The success or failure of marketing MUST relate to the relationship between supply and demand.

SUPPLY is the quantity of a good or service available. DEMAND being how much it is wanted. If supply is low and demand is high, then marketing is easy (because there is no or little competition)

If supply is high and demand low then marketing can be very difficult. (Why do you think this would be so?).

The Marketing Mix

There are 4 'Ps' in the marketing mix. These include product, price, place, and promotion. Although packaging is part of the product mix, it is an important 'P' in its own right - and is often called the fifth 'P'. The power of packaging should not be overlooked.

Developing a Farm Marketing Plan

The focus of most business activity today is to satisfy customer wants while at the same time achieving a profit. In many instances, a business’s marketing plan needs to be fully integrated with all other aspects of the business.

An integrated farm marketing plan outlines what marketing actions need to be conducted and specifies:

1. what has to be done – i.e. the action plans

2. why these actions are necessary

3. who is responsible for carrying them out

4. when they are to be done

5. how they will be done

6. the objectives to be achieved

This integrated farm marketing plan gives purpose and direction to the business’s activities. The plans need to be known by everyone in the business, so each department can work towards achieving the goal. The marketing plan needs to mesh with the business’s other plans i.e. financial, operational, and also its cash-flow.

An integrated farm marketing plan may be short term (one year), medium term (two to five years) or long term (five to ten years). It must be constantly reviewed and modified to meet the business’s objectives over time.

There is no set format for developing a farm market plan. Each plan will reflect the individual characteristics of a business. However, all marketing plans should have two features in common:

1. realistic in light of the situational analysis

2. achievable within the business’s resources and budget.

Organising the Planning Process

A starting point for developing a marketing plan for a business is to devise a strategic marketing plan. Strategic marketing planning is a continuous process of planning and implementing the marketing activities so that the business's marketing objectives can be achieved and the business goals can be realised.

There are three important steps that need to be carried out:

1. Reviewing the business situation – i.e. defining the business’s mission, goals and objectives

2. Establishing marketing objectives – outlining what the business wants to achieve from its marketing plan

3. Developing strategies to achieve those objectives – explaining how the business is going to achieve the objectives

Reviewing the Business' Situation

The most important component of the marketing plan is that management has a precise understanding of the business’s current position and has a clear picture of where it is heading. A situational analysis needs to be developed, based on market research.

The situational analysis and SWOT exercises are conducted by:

1. Examining the business environment and looking for opportunities to exploit

2. Deciding whether the business has the resources and abilities to take advantage of these opportunities

3. Assessing both strengths and weaknesses, relative to its competitors

Once the situational analysis has been conducted, the marketing plan can be developed by focusing on the business’s mission, goals and objectives.

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