Right now, the low commodity prices have many companies in the agricultural industry stepping back from their marketing and communication efforts. Many producers will likely spend less in 2016, but they all need inputs regardless of their operation. Many of these producers will simply plan to spend smarter so they can still get their maximum yield potential at the end of the year.The same approach should be taken with your marketing and communication efforts.
An effective communication strategy starts with a plan and consistency. This is not only true in frequency, but in your messaging, as well. Now is the ideal time to capture market share and strengthen existing customer relationships by planning out your communication efforts and making sure everyone in your company is speaking as one.
Begin with the end.
When planning your marketing efforts for the year start with the end goal. Is it a sales number? New customers? Or customer satisfaction? Whatever your goal is, make sure it is measurable, timely and realistic.
Know your audience.
Sending great information to the wrong audience does you no good. Make sure you know the personas you are trying to communicate with. The best way to get to know your customers and potential customers is to ask them. Are you using the same message to communicate with large producers are you are when communicating with small producers? You shouldn’t be, unless they both have the same needs. Segmenting your customers into unique groups helps you target your messaging to make sure that the information is relevant to each group.
Determine your delivery.
With so many ways to get information today knowing where your customers spend their time and how they like to receive communications is key. Do they prefer print or email? Are you visible on the websites they frequent for news? On what social media channels are they active? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself and your customers to ensure you are spending your time, efforts and money wisely.
Planning your communications.
Now that you know who your audience is and how to reach them, it’s time to put your plan together. Planning out what channel will be used and when each message will be sent will ensure you are consistent with your message across all channels. For instance, make sure the ad you are running in the local paper is consistent with the information in your newsletter, social media and your website so a customer who wants to learn more is reading the same message anywhere they find you.
Frequency is key.
Above all, make sure your communication is frequent. Having a schedule and sticking to it will make it easier for you stay in front of your customers, no matter where they see you. Nothing is worse during difficult times than having a customer wonder where you’ve gone. Keeping them in the know and informed through their preferred communication method will reassure them that you’re working hard to ensure their success and yours.
Planning can take a lot of time and effort on the front end, but helps to make sure that you are being effective in all of your marketing and communication efforts throughout the year. By doing this you ensure that you are getting the maximum return on your efforts.
Need help getting your plan started? Email us today to schedule a consultation.