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Agricultural Marketing

Course CodeBAG304
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


A successful rural manager needs to understand his unique markets and how to capitalize on market forces to maximize business profit.

Being a successful rural businessman or woman is a difficult managerial role. Very few non-rural businesses are presented with the continuing changes and variations that confront a rural business. The impact of climate means the rural manager has to continually consider, evaluate, assess (and reassess) often on a daily or even hourly basis, the numerous changes and types of information that may affect the rural business success.



Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Agricultural Marketing Concepts
    • Marketing
    • Goods and Services
    • The Marketing Concept
    • Managing the Marketing Process
    • The Role of Marketing
    • Approaches to Marketing
    • The Goals of Marketing
    • Organizing, analyzing, selecting target markets
    • Developing the Marketing Mix
    • Managing the Market Effort
  2. Farm Marketing Objectives and Strategies
    • Supply and Demand
    • Developing the Farm Marketing Plan
    • Organizing the Planning process
    • Reviewing the Business's Situation
    • Establishing Marketing Objectives
    • Developing Strategies
    • Market Penetration
    • Price Advantages
  3. Target Marketing
    • Preliminary Research
    • Target Markets in Agriculture
    • Defining the Target
    • Resources
    • Analyzing Market Opportunities
    • External Influences
    • General Economic Conditions
    • Government Policy and Regulations
    • Overseas influences
    • Demographic Patterns
    • Technological Change
    • Customer Values and Attitudes
    • Alternative Marketing Methods
    • Internal Influences
    • Selecting Target Markets
    • Market Segmentation
  4. Handling Produce
    • Developing the Marketing Mix
    • The "Product" element of the Marketing Mix
    • Logos, packaging, positioning and image etc
    • The "Price" Element of the Marketing Mix
    • Pricing objectives and methods
    • The "Promotion" element of the marketing Mix
    • Publicity and Public Relations
    • Advertising, sales and personal selling
    • The "Place" element of the Marketing Mix
    • Market coverage
    • Determining Emphasis with the Marketing Mix
    • Impact of Product Life-cycle
  5. Customer Relations
    • Customer Care Policy
    • Levels of Involvement
    • Effective Communication
    • Becoming an effective communicator
    • Dealing with complaints
    • Self evaluation
    • Maximizing customer service
  6. Market Research
    • The Importance Of Market Research
    • What to Research?
    • The Research process
    • Analyzing Costs and Benefits
  7. Promotions
    • Promoting Product
    • Creating customer awareness
    • Promotional Campaign Strategy
    • The Promotional Message
    • Promotional Material
    • Making Promotions Cost Effective
    • Channels of Communication
    • Publicity Marketing
    • Advertising
    • Structuring an Advertisement or Promotion
  8. Managing Marketing
    • Market Retention
    • Balancing Strategy
    • Market Development
    • Market Growth
    • Managing the Marketing Plan
    • Sales and the Market

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Explain the role of marketing in business and the importance of marketing in the business plan.
  • Assess the relative importance of marketing planning and to determine marketing strategies in relation to farming.
  • Identify target markets to select suitable marketing methods.
  • Explain the physical handling of products in the marketing process, including packaging, labeling, presentation and transportation.
  • Plan to maintain sound customer relations in an agricultural business.
  • Conduct market research into a product or service in the agricultural industry.
  • Plan to manage the promotional program for an agricultural business.
  • Develop strategies to manage the marketing of an agricultural enterprise.

What You Will Do

  • Investigate the marketing operations of an agricultural enterprise in your locality. This may be any enterprise involved in agriculture, such as a primary producer or a supplier of goods or services to primary producers. Learn all you can about three different agricultural products or services, and the way they are marketed by that enterprise. Visit the enterprise. Make observations and ask questions of staff and/or management.
  • Investigate two different but similar farm enterprises operating in your locality/region. These should be enterprises which are producing a similar product (e.g. meat, or milk or wool, or grain), but which have at least some differences in their marketing (e.g. one might operate a farm shop with direct sales to the public while the other does not). Determine the marketing strategies being used by each.
  • Research into an agricultural enterprise you have or still work in or one you aspire to to work in. Find out: How the owners determined that there was a demand for product; If and how a target market was identified and; If the target market or product has changed since the business began.
  • Visit at least two poultry product outlets (e.g. Farms, shops, markets). If you cannot visit these in real life, undertake virtual visits on the web (e.g. Search for egg/chicken farms, retailers, wholesalers). Find out all that you can about how they market the different products they sell (e.g. free range eggs to a local outlet, wholesale to a marketing board, fresh meat to a butcher or processor).
  • Speak to a business that manufactures agricultural produce, and find out how they price and distribute their products. Also, find out what they believe are the most important factors in making a sale, and in what selling situations they experience the greatest sales (e.g. through magazines, off the back of a truck, through agents, face-to-face, salespeople).
  • Investigate a marketing program for an agricultural product. This may be a product you work with, which a friend or colleague works with, or for which you are able to obtain access to information for the purpose of this project. Evaluate the marketing program or strategy for this agricultural product or service by monitoring marketing activities and performance over a period of three months, and recording information in a log book.

It is of little value for a business to plan and implement a marketing strategy without first deciding what its goals are.  Every marketing plan must have a goal – something the business wishes to achieve.

From the ‘marketing’ definition, we can determine that there is one major goal for most businesses: to increase the sales and profit while attempting to satisfy customers’ needs and wants.  Such a goal could be stated in very general terms – ‘to increase our market share’ or ‘to increase our profits’.  However, these statements are too generalized.  When deciding on market goals, it is better to be more specific.  E.g. the business wants to increase its market share by 5 percent.


To be able to achieve such goals, there are a number of minor goals that the marketing plan will need to achieve.  They are as follows:

1. Encourage brand loyalty which will lead to repeat sales
2. Emphasize the unique characteristics of the product – product differentiation – that cause customers to purchase your product(s) rather than the competitors’ product(s).
3. Develop a positive image of the product among customers.
4. Recognize any adverse customer reactions and respond accordingly.
5. Package, price and distribute the product.
6. Undertake promotional strategies to support the product.
7. Increase customer satisfaction through the provision of after-sales service.


Promotion is that part of your organization’s marketing mix that aims to inform, persuade or remind the marketplace about its products. It is an attempt to influence potential consumers to buy your product.

Promoting your product or service requires focus beyond just making immediate sales. Promotion involves building an attitude amongst potential customers that will lead some of them to buy from you not only now, but well into the future. Through promotion, the awareness of your product (and perhaps brand) will increase; and the inclination to buy this rather than something else will increase.

Agricultural promotions sometimes focus on a generic product, a brand or s specific product;

  • A generic product could be a type of meat, all vegetables, fresh food in general or wine in general.  An example of this type of promotion could be a cooperative effort by a group of beef farmers might aim to promote beef; increasing the % of beef being eaten by a broad population
  • A brand could be a wine company, a marketing authority or a retail chain which brands all it’s agricultural; products with the same name
  • A specific product could be a type of wine (eg. Chardonnay) from a particular wine company; or a branded fruit or vegetable from a particular cooperative group of growers (eg. Tropic Coast Bananas).
All of our Tutors are highly qualified and experienced. To find out more, click here.  
Do you have any questions?  Click here to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Or if you would like to speak to a tutor about the course, then please email us.
Q. What will these studies lead to?
A.  When you understand marketing, you have an improved capacity to raise awareness and sell products or services. The biggest reason for failure of an agricultural enterprise is failure to sell enough, or to sell at the right price. Farmers and businesses that service farms know and understand this. People who have studied agricultural marketing are better equipped to ensure success, and that is an advantage in any situation, either as an employee, or as a business owner.
This course could lead to working in Farm sales or marketing; but it is equally useful to help improve your chance of success in any job in this industry.
Q.  Can I get a credit toward a Certificate or Diploma if I wish to continue further studies after this?
A.  Yes; both with our schools in Australia and the UK and with a number of affiliated colleges across the world

Q. What happens if I have to stop studying for a while? (e.g. Get sick, go on holidays, have a baby).

A. Apply for an extension. It's OK to take a break and start up your study at a later point in time. Just let us know.
Q. What level is this course?
A.  We designed this course with adults in mind, and with the flexibility to allow students to work to a level that they are comfortable with. People who have a university level education can approach their work in greater depth, and will have the support of an expert to guide and support them. People who have far less experience and education, may work to a lower academic level, and may take longer to complete studies; but with persistence, they will (with help from tutors) still achieve the minimum goals set for the course. This course should not be seen as rigidly being a degree, diploma or certificate level; rather you should simply see it as an opportunity to extend your skills and knowledge in this discipline, starting wherever you currently are, and finishing with a heightened understanding and capacity to work in this field. 
Q. What do I get as a student?
A. First, understand a good course is quite different to a book or a web site
  • A course should be something that changes you; making things stick in your mind, improving your capacity to do thing, remember things, solve problems and understand the subject
  • A book on this subject is a reference that can be read, but might not be understood as the author intended, and most of which probably will not be remembered unless a lot of time is devoted to studying it.
  • A web site is like a book; except there is a stronger likelihood that it could contain biased and even incorrect information.
An ACS course differs to books, seminars, web sites and other sources of "information" in several key ways.
  • It is a constructed learning pathway that is designed with the purpose of bringing about a change in the student
  • It is constructed by a team of experts, credible in their field, from across the world (it reflects input from many people, from different countries and climates. (A book more commonly reflects only one).
  • Every student is guided as an individual through the learning experience. The learning pathway and the precise information encountered is commonly different for every single student.
  • You are monitored; motivated and where necessary your path is corrected as you move through the course. A book is a one way communication (a monologue), whereas a course is two way communication. 
  • A course filters out and organises information; serving you up a quantity of resources that is "digestible" in a way that is designed to help you digest it.
ACS provides all essential learning resources (eg. notes or books), and all the tutor support that is needed to successfully complete a course. Some students may choose to buy extra books -but this really is not necessary.
Q. Will I have problems with practical tasks, because I cannot travel or attend workshops?
A. Our college has developed lots of ways of providing for practical learning, that can be done by anyone, anywhere and anytime. Students come from over 150 countries, and the practicals have never been a factor that has stopped someone completing their studies in this course.
All courses include set tasks that add a practical element to the learning experience, but we often give options.
Courses are as far as possible written to cope with the widest range of situations, from people living in Antarctica to someone confined to their home due to illness.
Example -We may ask you to visit a workplace and observe something; but also say or if you have restricted mobility make a virtual visit, on the internet, if possible, or if not, by reviewing a place through an article in a magazine. If you can't find
reference material, ask us and we will send you what you need.
If the course does not provide an option that is achievable, you contact us, and we will give you other options.


How then Can this Course Benefit You?

This course not only helps you learn more about agricultural marketing. It also sets you on a path to continued learning after the course finishes. This is important, because we live in a world that keeps changing. 

When you develop a proper, broad foundation to understand how marketing works across the agricultural sector;  the range of possibilities expands, and you are better placed to see and understand more options into the future.

Some courses only teach you about what you need to know today; but the best solution today is often the worst solution tomorrow.

This course does more than just teach you the theory. You learn the principles,  you are encouraged to think outside the box, develop your connections with organisations and people (networking), and build a broad capacity to explore, research and find effective marketing solutions not just now, but for as long as you are involved with agriculture.

a path to better adapt to change as it unfolds into the future.


Meet some of our academics

Dr. Gareth PearceVeterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Post-graduate qualifications in Education, Wildlife Conservation Medicine, Aquatic Veterinary Studies and Wildlife Biology & Conservation. Gareth has a B.Sc.(Hons), B.V.Sc., M.A., M.Vet.S,. PhD, Grad. Cert. Ed.(HE), Post-Grad.Cert. Aq.Vet.Sc., Post-Grad. Cert. WLBio&Cons., Dipl. ECPHM, MRCVS.
Peter Douglas Over 50 years experience in Agriculture and wildlife management. Former university lecturer, Wildlife park manager, Animal breeder, Equestrian. Peter has both wide ranging experience in animal science, farming and tourism management, and continues to apply that knowledge both through his work with ACS, and beyond.

Check out our eBooks

Farm ManagementThis ebook covers tips to manage your own farm, or work for someone else. It also covers the farm site, production systems, managing livestock, pasture, crops, water, equipment, farm structures, finance, marketing, staff management, farm planning and more. 15 chapters, 129 pages
Modern MarketingThis book explores new approaches to marketing, how to adapt to a continually changing world both through online marketing, and more. Some aspects of marketing never change; but many of the well established approaches used in the past simply do not work any more. This book lays a foundation for thinking about marketing in a different way
Profitable FarmingDiscover new ways to make money from farming and how farms may adapt to change. This ebook explores specialised crops and livestock, farm tourism, cost reduction, value adding, long term planning and more. 76 pages
Marketing PsychologyThe Marketing Psychology ebook will provide you with an understanding of the psychology behind the consumer decision making process. With 52 pages of insight into marketing psychology and consumer behaviour, this ebook help you understand consumers much more effectively. Marketing psychology is about understanding people’s purchasing behaviour and applying that understanding to the advertising, marketing and ultimately the selling of products or services.