Most farmers and agribusiness investors in Kenya complain about market day in day out. They are out-shined by middlemen and brokers who buy their produce at a very low price and sell at high price benefiting more from the real farmers. You will hear farmers complain about how coffee and tea farming business gone down as they receive peanuts. In recent past maize farmers in rift valley are all complaining of how the market has shifted. Agribusiness marketing should be given a priority when one intends to do agribusiness.
The question we would ask ourselves is how we market our products. Typically, you will hear people say something like, “I’ve placed some ads but they just don’t seem to be doing anything.” In other words, what they are doing is not bringing them the customers, clients or sales they desire.
Agribusiness Marketing Is More Than just Advertising
Those two terms are not synonymous and ‘placing a few ads’ is never going to draw the kind of business a small business needs to be successful in agribusiness. Agribusiness marketing is a process, not an event. It involves planning marketing goals and implementing marketing strategies to achieve them. It involves positioning yourself from the planting all the way to harvesting.
Now that doesn’t mean Agribusiness marketing must be a complicated process. But it does mean you should know what you want to achieve and get out of there and work at it. Below are some basic marketing strategies you can use to increase your customers and sales:
Help yourself by helping others.
All your agribusiness marketing should be of some use to your audience. There are many ways that you can make your marketing efforts a welcome intrusion rather than an annoyance to your audience. Try the following:
Provide useful agribusiness information. Information marketing has proven to be highly effective in increasing sales. By educating your audience on problems that they care about, you are also not only growing your customer base but also positioning yourself as the solution.
Aid. Answer questions posted on forums and websites and direct your audience to your website for more information. There are online directories that list a whole variety of forums.
Entertain your audience. Make them laugh or cry. Think of the funny and touching ads that you see and how quickly they are shared.
Socialize on social media
The current society is all in social media, ranging from teenagers to middle-aged ones and some of the old guys. Its therefore wise that you socialize more on social media mostly with your target group talking to them about your products and services that you are offering. The most popular social media channels include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Snapchat. Each of these social media platforms are unique and require unique ways of engagement. Rather than try to master it all at once, choose a few you like and try to master those first.
There is nothing effective than the word of mouth, when you provide good services or your goods are of good quality, the word will definitely spread. So don’t limit yourself, market your products in all channels available.
Utilities of Agribusiness Marketing
A useful way to think about the utility process is to think of them as adding value to the product.
- Form utility- this means to process the product into a form desired or needed by the consumer.
- Place utility- this means transporting the product to a location desired by the consumer.
- Time utility-this means storing the product until the time it is needed by the consumer.
- Possession utility- this allows consumers to gain ownership of the product legally.
Each of these utilities is added to the product by performing one or more of the nine marketing functions.
- Form utility is created by processing.
- Place utility is created through the transportation function.
- Time utility comes from the storage function.
- Possession utility is created by the buying and selling functions.
In this way the barriers of space, time, information, value and ownership are overcome for the producer and consumers. To get an idea of how agribusiness affects our daily lives, imagine what is involved in hass avocado production. List at least 10 businesses or services that are needed to get an Avocado ready for consumption.