I wanted to share a post I read recently about marketing called Reaching the People Who Get It. The gist of the article is that it’s a waste of your marketing efforts to market to people who just don’t “get it”. This is the same conclusion Matt & I have reached in the years that we’ve been doing this farm thing.
In the beginning we thought all we had to do was educate people about our products and why they’re so great and better for you than typical grocery store fare, and people would be beating down our door to buy from us.
Obviously, it didn’t happen quite that way.
So now we try to target our marketing efforts towards people who already “get it”, or at least might have an open mind towards what we’re doing. The article calls this permission marketing – “when you market and pursue people who actually want what you are selling to them.” But where do we find these kinds of people?
Farmers markets, to a degree. Some people that patronize farmers markets are there because they’re interested in buying direct from the farmer, or in local food issues, or food safety or taste issues. Other people that patronize farmers markets are simply there looking for a bargain. After 2 years of doing farmers market, I’m getting better at discerning who’s who when someone approaches my booth. I start with my basic rundown. If I sense they’re in the former category, I keep on with the more detailed spiel. If I sense they’re in the latter category, I don’t waste my breath.
There’s a local store that carries our meat. It’s owned by a Mennonite family, and carries bulk foods and handcrafted furniture. It’s been great for us, and I think great for the store as well. But we haven’t even tried to sell through the other local grocery store. Earlier this summer that store set up a special organic products section. I noticed last week that it had been taken down. Just not enough people that “get it” shop there.
This winter I’ll be giving a local foods class through NIACC Continuing Education. I anticipate that those who sign up for the class will be people who already “get it” – or who at least have an open mind to some new ideas.
Another way we hone our marketing to our target market is by managing our mailing list. Just like unproductive animals on the farm get culled, former customers who have stopped ordering get culled as well.
Marketing to those who get what you’re about, rather than trying to educate and convert the masses, will be a better use of your limited time and give you a greater return on that investment!
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