Trying to guess at your marketing strategy and effectiveness is a guaranteed way to fail. People and market dynamics are just too complicated. Everything you do in your business will be a test. When you try something that produces good results, you’ll keep it. When you do something that doesn’t produce, you need to stop doing it. Sounds simple, but a surprising number of businesses keep repeating a marketing strategy because it's easier, or they don’t have another, or they’ve convinced themselves it’s a good approach with willful disinformation.
What is the difference between your marketing strategy and your marketing plan? Your marketing strategy is shaped by your overall business goals. It includes a definition of your business, a description of your products or services, a profile of your target users or clients, and defines your company’s role in relation to the competition. It’s essentially a document that helps you determine the effectiveness of your specific marketing plans. In other words, your marketing strategy defines your company and products; your sales and marketing plans are the specific actions you take to achieve the goals of your marketing strategy. When designing your marketing strategies list and explain what strategies, or specific actions, you will use to meet your objectives for each element of marketing.
Imagine visiting New York City for the first time and trying to find your way around without a map. You might find some of the places you want to visit, but not without a lot of detours and lost time. The time you could have spent visiting sites and enjoying the city. This is exactly what you're doing with your business if you don't have a marketing plan.
I have a confession to make. I’m a blog reading junkie. I read five or six blogs every day. Some are about marketing trends, others about sustainable and regenerative farming practices, and some just because I like the writer’s topics and writing styles. I tell myself that this habit broadens my perspectives and serves to improve my skill sets. And they do, but isn’t this habit also part of my busyness every day?
According to online sources, "May you live in interesting times" is an English expression which purports to be a translation of a traditional Chinese curse. Everyone can agree that these are indeed “interesting times” and feels like every day brings more negativity. The actions taken to curtail the viruses spread will have long ramifications.
A primary attribute often given for being self-employed is “I’m my own boss.” But, business guru Peter Drucker stated, “The purpose of a business is to have a satisfied customer”. So, whether you’re a farmer, producer, or other type of small business owner; who’s the boss in your business? Is it you, your customers, or both?
Beware of “pouring money down the advertising hole!” Tailor your advertising and promotions to your current and prospective customers. Evaluate the results so you don’t keep spending money on ads or promotional campaigns that aren’t working.
Fads are something people talk about, but trends are something people do. Look for market niches created by consumer trends. Popular trends include anything to do with health and nutrition, convenience, ethnic products, foods for the weight -conscious or elderly and food safety concerns.