…It might be different than you think.
In your grandfather’s era of agri-business, “know your audience” meant being on a first-name basis with every Bob, Jim and Frank in the county. As business evolved through the 1970s, marketers started focusing on “demographics” as a way to know key factors about their target audience such as age and income.
Fast forward to 2019, and it’s a whole new world. While it’s still important to understand the demographics of your target audience, that’s just one small aspect of the big picture. You now need to dig deeper so you can understand details about your customers, such as:
- What are their most urgent concerns?
- What key factors influence their buying decisions?
- Are they dissatisfied with current products or services in your market?
Audience Segmentation: Zeroing in on Specific Targets
Once you gather all of the broad information about your target audience, it quickly becomes clear that there are multiple subsets within that audience. That’s why audience segmentation is so important.
The segmentation process begins with a comprehensive customer analysis to determine everything from brand preferences, to the specific type of farm operation, to the proximity of that operation. Then you can use this information to guide your content marketing strategy. For instance, if a customer only operates a crop production farm, then don’t send him information about feed. Digital marketing gives you the ability to create and deliver content specifically geared to each segment.
Knowing Your Target Audience Means Knowing How They Use Technology
Less than 10 years ago, iPad® and Instagram were brand new ideas. Now, ag producers regularly have iPads and tablets on their tractors or trucks. And they’re interacting with neighbors and influencers on Instagram, Snapchat and other forms of social media.
From an ag marketer’s perspective, it’s important to know how customers use technology to interact with others, access information and make purchases. By tracking this electronic usage, you can get key indicators about their interests, likes and dislikes that you can use to create carefully targeted content. Of course, this requires you to stay nimble—adjusting as each new wave of technology impacts ag business.
If Customers are Online, That’s Where You Need to Be
With the next generation of farmers fully embracing technology, traditional ag retailers will need to offer multiple avenues for farmers to connect with them. This includes everything from online chat, video calls and service scheduling, to e-commerce sites giving producers the ability to purchase products online.2
A Tried and True Principle of Solid Ag Marketing
While the basics of knowing your audience have drastically changed over the years, the essence of the exercise remains the same: Listen. Observe. And feel your customers’ pain…or their enthusiasm. It’s more than just an exercise. It’s a unique opportunity to interact, share experiences and embrace a mutual love for agriculture.