ture. For more information, contact the Kansas Rural Center at P.O. Box 133, Whiting, Kansas 66552 or (785) 873-3431. marketing the market▯ 6
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