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Manuals | June 1, 2012

The Seven Steps of Marketing

A SMART Skills Manual

Marketing is one of the biggest challenges for small-scale farmers in developing countries. Many farmers would like to improve their output or the quality of their products, but they need a way to sell their produce and increase profits.

This manual outlines seven steps that field agents, extension workers and program managers can follow to help farmers improve their marketing. The steps comprise a total of 21 lessons, each with guidelines, exercises to do with a group of farmers or with development agents, and quizzes to test your understanding. The manual is also broken into four booklets: 

  1. Getting organized
  2. Identifying products and organizing groups

  1. Collecting information for the business plan
  2. Building a business plan

  1. Marketing as a group

  1. Reviewing agro-enterprise performance
  2. Scaling up

This is one manual in a series on SMART Skills—the skills that field agents need to help farmers in developing countries improve their livelihoods. A companion manual on marketing basics describes the ideas that underlie the seven steps in this manual.


  • List of tables

  • Co-creators and supporters

  • Foreword

  • Acknowledgments

  • Introduction

  • Step 1. Getting organized

  • Step 2. Identifying products and organizing groups

  • Step 3. Collecting information for the business plan

  • Step 4. Building a lesson plan

  • Step 5. Marketing as a group

  • Step 6. Reviewing agroenterprise performance

  • Step 7. Scaling up

  • Annexes

  • Answers to quizzes

  • References and further reading