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Marketing for Agriculture

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



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. This course develops your ability to analyse and manage marketing problems in an agricultural enterprise

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Agricultural Marketing Concepts
    • The Role of Marketing
    • Approaches to Marketing
    • The Production Approach: 1820sto 1910s
    • The Sales Approach: 1920s to 1960s
    • The Marketing Approach: Stage One - 1960s to 1980s
    • The Marketing Approach: Stage Two - 1980s to Present
    • The Goals of Marketing
    • Managing the Marketing Process
    • Marketing - An Evolutionary Process
  2. Farm Marketing Objectives and Strategies
    • Supply And Demand
    • The Marketing Mix
    • Developing a Farm Marketing Plan
    • Organising the Planning Process
  3. Target Marketing
    • Preliminary Research
    • Analysing Market Opportunities
    • External Influences
    • Overseas Influences
    • Internal Influences
    • Analysis of Business Resources
    • Analysis of Market Share
    • Analysis of Product Characteristics
    • Analysis of Advertising
    • Analysis of Price
    • Financial Capacity
    • Analysis of Innovative Potential
    • Selecting Target Markets - Market Segmentation
    • Physical Basis for Segmenting the Market
    • Behavioural Basis for Segmenting the Market
  4. Handling Produce
    • Developing the Marketing Mix
    • The ‘Product’ Element
    • The ‘Price’ Element
    • The ‘Promotion’ Element
    • The ‘Place’ Element
    • Product Life Cycle
  5. Customer Relations
    • Customer Service
    • Customer Care Policy
    • Customer Care - Levels of Involvement
    • Effective Communication
    • Dealing with Complaints
    • Maximising Customer Service
  6. Market Research
    • The Importance of Market Research
    • The Research Process
    • Analysing Costs and Benefits
  7. Promotions
    • Promoting Products
    • Channels of Communication
    • Publicity Marketing
    • Advertising
    • Structuring an Advertisement or Promotion
    • Copywriting in Advertising
  8. Managing Marketing
    • 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.

Get Your Marketing Strategy on Course

Farm produce can with  or without value adding. You may choose to sell animals live; as a carcass, or as a processed product made from thew carcass. Crops can be harvested and sold as bulk product; or processed  and sold  at a higher price or to a different type of customer, because of the way it was processed.

Different types of agricultural products will have different potential markets in different countries. There is no point in spending money and time producing value added quality products at a high cost, if the markets you have access to, are not going to buy that product. In other situations though; value adding can be very profitable, and may be a way of turning an unprofitable farm into a profitable one.

Strategies may be designed to achieve different purposes, for example:

  1. market retention
  2. balancing strategy
  3. market development
  4. market growth

Market retention strategy basically looks towards maintaining market share in established markets. Established firms with successful products are likely to follow this style of strategy. Often they will incorporate some degree of product modification so as not to become stale and possibly lose market share.

Balancing strategy involves assessing costs against revenue (ie. is it cost effective?), and attempting to control marketing operation rather than outlaying funds in order to develop products. In older (ie. established) markets the market is usually relatively controlled and the competition is well known and new developments unlikely.

Market development strategy involves taking an existing product and improving or refining that product in the hope or belief that it will attract a larger share of an existing market. A good example of this type of marketing would be the Big M promotions, which were trying to, and largely succeeding in popularising flavoured milk.

Market growth strategy is where new products are being launched in the hope of creating new markets. This type of marketing usually involves high risk for a business, as it will require heavy promotion and there may be no guarantees that the product will be successful. It also promises the greatest profits should the market take off.   

Learn to Understand Marketing and Make Better Decisions for Better Business Outcomes

This course will increase your knowledge and understanding of farm marketing, and in doing so, you will see options for what can be produced and how it can be marketed in the agricultural sector.

You will look at farm produce differently and better see the potential when it exists; and be more likely to recognise the lack of potential and take action faster, when that is the situation.

This is a course for

  • Farmers
  • Farm Managers
  • Agricultural Marketers
  • Investors and Innovators, Agents and anyone else who works in the agricultural sector

Meet some of our academics

John Mason John Mason is one of Australia's most prolific writers. He saw his first work published when at secondary school, where he worked on the school magazine. In 1973 he was writing a weekly column for his local newspaper and by 1975 he was a regular contributor to Australia's national magazine "Your Garden". John was engaged by Victoria's Dept of Youth, Sport and Recreation to write a book on Fun and Fitness Trails in 1978. In 1981 he saw two more books published (one in America, another in Australia), and commenced writing regularly for the Self Sufficiency Magazine, Grass Roots. John is a long term member of the Australian Society of Authors, the Garden Media Guild (UK) and the Horticultural Media Association (Australia). He has written or contributed to over 100 books, many published by international publishers and published more than 2,000 articles across a range of genres (Gardening, Education, Business, Farming, Fitness). In addition, John has contributed to and overseen the development of more than 600 distance education courses which encompass around 20 million words. He has been an avid photographer for 40 years, building a collection of over 100,000 images, which are used to illustrate his work. His marine animal photos are even used by Legoland in England, on their Atlantis ride! Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.
Denise Hodges Promotions Manager for ABC retail, Fitness Programmer/Instructor, Small Business Owner, Marketing Coordinator (Laserpoint). Over 20 years varied experienced in business and marketing. More recently Denise studied naturopathy to share her passion for health and wellness. Denise has an Adv.Dip.Bus., Dip. Clothing Design, Adv.Dip.Naturopathy (completing).
Bob JamesHorticulturalist, Agriculturalist, Environmental consultant, Businessman and Professional Writer. Over 40 years in industry, Bob has held a wide variety of senior positions in both government and private enterprise. Bob has a Dip. Animal Husb, B.App.Sc., Grad.Dip.Mgt, PDC

Check out our eBooks

Event ManagementThe Event Management ebook is a complementary text for event management students or professionals working in the field. The ebook goes through the considerations and elements of an event and what needs to be organised when an event is in the planning stage.
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