Developing a Marketing Strategy

Once you’ve done the work of shaping your brand in your head, you need to begin projecting your brand through all of your outreach. Your brand personality should be seen in everything you do, the places you go, and in the aesthetic design of your materials

Evaluate Consistency in Points of Customer Contact

Every business has multiple points of audience contact, including brochures, business cards, road signs, paid advertising, direct mail, websites, speaking opportunities, point of purchase displays, and packaging.

List all your existing points of audience contact, and then evaluate each for messaging consistency. You can’t rely on just your packaging or your advertisements – the idea of the brand should be consistent on all materials including press releases, workshops, ads, interviews, signs, packaging, blogs, websites, speaking engagements, etc.

The answers can help you decide if there are some points of audience contact you currently use that can be dropped, or if you need to invest in new outreach tools.

Develop a Timeline, Budget, and Choose Marketing Tools

It’s time to evaluate marketing tools, identify your targets and goals, and develop a plan.

  • Identify the geographic range you expect your customers to come from, so you can target your marketing strategically. Consider areas surrounding farmers’ markets that you attend, or retailers that carry your products.
  • Consider your target customers, as identified on the previous worksheet. How can you reach that population?
  • Take your competition into account.
  • Set your total marketing budget.
  • Decide which marketing tools you will use to spread the word about your business. Create a prioritized list: do you need to start with the basics, like a website and a farm sign? Are you ready to move into paid advertising, or try to generate some press interest? You don’t have to do it all, but move forward by writing down a plan.
  • Develop a timeline for marketing tool development. Be realistic about how much you can accomplish, and set deadlines that you will keep.
  • Decide how you will evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing strategies. Some one-time investments don’t require evaluation, like farm signage, but if you are making continual investments in advertising or printing flyers, you should evaluate the return on that investment.


This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2010-49200-06201.

In accordance with Federal law and US Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

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