Aileen Barron: How can your marketing team best reach farmers?

By Aileen Barron, Green Acre Marketing

The marketing landscape in the agri sector is rapidly changing, as farmers use new and more engaging platforms to share and gain knowledge.

Modern day farming is driven by well-educated, business-minded people who expect their farming enterprise to deliver a profitable outcome.

Like any other consumer, a farmer’s product and service purchasing decisions are most often made from a few good experiences.

These experiences come from word-of-mouth, previous use of a product or service, brand perception and targeted brand exposure.

The question is: How best can agri-business marketing teams get their product or service in view, with a message that resonates with the end user – most often the farmer?

Recent research, commissioned by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), found that from a survey of over 900 farmers, 84% had a smartphone.

The fact is, that by having a smartphone, you are more likely to be targeted for the purchase of a product or service either through your use of social media, search engines or news apps.

So, if these channels are not featuring as a major part in your marketing budget, you have missed a significant audience for which to achieve exposure of your offering.

Implementing your efforts across digital and traditional marketing mediums can be a balancing act. Both allow you to do things that the other doesn’t. Fundamental to your success is achieving consistency in your message and creative assets across both.

Marketing teams need to remember that consumers will often experience brand exposure both online and offline, so in order to help them remember your offering – all efforts need to complement each other across all marketing touchpoints.

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes

The best approach with online marketing is to ensure you are giving due consideration to the customer experience whilst they browse online.

The customer experience is the journey you take your target audience on as and when they engage with your point of communication.

Best practice is to think through the steps that would be of benefit to the potential customer, while you unveil your offering, and ultimately make them more likely to reach your objective – which is most likely to be; place an order or call your rep.

Furthermore, test the experience for yourself to ensure there are no broken links or errors along the way and incorporate some AB testing into your communications. For really targeted campaigns, use landing pages that give the customers exactly what will be of value to them.

Invest in analytics

One of the biggest changes for marketing departments over the past number of years is the requirement to interrogate analytics.

No marketing budget should be complete without allowing for the use of analytical tools. Not only will it allow you to make informed decisions for future campaigns, but it allows you to fine tune your efforts as your campaign comes to life.

The data captured from your analytical reports will be never more important than when you are considering paid social and search campaigns.

Another important marketing tactic to consider is content; both written and visual. When using your written content online, it needs to work in tandem with your SEO strategy – another must have for 2020.

Tying the more modern online marketing techniques with your traditional efforts can be really effective if done correctly. Use digital to promote your events or to enforce your offline efforts.

Use your events to capture data (in a GDPR compliant manner) that allows you to connect with people online via email campaigns and social platforms. The resources available to marketing teams have never been better and will continue to evolve so make sure to explore them in 2020.

We are merely scratching the surface on many tools and tactics mentioned above. Over the course of time it is intended to dig deeper into how some of these can be used to have maximum impact on your everyday marketing efforts.

If there are any specific topics that you would like to know more about, please let us know or you can email: [email protected].