Become an Agricultural Marketing Manager or Sales Representative

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.

Learn Marketing for Agriculture

  • Learn to sell market Farm Produce.
  • Learn to Market Supplies to Farmers.



There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Agricultural Marketing Concepts
  2. Farm Marketing Strategies
  3. Target Marketing
  4. Handling Produce
  5. Customer Relations
  6. Market Research
  7. Promotions
  8. Managing Marketing

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.

This course develops your ability to analyse and manage marketing problems in an agricultural enterprise. Topics covered include: market research, management of your marketing, promotions, handling produce, packaging, distribution, customer relations and more.


Duration: 100 hours



Step One: Organising the Marketing Planning Process

The starting point of any marketing plan is an assessment of the business’s present position. To do this, market research is used to gather all the available information concerning the market environment. The data are then analysed by marketers.

1. Reviewing the business’s situation: This is best achieved by conducting a situational analysis which investigates the marketing opportunities and any potential problems that may occur. Situational analysis attempts to answer two broad questions:

• Where is the business now?
• Where will the business be in the future?

The situation analysis also examines the existing marketing plan. It outlines where the business has been, how it has been performing and what difficulties it may face in the future. This information helps to evaluate the effectiveness of the present marketing plan.

2. Establishing marketing objectives: Businesses need to outline precisely what it they wish to achieve. These expectations become the business’s objectives. Clear objectives are essential for any marketing plan to be effective. A marketing objective is a statement of what is to be achieved through the marketing activities. Determining these objectives is the most important step in the marketing planning process.

3. Developing strategies to achieve objectives: Marketing strategies are actions undertaken to achieve the business’s marketing objectives. The four main strategies a business can pursue are:
• increase market share
• expand into new geographical areas
• sell more products to more customers
• establish a competitive price. 


Step Two: Analysing Market Opportunities

All businesses operate in a dynamic environment, being influenced by a number of external forces that are largely beyond the control of the business. Changes in the external environment can dramatically alter the course of a business. For this reason, the business must constantly monitor these changes, looking for any opportunities to exploit and any threats to avoid.

Internal forces operate from inside the business and are largely within the control of the business. These internal forces are unique to each business and, by analysing them, management can assess the strengths and weaknesses of the business.

To develop a clear understanding of both the external and internal environments, a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis should be conducted and the marketing plan modified to reflect this information.


Step Three: Selecting Target Markets

The total market is normally too large and fragmented to be a viable target for a business’s marketing efforts. Therefore, a business will select a target market, a group of customers with similar characteristics who currently, or who may in the future, purchase the product. There are two broad approaches that can be adopted when selecting a target market: the total market approach or the market segmentation approach.

Total Market Approach

This approach applies when a business defines the total market for a particular product as its target market. The business develops a single marketing mix and directs it at the entire market for the product. This means there is one type of product with little or no variation, one promotional program aimed at everyone, one price, and one distribution system used to reach all the customers.

Basic food items are marketed using the total market approach.

A total market approach is useful only in a limited number of situations because, for most products, customers have different needs. When buyers’ needs vary, the market segmentation approach should be used.

Market Segmentation Approach

A business that is producing and marketing sheep meat would not direct its marketing efforts towards every person in the market. Some buyers might want only lamb meat. Others might want mutton. Instead, the business would direct its efforts towards a particular part, or ‘segment’, of the total market for sheep meat. Market segmentation occurs when the total market is subdivided into groups of people who share one or more common characteristics.

Marketers use four main variables when segmenting the total market. These are:
(a) Demographic – age, gender, ethnicity, income, occupation, education level, religion, family size and social class.
(b) Geographic – urban, suburban, rural, region, climate, landform
(c) Product-related – regular user, first-time user, brand loyalty, price sensitivity, end use
(d) Psychographic – personality, motives, lifestyles


Step Four: Developing the Market Mix

The marketing mix is the combinations of the four elements of marketing, the four Ps, that make up the marketing strategy. They are:

1. Product, including brand name, packaging, positioning and warranties.
2. Price, including list price, discounts, credit terms, and payment period
3. Promotion, including advertising, sales promotion and publicity
4. Place, including location of markets, warehousing, distribution, transport and inventory

Once the four Ps have been established, the business must then determine the emphasis it will place on each of the variables. This will largely be determined by where the product is positioned or its stage in the product life cycle. For example, a product that is being marketed with an image of exclusivity and prestige will require a marketing mix totally different from a no-frills, generic item. A different marketing mix will also be required for a product in its introductory stage than when it reaches the decline stage.


Step Five: Managing the Market Effort

The marketing plan will not operate effectively unless it is well managed. Marketing management is the process of monitoring and modifying the marketing plan.

Monitoring involves comparing actual performance with predetermined performance standards. By using performance standards, such as market share analysis and profitability by product or territory, management can assess the effectiveness of the marketing plan. If the plan is found to be failing, then modifications can be made. Modifications may be minor, such as a small change in price, or they could mean a major shift involving the development of a completely new marketing strategy.


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