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Fortunately, good producers can be good marketers because smart marketing begins with an idea of the cost of production. Those who market with an understanding of their cost of production can make decisions about what is an acceptable price, what price will cover certain critical costs, and what are the risks of not taking a price when it is offered. The marketing plan described here is intended, first, to cover as many of the costs of production as possible and, second, to maximize the price received for commodities produced.
Good producers can be good marketers because smart marketing is aided by a thorough understanding of the production process. The best source of cost information is an internal review of your own production activities and costs of production. A good cost-of-production worksheet should contain sections detailing the operating and ownership costs incurred in production. The marketing plan, no matter how good, may not be able to lock in prices that cover all costs of production.
In the absence of your own cost estimates, you can use published costs of production, such as Missouri Farm Financial Outlook or Farm Management Newsletter, available from MU Extension .
The primary objective of a marketing plan is to cover as many costs of production as possible. Consider several marketing opportunities from cash sales to forward contracts to futures and options. The result of considering all marketing alternatives is to arrive at expected prices for all marketing alternatives. Anytime a manager is waiting for a higher price, the possibility of getting a lower price exists. The target consists of a trigger price and quantity to sell for both an offensive and a defensive position.
The quantity you decide to sell under each plandetermines how much of the expected production you will market at different times. Once the target table is completed, the markets must be watched to determine when either trigger price has been reached. Because the trade will be initiated at an unknown time in the future, it is necessary to make arrangements that facilitate quick trading. Because marketing is an emotional activity, it is important to have someone to keep you accountable to conduct trades at the predetermined triggers. Accountability can be obtained by having another person know and understand the marketing plan. Marketers need to keep track of what percentage of expected production is forward priced so that they do not oversell as they repeat the marketing plan. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. Sample work of using existing website data to analyze future possible business opportunities. As we have explained, pricing an offering, for example, will involve a companya€™s finance and accounting departments in addition to the marketing department. The marketing planmarketing planA document that is designed to communicate the marketing strategy for an offering. Once this information is gathered and digested, the planners can then work to create the right offering. Following the material on offerings, we explore the decisions associated with building the value chain. Once a customer has decided that her personal value equation is likely to be positive, then she will decide to purchase the product.
At the beginning of this chapter, we mentioned that the view of marketing has changed from a static set of four Ps to a dynamic set of processes that involve marketing professionals as well as many other employees in an organization. What is the relationship between social responsibility, sustainability, service-dominant logic, and the global business environment? Is it taking an ad out in a newspaper, sending a direct mail piece to potential customers, setting up a booth at a local trade show or establishing a solid promotion? Managers who market without an idea of their cost of production can only concentrate on enhancing the price they get for their product.
Using the analogy of the car, it provides front, side and rear windows so that the decision maker can make both offensive and defensive decisions. Many farmers try to maximize price before they have implemented strategies to cover all costs.
A record keeping program that tracks all of the costs of production provides a historical perspective on costs. Key target prices that compensate for critical costs are important to have in years where opportunities to cover all costs are limited. However, these sources provide only rough estimates of fixed and variable costs of production and do not have the detail necessary for personal business analysis and marketing.
The price worksheet organizes the appropriate information so that the alternatives are easily analyzed. From this perspective, a marketer needs to have both a defensive and an offensive strategy.

The trigger price is the price for each marketing alternative that will create a response from the marketer. If prices are moving up, the tendency will be to postpone pulling the trigger because a higher price surely is ahead. Because you market only a portion at each target, the price expectations experienced at each trigger can be built into future targets. Spouses are often in a good position to implement a marketing plan because they may not feel as attached to the production as the person producing the commodity. Select both offensive and defensive trigger prices, along with quantities to be marketed (repeat steps 1-3 above).
Portions of the marketing plan worksheet assist producers in tracking what percentage of expected production is already forward priced.
Applea€™s engineers began working on the iPod by looking at the available technology and thinking about how customers would like to have their music more available, as well as more affordable, through downloading.
Note that they all refer to their customers, either directly or by making references to relationships with them. Note Applea€™s mission statement: a€?Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh.
The purpose of the plan is to influence executives, suppliers, distributors, and other important stakeholders of the firm so they will invest money, time, and effort to ensure the plan is a success.
Products and services are developed, bundled together at a price, and then tested in the market. Once an offering is designed, the company has to be able to make it and then be able to get it to the market. The way business is being conducted today is changing, too, and marketing is changing along with it.
SustainabilitysustainabilityAn example of social responsibility that involves engaging in practices that do not diminish the eartha€™s resources.
While most farmers describe themselves primarily as producers, they also have to finance and market what they produce. While marketing in this manner is the prerogative of the farmer, it is not the approach recommended in this guide. These are coupled with estimates of input use and prices for the coming production year to develop a projected cost of production for the coming year. Cash costs are those expenses, such as seed and fertilizer, that require cash to be paid to the supplier. Basis information for your local market is necessary to analyze the futures and options marketing alternatives.
Whether the current expected prices exceed or are less than the total cost of production, the decision becomes one of marketing a certain percentage of expected production now or taking a risk that a higher price can be obtained at a future date.
When the expected price reaches the trigger price for either the offensive or defensive plan, a sale is initiated. Futures prices can be tracked by having continuous market information delivered to your office, using daily or weekly closing prices, or giving your broker or elevator manager authority to conduct the trade. When prices are moving down, optimism says they will bounce back and you should wait for the rebound. The process of setting a target, pulling the trigger at key points and aiming at another target repeats until all of the production is sold. Having to sell to meet financial obligations is not part of the marketing plan and is not usually the best time to sell.
Within a company, marketing might be the title of a department, but some marketing functions, such as sales, might be handled by another department. When admonished for making constant improvements to his products even though farmers would take whatever they could get, Deere reportedly replied, a€?They havena€™t got to take what we make and somebody else will beat us, and we will lose our trade.a€?[3] He recognized that if his company failed to meet customersa€™ needs, someone else would.
Note also how these are written to inspire employees and others who interact with the company and may read the mission statement. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications.
Marketers want to know their customersa€”who they are and what they like to doa€”so as to uncover this information. Decisions have to be made as to when to alter the offerings, add new ones, or drop old ones. Thata€™s because of service-dominant logic, the approach to business that recognizes that consumers want value no matter how it is delivered.
As such, the amount and quality of data for evaluating a firma€™s performance is increasing. The price of oil, for example, is a global concern that affects everyonea€™s prices and even the availability of some offerings. The essential components of the plan are understanding customers, creating an offering that delivers value, communicating the value to the customer, exchanging with the customer, and evaluating the firma€™s performance.
The marketing plan discussed here focuses on relatively simple and available strategies that can be used to increase income and reduce risk.
By listing the activities, you can estimate prices to cover each activity and eventually the whole production process.

The defensive position is the price at which you will sell some of your production in an attempt to lock in income you might otherwise lose. The mission of the company then became the one shown in FigureA 1.4, a€?Mission Statement of Deere and Companya€?. Once a company has decided what business it is in and expressed that in a mission statement, the firm then develops a corporate strategy.
Generally this requires marketing researchers to collect sales and other related customer data and analyze it. These decisions are the focus of the next set of chapters and are the second step in marketing planning.
As exchanges occur, marketing planners then refine their plans based on the feedback they receive from their customers, what their competitors are doing, and how market conditions are changing.
SC Johnson, the company that makes Pledge and Windex, was among the first companies to engage in manufacturing practices that reduced or eliminated pollution.
That emphasis on value is what drives the functional approach to value that wea€™ve takena€”that is, creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging value. Earlier in our discussion of the marketing plan, we explained that customers communicate via transactions. Many companies, though, source some or all their offerings from companies in other countries or else face some sort of direct competition from companies based in other countries. A marketing plan is influenced by environmental trends such as social responsibility, sustainability, service-dominant logic, the increased availability of data and effective metrics, and the global nature of the business environment.
A big picture definition of marketing is letting your community know who you are, what you do and enticing them to check out your services.
Table 1, a worksheet for computing the cost of producing corn, provides a framework for estimating costs.
An understanding of the nature of the costs (operating and ownership, cash and noncash) helps establish target prices.
Giving authority to grain traders to initiate a trade at certain targets can also be a way of keeping to the plan. The challenge, of course, is how to create a a€?greata€? product without thinking too much about the customera€™s wants and needs. Marketing strategists subsequently use the corporate strategy and mission and combine that with an understanding of the market to develop the companya€™s marketing plan. Right now, companies do not have to engage in these practices, but because firms really represent the people behind them (their owners and employees), forward-thinking executives are seeking ways to reduce the impact their companies are having on the planet. Although this sounds both simple and obvious, better information technology has given us a much more complete picture of each exchange.
Every business professional, whether marketing or otherwise, has to have some understanding of the global environment in which companies operate. It includes all the typical marketing and advertising options but is so much more than that.
Apple, and for that matter, many other companies, have fallen prey to thinking that they knew what a great product was without asking their customers. Using this data, we can build more effective metrics that can then be used to create better offerings, better communication plans, and so forth. It is everything that represents you, everything you do, how you act, how you talk, what you wear, how your customers are treated, the results your clients achieve and the vibe or energy of your business.
In fact, Applea€™s first attempt at a graphic user interface (GUI) was the LISA, a dismal failure. FigureA 1.5, a€?Steps in Creating a Marketing Plana€? shows the steps involved in creating a marketing plan. However, whereas ethics require that you only do no harm, the concept of social responsibilitysocial responsibilityThe idea that companies should manage their businesses not just to earn profits but to advance the well-being of society. Marketing encompasses all these things, and the bottom line is that your marketing message needs to be consistent.
Today, people are demanding businesses take a proactive stance in terms of social responsibility, and they are being held to ever-higher standards of conduct. Either they don’t have a plan at all and are winging it or they have a plan but by the time they start to initiate the process, it’s too late to do any real good. If you don’t take the time to do this, you will most likely spend the year in urgency mode.
Internal marketing initiatives: It’s typically more cost effective to spend your energy and marketing dollars in this area first.
External marketing initiatives: At some point, you must branch outside of your current clientele base and facility into your community.
Team development: If you’re going to spend a lot of time and money marketing your programs and services, be sure to spend a great deal of time developing your team so they can provide the experience that is consistent with your marketing message.
Her million-dollar training studios in Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA, have received Better Business Bureau Business of the Year recognition.

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