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General Agriculture

Agribusiness Marketing Management Guide

Agribusiness marketing and marketing in general is the process used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development.

It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business developments. It is an integrated process through which companies build strong customer relationships and create value for their customers and for themselves.

Marketing Management is a business discipline which is focused on the practical application of marketing techniques and the management of a firm’s marketing resources and activities.

Rapidly emerging forces of globalization have compelled firms to market beyond the borders of their home country making International marketing highly significant and an integral part of a firm’s marketing strategy, Joshi, (2005).

Marketing managers are often responsible for influencing the level, timing, and composition of customer demand accepted definition of the term. In part, this is because the role of a marketing manager can vary significantly based on a business’ size, corporate culture, and industry context.

For example, in a large consumer products company, the marketing manager may act as the overall general manager of his or her assigned product.

To create an effective, cost-efficient Marketing management strategy, firms must possess a detailed, objective understanding of their own business and the market in which they operate.

In analyzing these issues, the discipline of marketing management often overlaps with the related discipline of strategic planning.

Marketing Structural Analysis

Agribusiness Marketing Management Guide

Traditionally, marketing analysis was structured into three areas: Customer analysis, Company analysis, and Competitor analysis (so-called “3Cs” analysis).

More recently, it has become fashionable in some marketing circles to divide these further into certain five “Cs”: Customer analysis, Company analysis, Collaborator analysis, Competitor analysis, and analysis of the industry Context.

Customer analysis is to develop a schematic diagram for market segmentation, breaking down the market into various constituent groups of customers, which are called customer segments or market segmentation’s.

Marketing managers work to develop detailed profiles of each segment, focusing on any number of variables that may differ among the segments: demographic, psycho graphic, geographic, behavioral, needs-benefit, and other factors may all be examined.

Marketers  also attempt to track these segments’ perceptions of the various products in the market using tools such as perceptual mapping.

In company analysis, marketers focus on understanding the company’s cost structure and cost position relative to competitors, as well as working to identify a firm’s core competencies and other competitively distinct company resources.

Marketing managers may also work with the accounting department to analyze the profits the firm is generating from various product lines and customer accounts.

The company may also conduct periodic brand audits to assess the strength of its brands and sources of brand equity.

The firm’s collaborators may also be profiled, which may include various suppliers, distributors and other channel partners, joint venture partners, and others. An analysis of complementary products may also be performed if such products exist.

Marketing management employs various tools from economics and competitive strategy to analyze the industry context in which the firm operates. These include Porter’s five forces, analysis of strategic groups of competitors, value chain analysis and others.

Depending on the industry, the regulatory context may also be important to examine in detail.

In Competitor analysis, marketers build detailed profiles of each competitor in the market, focusing especially on their relative competitive strengths and weaknesses using SWOT analysis.

Marketing managers will examine each competitor’s cost structure, sources of profits, resources and competencies, competitive positioning and product differentiation, degree of vertical integration, historical responses to industry developments, and other factors.

Marketing management often finds it necessary to invest in research to collect the data required to perform accurate marketing analysis.

As such, they often conduct market research (alternately marketing research) to obtain this information.

Marketers employ a variety of techniques to conduct market research, but some of the more common include:

  • Qualitative marketing research, such as focus groups and various types of interviews
  • Quantitative marketing research, such as statistical surveys
  • Experimental techniques such as test markets
  • Observational techniques such as ethnographic (on-site) observation

Marketing managers may also design and oversee various environmental scanning and competitive intelligence processes to help identify trends and inform the company’s marketing analysis.

Marketing Strategy

Agribusiness Marketing Management Guide

If the company has obtained an adequate understanding of the customer base and its own competitive position in the industry, marketing managers are able to make their own key strategic decisions and develop a marketing strategy designed to maximize the revenues and profits of the firm.

The selected strategy may aim for any of a variety of specific objectives, including optimizing short-term unit margins, revenue growth, market share, long-term profitability, or other goals.

To achieve the desired objectives, marketers typically identify one or more target customer segments which they intend to pursue.

Customer segments are often selected as targets because they score highly on two dimensions:

1) The segment is attractive to serve because it is large, growing, makes frequent purchases, is not price sensitive (i.e. is willing to pay high prices), or other factors; and

2) The company has the resources and capabilities to compete for the segment’s business, can meet their needs better than the competition, and can do so profitably Clancy and Kriegafsd (2000).

In fact, a commonly cited definition of marketing is simply “meeting needs profitably.”

The implication of selecting target segments is that the business will subsequently allocate more resources to acquire and retain customers in the target segment(s) than it will for other, non- targeted customers.

In some cases, the firm may go so far as to turn away customers who are not in its target segment.

The doorman at a swanky nightclub, for example, may deny entry to unfashionably dressed individuals because the business has made a strategic decision to target the “high fashion” segment of nightclub patrons.

Ideally, a firm’s positioning can be maintained over a long period of time because the company possesses, or can develop, some form of sustainable competitive advantage.

The  positioning should also be sufficiently relevant to the target segment such that it will drive the purchasing behavior of target customers.

Implementation Planning

Agribusiness Marketing Management Guide

The Marketing Metrics Continuum provides a framework for how to categorize metrics from the tactical to strategic.

After the firm’s strategic objectives have been identified, the target market selected, and the desired positioning for the company, product or brand has been determined, marketing managers  focus on how to best implement the chosen strategy.

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Traditionally, this has involved implementation planning across the “4Ps” of marketing: Product management, Pricing (at what price slot do you position your product, for e-g low, medium or high price), Place (the place/area where you are going to be selling your products, it could be local, regional, country wide or International) (i.e. sales and distribution channels), and People.

Now a new P has been added making it a total of 5P’s. The 5th P is Politics which affects marketing in a significant way.

Taken together, the company’s implementation choices across the 4 (5) Ps are often described as the marketing mix, meaning the mix of elements the business will employ to “go to market” and execute the marketing strategy.

The overall goal for the marketing mix is to consistently deliver a compelling value proposition that reinforces the firm’s chosen positioning, builds customer loyalty and brand equity among target customers, and achieves the firm’s marketing and financial objectives.

In many cases, marketing management will develop a marketing plan to specify how the company will execute the chosen strategy and achieve the business’ objectives. The content of marketing plans varies from firm to firm, but commonly includes:

  • An executive summary
  • Situation analysis to summarize facts and insights gained from market research and marketing analysis
  • The company’s mission statement or long-term strategic vision
  • A statement of the company’s key objectives, often subdivided into marketing objectives and financial objectives
  • The marketing strategy the business has chosen, specifying the target segments to be pursued and the competitive positioning to be achieved
  • Implementation choices for each element of the marketing mix (the 4 (5)Ps)

Organizational Management and Leadership

Agribusiness Marketing Management Guide

Marketing management may spend a fair amount of time building or maintaining a marketing orientation for the business.

Achieving a market orientation, also known as “customer focus” or the “marketing concept”, requires building consensus at the senior management level and then driving customer focus down into the organization.

Cultural barriers may exist in a given business unit or functional area that the marketing manager must address in order to achieve this  goal.

Additionally, marketing executives often act as a “brand champion” and work to enforce corporate identity standards across the enterprise.

In larger organizations, especially those with multiple business units, top marketing managers may need to coordinate across several marketing departments and also resources from finance, research and development, engineering, operations, manufacturing, or other functional areas to implement the marketing plan.

In order to effectively manage these resources, marketing executives may need to spend much of their time focused on political issues and interdepartmental negotiations.

The effectiveness of a marketing manager may therefore depend on his or her ability to make the internal “sale” of various marketing programs equally as much as the external customer’s reaction to such programs.

Marketing Techniques

Leduc (2002) made observation on 5 successful marketing techniques you can use to increase your sales. All of them are simple to use. And they’re effective for building any businesses.

1. Increase public awareness about your product and keep adding Something New Every time you add something new to your business you create an opportunity to get more sales.

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Adding a new product or service to the list of those you already offer usually produces a big increase in sales. The added product increases your sales in 3 different ways:

It attracts new customers who were not interested in your current products and services.

It generates repeat sales from existing customers who also want to have your new product. It enables you to get bigger sales by combining 2 or more items into special package offers.

2. Become a Valuable Resource: Look for ways you can be a resource for your prospects and customers. Supply them with free information.

Help them do things faster, easier, less expensively. You get another opportunity to sell something every time they come back to you for help.

3. Separate Yourself from Your Competition: Find or create a reason for customers to do business with you instead of with someone else offering the same or similar products. For example, do you provide faster results, easier procedures, personal attention or a better guarantee?

Determine the unique advantage you offer to customers that your competitors do not offer. Promote that advantage in all of your advertising. Give your prospects a reason to do business with you instead of with your competition and you’ll automatically get more sales.

4. Promote the End Result: Your customers don’t really want your product or service. They want the benefit produced by using it.

Make sure your publicity, sales letters and other sales messages are promoting the end result your customers want.

5. Anticipate Change: Change is the biggest challenge to your business success. The days are gone when a business could constantly grow by simply repeating what it did successfully in the past or even recently.  Aggressive, innovative competitors and rapidly changing technology make it impossible.

Expect change and prepare for it. Don’t wait until your income declines to take action. Develop the habit of looking for early signs that something is changing. Then confront it before you start to lose business.

Insulate yourself against the impact of change by increasing the number of products and services you offer and by using a variety of different marketing methods.

Only a small portion of your total business will be affected if the sales of one product decline or the response to one marketing method drops.

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Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with several years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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