A greenhouse was recently built on the Columbus Campus in order for Ag students to learn how to grow, propagate, etc…types of vegetables, trees, flowers and plants. One of the short-term goals is to provide fresh, organic and sustainable vegetables to the cafeteria on campus; any excess vegetables will be donated to nonprofits like the Columbus City Mission. Long-term goals include sales to the community and this is where they need your marketing advice. You don’t have to know everything about this organization to help. Be creative and think like a ‘marketer’! The very FIRST thing you need to do is decide who their market is because all of the decisions you make when defining the 4 “Ps” will be done to serve the market you defined.
- Define the specific market segments they should serve. Use demographic and geographic segmentation bases. Justify the segment(s) you selected.
Now…based on the market segments you just defined, develop the marketing mix.
- PRODUCT – remember that products are everything that adds value…not just the product itself. For example, I get my oil changed at a 10-minute oil change place; obviously, the oil-change is the core ‘product’, but why else do I go there? What do they do that ‘adds value’ for me? The vegetables, trees, flowers, and plants grown in the greenhouse are the core products, but what else do they do (or can they do) to add value?
- PRICE – this isn’t just about arbitrarily putting a dollar amount on things! What about fixed costs and variable costs? How do costs factor into pricing? Finally, what pricing strategy (competitive pricing strategy, market penetration strategy, price skimming, break-even strategy, etc…) makes the most sense for this greenhouse? Why?
- PLACE – where should the products (in this instance, the vegetables, trees, plants, and flowers) be available for the market segments to buy? Why? Should they attempt to work with local retailers? Why or why not?
- PROMOTION – How, specifically, should the Ag students promote their products? Include a discussion about the appropriate mediums to be used and why they are likely an effective way to reach the target market segments you defined.