Marketing technology helps businesses of all industries grow and scale their marketing operations - often at little marginal cost. That means no matter the size of your agribusiness, you can take advantage of these trends in ag marketing technology to increase your footprint.
You no longer need a large team to run a scaled marketing operation. You don’t even need a massive budget – you can get most of the tools you need for free or a very low price. And the return on investment you get is going to make every dollar you spend worth it.
Now, it’s easier to use your data to target marketing efforts – whether they’re ads, content offers or emails – to the people who you want to receive them.
Here are some trends in ag marketing technology to keep an eye on.
Content Management System (CMS)
The first thing you need is a place to host information about your products, content offers, blog posts and forms that enable you to capture customer data. This is what’s called a Content Management System, or CMS for short.
Whether you know it or not, you interact with a CMS every time you visit a website. A good website is a basic CMS, giving you a place to put all the information you want your farmers to access. If you don’t have one, go get one.
Here are some things to look for when picking out a CMS:
- It should be easy to add new pages and update existing ones. That way, you’re spending your time creating and publishing great content, not wrestling with technology.
- You should have some level of flexibility in design. Your CMS is the first place your customers interact with your business, so you want to make sure it reflects your brand and personality.
- It should be easy to integrate third-party plugins into the system.
- You should be able to create forms and landing pages so you can capture customer data on the site.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
We’ve talked before about the value of a CRM and some top tips for how to use it in your agribusiness. But here are some tips for picking out a good CRM if you’re evaluating purchasing one for the first time:
- Choose ease of use over power. While having a powerful CRM can be good, it does you no good if it’s so hard to learn that no one on your team is using it. It’s more important to have a less powerful CRM that everyone is using than a more powerful one that no one is using.
- Make sure you can track connections between companies and contacts. Any time there’s a connection between records, you want your CRM to reflect that.
- Be able to monitor a contact’s entire history at a glance. The most valuable benefit you can get from a CRM is being able to know everything there is to know about a customer from one location.
Email Marketing Platform
We’ve written before about why you should invest in email marketing. (We’ve even provided a free guide to help you get started.)
Fortunately, if you have a small enough list, some platforms will let you start emailing for free, although they’ll charge you for automation and other similar services. Here are some of the things to look for in an email marketing platform:
- Be able to segment lists and manage them. This will allow for maximum personalization when messaging your customers.
- Make sure you can track all your necessary success metrics, including open and click rate.
- Choose a platform that enables you to automate emails and begin building a nurture campaign for your customers.
- Much like the CMS, you should have enough control over your creative that you can customize your emails to match your brand.
In the last year, marketing has made a major shift in favor of messenger channels, whether live chat tools on your website, or messengers on social media platforms, like Facebook Messenger. Whatever you’re most comfortable with, integrating a messenger into your marketing campaigns is going to be necessary for you to stay in tune with the changes in marketing technology, and the business landscape as a whole.
Once you’ve picked out a messenger system for your website, make sure that you have someone monitoring it during normal business hours. That way, you can establish a reputation of being available to your customers and prospects.
For those times when you aren’t available, set an auto-response so they get some kind of response, even if it’s not a human on the other end.
Other Trends in Ag Marketing Technology We Didn't Mention
These four tools we mentioned will provide you with a baseline for your digital marketing strategy. Obviously, there is more you can use, like:
- Social media management
- Programmatic advertising software
- Website analytics
- Design customization tools
- Full-service marketing automation technology
- And much more
There really is no limit on how high you can build your marketing tech stack for your agribusiness. But by focusing on these four areas, you’re going to give yourself a solid foundation to build on as you experiment and test ways to innovate in marketing technology.