Monday, March 22, 2010

Is Direct Marketing for me?

Many farmers in Missouri are doing a rising business in selling products directly to consumers. From 1997-2007, direct to consumer sales rose by 74 percent in Missouri based on data from the Census of Agriculture! Direct to consumer marketing can take a variety of forms, from roadside stands to U-pick operations to delivering to restaurants. It can include farmers’ markets and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture). It’s important to evaluate which market channel you are interested in based on how much time it’s going to take, how much income distribution you need throughout the year, and how much legal liability you are willing to assume. However, you also need to think about how easy it is to enter the marketplace, what kind of packaging and presentation you are planning, what kind of volume and product variability the market requires, and how much price stability there is. For instance, farmers’ markets are “easy to enter” because most have daily vendor spots available and it doesn’t cost you much to put up a stand. However, they are time intensive in terms of picking, packing, setting up and selling and you have to have a small volume of lots of different products. Still they are a good place to experiment with products and get your feet wet in marketing directly to consumers!  (Mary Hendrickson)

1 comment:

  1. Debi - Thank you for this post! The "market channel" link to the University Extension article has very good information on Direct Marketing. - Brenda