Marketing Planning & Assessment

Here you’ll find information related to identifying the right markets for your products. You’ll find links to publications and websites and self-assessment tools.

Marketing Planning Resources

Market Research Workbook (PDF), by Rose Wilson, 2014. This workbook guides you through a comprehensive process of developing and implementing a marketing plan, including identifying your target customers, the benefits they are seeking from your products and the best ways to communicate and engage with those audiences.

Agricultural Business Digital Marketing Plan Outline (2020)Created by the UVM Extension Agricultural Business Team, the outline guides you through five core phases of developing a successful digital marketing plan for your farm. It addresses considerations related to website development and e-commerce, promotion via social media, and email promotion, and how these activities all integrate with your overall business goals, brand identity, target customer and messaging. 

Tracking Sales (PDF). This fact sheet explains how you can use some easy and inexpensive methods of monitoring sales to maximize your profits and stay in touch with your customers’ needs, wants, and wishes.

Marketing Plan Outline (PDF), from Good Egg Marketing, provides a template for all the elements of a strong marketing plan.

Building a Sustainable Business: A Guide to Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Rural Businesses. Planning Task # 4 includes an 83 page guide that includes  comprehensive fill-in worksheets to develop a marketing plan. Available in English and Spanish.

Market Assessment Resources

Local Food Wholesale Market Assessment (2019). This report documents major trends in the shifting retail and institutional wholesale channels for local food, with a focus on produce, proteins, and dairy. The report also documents general practices and expectations when operating within wholesale. It was commissioned by NOFA-VT in collaboration in collaboration with the Vermont Farm to Plate Network.

Specialty Cheese Market Research Report (2019). This report discusses market conditions, trends in consumer demand and current distribution channels. It also outlines strategies for cheesemakers to be competitive in a global market. It was commissioned by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets.

Grass-fed Beef Value Chain Research (2017). This report summarizes market information for grass-fed, grass-finished Vermont beef. It was funded by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs fund and the Canaday Family Charitable Trust.

Fresh and Affordable (2016). This report summarizes NOFA-VT’s 2016 study on the price competitiveness of products purchased directly from local farmers.

Are Restaurants a Good Market Choice? (PDF) Use this self-assessment to determine if marketing to restaurants is a good fit for your products, business and orientation to customers.