Marketing Foundations

Course CodeVBS109
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment
Develop a Foundation in Marketing Methods.

Understand how products and services are promoted, sold and distributed; and along the way, gain skills that are highly prized in both private and public enterprise.

Marketing is the cornerstone of most modern businesses. Lack of marketing knowledge is frequently the reason why a good business concept does not succeed. This course deals with all aspects of marketing from presentation and packaging, to advertizing and selling, developing in you an acute awareness of what is needed to achieve and maintain a good market share.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Marketing and the Business
    • What is marketing, and its significance
    • Considering alternative approaches to business and marketing
    • Alternative enterprises (eg. goods or services based, sole proprietor or partnership etc).
  2. Scope of Marketing Understanding basic economics (eg. supply & demand)
    • the difference between the potential market
    • available market
    • target market
    • penetrated market for a product/service of your choice
    • Different advertising approaches
    • Controlling Growth
    • Improving Results in Business, etc
  3. Target Marketing
    • Understanding the market place
    • Stages that sellers move through in their approach to a market
    • What is targeting
    • Advantages of target marketing as compared to mass marketing and product-differentiated marketing
  4. The Marketing Mix and Managing the Marketing Effort Product
    • price
    • place
    • promotion
    • Affects and interactions between marketing and other operations of a business.
  5. Product Presentation and Packaging Importance of product knowledge
    • Core, tangible and augmented products
    • Differences in packaging & presentation for different products.
  6. Promotion Communication skills
    • Merchandising
    • Shop Floor Layout
    • Displaying Products
    • Signs
    • Understanding Selling and Increasing Sales
    • Sales Methods
    • Publicity Marketing
    • Structuring an Advertisement or Promotion
    • Advertising budgets, etc
  7. Product Pricing and Distribution Pricing
    • Profitability Ratios
    • Increasing Turnover, etc
  8. Customer Service Methods of assessing customer satisfaction
    • Significance of Customer Service
    • Different types of customers in the market place and how best to approach each
    • Difference between selling, publicising, marketing and advertising, etc
  9. Market Research
    • The research process
    • What to research
    • Surveys
    • Developing and conducting a market research program
    • Where to find useful statistics,
  10. Organisations
    • Structures and Roles
    • Business law
    • Financial Management
    • Business Structures
    • Business terminology, etc.


  • Discuss the role of marketing in different enterprises.
  • Describe the scope of marketing in different enterprises.
  • Define the target market for a product or service.
  • Determine and manage an appropriate mix of marketing activities for a small enterprise or marketing campaign.
  • Evaluate the presentation (including packaging) of a product or service.
  • Determine an effective approach to promoting a product or service.
  • Compare options for distribution and determine an appropriate price for a product or service.
  • Evaluate customer service.
  • Conduct relevant market research.
  • Consider the impact of internal and external organisation's (including legal authorities) upon the marketing activities of an enterprise.

What is Horticultural Marketing?
Every horticultural enterprise, business or not, needs to promote and sell something.
  • Private enterprises are most often businesses, that are providing people with a service or product they need; and in return, receiving a payment of money.
  • Public enterprises also provide a service or goods; but their motivation is less often money, and more likely to be to achieve a better society.
Horticultural marketing involves promotion, sale, distribution and after sales service.  It is more than just selling. 
  • We may be marketing both goods and services
  • Goods that are marketed might be unprocessed or processed (eg. fruit straight off a tree, or fruit preserves)
  • Products may fall into two main groups: 
    • plant products and non plant products
    • non plant products; used in horticultural practices
  • Services may include wide variety of things, from articles written by an gardening expert, to advice given by a consultant. 
What makes People Buy?

If you understand why a person chooses to buy a product, or use a service; you then have a basis upon which to develop a marketing plan. People are often considered to go through five stages when purchasing a product:

  • Need recognition - the consumer acknowledges that they have a want or need. If there is a sufficient gulf between what they have and what they need and it is considered important enough, then the consumer will recognise that they have a problem and will be motivated to do something about it. Their desire to improve their situation is stimulated.
  • Information gathering - the person seeks information about products which may satisfy their needs or wants. This may involve drawing on intrinsic knowledge e.g. past experiences, or it may involve consulting extrinsic sources of information such as the opinions of friends, literature, advertisements, websites, and so forth. Usually the information gathered is not complete before the consumer moves to the nest stage.
  • Evaluation of alternatives - here the consumer compares the information they have gathered about the characteristics of the different products or services they have discovered. They may be more interested in prices, quality, or other factors. They might also be influenced by perceived risk, time, and finances. Generally, they will choose the product or service that has the characteristics that best meet their desires.
  • Making the purchase - barring some form of intervention, the consumer will now most likely decide to make the purchase. At this stage, anything which makes the purchase smoother and easier such as clear labelling and signage, careful product positioning, and good customer service is likely to assist with the purchasing decision.
  • Post-purchase behaviour - the person then assesses their purchase and decides if they are satisfied with it, whether they are unhappy with it. They may even experience buyer's remorse. The feelings the person has about the purchase will influence whether they return to buy the product again, and whether they tell others about it. 

Those working in marketing are interested in all aspects of this process because understanding what a consumer is thinking at each stage represents an opportunity to sway the consumer's purchasing behaviour. At the post-purchase stage marketers may seek to reduce any dissonance the purchaser has about the product by reinforcing the positive characteristics of the product or service.

Target Market
The target market encapsulates those individuals who a given product is aimed at. Sellers must choose a target market for their products or services – and aim their advertising marketing to their target market. Knowing the target market means that marketing strategies can be developed specifically for that market.


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