PCFMA Awarded Federal Grant to Build Marketing Capacity
The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association has been awarded a three-year capacity building grant from the USDA through the 2017 Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP). PCFMA’s FMPP project, entitled “Multi-Channel and Multi-Generational Marketing Strategies to Engage Farmers’ Market Shoppers,” is designed to help PCFMA and PCFMA’s farmers learn how use emerging technologies like social media and text messaging to communicate with farmers’ market shoppers.
The way that consumers seek out information is rapidly changing. While mobile technology has given consumers unprecedented access to information 24/7, the rapid proliferation of apps and social media outlets makes it challenging to reach a broad audience with a single message. And the adoption and utilization of information technologies varies greatly among different generations. This creates new challenges for farmers’ markets and other community-based businesses that find traditional ways of communicating with customers are no longer as effective.
PCFMA’s FMPP project will develop and test outreach strategies through email, Facebook and text messaging. Through this effort, PCFMA hopes to learn how different generations use different types of media and the types of information that are best suited to each media outlet.
In the first year of PCFMA’s project, new email, social media and text messaging strategies will be tested in twelve PCFMA farmers’ markets. In each of the the second and third years of the project, PCFMA will continue to test and refine these strategies while also training farmers to use the lessons PCFMA has developed so they can begin to tell their farm’s story directly to their farmers’ market consumers.
In order to share these lessons more broadly, PCFMA plans to work with its partners at the California Small Farm Conference and the California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets to share project outcomes with farmers’ markets throughout the state.