Learn to market, publicize, present, sell -horticultural products, from harvested crops, to pot plants; and tools to fertilizers and garden furniture.

Course Code: BHT304
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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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

There are 7 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Horticultural Marketing
    • Introduction
    • Key elements of marketing
    • Resources and networking
    • Supply and Demand
    • Understanding economics
    • Marketing horticulture plant produce vs plant products
  2. Horticultural Marketing Processes
    • Packaging
    • Plant labelling
    • Product line decisions
    • Problem Based Learning project
  3. Horticultural Marketing Methods
    • Introduction
    • Deciding marketing methods on type of business
    • Legal obligations
    • Value of business
    • Controlling business growth
    • Improving results in business
    • Use of internet for marketing
  4. Customer Service
    • Dealing with complaints
    • Customer satisfaction
    • How to become effective communicator
    • Ways of communication
    • Selling
  5. Horticultural Marketing Research
    • Introduction
    • Research process
    • Statistics
    • Tracking trends
    • Marketing tips
  6. Developing An Advertising Program
    • Publicity marketing
    • Public relations
    • Structuring advertisements or promotions
    • Advertising budgets
  7. Developing A Horticultural Marketing Strategy
    • Introduction
    • Shop layout
    • Displaying products for sale
    • Merchandising
    • Type of service
    • Stock control
    • Understanding selling
    • Sales methods
    • Pricing


  • 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).

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.

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.

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.  

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Rosemary Davies (Horticulturist)

Rosemary trained in Horticulture at Melbourne Universities Burnley campus; studying all aspects of horticulture -vegetable and fruit production, landscaping, amenity, turf, aboriculture and the horticultural sciences.
Initially she worked with the Depart

Denise Hodges

Promotions Manager for ABC retail, Fitness Programmer/Instructor, Small Business Owner, Marketing Coordinator (Laserpoint). Over 20 years varied experienced in business and marketing. More recently Denise studied naturopathy to share her passion for healt

Bob James (Horticulturist)

Bob has over 50 years of experience in horticulture across both production sectors (Crops and nursery) and amenity sectors of the industry.
He holds a Diploma in Agriculture and Degree in Horticulture from the University of Queensland; as well as a Maste

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