Understanding Marketing

Marketing is a general term used to describe the activities that lead to the sale of your product. It is the process of planning and executing pricing, promotion and distribution programs to satisfy customer needs. It involves collecting information, analyzing alternative market outlets, developing different product forms, pricing products to compete in the marketplace, defining the scope of the proposed market area and meeting consumers' needs. So marketing is more than just selling a product or service. It is an essential part of your business. Without a good marketing program, even the best businesses fail.

Value-added agricultural groups typically don’t pay enough attention to marketing. Selling agricultural commodities usually only involves hauling the commodities to a market where there is usually a willing buyer. So farmers often spend their time analyzing brick and mortar issues associated with processing and manufacturing (making the product rather than marketing the product). Often the attitude is that, if we make the product, someone will come along and buy it. So value-added agricultural businesses consistently fail because they do not understand the importance of designing and implementing a good marketing program.

As a first step, A Marketing Primer will help you with a basic understanding of marketing. Successful marketing involves designing and implementing a marketing strategy for your product. Marketing Strategies provides generic strategies for various types of products and product buyers. Another dimension of marketing is How Much Should I Spend.

For more information on this topic, see the links listed below of articles posted on related Web sites.

Understanding Marketing
  • Leadership for Healthy Communities; Characteristic of Healthy Communities – Kansas State University Extension -- Elaborates on the idea that a community is similar to a human body, comprised of a set of interdependent organs.
  • Marketing: What Needs to be Done – Kansas State University Extension – Marketing is transferring goods from producer to consumer.
  • Marketing’s Four P’s – Purdue University Extension – Presents the four elements of marketing your products and businesses.
  • Understanding Marketing – Small Business Administration -- In plain and simple terms, marketing activities and strategies result in making products available that satisfy customers while making profits for the companies that offer those products.
  • Marketing Basics – Small Business Administration -- Marketing programs, though widely varied, are all aimed at convincing people to try out or keep using particular products or services.
  • The Difference Between Sales and Marketing – Small Business Notes -- Many people mistakenly think that selling and marketing are the same, they aren't.
  • Understanding Marketing – Ohio State University Extension -- Marketing is a complex process involves determining what customers want or need; supplying the customer with the goods and services to satisfy these wants and needs; and doing so at a price that shows a profit to the business.
  • Overview: The Marketing Challenge – CCH Business Owner's Toolkit -- Presents a basic theory of marketing and introduces some key terminology.
  • Marketing: Will it Sell? – Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development -- An online guide to help you evaluate the feasibility of a new agricultural or rural-based business.
  • Developing a Sensible and Successful Marketing Attitude – Purdue University Extension -- It talks about risk-taking attitude, the relationship between risk-taking attitude and marketing attitude, among various other aspects of attitude toward marketing.
  • Marketing Terms – The Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Marketing Ideas
  • Marketing Ideas – Small Business Notes -- Marketing involves getting your message across to your customer about how your product or service might satisfy their needs.
  • Local Marketing Ideas – Mplans.com -- This article discusses several ideas including conventional advertising and shoestring marketing methods.
  • Marketing Communications – Small Business Notes -- Marketing communications is a term used to describe activities that deliver marketing messages to your target audiences.
  • Building a Better Buyer-Seller Relationship – HBS Working knowledge -- How do you turn short-term transactions into long-term relationships?
  • Loyalty: Don't Give Away the Store – HBS Working Knowledge -- Loyalty programs are profitable, if used correctly. But you can get it right.
Marketing Strategies and Programs
  • Collaborative Marketing – University of Minnesota Extension – Collaborative marketing is a group of farmers who have agreed to work together over an extended time period to market the agricultural products they produce.
  • The Strategy Pyramid – Mplans.com -- The Strategy Pyramid places strategy at the top, supported by tactics in the middle, and programs at the base. Strategy means nothing without tactics and programs to make it real.
  • Purchase Logic: The Foundation of Marketing Strategy – Urban Wallace Associates -- The foundation of a successful marketing strategy is an understanding of what product/service should be offered, how it should be presented, and to whom.
  • Negotiating Challenges for Women Leaders – HBS Working Knowledge -- When negotiating compensation, women often sell themselves short. Some practical advice on claiming the power to lead.
  • The Strategic Role of Marketing – HBS Working Knowledge -- Marketing must help drive organizational change.
  • Marketing Objectives and Strategies – Small Business Administration -- Meeting marketing objectives should lead to sales. If not, you need to set different marketing objectives.
  • Marketing Tactics – Entrepreneur.com -- Articles on tactics to achieve your marketing objectives.
  • Positioning, Branding & Niche Marketing – Entrepreneur.com -- Series of articles.
  • Marketing on a Limited Budget – Small Business Notes -- When a small business is starting up, it usually does not have sufficient capital to market the product or service.
  • How to Market an Innovative Product – Mplans.com -- This article details the four steps to marketing a new product.

Links checked July 2014.