Canadian Organic Growers

All About Us
 Home
 About COG
 Local Chapters
 Affiliate Organizations
 Scholarship
 Contact Us
 COG Biotechnology Statement
 Volunteer & Job Opportunities

Membership
 Why Join
 Membership Form
 Donate to COG

News & Events
 News
 Upcoming Events
 COG E-News

COG Magazine
 About the Magazine
 Current and Past Issues
 Advertising Information
 Guidelines for Contributors

Library
 Online Catalog
 Library Form

Publications
 COG Reference Series
 Practical Skills Handbook Series
 Organic Field Crop Handbook
 Organic Livestock Handbook
 Transition to Organic Farming
 The Organic Companion
 Publications for Sale

All About Organics
 Database of Organics in Canada
 Répertoire du bio
 Organic Quick Facts
 Where to Buy Organics
 Organic Certification Bodies
 Organic Statistics
 Organic Standard and
   Regulation
 Organic Links

Members' Area
 Members' Newsroom

Excerpt from Part 4: Managing the Transition of the Farm Business

13 Marketing

FACTSHEET ON ADVERTISING

Word-of-mouth advertising is slow, but is infinitely more effective than all other kinds of advertising or marketing. When developing a direct or value-added business, the most attention needs to be given to the appearance of your business, your image and your most loyal customers. Invest in your good will; that is, the respect you have earned inside your market and community.

An advertisement needs to be kept simple and smart – a five-word marketing claim. In writing the ad, simplify the message or it gets lost. Use repetition and consistency, great writing and visuals to attract attention; use creativity plus a big idea and hook, so people will remember what you are promoting.

Never mention the competition. If you’re good, they shouldn’t matter. It’s in bad taste to pull down the competition. The ad must arouse interest, create desire and motivate action.

  • Business cards and information cards are the most cost-effective, high impact tools for marketing. A good marketer always carries a supply with them. They can be double-sided, have memorable quotes on them, be used as frequent-customer discount cards or price lists. The quality and design should never be skimped on.
  • Brochures should only be used for a focused market, otherwise they are a waste of money and effort.
  • Radio reaches more potential customers than any other medium. It will be most effective if the station’s listeners match the farmer’s target market. Airtime doesn’t have to be expensive. Stations sell unpurchased ‘remnant space’ cheaply as filler.
  • Outdoor advertising, like signs and billboards, informs distant passers-by and travelers of a local business. They need a bold simple image, and a five-word message (seven, if the last two are ‘Next Exit’). The lettering must be big enough to read quickly - eight units of width to five units of height.

A lasting image or an entertaining hook will hold readers’ interest, as the same people will see the ad regularly. Location is very important, and illumination will be necessary if there is substantial night-time traffic.

  • PR for media: Journalists are eager for food stories with good hooks for which farmers can provide lots of information. The hook must be tied to the marketing information.

Press releases to local newspapers are a good idea, too, when the farm or related business has a new product, hires a new employee, or creates a new job.

  • Sponsor an event. Sponsoring local events provides exposure and demonstrates a commitment to the community.
  • Demonstrations - in-store, mall and consumer shows: Presentations must have entertainment value and action, or offer prizes for taste testers. To be effective, they require a lot of energy in their preparation and presentation. They should be offered with conviction by the friendliest and most enthusiastic employee, or even by a client that is a local celebrity. Despite their entertainment value, they should be used sparingly.

Adapted from Marketing on a Shoestring, CFBMC

 

For more from Part 4: Managing the Tranistion of the Farm Business and more information about marketing organic and transitional crops, order Gaining Ground: Making a Successful Transition to Organic Farming from the Publications page.

Next Excerpt A Farmer Profile: Organic Crop Rotations

Return to Gaining Ground page

 

Copyright © Canadian Organic Growers   Contact Us | Privacy Policy