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WHY CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS ARE STILL CRITICAL IN THE DIGITAL AGE

Building customer loyalty is becoming more difficult than ever. This is especially true in the digital age when many consumers have given up on personalized service and resigned themselves to being nothing more than a number. Read more to know why customer relationships are still critical in the digital age.

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By:   US Farm Data
HARNESSING DATA TO DRIVE LEAD GENERATION

Reliable data has never been more available or accessible. Unfortunately, not every business has mastered the art of harnessing its data to improve lead generation efforts. If you own an Ag business and are having trouble figuring out how to use your data effectively, you are not alone.  Click here to read more on this topic.

 
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By:   US Farm Data
WHY DATA IS SO IMPORTANT TO THE SUCCESS OF A BUSINESS?

Many businesses today consider data to be nothing more than information that is captured and stored in their database. However, when used correctly, data can be the basis for many critical business functions, not the least of which is lead generation.  Read more to know why data is so important to the success of a business?

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By:   US Farm Data
THE IMPORTANCE OF DATA-DRIVEN LEAD GENERATION

When it comes to lead generation, the more data-driven, the better. This is true across all industries, including Ag.

Reliable data has never been more available, or accessible. However, unless you are able to harness your data to increase sales, it’s hardly worth having at all.  Read more to know the importance of Data-Driven lead generation.

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By:   US Farm Data
HOW TO ASK FARMERS TO WRITE TESTIMONIALS AND REVIEWS

Customer testimonials and reviews are the lifeblood of business today. Everywhere you look you will see a statistic about how they play a key role in a person’s decision to buy (or not buy) a product. Read more on how to ask farmers to write testimonials and reviews

 
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By:   US Farm Data
HOW TO USE TESTIMONIALS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS

In today’s digital marketplace, testimonials have never been more important to the success of a business. It can be difficult, however, to know just how to obtain and use testimonials to get the most out of them. This is true in every industry, including Ag.  Read more to know about how to use testimonials to grow your business

 
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By:   US Farm Data
Using Testimonials to Promote Your Ag Business

The importance of testimonials across all industries has never been greater. The Ag industry is certainly no exception. That’s because trust and relationships are especially important to farmers, and testimonials go a long way toward helping farmers get to know and trust your brand. Read More....

 
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By:   US Farm Data
Is Your Ag Marketing Campaign a Success?

The first step in measuring the success of a particular marketing campaign is to decide what you want to track in the first place. While you may be looking to do a variety of things with your marketing campaign, usually one goal is paramount.

https://www.cmo.com/features/articles/2017/6/29/one-size-doesnt-fit-all-when-measuring-marketing-success.html#gs.sbN0AqA

A marketing campaign’s return on investment as a metric suggests that all communication will directly contribute to sales return. The fact is, however, that value comes in all different shapes and sizes.

https://www.inc.com/jon-miller/marketing-metrics-for-success.html

There are hundreds of inbound marketing metrics to choose from and all of them add some type of value. Keep in mind, however, that it is important that you measure results, not just activity.

https://maximizesocialbusiness.com/6-content-marketing-metrics-you-cant-afford-to-ignore-35072/

While the metrics you track will depend on the goals of your project or campaign, there are a few metrics you should never ignore.

 

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By:   US Farm Data
Measuring the Success of Your Ag Marketing Campaigns

Determining the effectiveness of a marketing campaign can be difficult. This is especially true when marketing to farmers.

 

When marketing to farmers, it is critical to develop a sense of trust that leads to long-term partnerships. This can take time and a variety of strategies.

 

The first step in measuring the success of a particular campaign is to decide what you want to track in the first place. While you may be looking to do a variety of things with your marketing campaign, usually one goal is paramount. Here are some examples of what you may want to track:

 

  • A rise in website traffic
  • Number of leads entering your sales pipeline
  • Increased brand awareness

 

Of course, you can’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you are. For example, how many customers or prospects visit your website in a specific period of time or the number of leads you see in a typical week. Goals such as an increase in brand awareness are more complicated to measure and may require a marketing analysis.

 

Next, you must decide how frequently you will collect data. Keep in mind that marketing measurement is seldom a one-time event. Instead you need to commit to measuring results over the long term so that you can identify patterns that appear over time. Creating a basic dashboard or even outsourcing this to an agricultural data marketing firm like US Farm Data is often the best way to make sure data is collected and stored correctly. You also will want to periodically update relevant team members on the status of your findings.

 

Finally, and most importantly, you need to turn the insights you have gained over time into actions. The best way to do this is by using a content scoring system. Doing so will allow you to get a quick view of the benefit or benefits of each marketing technique and move forward based on these findings.

 

Once you have moved forward based on your findings, it’s time to do it all again. Thankfully you will not be required to start from scratch but you will need to periodically go back and make adjustments based on what you have learned over time. Remember, marketing is a work in progress and the only way to achieve the best results is to always be looking for new ways to improve your strategies.

 

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By:   US Farm Data
Why Understanding Farmers is the Best (and Only) Way to Earn Their Loyalty

You may be able to hook a prospect with an exciting new product but if you are looking to establish a long-term relationship with that prospect, you need much more than a hook. You need to build customer loyalty that stands the test of time.

Building customer loyalty can be tough, however. Even tougher with Ag clients who know how to spot a slick, sales pitch. In its article, 25 Tips for Earning Customer Loyalty, Entrepreneur.com gives some solid tips for creating customer loyalty, some of which are particularly relevant to the Ag industry. These tips include:

  1. Share your values
  2. Be transparent
  3. Create a sense of community
  4. Exceed expectations
  5. Admit when you make a mistake
  6. Be an expert
  7. Be reliable
  8. Make life easier for your customers

If you are looking to reach and connect with your target market of farmers and ranchers, look no further than US Farm Data. Every day we help our clients just like you grow their Ag businesses.

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By:   US Farm Data
The Importance of Really Understanding Ag Customers and Prospects

One of the most dangerous marketing strategies relies on broad generalizations about your target audience. This is especially true if you are marketing to farmers. Failing to do extensive research about your Ag customers and prospects can lead to broken trust. And once trust is lost, it’s almost impossible to get back!

 

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245365

Building customer loyalty is hard work but it is always worth the effort. Not willing to put in the effort? Chances are your customers won’t be customers for much longer.

 

https://www.business.com/articles/successful-sales-questions/

Struggling to close sales? It could be that you don’t know the people you are selling to. Thankfully, answering a few questions can change all that.

 

https://martechtoday.com/well-know-customer-211626

You may think you know your customers but how can you know for sure? Hint: It goes beyond statistics and surveys.

 

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By:   US Farm Data
False Assumptions that Negatively Impact the Ability to Market to Farmers

Know your target audience. That’s great advice. Unfortunately, many marketers, especially those in the Ag industry, assume that they know their target audience without doing any research.

Farmers are usually targeted by age. This tactic, however, causes marketers to make assumptions about farmers that simply aren’t true. One example of an incorrect assumption is that older farmers aren’t tech savvy. Untrue. And designing your marketing strategy based on this assumption can lead to a significant drop in sales conversions.

Read on to learn some of the most erroneous (and common) assumptions that are made by those marketing to farmers:

·         New farmers don’t want to spend a lot of money. It may seem logical to assume that young farmers, or those just starting out, don’t have a lot of money to spend but this isn’t always the case. In fact, many young farmers say they consistently value quality over price. Older farmers are the most likely to say they are exceptionally concerned with price.

·         Email doesn’t work well with older farmers. Again, false. Farmers aged 50 to 70 say they are extremely influenced by email. Younger farmers? Not as much.

·         Older farmers are not active on social media. While it’s true that more younger farmers are on social media than their older counterparts, don’t make the mistake of thinking older farmers cannot be found on social media. Almost 40 percent of older farmers say that they are active on Facebook, for example.

·         Direct mail is outdated. More than 50 percent of all farmers say that direct mail influences their purchasing decisions. Unfortunately, approximately 80 percent of marketers say they no longer use it.

·         Unlike some other industries, Ag messaging can be generic. In today’s data-driven world there is simply no excuse for generic marketing messages. And personalization goes far beyond just a customer’s name in a subject line. Crop type, number of acres and livestock are just some of the things you need to know about your target audience of farmers.

One of the most dangerous marketing strategies is broad generalizations and the same is true when it comes to marketing to farmers. Until you really get to know the farmers you are marketing to, you don’t know how to best reach them. Remember, there are no universal marketing strategies that are completely successful so to achieve your goals you must do your research! And farmers are no exception!

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By:   US Farm Data
Farming and Farm Income: What a Ag Sales Rep Needs to Know

A surefire way to annoy the farmers you are trying to sell to is to fail to have a grasp of the current trends in the agriculture. After all, farmers look to you to solve problems-that’s tough to do if you don’t know anything about the issues they face each and every day.

The USDA put out an overview of American agriculture and rural life entitled, Farming and Farm Income. The document provides a summary of important trends in the farm sector and information on farm household incomes. This document deals with, among other things, the following topics:

  1. Productivity growth in U.S. agriculture
  2. U.S. gross and net cash farm income
  3. Distribution of farms and value of production

Knowing the most about the farmers you work with (or want to work with) is critical to the success of your Ag business. Something else you need to know is how to reach your target market of farmers. That’s what US Farm Data is here for. Just give us a call at 800-960-6267.

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By:   US Farm Data
Why Gathering Data on Farmers is Critical to Your Success

Farmers don’t want to waste time. That means it is critical that each and every conversation you have with farmers is mutually beneficial. It also should leave them with the impression that you are someone worth talking to. So, whether you have been in the Ag business for a few weeks or several years, it is crucial that you keep compiling data on your target audience and the Ag industry as a whole.

 

https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/307880

Whether you are marketing to farmers or marketing to new mothers, you must understand your target audience. But sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to learning about this group of customers and prospects.

 

https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/ag-and-food-statistics-charting-the-essentials/farming-and-farm-income/

American agriculture continues to evolve and change. When marketing to farmers, it is essential that you understand the ins and outs of current farming trends. If you don’t, your credibility is going to take a major hit.

 

https://www.fb.org/issues/farm-policy/farm-bureau-farm-bill-resources-in-depth/

The future of American agriculture depends a great deal on the 2018 farm bill. If you are out in the fields talking to farmers today, you better know the facts about what is arguably the most important farm bill in decades.

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By:   US Farm Data
The Importance of Gathering Data on Your Farming Customers and Prospects

Farmers are busy. They simply don’t have time to waste on meaningless conversations. In light of this fact, it is important that no matter how long you have been in business with a farmer, every conversation must be as meaningful and mutually beneficial as possible.

 

One of the best ways to make sure that your conversations with farmers aren’t a waste of anyone’s time is to do your research before you pick up the phone or meet with a farmer in person. And in today’s digital marketplace, research involves data.

 

What follows are the types of data that will ensure that your conversations with farmers are as productive possible.

 

  1. Crop Type. Knowing the crops a farmer grows is critical since different crops require different products. Knowledge of a farmer’s crop rotation will allow you to present the type of products they require now—not last season or next season.
  2. Land Size. The size of a farm has a huge impact on the type of products a farmer requires. Small, family farms will need more help with things like distribution and inputs while larger or corporate farms will be interested in products that can help them with things like automation, efficiency and scale. Further, when it comes to prospects, often the size of a farm will determine whether or not they are a viable prospect in the first place.
  3. Management. Some farmers manage their entire operation, others use a farm management service. Has a farmer you worked with in the past recently divided up some of their land and given it to a child, for example? Change can happen quickly so it is important to keep up-to-date on exactly who is in charge at all times.
  4. Networks. Not all farms are owned by a single farmer. One example is siblings who own a farm together. Data that shows how these owners work together or separately allows you to know exactly who you need to talk to and what you need to talk to him or her about.

 

Compiling data on the farmers in your territory—whether they are current customers or prospects—is critical. Without this information, you will waste a great deal of everyone’s time doing your research on the fly. This is sure to annoy the farmers you want to please and will likely lead to lower conversion rates.

 

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By:   US Farm Data
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