If you are marketing to farmers, you are well aware that no two agricultural operations are the same. Fortunately, most farmers are all looking for the same thing.
Today’s farmers—whether growing crops or raising livestock—are looking for information. Information is the most important thing to a farmer since it allows them to discover things that can help to increase output or make their operations more efficient.
If you are marketing a product or service to a farmer, it is vital that you take the time to give them useful and relevant information that will benefit their operation. The biggest mistake you can make is rushing through a presentation with a farmer because you are worried about wasting too much of their time. In fact, if you are bringing value to a farmer—or any other sales lead for that matter—they will always have time for you.
While it is true that in the past farmers were almost always out in the field or tending to livestock, today farms are being run increasingly like a business. As operations grow, many farmers are spending less time in the field and more time managing operations from their office. This means farmers have more time to do copious research into anything they are considering purchasing for their operation.
It also is imperative that those who are new to the Ag marketing world or have no familiarity with farmers in general check any stereotypes they have about farmers at the door. For example, it is imperative to realize that farmers know much more than just how to raise crops or livestock. The knowledge and expertise it takes to be a farmer today means that farmers are well-versed in things like mechanics, business, marketing, science and more. Therefore, if you are talking to farmers, you better know what your stuff because they know theirs.
Many inexperienced Ag marketing professionals also have the mistaken belief that farmers have money to burn. While there is no doubt that there are many farmers who are well off, most farmers farm because they love it, not because they expect to get rich. What does this mean for you, the Ag marketer? Always offer a fair price. Farmers will pay what they need for the products and services that will help their operation but they are not going to put up with inflated prices.
Finally, it is important to understand the lifestyle of your farmer clients when making contact with them. Research shows that catalogs and direct mail pieces work well in the farm and ranch industries; consumer product offers also are well-received by mid-size and hobby farmers; and mailings to farmers at their homes are in most cases the best way to reach all but the biggest farming operations.