Learn to Promote and Sell Horticultural Products and Services
- Marketing is pivotal to the success of any horticultural enterprise.
- Most commercial enterprises know this all too well
- Many public enterprises recognise the importance of marketing as much as business does
- Learning about marketing gives you a distinct advantage for employment in any sector of horticulture.
Note that each module in the Qualification - Certificate in Horticultural Marketing is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
Success will Evade You without Good Marketing
Marketing can make or break a horticultural enterprise.
There are many different ways of marketing horticultural products
and services. This course will give you the knowledge and awareness
needed to apply to marketing in any horticultural context. Some of the
common systems are outlined below:
Crops in the horticultural industry may include fruit, vegetables,
nuts, herbs, or anything else grown and sold in quantity. Some crop
producers will value add (eg. grape growers who process their harvest
into wine), while others sell the produce unprocessed.
Produce may be sold a range of different ways, including:
- direct to the public through on site farm shops, roadside stalls, or at farmers markets.
- to processors (factories)
- to wholesale markets
- to distributors
- to retailers (eg. supermarket chains)
Services can be many and varied, from landscaping, consulting and garden maintenance to garden and farm tourism ventures.
The same broad marketing skills used to market horticultural products are also used to market horticultural services.
Retailers in the horticulture industry include:
Shops -These can include garden centres, nurseries, florists,
online/mail order businesses, fruit shops, etc. They concentrate on
produce, plants, or other products; within other shops such as
supermarkets, hardware stores or elsewhere.
Mail Order -Usually promoted through catalogues and magazine advertisements,
Specialist Nurseries -These concentrate on growing one particular
type of plant which is sold direct to the public from the nursery. This
type of nursery may wholesale plants also.
Shows -Trade shows, homes shows, Agricultural Field days and other such events can be used as an outlet for plants.
Markets -Markets come in all types and sizes (eg. Craft markets,
fruit and vegetable markets, etc). Some nurseries find regular
attendance at a market can make a significant contribution towards
sales. Markets may also be used on an irregular basis to clear excess
Products are many and varied; from container plants (nursery stock),
and processed products (eg. wine); to plant pots, garden furniture,
fertilisers and potting mixes.
Truck Sales -A vehicle loaded with plants or produce calls on
retailers and usually sells direct from the truck. For some products,
some wholesalers use a smaller vehicle with samples of stock which are
shown and orders are taken from.
Markets -Trade markets conducted by industry associations or private
markets which sell to retailers, landscapers and other industry people
at wholesale prices. The organizers of these markets usually charge
participating nurseries a fee or commission, or both.
Agents -These may sell using one or several different methods (eg.
Truck sales, markets, etc) and take a commission from the wholesale
grower. This method can take away the worry of marketing, but it may
also affect overall profit depending on how good or bad the agent is.
Learn about the Segments of Marketing
Marketing has six stages:
Getting to know Products - Decisions about the products being produced
and how to produce them are not particularly part of the marketing
process. Marketing staff need to know products though if they are to
market them. Marketing is fraught with problems if a marketing staff try
to sell and promote something they don't know. You must avoid staff
making assumptions, and giving incorrect information to customers.
Promoting the Products - This involves raising an awareness of the
product or service, with the target market. It doesn't matter if only a
small proportion of the population know about the product, provided it
is the right proportion, and their attitude has become favourable enough
to consider buying.
Packaging is done to both present the product (make it look good), and to protect it during handling.
Transporting Products - Some products are more at risk of damage than
others. Food crops can deteriorate, container plants can be damaged,
hardware may be scratched or broken.
Making a Sale - This is a pivotal skill that all too many
horticultural businesses struggle with. If you don't understand how to
bring a customer to a decision and make a deal though, your business
just doesn't succeed.
After Sales Service (analysis & follow up)