The biggest obstacle to tech adoption -- whether in marketing, sales or on the farm -- is inertia.
To overcome inertia, you need both ease of use or speed in execution. An API (application programming interface) provides both.
Simply put, an API is a set of predetermined instructions that two systems use to communicate with each other. It allows developers of one system to access and integrate the resources of the other easily and seamlessly.
To provide better data integration and create a more accessible way to access our data, we recently launched the Farm Market iD API, which integrates our data with our customers' web-based applications.
Our web API uses an automated set of requests and processes to allow the client system to communicate API requests, and receive that data and response instantly.
In a sentence, it provides data at the speed of need.
Here is an analogy to help illustrate: if you were going to bake a cake, you would need to purchase a set of ingredients. It's clearly easier to buy specific ingredients at specific quantities rather than manage the whole grocery store.
An API does much the same: you can program your applications to pick and choose which data you want to receive, how you want to receive it and then access it whenever you want -- with the potential to access the whole database.
Our API uses a RESTful (Representational State Transfer) architecture which provides the most flexible, scalable and portable approach and is used by more than 80 percent of public APIs.
Our API allows developers to build better applications and improve the user experience by leveraging the Farm Market iD database, choosing specific datapoints, organize and incorporate them into your system to meet your business need. It provides a nimble approach to leverage the power of Big Data without the effort and hassle of building and maintaining these databases.
Here are some API examples from within ag, showing you how this can be put to use to improve your overall agribusiness efficiency.
1. Sales Enablement
You have a CRM system for your sales team, but typically you only capture name and address and possibly order history. These datapoints only provide a portion of all the information that you need to understand the operation -- including crop type, acreage, field boundaries, grain storage and more.
The Farm Market iD API directly pulls this and much more information into your CRM system for instant access in each customer record. As a result, you can provide a tailored product solution to help improve the grower's productivity.
2. Sales Prospecting
Whether your sales team is focusing on market share growth or expanding your footprint, sales prospecting is a critical aspect of business growth. However, effective prospecting requires you to go after those growers who you have a shot at doing business with. Geographic proximity to your points of service helps to determine whether a grower is part of your addressable market.
Use our API to bring prospect data into your CRM based on the prospect's distance from your points of service, allowing you to become more efficient in your sales outreach.
3. Point-of-Sale (POS) Process Improvement
Data shouldn't be used only the back office, but in the field with the reps who are having conversations directly with growers. If you're going to leverage the data in sales conversations, you need it in the field at the point-of-sale.
For example, if you're in the field with a customer placing orders, rather than take notes on pen and paper to sift through later, pull up your customer's account on your mobile device or tablet and pull the data you need directly there. You could select the farm field where the product needs to be delivered to -- or have the farmer select the field themselves.
Bringing data and technology to the point-of-sales provides additional insight, efficiency and an enhanced user experience.
4. Lead Gen Form Pre-Fill
The fewer fields a form has, the more effective it is at generating more leads. However, there is much more information that can help your marketing team segment your communications than what name, address, and email can provide.
With our API, you can capture that baseline information, and then automatically call detailed information about the farm, crops, related growers, grain storage, closest elevators/terminals, history of the farm enterprise, and more -- all pulled directly into the form, steamlining the user experience.
5. AgTech Software
If your agribusiness has invested in software development and now has an application meant to help farmers improve their decisioning around their farm, there's essential information that has to be included there. These applications need to have farm field boundaries and locations, crop data, on-farm grain storage locations and capacity, and more.
How to Get Started with the API
Developers can access our API within a matter of seconds. Start by accessing non-specified data in a sandbox environment to test and access the different types of data that can be queried and received.
The sandbox data is available at no charge; click here to access it.
And when you’re ready to start using live data, license an API-key that will give you full access to the data.