You know how important it is to understand your potential customers. But that doesn’t just mean understanding how they do business. Perhaps in no other industry more than agriculture, you need to know where your customer operates, since farmers are so intimately connected to the land.
Geographic information systems, or GIS, are software tools for collecting, interpreting, and manipulating geographic data. This kind of data is used to correlate other information like demographics or production with a specific location on the Earth. With the ability to sort and analyze geographic data, you can begin to draw a clear picture of your customer’s business—often quite literally.
Analyzing Geographic Trends
The first step to utilizing GIS information in your marketing efforts is to analyze and identify trends connected to location. By correlating sales and other data with specific locations, you can determine what other customers in the same area may need.
It is especially important to identify geographically linked trends in the ag industry. Different areas have different weather, soil conditions, growing seasons, and so on. Farmers use GIS themselves to analyze historical growth patterns, allowing them to determine what crops to plant and where they will grow best.
Developing Market Segments
By analyzing trends and identifying what potential customers in an area might need, you can build more accurate location-based market segments. GIS tools let you distinguish between customers based on a wide range of data points:
- Farm size in acres,
- Field-by-field growing history,
- Location, defined by county or even ZIP code,
- Relation to other nearby farms, and so on.
With properly defined segments, you can target messages that will appeal most to a given group. At the geographic level, you may construct material that references local events and conditions to connect with prospective customers nearly as individuals.
Farm Market iD provides GIS-powered data services and analysis powered by the most rich and reliable farm data available. Our latest tool in this area is FieldVision, a mobile web application that puts this data in your hand even while you are in the field. Nearby farms appear with fully searchable information and custom comments. Contact us for more information and a live demo.