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Workshop hits the bull's-eye on targeted marketing

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Written Wednesday, November 02, 2005  

Entrepreneurs and small business owners often face challenges when trying to market and sell their products, but a new Purdue Extension workshop, Bigger Profits Through Targeted Sales, can help them hone their marketing plans.

Joan Fulton, co-chair of the Purdue Extension New Ventures Team and a workshop presenter, said participants should walk away with more than ideas.

"You'll leave this workshop with a personalized marketing plan and sales strategy to immediately use in your business," she said.

Bigger Profits Through Targeted Sales is scheduled for 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at two locations and dates -- Nov. 30 at the French Lick Springs Resort and Spa in French Lick, Ind., and Dec. 15 at the Dauch Alumni Center on Purdue University's West Lafayette, Ind., campus.

"We want to help people move from having a great product, service or idea to actually making a profit," Fulton said.

Featured speaker Dave Downey has plenty of experience helping entrepreneurs. He recommends that business owners know their target customers.

"We suggest analyzing the market to see who would be most likely to have a need for your product or find it valuable," he said. "You need to find out how the customer thinks to know what parts of your product would be most attractive to them. Then you build your sales message around those attributes."

Thousands of Purdue students can attest to the experience that Downey brings to the classroom. He's spent years teaching students and business executives the ins and outs of sales and marketing.

"Hundreds of executives from companies like John Deere, Monsanto and Pioneer travel to Purdue's campus each year to participate in Dave's programs," Fulton said.

Fulton and Chris Sigurdson, head of Purdue's Department of Agricultural Communication, also will present at the workshop. Fulton specializes in marketing and organizational structure, and Sigurdson has firsthand experience working in and with the media.

Fulton said the workshops will utilize interviews with business owners and consumers, small-group interaction, short presentations, and networking time.

"You'll get worksheets that help you dig into the elements of your marketing plan and sales strategy to work on throughout the day," Fulton said. "You'll improve your plans with each new step of the workshop."

Early registration for the workshop is $85 per person and is due by Nov. 15 for the French Lick site and Dec. 1 for West Lafayette. Regular registration fees are $100. Materials, meals and refreshments are included in the fee. Registration is available online at http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/newventures/programs/ or by contacting Joy May at (765) 494-4231.

The Indiana Cooperative Development Center and the Indiana Rural Development Council are lead sponsors for Bigger Profits Through Targeted Sales.

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