As you grow your agribusiness, you and your team make hundreds of decisions that impact that growth in either a positive or negative way. So you must ensure that all your agribusiness teams - strategy, marketing or sales - are aligned toward growth.
Growth happens when you make informed decisions that best serve your customers: the farmers. And the best decisions are made through detailed information and data.
That’s why it’s important to empower your agribusiness—everyone from the salespeople in the field all the way to the executive at the top—with these data and insights. Here are some examples:
- Identifying your ideal customer and where they are in the market
- Accurately determining your market share and wallet share
- Segmenting your marketing audiences so you can go after them with targeted communications
- Customizing your messaging among the various farmers in your audience
- Launching integrated campaigns that incorporate various channels
- Empowering salespeople to sell to the same people marketing is going after
We call this “pushing data to the edge,” a process for ensuring that everyone from the top to the bottom of the company is equipped with the right data to make the decisions they need to make.
1. Start with Data-Powered Strategic Decisions from Executive Leadership
It all starts at the top. Good revenue and go-to-market strategy begins with the people at the top making the right decisions. For that to happen, they must have details on the market, the individual farmers in that market, and the ability to use that information to direct their revenue-generating activities:
- Expanding your footprint. Are there segments of the market—whether they’re geographic or demographic—where you aren’t engaged? Among those segments, which are the ones with the most opportunity? How can you direct marketing and sales teams to go after those segments?
- Growing market share. Do you know your market share? Are you looking specifically at your segment of the market when performing your market share analysis? What are the biggest obstacles to increasing share among your market?
- Increasing wallet share. Are you maximizing the opportunities that exist among your current customers? Do your current customers have enough potential to meet your revenue goals?
Once you have the accurate information about the direction you need to travel in to expand your market, the key is then directing your marketing and sales teams to go after those markets to then bring in the revenue.
That’s why you should empower them to access the data on the market so they can strategically prioritize communications with the segments that are going to get you closer to your goals. Then you can work with your team on more tactical decisions:
- Prioritizing current markets vs. new markets
- Doubling down on customer marketing or investing in prospecting efforts
- Selecting the best channels to deploy marketing communications
- Understanding the spend potential of the market so you know whether your revenue goal is achievable
That way, you know that, assuming execution goes well, your marketing efforts will be successful.
2. Equip Marketing to Target those Specific, Strategic Segments
Once you’ve made your strategic decisions about where to direct your marketing and sales efforts, your marketing team must be equipped with the same data you used so they can create campaigns targeted toward those segmented audiences.
Your strategic market is already going to be segmented based on your ideal customer profile and the groups of farmers that will get you closer to your revenue goal. However, marketing is probably going to slice and dice that audience into even narrower, more focused segments.
There are plenty of advantages to segmenting your audiences, which include:
- Market to the audience, not the channel—engage in integrated marketing campaigns
- Create customized messaging the speak directly to a certain farmer’s needs
- Analyze the performance of specific segments to verify that this is your target audience
- Tailor specific product/service combinations to specific groups of farmers who you know are going to benefit from them
Once your marketing team has built the appropriate segments, then you can deploy through a variety of channels. Your traditional ag media channels—like taking out an ad with a publisher or radio station—can help you grow your reach among your farmers, especially in a general and brand-focused way.
But if you want to tailor your messaging to a specific group of growers, that’s where direct marketing is going to be your best bet. With access to the right data, you can deploy ads and messages through email, programmatic ads, social media and direct mail.
When creating your campaigns, you should utilize all of these channels to achieve multiple touches and communications with the segments you’re going after. If a farmer sees a pre-roll video ad once, they may be more likely to open the email you send them, for example.
An added advantage of the digital channels is that you can track opens, impressions, and engagement, so you’ll always know how your ads are performing with that audience.
3. Empower Salespeople to Follow Up on Marketing Communications
Once your marketing team has opened up conversations with the farmers you’re trying to reach, the next step is to engage salespeople to follow up on those conversations and close those deals.
If you’ve already taken the time and resources to market after a specific audience of farmers, it makes sense that’s who your salespeople should go after first:
- These farmers are already aware of your brand. Because they’ve received branded communications, they’re going to recognize you, and never underestimate the impact that brand awareness can have in communication.
- These farmers are already familiar with the problems you solve. If your marketing team has done their job right, they’ve already started the conversations en mass by addressing the specific needs that these farmers have. That way, when salespeople go to talk to them, they already have an idea that you can help them.
- Cut down on the sales cycle. In some ways, it’s a numbers game. Because marketing has already initiated several “touches” with your farmers, salespeople have to engage in fewer conversations as the farmers are already primed to engage. This can increase not only the value each farmer provides to your business, but also your sales team’s velocity. Both increase your revenue.
Not only do salespeople need to know who these farmers are, they also need insights on the farm operation so they can approach them with helpful solutions to their specific needs. Pushing the data and insights at your disposal down to the salespeople means they’re empowered to make strategic decisions in the field, thus improving how they sell to the farmer.
The farmer doesn’t need salespeople on their doorstep every time, but when they need them, they need them now. And salespeople must focus on serving the American farmer and solving the problems they have. That way, the farmer purchases products and services that they actually need and use. This raises your company’s reputation in their minds, making further marketing and sales efforts even more effective.