Prepare a marketing plan to evaluate options for sales education and outreach.
Product education is key – plan for a robust public relations and education strategy. Compost is a product with complex technical characteristics, so sales and marketing efforts must be strongly based on educating your consumer.
First you must educate yourself before you can educate others.
For compost sales, consider purchasing guidebooks on compost use such as:
- Compost Utilization in Horticultural Crops
- The Composting Handbook
- The Practical Guide to Compost Marketing and Sales
• Utilize social media
• Write press releases
• Start a blog
• Create Newsletters
• Share Videos
• The USCC’s STA Program has numerous materials and presentations you can use if you are a participant.
• Follow the US Composting Council and Compost Foundation’s social media accounts and frequently share tips on compost to your sites.
▪ Be active in trade associations
▪ Attend or exhibit at trade shows. A detailed user’s guide educates both sellers and buyers about the product; helps ensure correct application and better results
▪ Attend local programs offered by extension agencies, colleges, landscape/nursery associations, turfgrass associations, master garden clubs, industry shows
▪ Establish knowledge needed to conduct seminars by attending meetings with the above options
o Hold your own events for potential customers
▪ Show potential customers your compost product will meet their specific needs.
Educated customers use your product appropriately which reduces liability and
gains repeat customers.
▪ Education will lead to more credibility for your product(s) and company because customers will be fully informed. Educating customers will improve customer service and lead to increased sales. Educated customers use more compost and refer you to others
▪ Structure presentations based on your audience, and present at the best time of year for your audience
▪ Offer seminars with Continuing Education Credits (CEU) to increase attendance and your company and product exposure in your prospective markets
▪ Include complete contact information and a feedback option on your website or mail in card
▪ Here’s a good example of a marketing webpage: https://www.compostingcouncil.org/page/CompostManufacturersSTABenefitsMarketing
● Workshops on backyard composting and/or compost use for homeowners
● Lunch and learns for landscape architects and city council members
● Meet with specifiers to help educate them on the benefits of specifying compost for future projects.
o Become a Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) Certified Compost participant so your product will be listed on the well-respected USCC Buying Compost Map found here
o Use specifications that have been previously established for standard operation procedures. https://www.compostingcouncil.org/page/HowUseCompost
▪ Department of Transportation (DOT) specifications- Look on DOT websites for
projects up for bid. See the link here.
▪ Department of Agriculture specifications
o Establishing this type of program will help different departments in municipalities support each other.
o Be aware this can possibly create resentment- educating other municipal departments on the benefits of compost use can be more effective than rules mandating it.