Marketing and Visibility with Tacoma Farmers Market
Written by Samara Elaine Gonzalez, Fresh Express Mobile Farmers Market VISTA. Updated by Danyelle Neumann, Fresh Express Mobile Farmers Market VISTA.
Partnering with other community organisations
One of the most important things a business can do is understand the wants and needs of the target audience and community. Businesses or markets that are new to a specific location should first reach out to community partners that have a similar mission. For instance, Tacoma Farmers Market (TFM) has a mission to increase food security in Pierce County and support the local economy by purchasing produce from local farmers; TFM partners with American Heart Association which has a similar, food-related mission to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables eaten by Pierce County residents and reduce the risk of heart disease. These two organisations work well together because of similar missions and target populations. Emphasising on shared goals is a great way to ensure that partner organisations feel respected and appreciated.
Developing community partners in marginalized areas of Peirce County was an important step for FEMM to be able to reach the people that needed them most. Tacoma Housing Authority and Asian Pacific Cultural Center provided lists of their clients who would benefit from the FEMM home deliveries. Because of the relationship created with the Eatonville Family Agency, TFM was able to serve rural Eatonville residents. These organizations and agencies know the people they serve and understand their needs. With their help, FEMM is able to reach these communities and provide culturally appropriate, fresh, local, nutritious food.
Creating and maintaining an online presence
When reaching out to community partners or potential future partners, it’s important to understand their goals and how a partnership can be mutually beneficial. Sometimes, this can come down to something as simple as sharing each other’s posts on social media. Creating and retaining an online profile and posting regularly is a great way to be exposed to potential customers. Maintaining an online presence is especially helpful with the right partners that can share those posts with larger audiences.
Hosting events in-person or online
In-person or online events can attract attention for a market, if the event is marketed well. Whether the event is a single day or multiple, posting several times before the event and during is a good way to reach more people, especially if partner organisations are able to repost or share. Be sure to give a heads up and reach out to partner organisations directly and individually via email before sending a post on social media. Determining the mode of communication between organisations is not always straightforward and should be altered for each partner. Email may work best for one partner while texting or a quick phone call works for another; remaining flexible is important.