If your agribusiness experienced a downturn in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be scratching your head to figure out how to make it up during the upcoming harvest season.
We've all got a lot of ground to cover in a short amount of time. That's why it's important to be laser-focused on the strategies, tactics and activities that move the needle on your revenue goals.
This means not only shoring up your marketing and sales strategy, but improving internal business processes to remove inefficiencies.
It all starts with a strategy for identifying and going after your addressable market, marketing campaigns that speak to those farmers' specific needs, and sales followup that builds on the inroads that come from those marketing campaigns.
If you're experiencing a stall as you work toward your revenue growth goals, here are three steps to get you up and growing again.
1. Narrow in on your addressable market.
Not every farmer is a good fit for your agricultural products. This could be due to a number of factors, including price point, product-farmer fit and your geographic proximity to their operation.
Narrowing in on your addressable market is an important part of your planning process.
Think through the kinds of farmers that would benefit from what you have to offer. If your products and services are expensive, then you need to go after farmers with high acreage or Gross Farm Income.
If you're selling seed or chemicals or anything that needs to be physically delivered to the farm, your points of sale need to be close enough to the farm for delivery.
This is also where buyer personas can be a helpful tool. Instead of looking merely at crops and geography, you can dive deeper into farmers' behaviors and decision-making process to better tailor your sales and marketing strategy to them.
At the end of the day, your main goal should be using data analysis to find actionable segments of the market, so you know the marketing and sales dollars that you invest will generate a return.
2. Execute targeted marketing campaigns toward that market.
Once you build your revenue growth strategy, the next step is marketing against those segments.
In agriculture, the most commonly used tactics for years have been audience marketing (radio, television, etc.), direct placement ads in either print or digital, and direct mail. Out of those methods, only direct mail allows for direct targeting of individual growers.
But if you look to the new channels that innovative agribusinesses are implementing, you'll find that there are plenty more opportunities to market to farmers:
What's more, these digital channels are measurable, meaning that you know exactly how many farmers view, click and convert on your content. It's a simple step-by-step process to gather the necessary tracking links and pixels.
The best-laid revenue plan won't get you to your business goals without the ability to execute against it. Targeted digital marketing helps you take your strategy, and turn it into reality.
3. Sell who you market to.
Once you’ve executed digital marketing campaigns driven by data, then you’ll know which farmers are engaging with your content and which ones aren’t. This gives your sales team an edge, helping them see which prospects are most interested in your company and what you have to offer.
Each of your salespeople has their own revenue number they’re going to have to hit for the month, quarter and year. And while revenue is revenue, the impact on the business grows exponentially when you’re not just bringing in dollars, but expanding your business’ footprint in your target market.
The first thing to do to integrate marketing and sales is share prospect lists. If you have everything in a central CRM, then that makes it easier.
The second step is to share lead engagement information with sales. So if a farmer opens and clicks on an email (which is easily trackable with any email marketing software), then you know that a salesperson should reach out to them and start a conversation.
Ultimately, data-driven strategy, marketing and sales is supposed to help you take the data you have on the market and make it actionable. Use it to identify your target market, execute campaigns against those segments, and engage in sales follow up to bring those dollars home.