Iowa CAFE Part II Marketing

  1. Marketing 101
  2. Marketing Plans
  3. Marketing Research
  4. Product
  5. Place
  6. Promotion
  7. Price
  8. Special Topics in Marketing


People interested in new enterprises often ask questions like, "How do I market my product?" Questions like this are too vague to know how to help. The key to beginning to help is to clarify what assistance is needed. That clarification can come from asking these Key Questions.

Key Questions

  • What product or products do you want to market? Describe them in detail.
  • What would be different about your product or products compared to others already in the marketplace?
  • Who would you like to sell these to? Households or others, like restaurants or grocery stores?
  • What is the geographic area for your target market?
  • What is the profile of your target customer? What are their needs that your product or products would meet?
  • What options for distribution are you considering?

Use the publications under each section to help clients find the information they need. Additional and more specialized information can be found by following the links below.

General marketing websites:

The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center website (a product of a project led by Iowa State University) is an excellent resource for marketing and business planning topics. Information is organized by these categories:

  1. Commodities and Products
  2. Markets and Industries
  3. Business Development
  4. Directories and State Resources

This U.S. Small Business Administration's Online Women's Business Center website has links to a large number of very helpful overviews of key marketing topics.

The home page for the Missouri Alternatives Center, which contains a wide variety of publications from public institutions that are easy to find because they are organized alphabetically. The home page includes a link titled "Extension Information on Alternatives" that takes you to pages that list and link in alphabetical order publications from universities across the U.S. and Canada. For example, clicking "m" takes you to a page that lists seven marketing topics ranging from "Direct Marketing to Consumers" to "Marketing to Institutions." Clicking on any of these topics will then take you to lists of publications on the topic that can be easily accessed from this site.

Websites useful for market research:

Provides a link to databases of per capita food consumption figures for nearly 300 food items. The data are stored in 33 files (Excel97 workbooks), each of which is downloadable. These data are extremely helpful in estimating market potential for various food items.

State Data Center of Iowa, a key source for U.S. census statistics about Iowa. Contains links to data that are useful for characterizing Iowa's population for market research purposes.

Provides links to census data that break down each Iowa county's population by various demographic variables, including age, educational levels, occupations, and income levels.

Links to a pdf file that breaks down the population of Iowa's seven Metropolitan areas by various demographic variables, including age, educational levels, occupations, and income levels.