Course CodeBHT304
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn to Market Products and Services in Horticulture

  • for farm produce (eg. fruit, vegetables), nursery plants, fertilisers, garden equipment and any other products
  • for services from consulting to contracting
  • for gardens, parks, urban and rural landscapes, sporting facilities and more.

Success in any horticultural enterprise depends heavily on marketing.

Being able to provide a product or service is not enough. If you can't find customers, and convince them to do business with you; your enterprise will not be viable.

This course helps you to understand marketing and apply that understanding in any horticultural context.

Lesson Structure

  1. Introduction to Horticultural Marketing
  2. Horticultural Marketing Processes
  3. Horticultural Marketing Methods
  4. Customer Service
  5. Horticultural Marketing Research
  6. Developing An Advertising Program
  7. Developing An Horticultural Marketing Strategy


  • Explain general economic concepts relevant to the horticultural industry.
  • Explain different components of the marketing process which may be used in the horticultural industry.
  • Explain different marketing methods for horticultural products and services.
  • Explain the role of customer service in horticultural marketing.
  • Conduct market research into a product or service in the horticultural industry.
  • Develop an advertising program for an horticultural enterprise.
  • Develop an appropriate marketing strategy for a given horticultural situation.

What You Will Do

  • Explain the concept of supply and demand, in a specified horticultural context.
  • Explain two specified economic theories in relation to two different horticultural commodities.
  • Define twenty five terms relevant to horticultural marketing.
  • Distinguish between marketing and selling in a horticultural enterprise.
  • Compare different packaging strategies for various horticultural products.
  • Analyse the labelling of three different horticultural products, to determine possible improvements.
  • Analyse options for transportation to market of two different horticultural products.
  • Analyse storage options during marketing, for two different horticultural products.
  • Determine criteria which are critical to the marketing success of two different horticultural products.
  • Prepare a marketing plan for a horticultural enterprise, that summarises:
    • handling
    • storage
    • packaging
    • transportation
    • promotion
    • selling.
  • Describe specific examples of three different marketing strategies, used in the horticultural industry.
  • Analyse the marketing of a specific, successful product or service, in the horticultural industry.
  • Define ten terms relevant to horticultural marketing, including:
    • *demographic *penetration *segmentation *targeting *product position.
  • Determine target markets for three different selected horticultural products.
  • Compare the marketing of a specified horticultural product using different marketing methods.
  • Evaluate the success of marketing methods being used by six different specified horticultural enterprises, to market their products or services.
  • Evaluate positive features of customer service, in a specific horticultural enterprise.
  • Evaluate negative features of customer service, in a specific horticultural enterprise.
  • Explain the importance of consistent product availability, in a specified horticultural enterprise.
  • Explain the importance of well-trained customer service providers, in a specified horticultural enterprise.
  • Develop guidelines for maintaining good public relations, in a specific horticultural enterprise.
  • Prepare a customer service policy for a selected horticultural enterprise.
  • Design a questionnaire to determine demand for a new specified horticultural enterprise, in your locality.
  • Design a questionnaire to determine customer attitudes towards a specified horticultural product or service.
  • Determine the socio-economic attributes of clients of a specified horticultural enterprise, investigated by you.
  • Determine the behavioural characteristics of clients of a specified horticultural enterprise, investigated by you.
  • Conduct market research into a specific product or service, by questioning a representative sample of ten customers, of a horticultural enterprise.
  • Collate statistics from conducted market research that you conducted.
  • Analyse statistics relating to market research undertaken by you.
  • Explain appropriate applications for different advertising avenues, in the horticultural industry.
  • Develop guidelines for writing advertisements for a specified horticultural service or product.
  • Write appropriate advertisements for three different specified horticultural services or products.
  • Prepare an appropriate brochure, to the stage of finished art work, for a specific horticultural product or service.
  • Evaluate the response from specific horticultural advertisements.
  • Evaluate two different advertising methods used in a horticultural enterprise investigated by you, in terms of costs versus benefits.
  • Determine the significance of packaging, presentation and labelling to marketing of a specified horticultural product.
  • Estimate the relative benefits four different techniques which may be used to promote a specific horticultural enterprise.
  • Produce design for a specific nursery, farm, or other horticultural enterprise, to enhance marketing in that enterprise.
  • Develop a promotional campaign for a specified horticultural product or service.
  • Explain two different methods of determining a price for a specified horticultural product.

How to Attract Attention to a Horticultural Product or Service?

Being Seen in One Place is Not Enough

There’s an old saying in marketing that you need to be seen in three different places in order to capture the attention of a potential buyer. This idiom still largely holds true. Perhaps the only change should be that the three places should now be increased to four or five. Competitors are also more widely visible than before, so for a business to gain new customers, and retain existing customers, they need to also be visible to remain in the mind of the customer.

Being Noticed is Ineffective Unless you Prompt a Response

People are more aware than ever of the “options” that they have to buy goods or services. Often several web sites, facebook pages or advertisements will make equally good impressions; but one will encourage contact far better than the others. Ultimately, a sale cannot be made, unless the potential customer contacts you.

Where Do You Begin?

Start by establishing a target market:

  •     first understand the sort of person you are trying to attract (consider who would buy from you)
  •     second consider where you might be able to connect with those people
  •     third consider what would attract their attention.

Targeting Strategies

When a specific product (or products) is aimed at a particular market segment (portion of the market) that segment becomes the ‘target market’.
This target market may be defined by age, gender, geographic, socio-economic grouping a mix of these or by other demographics.

A targeting strategy is used in order to target these markets.  Targeting may be selective, niche, mass, full coverage or specialise in certain products.
The targeting strategy decisions that you make will be influenced by:

  • the size of your business
  • existing competition
  • whether there is an established market
  • the customers’ needs and preferences
  • the amount you need to sell to make a profit.

This strategy will define the customers that you want to service (your target choice).

In order to develop a targeting strategy it is necessary to make decisions that would include:

  • How many products are being offered?
  • How many segments have been determined to exist in the target market?
  • Which segments are to be targeted?
  • Which products are to be offered in each of the segments?

Targeting strategy is the selection of the customers you wish to service. The decisions involved in a targeting strategy include:

  • how many segments to target
  • which segments to target
  • how many products to offer
  • which products to offer in which segments (product positioning).

Defining Your Target Market

In order to develop a targeting strategy it is important to research your potential client base. Not understanding your potential market (that is - who will buy your products), can lead to bad decisions, incorrect pricing, marketing strategies that don’t work and even failure of the business.

Demographic segmentation is the most popular tactic for determining customer groups mainly because customers’ needs or wants are closely related to the demographic variables. It consists of dividing the market into segments based on these variables such as age, gender family size, income, occupation, education, religion, race and nationality.

Some questions regarding your target market that you need to answer are:

  • How old are they?
  • What gender are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • What is their family structure (number of children, extended family, etc.)?
  • What is their income?
  • What do they do for a living?
  • What is their lifestyle like?
  • How do they like to spend their spare time?
  • What motivates them?

When you know the answers to the above questions you can use differentiated (target) marketing techniques, so the needs of your customers are better understood. This has the flow on effect of creating stronger customer loyalty; creating more total sales, with a concentrated marketing effort in selected areas, thereby gaining market position with specialized market segments. Target marketing of products or services reduces the cost of production, distribution, and promotion. However this method of marketing has the associated risk of competitors entering the market or your target market becoming saturated.

Determining Market Segmentation

Geographic - Regions within countries, countries, cities or towns categorised by size, density of population, and also climate. Marketing programs including advertising, product choice and promotions are determined by and aimed at the individual needs of each geographic area.

Mass Marketing - (also called undifferentiated marketing) - the market is treated as one homogenous group, the marketing is the same for all customers irrelevant of any of the variables mentioned earlier. This type of marketing works when there is an economy of scale i.e. products are mass produced, mass communicated and mass distributed. The needs of individual groups are not taken into account and may cause the establishment of niche markets when other players realise that there is scope for potential sales to those customers whose needs are not being met through mass marketing.

Niche Marketing – when a business concentrates on selling to a small market (sometimes products are specialised for that market). Niche markets can be lucrative for small business as this market is often ignored by large multinationals - the danger is that the market is small and could change quickly.

Psychographic – this approach places people into groups according to their lifestyle. The segment can be determined by using surveys that are based on activities, interest, opinions, attitudes and values of targeted groups.

Behaviouralistic – is a direct form of segmentation based on the way customers behave towards products: such as the benefits they seek from a product, the amount of times they use a product, brand loyalty, whether the user is a first time, regular or potential buyer, whether they are ready to buy or whether they are occasional buyers ie. do certain events (weddings, holidays etc) stimulate a purchase?.

Projecting the Future

It is important for a good business person to predict potential markets and potential opportunities for their products and services.  So, you will also need to understand the potential for sales and the limitations, now and in the future. In order to do this you will also need to have knowledge of the type of products your potential customers have bought in the past, the services they use and how often they buy products or use these services.

Once you have determined a target market you need to know:

  • Has your market segment bought a similar product/service to yours before?
  • What is the potential for your product or service? How many do you think you can sell?
  • Will your market potentially give you repeat business? How much?
  • Can the scope of your market change with a potential shift in demographics or socio-economic change? Is the population aging? Is employment stable? Are family structures changing?  Look at mobile phones, when they first appeared on the market, they tended to be bought by richer people as a status symbol. Now many people have mobile phones, from young children to senior citizens so the market for mobile phones has grown exponentially, but the requirements of each different segment of the market will vary. What a 12 year old boy wants in their mobile phone will vary from a 70 year old woman.
  • Could a change in government policies (ie. taxes) or laws affect your market?
  • Could a change in public opinion affect your market? For example, wearing furs was popular at one time. Although some people do still wear furs, public opinion has tended to turn against people wearing and selling furs, so the potential market for furs may have changed dramatically.  

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