Advertising for the Farmers Market????

heidi41(z5 Mass)May 11, 2007

As a new market manager, I was wondering if anyone had any good input on advertising for the Market. So far, we are running an ad in our local paper that will appear the week before we open(May 31) We also have some signs that will be hung up in various store windows and "local bullitin boards". We will be hanging large Market signs in several spots around town on the mornings of the market (we have to take them down after the market) We have our 3' x 8' Market banner and a 3' x 4' metal "sandwich board" type sign. Wow, being in charge of even a small market takes quite a bit of planning. But I LOVE IT. I guess I better put some time out in the field right now. Heidi

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moonblooms(z8 AL)

Ask your local TV news stations if you can come in and do a "special interest" piece. You could take one of your market vendors and do a cooking segment while you plug the market. Our market coordinator arranged to have me and a local chef on the morning news. My husband and I sell honey and flowers, so I brought several jars of our honey and big, bright bouquets to set up by the "cooking station". The chef made a recipe with the honey and I talked about the market with the news anchor. It was just a 2 minute spot, but it was good publicity. They also put up the market information on the screen (date, time, location).

Also, make sure you get in contact with all the "tourist publications" and the weekly "things to do" calenders.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 3:15PM
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barrie2m_

Local newsletters are usually low cost advertising. Radio stations may also put you in their calendar of events section. Whether or not you have a website you can contact webmasters for popular local sites and get on their calendars for free or minimal cost.

If the local government wants to support you they might offer to pay some of the advertising costs. Our Market town Downtown Improvement District paid to have two large tow type flashing street signs advertising the market on market day.

Social events and entertainment tend to draw people and also give you a basis for promoting a particular market. Contact local musicians who might be willing to play at the market for cash donations of customers plus commodity donations from each vendor.

All forms of advertising tend to take planning and preparation time from the basic activities that we intend to do( I assume that you sell at the market also). Even as Manager you should be able to call on others to help make the market more successful.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 3:36PM
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trianglejohn

Our market does a "spot" survey each weekend (where the customers are given sticky colored dots to place on a sheet of poster board under and answer to a list of questions). These are great because you can see from a distance what the most popular answers are. There are usually about 5 questions and one question that is always asked is - How did you learn about the market? The overall most popular answer is Word of Mouth, which is something you can't buy. Only a very few people say they learned about us from newspaper articles or ads.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 3:44PM
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anniew(4-5/PA)

We put an ad for vendors in the local shopper each week starting in Feb...when done for the season the total cost was only about $200. The ad is also implying to all that the market will be open again this year, and when we do open we will change the wording of the ad to perhaps highlight certain products that are in season.
Ann

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 10:25AM
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heidi41(z5 Mass)

Thank you everyone. I really like the idea of having a local musician come out to the market, however the band that I know said that their fee would probably not be affordable to us. They weren't interested in commodity donations. Oh well, I'll keep looking. I was thinking of letting some of our local youth (agricultual) groups use one of our vacant spaces for them to dispay some of their works. We have a local 4H group that may be interested. The girl scout/boy scouts are also a possibility. Thanks for your ideas. Heidi

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 6:57PM
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moonblooms(z8 AL)

If you are looking for musicians, check with the local high school band department. You might find a jazz quartet or other group that would play. One thing though, make sure they're not playing loudly near the vendors. We had a group that played and sang so loudly we couldn't hear the customers.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 11:25AM
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heidi41(z5 Mass)

When our market opened this year, we started a drawing(free raffle). Each time a customer buys from a vendor, they are given an entry blank to fill out and put in the "Barrel". Once a month we have a drawing with two winners. They receive Market Money to spend at any of the vendors they choose. The vendors are than reimbursed from our market advertising funds.I was greatly surprised by the excitement that something this simple can cause. Our small market seems to be flourishing. Almost every few days I receive calls from potential vendors. Last year our market had 6 - 8 vendors. This year I have already signed on 21 vendors. Some of which are only part time vendors. In last weeks local paper they did a 4 page write up about the market. Large colored pictures of various vendors. We even had FRONT PAGE statis with a huge picture of ME selling Purple Wave petunias. Heidi

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 7:26PM
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