Jul 5, 2013

Farmers' Market - Marketing 101

Farmers' Market - Marketing 101

The Alberta Farmers’ Market Association (AFMA) is committed to the long term success of approved farm-ers’ markets in Alberta. One of the ways this can be achieved is through increasing the level of skills and knowledge of the agri-preneuers who choose to sell at farmers’ markets. Here are some simple tips to market yourself better at Farmers’ Markets this summer!

  • Scouting — With over 100 approved farmers’ markets in Alberta, our province is extremely busy with operations year-round. Prior to committing to a market, visit a few of them to see what products are be-ing offered, how many vendors attend and the amount of customer traffic. Be strategic and consider all the costs and benefits.
  • Merchandising — There are many different ways to display your products in order to draw customers towards your stall. Use very open and visible displays. Maximize the space you have where the eye fo-cuses, particularly from the belt buckle to 6 inches above the sight line. |Place your higher return prod-ucts in this sight area. Place your lower sale products from the belt to the knee. Maximize colour and tex-ture and use different display equipment to set off your products. Signage is important for both your booth and your individual products. It is an extension of your business and portrays the image you want to leave with your customers. Booth signage is important so customers know the business name of the vendor as well as where to find your booth more easily next time! Customers are less likely to trust ven-dors who do not display their business name and who don't have product signage listing prices.
  • Samples — Taste sells! Check with the market manager regarding health requirements for sampling. Many times samples need to be prepared before coming to the farmers’ market and care must be taken to prevent contamination in transport and at the farmers’ market.
  • Image — It is important that you always look and act professionally—clean clothes, name tags, busi-ness and product signage as well as a big welcoming smile. Always be ready to tell your story. And part of marketing yourself is making sure your customers are happy! If you receive a customer complaint, make it right even if the customer is wrong. Remember—customers tell 3 people about a great customer experience but will tell 10 people if they are dissatisfied.
  • Value — Convenience is a driver for many customers. They may have limited knowledge on prepara-tion or have a limited amount of time to spend making meals or lunches so they come to farmers’ mar-kets to seek out unique value added products. Try to differentiate yourself from other products at the farmers’ market by offerings something unique that the customer cannot possibly find anywhere else!
  • Social Media — Social media is no longer strictly reserved for the younger generations and has be-come fully ingrained into the fabric of our daily lives. It allows you to keep your customers informed about new product launches, business updates, news and promotions all in real-time. You can also man-age customer relationships through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, just to name a few. Check out our article, Social Media 101, on Page 2 to learn about a variety of emerging social media platforms.