The Importance of a Farm Marketing

As more farmers are striving to connect directly with customers, farm marketing is an important part of a successful business.

Marketing has always been an important part of business. To sell a product, clients and customers most know about it. In a crowded market place, customers will gravitate toward products that align more with their values. Marketing is about communicating the information that sets our business apart. Farmers may choose to use marketing techniques to differentiate their produce from similar goods on the market, or to reach new, wider, or more distant markets, all of which depend upon successful communication within the supply chain.A picture of a tractor plowing a farm featuring 6 reasons to start marketing your farm

Wasting Less Product

Farmers have a particular challenge because our products are perishable. We need to get them to our customers within the right time frame or we have a wasted harvest. A wasted harvest means a cost of land, water, labor and storage without the income to show for it. Marketing makes sure we have proper channels set up, so when we have the product ready it can get to the customers as soon as possible.

Customer Education

Customers go to the grocery store and buy something that look exactly like what’s at the farmers market, but its a cheaper price. This is why education, or marketing, is so important. Farmers need to educate the customer about why they are better. Make the name of your farm synonymous with health, quality, and a better life. Let people know why they are spending $5 for a dozen eggs and not $2.50.

Remember that when a customer is joining a CSA or shopping at the farmers market, they often are not just doing it for the food. They want to know what goes on behind the scenes. That is part of the experience. Update them through newsletters, face to face interaction, your website, or social media.

Communicating Challenges

Another challenge we face that marketing can help with is communicating influences that effect our product. The agricultural industry is vulnerable to external influences such as changes in weather and climate that affect harvests. These influences can cause prices to vary significantly. Effective marketing can help consumers understand the reasons for these changes in price. Some customers are more receptive to this than others. As we strive to make our food sources local, focus on customers who are understanding and empathetic to your struggles. As people start to have a better understanding of the challenges we’re facing, this mindset will spread.

Increasing Variety

As more farmers are selling directly to customers, customers might find more diversity in the marketplace. Different production methods mean that not all crops, products and food are the same. Marketing can help open up conversation about different production methods and products.

Business Autonomy

When farmers start selling directly to customers, it removes the middleman in the supply chain. This means more of the income goes directly to the farmer, and they more control over the pricing of their products.

Building a Loyal Customer Base

Marketing is all about the long game. Depending on your situation, you might start marketing before you have product. If you bring potential customers along on your journey, you will have a whole fan base ready to taste your first tomato.

It’s important to remember that marketing takes effort. No one starts a website yesterday and it ranks first tomorrow. No farm starts with 100 CSA members after their first announcement. Not every farmers market stand has a line around the corner the first time you show up. However, with time and hard work, you will find your loyal customers who will go through the trenches of the growing season with you.

With a lot of marketing, the hard work only happens once. For instance, websites require a lot of work to get up and running. They are costly to build, can take time to add content, and then even more time to rank in search engines. But once the website is up and running, it just has to be maintained.

As with CSAs, once you get the first bundle of customers, you will have repeat customers the following year. The existing customers will help with word of mouth, which free and the best marketing possible.

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A picture of 3 stacks of coins with seedlings growing out the top featuring 6 reasons to start marketing your farm


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