Learn the fundamentals of marketing and selling anything -100 hour, extensive foundation courses to work better in sales or marketing.

Course Code: VBS109
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn the Fundamentals of Marketing

This course is designed as a program to understand the marketing world; then developing skills in marketing.
Marketing is at the core of any business success.

This course helps you to understand different ways products and services can be promoted, sold and delivered to customers. You learn to better plan how to market anything, and in doing so, improve the profitability of any business enterprise.


Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Marketing and the Business
    • What is marketing, and its significance
    • Considering alternative approaches to business & marketing
    • Alternative enterprises (eg. goods or services based sole proprietor or partnership etc).
  2. Scope of Marketing Understanding basic economics (eg. supply & demand)
    • The difference between the potential market
    • Available market
    • Target market
    • Penetrated market for a product/service of your choice
    • Different advertising approaches
    • Controlling Growth,
    • Improving Results in Business, etc
  3. Target Marketing
    • Understanding the market place
    • Stages that sellers move through in their approach to a market
    • What is targeting
    • Advantages of target marketing as compared to mass marketing and product-differentiated marketing
  4. The Marketing Mix and Managing the Marketing Effort
    • Product, price, place, and promotion
    • Affects and interactions between marketing and other operations of a business.
  5. Product Presentation and Packaging
    • Importance of product knowledge
    • Core, tangible and augmented products
    • Differences in packaging & presentation for different products.
  6. Promotion Communication skills
    • Merchandising
    • Shop Floor Layout
    • Displaying Products
    • Signs
    • Understanding Selling and Increasing Sales
    • Sales Methods
    • Publicity Marketing,
    • Structuring an Advertisement or Promotion
    • Advertising budgets, etc
  7. Product Pricing and Distribution Pricing
    • Profitability Ratios
    • Increasing Turnover, etc
  8. Customer Service Methods of assessing customer satisfaction
    • Significance of Customer Service
    • Different types of customers in the market place and how best to approach each
    • Difference between selling, publicising, marketing and advertising, etc
  9. Market Research
    • The research process
    • What to research
    • Surveys
    • Developing and conducting a market research program
    • Where to find useful statistics,
  10. Organisations
    • Structures and Roles Business law
    • Financial Management
    • Business Structures
    • Business terminology, etc.

Without Marketing there is No Business

There is little point being in any business and producing good products or services, if what you produce is never delivered to a customer. All too often though; businesses either don't understand marketing, or don't give sufficient attention to marketing in order to make the business profitable.

Marketing is not just selling, or advertising, or promotion.  It is customer focused, and requires you to organise your business in such a way that you can:

  • identify your potential customers
  • identify their needs and wants
  • provide products/services to suit these needs and wants
  • tell your customers about your business and what it offers
  • persuade them to buy your products/services
  • ensure they are satisfied with their purchases
  • make a profit

The marketing process involves:

  •  gathering information
  • identifying key issues
  • developing strategies and actions

Components of the marketing process include:

  • market research        
  • product
  • pricing
  • distribution
  • packaging
  • promotion
  • advertising
  • merchandising
  • selling
  • customer relations

The essential steps in marketing involve selecting a product/service for which there is a demand, identifying your distribution or sales outlets, selling your product/service, and ensuring that your customers are satisfied with their purchases.

The following eight steps are basically the framework in which a business should operate in order to have satisfied customers, a satisfactory profit margin, and therefore, a successful business.

1.    Market research – research your market for your product/service.

2.    Segment market – determine the types of customers that exist in the market place. At this point, you may also wish to conduct some customer profiling. This entails listing the probable characteristics of your target users and building a profile of them. This will enable you to better attract them through promotion methods which are interesting and appropriate to them.

3.    Action market – align your product/service to the target market using design, packaging, etc.

4.    Calculate price – calculate the price of your product/service based on the market tolerance and your required profit.

5.    Promotion strategy – devise a promotion strategy – advertising, business cards, tags and labels etc.

6.    Distribution – decide how you will distribute your product/service.

7.    Seek feedback – seek customer and distribution feedback.

8.    Implement changes – make any required changes in your product/service, quality, price and mix.

The Big Marketing Questions
For any horticultural business to succeed with marketing, you need to consider a lot more than just selling.
The following are important questions for any business, from a small plant nursery to a large scale flower farm, or a landscaping service to a hydroponic shop.
  • Are you visible – do potential customers know that you exist?
  • Are you reaching the right demographic, or the wrong demographic?
  • Are you getting noticed more than your competition?
  • Are you getting sufficient enquiries?
  • Are you converting an appropriate % of enquiries to sales?
  • Are you making high value sales or low value sales?
  • Are you capturing contact details of enquiries and customers?
  • Are you using contact details you capture?
  • Are you building return business?
  • Do you have appropriate front line sales people? (Often businesses fail because they don’t use sales people who know how to close the sale).
  • Are your sales people misleading customers? (Getting sales based upon misleading information can result in a higher level of complaints).
  • How are you marketing? The type of marketing you use and how you promote your product was alluded to earlier. With the internet and social media, there are many different ways to promote products and services available. Conduct research into them and look at what your competitors are doing.

Course Contributors

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

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