Food is an absolute necessity for life. However, having access to food is a different thing entirely. Gone are the days when our forefathers would produce agricultural products just for consumption and sales on a small scale. These days, there are incredible opportunities for marketing food products both locally and internationally. However, while there is potential for marketing and generating good income, there are also bottlenecks. Common hindrances like inconsistent and unfavorable government policies on trade transactions, corruption, needless bureaucracy, and what-have-you represent the biggest challenges to successful agricultural marketing.
In this post, we shall be considering features and essential components of Agricultural Marketing. This information will enable you to make wise and informed decisions about your Agricultural Marketing plans and to ensure that you make the most of the opportunities at your disposal. If you are an intending marketer of agricultural products or you are already in the business, this information will do you a world of good!
What Exactly Is Agricultural Marketing?
Agricultural marketing simply refers to the aspect of Agriculture that pertains to the distribution of agricultural products to their intended destinations. Timely distribution of agricultural products is essential, to avoid recording losses in business. This is because, agricultural products are perishable, and a failure to sell or distribute to target consumers will result in wastage. Lack of demand for agricultural products will also lead to wastage of agricultural products.
Agricultural marketing is essential, firstly; to ensure optimal distribution of agricultural products; to build and maintain relationships with Agricultural stakeholders – farmers, consumers, retailers, and the Agricultural companies; and to also create new sales leads.
Knowledge and techniques of agricultural marketing are in widespread use in all subsectors of Agribusiness. Small farms, large farms, distributors, manufacturers of agricultural machinery, and farm managers all utilize the various components of Agricultural marketing to achieve their purposes.
How to go about Agricultural Marketing
One of the most difficult things to accomplish today is to get an individual to part with their money, for some form of promised value. And that is exactly why an in-depth knowledge of agricultural marketing is critical. No matter how good the products of Farmer ‘A’ or Marketer ‘B’ are if s/he cannot get the target customers to trust their brand and product enough to want to commit to making a purchase, then the products will go to waste. Therefore, ultimately, while it is important to have good products that meet the needs of the customers, it is equally important to ensure that the products are distributed to where they are needed, for maximum profitability.
Please note that the concept of marketing in this context goes way beyond talking to people about a product that you have. It’s more about creating a need for your product in the minds of your target consumers, and being available to respond to their demands when they so do. To accomplish this, you need great communication skills, critical thinking skills, persuasive skills, negotiation skills, and the ability to appropriately apply the principles of diplomacy.
Now don’t rule yourself out just yet! With all these competencies mentioned, it is easy to do so. However, agricultural marketing isn’t difficult. If you have ever sold a product to anybody, and the sale was clean and smooth, then you have the potential to become a great agricultural marketer! If you have ever convinced somebody to do something that they would not naturally do, for their good or in the interest of another, you’ve also got incredible marketing skills in you!
Here are three key things that you MUST think about when venturing into Agricultural Marketing, especially as a Novice
Your Target Market
Bananas are for Monkeys, bones are for dogs, while fodder/livestock feeds are for livestock. It will be a grave mistake to give forage to dogs as food because there is neither demand nor appreciation for forage with the dogs. This analogy indicates one simple truth: never take or produce goods with the hope that some anonymous individuals will indicate interest. Have a specific target group, which you know will need your product, and then take on goods or manufacture products to meet the needs, on the other hand, you could also find out what people need the most, and create products and solutions for them.
Thus, if you decide to kick off your marketing career with livestock feed, for instance, you should already be abreast with every available information about the livestock market. Do not decide to start marketing based on access, or proximity to marketable products alone, but consider the demand for the product or goods. Seek information on the places of highest demand, trusted brands in the production and supply chain, pricing and availability, as well as market fluctuations. This will help you plan strategically, act decisively, and mitigate risks and loopholes before they even surface.
Remember, before you decided to do Agricultural Marketing, there were other marketers in the field already doing business and meeting the agricultural needs of various stakeholders. These people may have become established in the field and irrespective of the cost of their products, they may have built a brand that is compelling enough to make people want to continue to do business with them. Now, before you venture into the field, ask yourself this: “Why would anyone want to do business with me, instead of any of the other players in the industry?” Now, this should not make you doubt yourself; rather, let it drive you to create a service or product that is both unique, fresh, top quality, rare and meets needs better than others. Consider all that your competitors offer, and seek how to improve on it.
If you come into the market offering consumers an improved service or product at the same/reasonable price, you’re sure to make good sales eventually. More so, over time, you’d build a rich customer base filled with pleased customers who will be willing to continue doing business with you and to recommend others in their circles to you. Even though this is not instantaneous, it is a sure possibility.
Get On The Internet!
The internet provides a platform for people to know more about you, your company, values, and products or services, without meeting you directly. It also helps them to communicate with you easier. These days, a lot of business transactions are done online, and people or companies without a significant online presence are doing themselves a great disservice. For instance, via simple internet marketing techniques, you can reach as many as a thousand people in a particular region within a few minutes, for a small token. Think about how possible it would be, and how long it would take, to reach a thousand individuals one-on-one!
For the success of your marketing enterprise, also get yourself a professional logo, a website, and/or a blog. It is also important for you to update your content to keep your clients engaged. If your target market is large, you must understand that there are many people you will never be able to reach individually, even though they need what you are offering. This is why internet presence is critical for your marketing.
Via the internet, you can network with other marketers to stay abreast of activities and happenings in your field. This helps to improve your effectiveness as a marketer and also improves your overall chances of success.
In conclusion, making money as an agricultural marketer is not rocket science. It only takes determination, hard work, and the application of the principles and practices shared here.
Cheers to your success!