Agricultural Marketing

Maximize your business and improve your marketing with this course. Explore innovative and different approaches to improve sales and profit for any agricultural enterprise, on or off farm.

Course CodeBAG304
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Meat, Livestock or Crops

Very few non-rural businesses are presented with the continuing changes and variations that confront a rural business.

The impact of climate and the environment requires the rural manager has to continually consider, evaluate, and reassess (often on a daily or even hourly basis,) the numerous changes and types of information that affect his or her business. The successful rural manager understands his or her unique markets, and how to capitalise on market forces to maximise business profit.

Controlling the Farm's Future depends upon Controlling the Farm's Marketing

This course develops your ability to analyse and manage marketing problems in an agricultural enterprise. Topics covered include: market research, management of your marketing, promotions, handling produce, packaging, distribution, customer relations and more.


Do You Understand the Process that a Buyer Goes Through?


Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Agricultural Marketing Concepts
    • Marketing
    • Goods and Services
    • The Marketing Concept
    • Managing the Marketing Process
    • The Role of Marketing
    • Approaches to Marketing
    • The Goals of Marketing
    • Organising, analysing, selecting target markets
    • Developing the Marketing Mix
    • Managing the Market Effort
  2. Farm Marketing Objectives and Strategies
    • Supply and Demand
    • Developing the Farm Marketing Plan
    • Organising the Planning process
    • Reviewing the Business's Situation
    • Establishing Marketing Objectives
    • Developing Strategies
    • Market Penetration
    • Price Advantages
  3. Target Marketing
    • Preliminary Research
    • Target Markets in Agriculture
    • Defining the Target
    • Resources
    • Analysing Market Opportunities
    • External Influences
    • General Economic Conditions
    • Government Policy and Regulations
    • Overseas influences
    • Demographic Patterns
    • Technological Change
    • Customer Values and Attitudes
    • Alternative Marketing Methods
    • Internal Influences
    • Selecting Target Markets
    • Market Segmentation
  4. Handling Produce
    • Developing the Marketing Mix
    • The "Product" element of the Marketing Mix
    • Logos, packaging, positioning and image etc
    • The "Price" Element of the Marketing Mix
    • Pricing objectives and methods
    • The "Promotion" element of the marketing Mix
    • Publicity and Public Relations
    • Advertising, sales and personal selling
    • The "Place" element of the Marketing Mix
    • Market coverage
    • Determining Emphasis with the Marketing Mix
    • Impact of Product Life-cycle
  5. Customer Relations
    • Customer Care Policy
    • Levels of Involvement
    • Effective Communication
    • Becoming an effective communicator
    • Dealing with complaints
    • Self evaluation
    • Maximising customer service
  6. Market Research
    • The Importance Of Market Research
    • What to Research?
    • The Research process
    • Analysing Costs and Benefits
  7. Promotions
    • Promoting Product
    • Creating customer awareness
    • Promotional Campaign Strategy
    • The Promotional Message
    • Promotional Material
    • Making Promotions Cost Effective
    • Channels of Communication
    • Publicity Marketing
    • Advertising
    • Structuring an Advertisement or Promotion
  8. Managing Marketing
    • Market Retention
    • Balancing Strategy
    • Market Development
    • Market Growth
    • Managing the Marketing Plan
    • Sales and the Market

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Explain the role of marketing in business and the importance of marketing in the business plan.
  • Assess the relative importance of marketing planning and to determine marketing strategies in relation to farming.
  • Identify target markets to select suitable marketing methods.
  • Explain the physical handling of products in the marketing process including packaging, labeling, presentation and transportation.
  • Plan to maintain sound customer relations in an agricultural business.
  • Conduct market research into a product or service in the agricultural industry.
  • Plan to manage the promotional program for an agricultural business.
  • Develop strategies to manage the marketing of an agricultural enterprise.

Marketing is complex and fast changing

Branding Can Help

Most processors and manufacturers will attempt to differentiate their products through branding. Some farms also brand their own products -and this can be a very smart idea.  If you own the brand name (eg. Smith's Meat) and the public gets to know and want that brand; you can have a more secure market for your produce.

Generic brands are products with no brand name at all (and having no brand can become a "brand" in itself.
They carry only the product name and are in plain packaging. Examples can be found in supermarkets.

To guard against other businesses using its brand name or symbol, businesses can apply to have their name registered. This gives the business exclusive rights to use the name or symbol and protect it from infringement. The symbols TM or R at the end of a brand name signify that the name or symbol is a registered trademark.

Branding is beneficial to both the business and the consumer. It assists consumers in identifying the products they like or dislike. It helps a business to make its products stand out against those of its competitors. If the brand name becomes well recognised, the business will also enjoy a carry-over effect when new products are introduced. This gives it a distinct competitive advantage.


The Importance of Packaging

Packaging is more than simply putting the product in a container or wrapping it up. Packaging involves the development of a container and the brand image for a product.

Packaging can be just as important as the product itself, when deciding what to choose. Well designed packaging can give a positive impression of the product and can encourage first-time consumers. As well as helping to preserve, inform, protect and promote a product, packaging can also create an image of luxury, sensuality and exclusiveness.

When developing new packaging, a business needs to take into account a number of factors. Cost in one major consideration. Good quality packaging is another. Consumers are prepared to pay more for quality packaging however there is a limit as to how much consumers will pay. Nowadays, with increasing community awareness of the environment and pollution, marketers need to be sensitive to the problems caused by throw-away packaging. Recyclable and biodegradable packaging is the go!


Product Positioning and Image

Product positioning refers to the development of a product image as compared with the image of competing products. For example, No Frills, Porsche, Rolex and NOW brand names can immediately evoke an image of the product’s quality. This automatically gives the product its position with the market.

In very competitive markets, sales may be difficult to achieve. For this reason, a business will attempt to create an image that differentiates its product from another. The business will decide on an image it wishes to create for a product and will use other elements of the marketing mix to shape and maintain this image."


Marketing skills are all too often a weakness for people involved in agriculture.

Without good marketing though, sales are weak, and that means income is weak, and ultimately the viability of farm production begins to suffer.

This course will strengthen your understanding of marketing and give you a greater awareness of how you can sell agricultural products.

This course can provide a foundation for anyone selling produce from a farm or to a farm. This may include:

  • Farmers seeking to be more effective at selling their produce
  • Sales officers who sell farmers their equipment materials and any other services or supplies
  • Agents, Farm Cooperatives or any others who sell raw or processed produce from farms

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Dr. Lynette Morgan

Broad expertise in horticulture and crop production. She travels widely as a partner in Suntec Horticultural Consultants, and has clients in central America, the USA, Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
Dr. Gareth Pearce

Veterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand
Cheryl Wilson

Cheryl has spent two decades working in agriculture, equine and education industries, across England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. She graduated with a B.Sc.(Hons), HND Horse Mgt, C&G Teaching Cert. For several years, Cheryl managed the distance
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