Identify Potential Markets

The first step to preparing a marketing plan is to evaluate the market. Because actual markets for compost vary widely from one community to the next, an assessment of the organics industry in your region is essential to understand the potential for compost use in your locality.

Potential market sectors may include:

  • Landscaping installation and maintenance
  • Sports turf management
  • Nursery/greenhouse potting soil
  • Stormwater mitigation and erosion control
  • Agriculture (fiber, food, sod, forestry)
  • Home gardening

New uses

A market survey can help identify:

  • Potential target markets and users of compost products
  • Current compost demand
  • Price paid for similar products
  • Desired qualities in the product
  • Customer biases about compost feedstocks
  • Customer feedstock biases with compost use
  • Purchasing cycles
  • Peak demand months
  • Purchase terms
  • Delivery conditions

Identify your competition’s

  • Price
  • Location
  • Qualities
Market Viability and Government-Produced Compost: Get Your Value!

Determine your compost’s value to the user based on its advantages and limitations. Does your product meet, or can it be changed to meet your customer’s needs? If you are a government entity, identify the internal value of the finished product.

Remember that properly made compost has a market value and should be “given away” only for special promotions or severe inventory issues.  You should educate all of your staff  that recycling organics into compost is not simply disposing of waste but creating a valuable product.

An expectation that may need to be addressed is that all city services are provided at no cost to the residents. Organic disposal, like water purification, can be a city service that is offered to residents. These services have value and finished compost should be priced accordingly to establish a market value for the compost.

Determine a plan for showing others within the organization the value of the finished compost product so that it may be sold at market prices.
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