Growing your agribusiness is hard work in the best of times, let alone during a challenging market and global pandemic.
When you have a limited marketing spend and need to maximize your ROI, it's important to prioritize your marketing and sales activities. The more impact each individual activity has, the more your total operation will move the needle on your agricultural marketing objectives.
This requires precise strategic planning, with solid follow-through from your on-the-ground team. Here are some top tips for taking your objectives and deploying your efforts for maximum impact.
Identify your addressable target market.
Before you build a marketing strategy, you need to understand the farmers you're marketing to. This involves both defining your addressable target market and determining how much impact that market can bring to your business.
When defining your addressable market, we recommend using the "Goldilocks Rule." Your market should be large enough to have an impact, but small enough to be addressable. Here are three ways to find that target market:
- Spend potential: Do the farmers have enough individual profit margin to purchase your products or services? Does the aggregate market have enough impact to be worth pursuing in marketing and sales?
- Geographic location: Your target market only includes those farmers within a specific radius of your points of sale.
- Product-farmer fit: Not every farmer will benefit from your product or service. That's why you should prioritize the farmers who need what you're offering. That way, you won't waste time and effort on bad-fit farmers.
By focusing on your addressable market, you can maximize your chance of moving the needle on your key agricultural marketing objectives.
Focus on retrieving actionable data.
It's not enough to have a good agricultural marketing strategy, although that's a good start. What matters is that you're able to execute against the strategies you put together. All the research in the world won't help if you can't execute against those insights.
So when you do your marketing research, focus on information that you can actually execute against:
- Channel information: Do you have data on the marketing channels (email, social, address, etc.) that your farmers respond to?
- Operation information: What is the current state of their operation? Do you have enough detail to both segment your audience and create meaningful, customized messages for each grower?
- Geographic information: Are you able to target growers based on their location?
There are many other types of data available to you; these are just a start. Solid, targeted marketing requires that you have enough detailed information to customize your marketing approach. A segmented list or customized message can be enough to make your campaign highly impactful -- and profitable.
Invest in targeted marketing services.
Marketers have a plethora of tools at their disposal. Digital channels like email, social media, and targeted display ads allow you to target farmers directly with a custom message. But traditional channels like TV, print, and radio are still highly respected, especially in the ag industry.
You don't have the marketing budget to invest in all the channels available to you. Nor should you, since certain segments of your audience will respond more positively to certain channels than others. Invest in the channels that match your audience, and disregard those that don't.
The more targeted you can be in your communications, the more efficient you can be with your marketing spend. This will improve your overall effectiveness and, most importantly, return on investment.
Tailor your messaging to the farmer.
Agricultural producers each have specific needs depending on the type of farm they operate, the time of year, the financial state of their operation, etc. A "one size fits all" message just isn't going to work.
Especially in this time of change, it's crucial for you to adapt your product positioning to what a farmer or group of farmers needs. The more tailored your messaging, the more likely your marketing campaigns and sales conversations will lead to a close.
But in order to adapt your product positioning to exactly what the farmer needs at the moment, you need information. Only then can you understand what the farmer's dealing with and how you can help.
Its not enough just to spend marketing dollars; you need to spend on the things that matter. This requires targeting the right audience and tailoring your message to that audience. That way, you aren't just shouting from the mountaintops; you're making an impact.