Digital Marketing Farmer's Market Research Portfolio

The purpose of this portfolio is to demonstrate the depth of research, considerations and motivations that have been made during the design and development of the final digital marketing campaign.

The information for this research portfolio has been taken from previously research compiled on Padlet. The link to Padlet can be found below to offer the information in a different medium

Farmer's Markets: Past, Present and Future Prospects
Traditional Markets and Farmer's Markets share many similarities. They both sell a range of locally sourced produce and trinkets to patrons from the local area. The main difference however, is that people who sell at Farmer's Markets must meet certain criteria and be physically associated with a farm.

Potential Farmer's Market Stakeholders

A farmer's market, as a physical entity will have customers, organisations and other third parties who interact with the market on a regular basis. These stakeholders hold a lot of power in relation to maintaining the fluidity and integrity of the farmer's market as their actions can be very influential. Below provides a list of potential stakeholders.

  1. Organisations
  2. Small Business Owners
  3. Stall Owners
  4. Potential Suppliers
  5. Regular and New Customers
  6. Farmer's Market Organisers

What Items are Typically Sold at Farmer's Markets?

  • Local Produce
  • Cheeses
  • Meat
  • Flowers
  • Gardening Equipment and Accessories
  • Fruit & Vegetables
  • Bread
  • Clothing

Target Audience for a Farmer's Market

Farmer's markets do not have a specific target audience as the produce that is sold is not specific to particular users. However, it is logical for stall owners to target any patrons who interact with them. Those customers who regularly attend farmer's markets will become the desired target audience as it will become a regular source of income.

Selecting the Right Target Audience

Selecting the right people to sell produce to can be a difficult task, but it is of vital importance that the correct considerations are made to ensure that the right people are purchasing your goods. This can be done by defining exactly "who" is going to purchase the produce as this will make promoting produce easier.

In relation to a Farmer's Market, the "who" can refer to someone who maybe regularly attend farmer's markets and buys produce on every visit, or people who do only attend occasionally, but spend a certain amount of money on each visit. By defining the audience, this will allow stall owners to effectively tailor advertisements specifically to these demographics (Fresh Approach, 2017).

Another important consideration is to judge "where" the target audience is situated in relation to the farmer's market. There is no point stall owners spending money on advertising to attract people who live a great distance away from the farmer's market as the likelihood of these people attending the market is very slim compared to the odds of people from the local area regularly attending the market (Fresh Approach, 2017).

Debates About the Effectiveness of Farmer's Markets

There is a lot of debate about the effectiveness of farmer's markets and whether or not they were as popular as they once were. Below will provide links to two separate articles that give an insight in to both sides of the argument from the perspective of an american business owner and a generalised perspective. Information about a guest speaker who came to speak about his experience with farmer's markets will also be provided.

Demographic Shift

The first article is an interview with a business owner, Zach Lester, who regularly attends farmer's markets in America. He states that there is a demographic shift as "The customer's have changed". This is based on his own personal observations as he believes that the shoppers who attend farmer's market are there to socialise, not to purchase produce (Carman, 2016). This ultimately results in the business owner making less money than he has done in the past. Is it time for business owners to wise up and find other means of selling produce? The answer, quite possibly as it appears that the future of farmer's markets hangs in the balance.

Farmer's Markets are Changing America's Economy

The second article provides an opposing view to the first article in which the author suggests that the numbers of farmer's markets in US is increasing due to the nature of the produce that is sold. This viewpoint is supported by the demand for organic foods and ethical business practices which enforces the people's desire to provide sustainable services (Matthews, 2017).

Guest Speaker

Although this is an article related to a farmer's market in America, the same ideas can be extracted and related to farmer's markets within the UK as there not as many around as there once was. Furthermore, to support this notion, an example can be seen in the success that Mazeys Mod Clothing has had since the owner of the business decided to make the move to online as opposed to physically attending markets.

The owner of Mazeys Mod Clothing, Mr Sedman was kind enough to come and speak to us personally to explain his motives for moving his business online. The main reason was that he could see the changing trends in markets and could sense that as the internet became a more prominent entity in modern society, more people will likely adopt this as their medium of choice when shopping. This allowed Mr Sedman to capitalise of this and promote his products more effectively to the correct users.

This is How a Farmer's Market Could Look

Markets have the Opportunity to Flourish but Need to Become More Modernised

This Can Only be Achieved Through Proper Investment in Time, Effort and Money

Broadening Horizons and Facilitating New Technology will Result in a Higher Quality Experience for All

Becoming a Stall Owner

The link below provides documentation from Kent's Farmer's Market about guidelines and best practices that need to be considered for people who are looking to open a stall on a farmer's market (Kent Farmers Market Association, 2017). The purpose of the document is to give potential stall owners an insight in to the responsibilities and motives for wanting to provide a service at a farmer's market.

Personal Experiences and Own Insight

Visit to Local Farmer's Market

On Friday 24th February, Myself and other class mates visited a local farmers market in order to gain information directly from people who attend farmers markets and sell produce. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the attendance at the market was relatively low as only three stalls owners turned up.

This may have been for reasons including: the wrong time of year as produce may not be fully available yet or poor weather because of the storm the night before. Some general information about how the stall owners trade and promote themselves was gained which can be translated into the project in some way.

Visit to Market Hall

Some general information about how the stall owners trade and promote themselves was gained which can be translated into the project in some way. After interviewing a couple of stall owners, it was discovered that they do not attend any farmers markets as they feel that they are not worth it and are a waste of time. This could be based on bias views as the owners have always sold products within the market hall.

Interestingly, one of the stall owners claimed that the products are not home grown and that they are in fact, purchased from the same providers and sold at a higher price to give the illusion of home grown quality foods. This cannot be considered fact as it is only speculation from one stall owner.

Digital Marketing Paradigms: How Marketing has Taken Over the World
It’s a crucial first step towards understanding how the constantly evolving digital marketplace relates to you and how it affects the relationship between your business or brand and your customers and prospects (Ryan, 2016)

Digital marketing does not necessarily focus on the technology itself. It is more focused on the people and community behind it. The main idea behind digital marketing is that people interact with people and communities to build relationships, which will ultimately drive influence and increase sales.

Ethics and Morality of Digital Marketing

The button below links to an article in Digital Marketing Magazine that provides in-depth information about ethics and how modern business and large organisations have changed the paradigm of internet morality (Boote, 2017).

When Marketing Goes Wrong

Battlefield 1 Disastrous Campaign

EA is a huge company who should understand the importance of marketing and how to effectively promote products. However, this did not go as planned upon the announcement of the latest title, Battlefield 1.

Using the hashtag #justWW1things caused outrage on social media due to offensive nature of the campaign as the company attempted to make light of the horrors from the great war which resulted in the campaign being immediately halted and reworked (Sarkar, 2016).

Example of EA's Battlefield 1 Campaign on Twitter

The Man in the High Castle Nazi Themed Subway Advertisements

Another example of when marketing goes wrong is with the promotion of the TV series, The Man in the High Castle. The campaign was intended to promote the show about an alternate reality in which the enemy superpowers had won the world war and invaded the western world. Unfortunately, the campaign caused confusion and outrage as the public deemed the campaign 'offensive' to holocaust survivors and the families of those who fought in the war (The Guardian, 2017).

For more information, click on the button below to find the news article.

How a Marketing Campaign Could be Implemented for the Assessment

For this assessment, a marketing campaign could be incorporated in many different ways. The campaign could be targeted at the company that runs the market and can try to attract more vendors to sell produce. Also, the campaign could be aimed at the vendors themselves and provide methods in which more customers can visit the stalls. As this assessment is very open-ended, there is no set way to tackle the task at hand.

Personally, I believe that the best way to tackle this task is to do it in a generic manner by providing a solution for each scenario, the company and the vendors as different approaches can be made to create effective marketing solutions. This will provide more areas to think about and more considerations.

Business Considerations and Marketing Strategies which Could be Implemented

What are the Traditional Marketing Methods Used Currently at Farmer's Markets

Due to the old fashioned nature of farmer's markets, very few innovative marketing methods are implemented. The main example of marketing methods include:

  • Flyers
  • Posters
  • Advertisements in local newspapers
  • Online advertisements
  • Social advertisements - Word-of-Mouth
  • Radio advertisements

Do's and Don'ts of Marketing at a Farmer's Market

There are multiple ways to promote a business at a farmer's market. Whether that be through traditional methods or the implementation of new technology. The article by for Modern Farmer (Friesema, 2017) provides a list of the recommended steps required in order to successfully advertise and market the business. These steps include:


  • Make the name of the business the centrepiece of the campaign
  • Label produce and products correctly to avoid confusion
  • On physical displays, ensure that the contrasting colours are effectively placed within the display to entice customers and gauge interest
  • Create a nice environment for the customer to interact with


  • Using bright colours will make photographs not as effective as they could be as the colour provide a specific mood
  • Use untrained or newly appointed staff without proper training as being unable to provide information when requested can convey a negative image
  • Perhaps the most import rule, Do not forget the name of a regular customer! This can break relationships and result in the customer not engaging with the business as much as they used to

Using Social Proof to Increase Sales

Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behaviour (Fernandez, 2016).

Social proof is an effective mechanism that is used to increase conversion rates in customers who are not easily convinced and need more reassurance that their investment is worthwhile. Studies suggest that almost 70% of online consumers look at a products review before making a purchase (Fernandez, 2016).

The link below will provide a full list and explanations of how social proof can increase conversion rates.

Providing Personalised Content

There are a number of reasons why providing personalised content is more beneficial for businesses. These are highlighted in an article for Digital Marketing Magazine (Keller, 2017). These benefits include:

1) Consumers are more likely to buy from the business

Figures in this article show that personalised content directly influences sales. Personalised content can refer to specific deals and offers based on a users previous purchasing history and location. Not only does it allow a business to deliver specific content to it's customers, it also shows a sense of care and interest in the customers actvities.

2) Allows a business to stand out and become individual

Standing out from the competition is becoming increasingly important for modern businesses as it will make them more competitive and ultimately, drive influence and increase sales. The content that the business provides is no longer enough to maintain customer relationships as all businesses can provide high quality content. By providing personalised content, this will show potential and existing customers that the business is ahead of the game and is willing to go the extra mile for it's customers.

3) Creates a better image and identity

Creating a quality customer experience is the most important goal in modern business. If the experience is not there or a customer does not feel appreciated, they will not continue to engage with the business. Providing personalised content will is one method of creating a better image as again, it will give customers the impression that the business cares about it's customers and wants the customer to know how much the business appreciates them.

4) Consumers will be more likely to pay more for personalised content

A study from the Content Marketing Institute suggests that customers are more likely to pay more money for personalised content. The more personalised content and better the experience, the greater the customers willingness to spend more money. If the personalised content is delivered effectively, the investment will eventually pay for itself.

Real Time Content: Why is it Better?

Being able to track things in real time in very important in modern business as it allows an organisation to capitalise on current trends and popular products. This way, the organisation can drive influence in certain products to increase brand awareness and sales. If an organisation rely on traditional marketing methods, it can be argued that the business will not be able to continue operating as they will not be able to keep up with the evolving market.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

A Customer Relationship System is a series of strategies, practices and technologies that can be utilised to track customer interactions with the business or through a products life cycle (Rouse, 2014). The analysed data can be used to assist in:

  • Improving relationships with customers
  • Communications between businesses and customers
  • Retaining customers
  • Driving sales

More detailed information about the functionality and usage of a CRM can be found by following the link below. Based on the information within the article, this would be an ideal system to implement in to the assessment as it could be used for a range of purposes and provide new opportunities.

Customer Journey Mapping

When a customer performs an interaction with a business, the steps taken to achieve this interaction can be recorded. Customer Journey Mapping is a framework that is used to track the steps that a customer takes when making a purchase which will enable the organisation to improve its customer experience by highlighting all the touch points between the business and customers (Customer Champions Ltd, 2012).

This will allow the business to analyse and review each customer interaction to determine if any areas need improvement to make the interaction better which will make the experience better for the customers.

IKEA Customer Journey Mapping (Uxeria, 2017)

Customer Journey Mapping in Regards to a Farmer's Market

1) Arrive at Farmers Market

Different methods of transport may be used (Car, bike, bus etc. - Knowledge of facilities available)

2) Walk around

Map would make locating specific stalls easier (familiarity)

3) Approach Stall

Customers may approach a stall with items that are appealing

4) View products/produce

Easier to view if customer is familiar with products (customer awareness)

5) Converse with Vendor

Customers may engage in conversation with the vendor (Build a trust relationship - more sales/customer retention)

6) Acquire products/produce of interest

May end up buying things that are not necessarily needed, but vendor made them feel comfortable (Customer retention)

7) Purchase Items

Vendors may not facilitate card payments (problem as could result in lose of sale)

8) Leave Stall

Leave either satisfied with purchased goods or upset with no goods due to lack of payment facilities

Generating Interest with the Audience

Generating interest is one of the main objectives for any business. Getting customers excited about products and services will encourage more interactions with the business which increase sales exponentially. Generating interest can be achieved in many different ways. In regards to the assessment, one way in which a business could generate interest is through hosting events.

Specifically, if a fruit and vegetable stall is trying to increase interest, a "Grow Your Own..." publicity campaign event in which potential customers can come and grow their own produce.

This may be an effective approach for people who have young children as the children would be interested in planting vegetables. This could potentially increase the initial amount of interest in the stall and which could increase sales as potential customers may want to sample the produce previously grown by other patrons.

Furthermore, once the produce has been planted, by giving the guarantee that the produce will be looked after until it has fully grown which will encourage the customer to come back to collect the grown produce will further encourage customer to interact with the business. If satisfaction levels are high, this will make customers more incline to interact with the business in the future.

Also, many local people may agree with this as it does promote the growth of local produce so people may purchase goods regularly based on their moral standpoint.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a series of strategies and methodologies that are used to increase the amount of visitors to a website and to improve the sites visibility on search engines via the effective use of words and phrases that are relevant to the site. By ensuring that any links within the website link correctly, this can increase the website visibility further and ensure that more people have access to the site (Robinson, 2017).

Combining Marketing with Social Media
Social Media, which includes online channels for participating and interacting with customers can represent important ways in which organisations can communicate with prospective customers (Murdough, 2009)

How Social Media Marketing is Influenced by the Size of a Business


Not all organisations post directly on social media to convey. The idea is placed online and the community share it and voice opinions to invoke emotions and debates within the community. Large organisations have more money and resources to invest in quality advertisements to target more users (CIOReview, 2017).

The following button links to a website that explains how industries use social media effectively to drive influence and generate ideas.

Small Businesses

It is much more difficult for small businesses to establish an effective social media presence. Small business rely on social interaction to develop trust relationships with customers to make them want to come back. Can offer competitions to entice potential customers to like the post to get more likes. More interpersonal relationships can be built on social media by regularly communicating with customers.

Social Media Marketing Excellence

Marketing online does not always end up badly. The following video demonstrates an example of how effective social media can be as a marketing tool as it shows how a simple idea can alter an entire town perception of an event (Jaffe, 2012).

How to Run an Effective Social Media Marketing Campaign

Running an effective social media marketing campaign can be a difficult task. Especially when the needs and requirements can change rapidly. To ensure that the campaign is ran successfully (Carnoy, 2017) , the following steps can be followed:

1) Set realistic but manageable targets

The first step in the process requires that the main objectives of the campaign are outlined. By finding the focus and realising the exact reasons for the campaign, this will make it easier to achieve the overall business goals.

2) Choose appropriate social media platforms

Once the goals have been determined, it is time to decide which are the best media channel to post content to generate interest. This is an important step to consider and must be done correctly to ensure that your message and identity is being broadcast to the correct demographic.

3) Continually engage with the audience

This is the perhaps the most important step as this is the stage where trust relationships with members of the audience are established. As customers share your content and begin to pay attention to you, give them the attention they deserve and positively respond to any feedback that is given. Even if the feedback is negative, show that you care by showing concern and by making an attempt to rectify the problem. Another way to engage customers is to host events and competitions to keep existing customer interested and to attract potential new customers.

4) Select and use the most relevant content

When using content online, ensure that it is of the highest quality and that it showcases exactly what you want it to. The brand should be everywhere, online and offline. On websites, packaging, posters, adverts etc to reach more customers at once. Furthermore, by celebrating the contributions from the customers, it can demonstrate the notion of care and appreciation which in turn, will increase customer loyalty and retention.

5) Constantly measure and analyse the success of the campaign

Analysing the campaign as a whole will be very beneficial as it will highlight not only whether or not the campaign was a success, but can also give an insight in previously unconsidered information including: how the products are being used, which users are more likely to purchase products etc.

Public Attitudes Towards Social Media

People have mixed emotions and feelings when it comes to social media. At this moment in time, the younger generations are more active on Facebook but studies suggest that the figures are halting as 'Millennials ' find themselves adopting other social media platforms including: Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram etc.

In relation to a farmers market, the stereotypical demographic for farmers markets are elderly, middle aged people who may not be as open to accepting the utilisation of social media. In terms of business, the utilisation of social media can be passed off to the younger generation to run the social media platforms because of the conception that the younger generation "spend all their time on the internet".

Does a Farmer's Market Have the Capabilities to go Viral?

In this sense, the term viral is defined as 'something that becomes very popular and is circulated by many people over the internet'. Based on personal observations, it doesn't take much these days for a video to go viral as there appears to be a new video (craze) posted on Facebook every week. Unless something of a comical or good hearted nature occurred at a farmers market, I doubt there is many ways that the markets could go viral.

However, there are methods that can be used in an attempt to make things go viral. Although, if anything were to go viral, the spotlight would be on the medium or action that occurred, rather than the physical market.

Marketing Strategy Implementation

Bringing Farmer's Markets in to the Modern Age

As technology continues to develop and evolve, it opens up new possibilities for what can be achieved. Farmer's markets by design are very traditional but in recent years, the numbers of frequent shoppers has declined substantially as technology is making it easier for customers to purchase things directly. However, with the aid of an effective digital marketing campaign, farmer's markets could flourish and cater to a wide range of audiences and make the experience fun for all.


  • Internet of Things (IoT Devices)
  • Geofencing
  • Mobile 4G wifi provider (EE wifi mast)
  • Payment system (Square Reader)
  • CRM system
  • Electronic advertisements
  • Drone Coverage

Social Media Presence

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Youtube


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Carman, T. (2016). For some growers, farmers markets just aren’t what they used to be. [online] Washington Post. Available at:

Carnoy, J. (2017). 5 Tips for Running Your Best Social Media Campaign Ever. [online] Entrepreneur. Available at:

CGMagazine (2016). Twitter Post @battlefield. [image] Available at:

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Sarkar, S. (2016). EA turns horrors of WWI into tone-deaf Battlefield 1 memes, quickly deletes them. [online] Polygon. Available at:

The Guardian (2017). Nazi-inspired ads for The Man in the High Castle pulled from New York subway. [online] the Guardian. Available at:

Uxeria (2017). IKEA customer journey mapping example. [image] Available at:


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