Informative blog posts from US Farm data on how web marketing works for Ag industry.

Voice Searches are Booming. Is Your Ag Business Listening
voice-search-google-farmers-ranchers

Marketing experts are predicting that by 2020, half of all internet searches will be voice searches. While there are several other statistics and predications related to voice searches, up until now these have primarily focused on how voice searches are going to impact SEO.

Now there is another question related to voice searches—will these searches extend to grocery shopping? While only about one-third of consumers who own a voice-activated smart device say they use it to shop online, retailers are still fighting for a piece of the pie that is the voice shopping market.

Alexa and Google Home are forging partnerships with some of the major grocery store chains even though research shows that more than 60 percent of consumers say they prefer to grocery shop instore and less than 5 percent prefer to use a smart device instead.

It’s easy to see how this could quickly change, however, given the rise in the use of digital coupons, QR or barcodes to compare prices and in-store item locators. It makes sense, then, that food retailers want to get in at the beginning of what could be a booming trend.

So why would consumers—even the many who say they would prefer to shop instore for groceries—be swayed to use voice-activated smart devices to grocery shop in the near future? According to experts, here are just a few of them:

  • Convenience. Nothing trumps convenience when it comes to online grocery shopping. When consumers really think about how much time it takes to go grocery shopping (and then go back to pick up items they forget during their first trip) it’s hard to argue that their time could be better spent.
  • Savings. Comparison shopping is a breeze when all you have to do is ask Alexa or Siri to find the best price on a particular product.
  • Less impulse buying. That box of brownies can’t tempt you to buy it if you never see it.
  • No crowds. It would be difficult to find anyone who enjoys a crowded grocery store on a Saturday. Jam-packed parking lots also aren’t something people look forward to.
  • Discretion. There are some purchases you would rather the teenager in the checkout line didn’t have to see. Enough said.
    Voice-activated trips to the grocery store may not be a big thing today but like everything else in the marketing world, that could quickly change.

It is for this reason that so many retailers aren’t going to risk being left behind if, and when, this trend takes off.

What marketing technique should you use to promote your Ag-based business? Sounds like a pretty straightforward question. After all, it basically comes down to two choices: inbound or outbound.

There is no shortage of marketing gurus who will tell you that they know the answer to this question. No matter how much marketing experience these experts possess, however, if they don’t know your target audience, they can’t possible know the answer.

Take a look at the most successful businesses in any industry and you will find that they all have one thing in common. A laser-like focus on marketing to their target audience. This focus remains constant regardless of all the new and innovative marketing tactics available. For example, maybe a particular social media channel is all the rage but none of its customers use it. How likely is this business to gain customers through this social media channel? Not very!

Once you understand the audience you are marketing to it is essential that you remain focused on your marketing plan. Without focus, your marketing plan will be all over the map. In other words, it may be doing a lot but it certainly will not be accomplishing much.

If you are trying to build relationships with your Ag customers and you want them to see you as a thought leader in the industry, it is your best interest to focus on inbound marketing. Trying to get in front of a large number of farmers and ranchers and get your brand recognized? Outbound is the way to go.

Inbound marketing incorporates things like social media, content creation and SEO, all of which offer an opportunity for more targeted marketing. Not only does inbound marketing reach the right people, it allows a business to build relationships. This type of marketing will require a little more patience because it takes longer to see results.

Outbound marketing is a more tradition form of marketing which relies on things like cold calling, broadcast ads and direct mail. This form of marketing allows you to get out in front of larger number of people and build brand awareness much faster than inbound marketing. Outbound marketing is known for its speedy results but it is important to remember that those results usually only last as long as a campaign runs.

The way to achieve marketing success—no matter what the so-called experts tell you—is to know your audience and understand what you are trying to achieve. Only then can you focus on implementing the best marketing strategy possible.