Marketing of Aquaculture Products is as important as production, financing, cash flow and other profit determining factors in aquaculture enterprises. Similar principles are applicable to small- or large-scale operations. Before beginning production, or selecting a specific marketing alternative, some general marketing principles should be considered, and a marketing strategy developed. Most fish producers are production oriented rather than market oriented. The producer who develops a sound marketing strategy, and considers marketing as important as production, will have a definite economic advantage over those who don’t.
Developing your market
Developing a marketing strategy involves three elements:
1) determining the present situation
2) determining final marketing goals
3) developing a logical plan for getting from the present situation to the final goal.
Determining the present situation
This often involves the most work and time. Make assessments of the market, personal financial circumstances, and available marketing alternatives. An understanding and assessment of a particular market are required, including the importance of supply and demand and maintaining a timely awareness of the current market situation and trends. Use enterprise budgets to help in assessing various marketing alternatives. The most profitable marketing alternative may be unacceptable because of time required, unacceptable cash flow, or incompatibility with other personal or business goals.
Determining marketing goals
This is based on assessments made during the determination of the present situation. If attainable marketing goals are not established, the producer may drift aimlessly through sales opportunities. Relate goals to operating costs. Know how much different levels of operation will cost and establish goals that will at least cover costs. The level that goals exceed operating costs will depend on the willingness to accept risks and other personal and business goals.
Developing a logical plan
Finally, consider all reasonable alternatives, and develop a marketing plan. Evaluate the operation, labor and financial requirements, and other advantages and disadvantages of each alternative. The selection of a specific or combination of marketing alternatives should be tailored to the market assessments, individual financial circumstances and the size of the operation.
After a marketing strategy has been developed, write it down. Test the strategy through several hypothetical cases and modify as necessary. Think through all the things that could happen. Once a final strategy has been selected, follow it. Lack of marketing discipline is a common management problem.
The purpose of developing a marketing strategy is to provide direction for actions. The objective is to maximize the probability of achieving marketing goals. Marketing management is an obligation that can’t be ignored. Marketing Alternatives
What Agriculture product to market
Aquaculture products marketed on a small-scale include sport fish such as channel catfish and rainbow trout, baitfish (e.g., golden shiners and fathead minnows), and aquatic invertebrates such as crayfish. The previously discussed marketing considerations apply regardless of the species involved. The most common species produced and marketed on a small scale in the southern United States is the channel catfish.