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A do-able marketing plan for your CSA
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A do-able marketing plan for your CSA


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This is a day-long workshop which I ran for a group of Community Supported Agriculture projects, supported by the Soil Association. …

This is a day-long workshop which I ran for a group of Community Supported Agriculture projects, supported by the Soil Association.

During the day we work our way through a do-able marketing plan - to help to make sure that when the food is ready for harvest, there are people there to eat it!

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  • Split into pairs, and for two minutes, talk about what’s your favourite brand, and why? Then feed back to the group, with your name.
  • Small groups. Feedback Define the market for CSAs Fruit and vegetable market? Organic market?
  • Have any of you done any market research? Found any useful sources of information on your market?
  • The Government has altered the BBC’s charter, and as part of the deal BBC Radio stations will in future carry adverts. Tell us who the core customers are for each of these stations, and tell us about them - eg age, where they live, what they do, what their interests are, what else they buy. Then suggest three companies who would definitely like to advertise with each station. Think of food businesses?
  • Can we be more specific on this slide?
  • Do this as a group. Think about the people in the organisations, as well as the organisation - eg you may sell different services to co-ordinators and management committees.
  • Think of a strong food brand
  • Do a features and benefits exercise. Do a handout. Features Column. Benefits Column.
  • Image of Iced Tea
  • Transcript

    • 1. Grow it and they will come
      • Developing a do-able marketing plan for your CSA
      • Rob Greenland
      Photo from Southern Foodways Alliance via Flickr
    • 2. What we’ll do today
      • Introduce a way of coming up with your own marketing plan
      • Understand what marketing is about - one step at a time
      • Do some practical exercises
      • Help you to look at how to build long-term relationships with customers
    • 3. Who do you love? Why? And what do you want out of today?
    • 4. Who I am. What I do.
      • Training - market research, marketing, social business planning
      • Consultancy - social enterprise
      • One to one support
      Photo from Ant Smallwood via
    • 5. Named top UK social enterprise blog
    • 6. Me and Local Food
      • Former member of Swillington CSA
      • Local Food adviser
      • Ex-allotmenteer
      • All-round interest in local economies
      Photo from Ant Smallwood via
    • 7. I believe this
      • It’s important to do simple stuff that works
      • If you think things through, you will come up with good, cost effective ways to market your business
      • And above all, you need to build your business around your customers
    • 8. Your Field of Bad Dreams
      • Grow it - and they might not come
    • 9. Why is all of this important?
      • Because a lot of social enterprises aren’t very good at marketing
      • We often focus on production - and forget about the marketing
      • We sometimes use lack of marketing budget as a convenient excuse
    • 10. What is marketing?
      • Every contact you make with customers, suppliers and staff
      • The whole business seen from your customer’s point of view
      • Building relationships with customers
    • 11. What is a market?
      • A set of all existing and potential buyers of a product or service
      • or
      • The total value of products or services which satisfy the same customer need
    • 12. How do I decide what market I’m in?
      • Ask what your customer needs
      • With the person next to you - discuss what needs you plan to meet /currently meet.
      Photo from flydime via
    • 13. Understanding your market
      • No shortcut - market research
        • Your market
        • Your customers
        • Your competitors
      • Today we’re focusing on customers
    • 14. Customer segmentation
      • Division of a market into different groups of customers who have things in common.
      • Why is it important to do this?
    • 15. Because customers are not all the same!
      • Different customers have different needs
      • If you understand that, you can tailor what you offer to meet their needs
      • It can help you to identify who to focus on - and perhaps target new customer groups
    • 16. Who are their customers?
    • 17. Who are your customers?
      • Some ways you may group customers together include:
      • Age, gender, employment status, family status, ethnic origin, income level etc
      • How they buy your product/service - eg committed buyers, special occasion buyers…
      • Can you identify which groups to focus on - and find your niche?
    • 18. Now do the same for your CSAs
      • Try to break down who you think your target customers are into “segments” - customers with broadly common characteristics.
      • You might come up with around five or six groups
      • Try to give each group a name - be creative!
    • 19. Your marketing mix
      • Your chance to tailor what you offer to meet each group’s needs.
      • Your mix is a unique combination of:
        • Product
        • Price
        • Promotion
        • Place
    • 20. What’s their marketing mix?
    • 21. How about a CSA’s marketing mix?
      • Think about how to tailor the following features:
        • Product - what will you offer (and not offer)?
        • Price - discounts, payment options, guaranteed pricing?
        • Place - where will you sell?
        • We’ll look at promotion later
    • 22. So, to recap…
      • We’ve looked at what market you’re in
      • We’ve identified a number of customer groups with common characteristics - customer segmentation
      • We’ve looked at what you will offer - your marketing mix
    • 23. Next
      • Think like a customer - think benefits
      • Then decide how you’ll get your message across (the bit most of us think of as marketing)
    • 24. Your step-by-step marketing plan
      • If:
      • You understand who your customers are
      • You know what you’re selling to them
      • You understand what benefits they can get from you
      • Then you can come up with a marketing plan - as long as you keep thinking like a customer
    • 25. Step by step
      • What benefits will your service bring?
      • What are your key messages (focus in particular on benefits)?
      • Then, how will you get your messages across ?
    • 26. Develop a long-term relationship
      • Please promise me one thing now:
      • Think long and hard before taking out an advertorial in your local paper
      • Instead - think creatively - how will you build up a relationship with your customers?
    • 27.  
    • 28. Some things that might work for you Speak at events Pay per click ads Facebook Website Signage/A Frame Mailshot Networking Business cards Twitter Partnerships Stunt Be friendly Flyers/Posters Talk to people Sponsorship Launch PR - good news Blog E-newsletter Word of mouth
    • 29. What has worked for you? Photo from acnatta via
    • 30. But remember…
      • What works in one place doesn’t necessarily work in another.
      • That’s why I don’t offer a “top ten” of marketing ideas.
      Photo from sacks08 via
    • 31. To recap
      • Be clear about what market you’re in
      • Understand your customers - inside out
      • Tailor your service to meet their needs
      • Think about the benefits your service offers to your customers
      • Get your messages right (sell the benefits)
      • Then - and only then - think about spending money on “marketing”.
      • Be realistic - and do achievable things well
    • 32. What happens next?
      • What will you do next?
      • Where can you go for support?
      • Are there ways you can collaborate?
    • 33.