Farming products like winter coats; trying to sell them year-round doesn’t work very well. Trying to market winter coats to people at the end of winter tends to be a bad idea because by then, people probably already have a winter coat and soon won’t need one for about the next nine months. That’s usually the reason coats go on sale when winter is over; they become harder to sell when their season is over, so stores need to do whatever they can to get rid of their excess stock.
When Do We Start?
The same goes for farming equipment. Like winter coats, farming equipment sees the most use during a particular time of the year. When you’re going to need that equipment depends on your crop’s season, and as a result the best time of year to market farming equipment can depend on when a farmer’s crops grow, which can vary depending on where a person’s farm is located. For example, based on research done by Iowa State University, the best time to start planting soybeans would be around May 1st, while in central and southern Iowa conditions are generally right for soybean planting by April 25th, nearly a full week earlier. When the soybean season varies that much in just one place, it can be difficult to find a starting point for determining when to market your product. That said, many agriculturists agree that May 1st is a good start date regardless of where you are in the country, so that is a good starting point to work from.
Another good thing to keep in mind is that soybean farmers probably won’t only be growing soybeans. If you are marketing to individuals then, if possible, it would be good to gather data on what other kinds of crops they grow in the event that those crops grow earlier. Another approach would be to see what the most common crops for the area are and adjust your marketing strategy based on that. Given that soybean season tends to start earlier than other crops, using May 1st as a starting point will still tend to work well, but keeping the full scope of your audience in mind is something that’s necessary for any marketing professional to do.
‘Tis the Season:
Now that we know when to start, it’s time to work backward. Starting advertising at the beginning of the planting season is already too late; farmers will likely have planned ahead and bought everything they’ll need to start their work. Winter coats usually start showing up in stores around three to six months before winter starts, but since farming equipment has a smaller market than coats, six months is too far out. Farming products are also a bigger commitment than a winter coat, especially if you need to get heavy machinery like a tractor or a combine fixed up or even replaced and may need time to figure out their finances in preparation. As a result of these factors, four months would be about the sweet spot; this allows you time to get the word out about your product at a time when farmers are probably starting to think about preparing for the next crop season, priming them toward your brand. It also gives the farmers time to prepare financially for that investment as well as to consider what other products that you sell that they could be interested in.
So as winter begins to wind to a close, if you haven’t started marketing to soybean farmers, you should start now. By now they’re probably already considering what they need for the coming planting season and are ready to start making purchases.