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Choosing & Evaluating Marketing Channels Matt LeRoux, Marketing Specialist.

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Presentation on theme: "Choosing & Evaluating Marketing Channels Matt LeRoux, Marketing Specialist."— Presentation transcript:

1 Choosing & Evaluating Marketing Channels Matt LeRoux, Marketing Specialist

2 Matt LeRoux Marketing Specialist with CCE, Tompkins County. Recent Masters in Ag/Food Marketing from Cornell. Worked for 5 years for the New England Livestock Alliance & Heritage Breeds Conservancy. Started 2 brands of Natural & Grass- fed beef.

3 Selling to a buyer who is not the end user. Selling directly to the end user. Farmers Market CSA/Buying ClubGrocery/Retail Freezer Trade Farm Stand/Store Restaurant Distributor Auction Institution/Food Service Web Packer U-pick

4 Factors to consider when choosing marketing channels: Location & Local Population What is your production like? In Scale & Diversity In Specialization How many of them are there? What do they want?

5 Opportunity is knocking… Farmers Market CSA Grocery U-Pick Farm Stand Restaurant Distributor Cooperative

6 Joe, if you bring your beef to the farmers market the prices are so high you can sell $500 worth per hour! Thats great. I am going to sell there. But, it costs $300 per day to sell there. …and its only 1 hour per week... …and it takes 12 hours to prepare... …and if it rains no customers come.

7 Six interacting factors impact the performance of a marketing channel including: Lifestyle Preferences How do you evaluate a market opportunity? Sales Volume …and its only 1 hour per week... Labor Requirements …and it takes 12 hours to prepare... Risk …and if it rains no customers come. Price & Profit You can sell $500 worth per hour! Associated Costs It costs $300/day to sell there.

8 The Moving Target Which channel is best? One channel does well in one way, poorly in another so how do you know?

9 Muddy Fingers Farm Diverse vegetable & fruit production. Farmers markets, CSA, & restaurants. No paid labor, 6 working shares, family & friends that volunteer. 2.5 acres in production. Over 45 crops.

10 Methodology Collect logs of all marketing labor (from harvest to sale) for one typical, peak season week. Collect gross sales & mileage for the week. Collect ranking on lifestyle & risk. Collect weights for each ranked category. Why labor logs? Labor is the largest marketing expense. Consistent unit and format. Operators tell hired help to complete the forms. Each employee filled out their own sheets.

11 Labor logs HarvestProcess & PackTravel & DeliverySales time

12 Methodology Use data to rank and compare channels: –Profit (gross sales – (labor + mileage cost) –Labor hours required –Sales volume Also use farmer ranking for : –Risk perception (financial risk, lost sales, etc…) –Lifestyle preference (enjoyment, stress aversion)

13 Sales Volume by Channel

14 Total Labor Hours

15 Simple Comparison of Labor & Sales CSA: 18% of weekly labor, 45% of weekly gross sales. Watkins Glen FM: 13% of weekly labor, 5% of weekly gross sales.

16 Profit Profit as % of Gross Sales (with Owner Labor Valued)

17 Risks & Preferences: Labor requirements Price risk Customer turn-out Competition Buyer back-out Processor is booked People on the farm Customer interaction Time in the field Wash & pack Displays

18 Based on 5 factors and farmer chosen weights. Rank & Compare Opportunities for Performance Factors

19 Practical Application: Marketing Decisions Considering a marketing change, what should it be? Reduce participation in weakest performing channel. Increase participation in best performing channel. Strategic channel combination to maximize sales and reduce risks.

20 Muddy Fingers Farm has been considering a marketing change, what should it be? Could drop the Watkins Glen Farmers Market and add 12 shares. Weekly gross sales remain equal. 8-9 hours/week less labor. Practical Application: Marketing Decisions

21 Channel Combination with prioritized selling maximizes sales of unpredictable perishable crop yields.

22 Marketing Channel Assessment Identify your goals and lifestyle preferences. Keep marketing cost & returns records, if only for snapshot periods. Value your own time to present an accurate picture of marketing costs. Rank & compare opportunities to maximize profits. Combine channels to max sales & reduce risks.

23 Contact information: Matthew LeRoux Agricultural Marketing Specialist Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins Co. 615 Willow Ave., Ithaca, NY


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