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Marketing of horticultural products

marketing horticultural vegetable products advice south africa

Marketing is the distribution, promotion and direction of horticultural products or services to your customers.  Marketing includes a wide range of activities and starts at selecting a name of your farm and produce, its location and how you will interact with clients and customers.  All businesses marketing environment consist of:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place and
  • Promotion

These four aspects surrounding market centers around the client or the customer that you are trying to lure towards your product (See the figure below).

marketing sectors wheel produce agricultural products
The “Four P’s” which form the basis of the marketing mix for any. In agriculture distribution is crucial due to perishability of the horticultural products.

Let us look in more detail at these four aspects of marketing.

Horticultural product:

The product is the vegetables that you will be selling.  It is important that you find out what are the needs of the target customer.  The product (the presentation of the vegetables) should be developed around the needs of the client.  Thus you will have to understand all the various aspects of your customer.  These aspects are their likes, dislikes, movement during the day, night, year, weekends etc.  You must know what group are you targeting; do they have lots of money, do they have to walk very far from their home to buy your product, do they have their own transport.  All these factors will play a role in the way you will present your product to your customers.

Product price:

The price includes how the price is determined (will it be fixed or will you allow bargaining). What price policies are implemented by Government or other organisations.  The price of the product will be determined by actual costs, the demand of the product, competitive constraints and substitute products available in the area.

Product place:

Place or distribution.  The marketing channel of distribution is any business or individual who facilitates the flow of goods and services as they move from producer to the actual user.

Product promotion:

This is the area where products (vegetables) are promoted to sell.  Before promoting the product it must be packaged.  Packaging includes the whole process of developing a brand name and graphic to suit the packaging.  Colour is also quite important when selling vegetables.  For instance, a black box would not look that healthy when selling tomatoes, rather use green or red to complement the freshness of the product.  There are generally four ways to sell a product, these are:

  • Advertising
  • Public/media relations
  • Sales and
  • Special promotional activities.

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