Farm Market Research 101: How to Reach Your Target Audience
One of the most difficult parts of any business plan is figuring out how to introduce a great product to the right audience. Great products and services are only valuable when they reach the people who need and want them. Failing to find the right market can turn your latest great product into an epic failure. And lest you think a “one-size-fits-all” approach will cover your bases — after all, the more people you target, the better your chances of success, right? — consider this: “90% of consumers say that messages from companies that are not personally relevant to them are “annoying.” Indeed, research by the Network Advertising Initiative finds "behaviorally- targeted ads more than twice as valuable [and] twice as effective as non-targeted” ads. Apparently, taking the time to really know their target audience is a strategy worth its expense for companies wanting to build their brand, engage consumers and drive sales. Ag businesses, in particular, which have diverse product offerings and frequently face global competition, can leverage their ROI by getting in front of the people most likely to buy from them — quickly and successfully. Here’s how to do it:
Build Your Buyer Persona(s)
You can’t meet a need if you don’t know what it is. And to define a need, you have to talk to to people, meet them, listen to them. You have to match their needs with a specific product or services, relying on a clear understanding of the value of your product or service so that you are able to pinpoint the type of consumers who would most appreciate it. Market research, such as surveys, focus groups and interviews, can provide you with access to a variety of information based on your specialty and your objectives. For instance, one of our strengths here at Communications for Research (CFR) is farm research. Our expertise in the agricultural sector provides our clients access to a large community of respondents capable of conveying unique insight regarding all aspects of the farming industry in both the U.S. and Canada. With data collected from these types of individuals, all types of ag businesses (whether they deal in livestock, row crops, machinery or any other sector) can determine the characteristics (such as demographics and psychographics) that current and potential customers have in common, then use the information to attract and hold consumer interest in order to make a sale.
Create Engaging Content
Retaining consumer interest is key. These days, consumers are pulled in a million directions. In order to reach them effectively, farmers must engage them with useful content; the more personalized, the better! With digitalization providing infinite access to information, consumers stop to read or watch or listen only when it’s personally relevant to them. Use your buyer persona(s) to create content that appeals to the interests and concerns of your ideal customer. If you can get their attention, you have a shot at closing a deal!
Harness the Internet
Of course, knowing the tricks for boosting the visibility of your content also helps. While you can always direct mail your communications, in our digital age it makes sense to use the Internet as much as possible. Farmers are becoming increasingly reliant on technology as a source of information; one of the best ways for you to reach your target audience(s) is to create engaging content and then use digital savvy to get it competitively ranked by search engines and social media sites, exposing it to more people faster so that competing messages are kept at bay.
Finally, as people say, “it takes a village.” Operating a successful business of any type replies on the partnership of many different types of people. From employees to consumers and many others in between, companies have to build relationships if they want to reap reward. In addition to working with a skilled market researcher to conduct quality farm research, ag businesses can team up with influencers and incorporate a system of referrals to expand their reach.
Communications for Research (CFR) has over two decades of experience in farm research. We can help you identify and reach your target audience(s) so that you can see a return on your investment more quickly and more effectively. Please contact us to learn more.
You might also like to download our free case study, “Agricultural Case Study: How CFR Improves Show Rates,” for an example of our farm research skills.