Direct Food Marketing Online Curriculum

Direct Food Marketing Online Curriculum

Direct Food Marketing Online Curriculum

The Direct Marketing of Specialty Food Products Curriculum is designed to provide business owners with strategies and tools to help sell directly to consumers. This online curriculum can be utilized by business owners 24/7 by logging in at

The self-directed program allows business owners to:

  • Evaluate the role of technology in the business
  • Examine how to weigh the costs and benefits of technology
  • Understand online marketing tools
  • Learn how to build an online presence
  • Understand how online marketing fits into an overall marketing plan

"Food products present a unique challenge in marketing online - you have to capture the touch and smell senses in a unique way," indicates co-author Jay Jenkins, UNL Extension Educator. The program includes video interviews of food entrepreneurs who are using social media tools to market and sell their product online.

The program exposes business owners to developing a website, the core of online marketing. It also discusses other social media tools, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. According to Connie Hancock, UNL Extension, "The goal is to help the business owners make wise decisions in developing an integrated marketing program that capitalizes on the new social media tools. The online world changes rapidly and we need to be flexible to take advantage of the tools available to us."

"Adding value to agricultural products is of great interest to many farmers, and it supports local economic growth and development," says Glenn Muske, the NDSU Extension Service's rural and agribusiness enterprise development specialist. "Yet the old adage 'build it and they will come' regretfully often brings only a few customers to the door. Businesses today must establish a brand, and they must keep that brand in front of the consumer. Direct Marketing of Specialty Food Products Online is designed to help the business owner in that effort."

The program was made possible through the support of North Dakota State University and University of Nebraska - Lincoln Extension, and grants from the Southern Rural Development Center's National eCommerce Initiative and an NCR-SARE Professional Development Program grant.

Want more information? See the related SARE grant(s) ENC09-109, Business Feasibility, Marketing, and On-line Direct Marketing; In-depth Training to Better Serve Sustainable Agriculture Business .

Product specs
Year: 2012
Length: 52 Pages
Author(s): Jay Jenkins, Jennifer Nixon, and Connie Hancock
Location: North Central | Nebraska
How to order

Only available online

This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.