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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
Popularity of Ag Trade Shows Exhibit No Signs of Slowing

Trade shows continue to be one of the best way to get in front of a large number of customers and prospects over a short period of time. Ag trade shows are no exception. That’s because farmers love to meet the people they are considering doing business with and getting a firsthand look at what products and services those people have to offer.

 

http://www.successfulmeetings.com/Strategy/Meeting-Strategies/How-to-Build-a-Better-Trade-Show-Booth/

First impressions are lasting impressions. That’s why building a better trade show booth can go a long way toward impressing customers and prospects.

 

https://www.thebalance.com/improve-your-trade-show-at-low-cost-2948676

It takes more than just showing up at a trade show to boost interest in your company. Fortunately, you can improve your performance at these events without breaking the bank.

 

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/297907

Everyone knows that trade shows are a lot of work. What many people don’t know, however, is why they are worth every bit of that work.

 

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By:   US Farm Data
Five Tips to Make Ag Tradeshows as Effective as Possible

Trade shows are one of the best ways to get the attention of a large number of customers and prospects in a short amount of time. Not only do trade shows give you the opportunity to display your products and demonstrate their usefulness, they also allow you to meet individuals face-to-face and form a connection with them.

 

And tradeshow exhibitors aren’t the only ones who are convinced of the importance of tradeshows. According to a recent market research study, more than 90 percent of respondents ranked trade shows as an extremely useful source for product purchasing information, beating out even on-site visits from sales reps. Finally, more than 50 percent of respondents say they have purchased products or services as a direct result of a trade show.

 

Agricultural trade shows are especially effective since farmers like to meet the people they are considering partnering with and they also want to see for themselves how a product or service will work. What follows are some tips to get the most out of your agricultural trade show booth.

 

  1. A month or two before the trade show, be sure and reach out to farmers, retailers or media who you want to connect with at your booth. Don’t passively wait for them to show up.
  2. Make sure that your signage at the trade show is attention-grabbing and is placed in high-traffic areas so no one misses your booth. You also may want to consider having staff throughout the tradeshow handing out information and directing people to your booth.
  3. Promote your presence at a trade show on your social media channels before and during the event. Facebook Live segments are a great way to engage people who will be attending the trade show as well as those who cannot make it.
  4. Develop a tradeshow app that keeps people up-to-date with what is going on at your booth. You can include a schedule of events and conduct contests or promotions through this app.
  5. Involve your teammates in the office to make your tradeshow as successful as possible. You may not have time to add content or other information to your social media accounts, for example, so you need the support of your colleagues back home.

 

Trade shows take a lot of time and resources but are always worth the effort. That’s because it the leads and relationships you develop at these events are some of the most promising when it comes to converting sales.

 

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By:   US Farm Data
Your B2B Customers are Going Mobile—Have You?

Today, about 50 percent of all B2B queries are made on smartphones and that number is growing. In spite of this fact, almost half of all B2B companies—including Ag-based companies—report no significant investment in mobile marketing. So how can B2B companies catch up?

 

https://www.demandgenreport.com/features/industry-insights/disruption-leads-to-innovation-reinventing-traditional-marketing-for-the-mobile-age

If you want to connect with your B2B customers and prospects, you need to engage them where they are—on their mobile devices.

 

https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Mobile-Usage-Among-B2B-Buyers-Expected-Grow/1015024

Mobile devices are no longer a secondary consideration for B2B customers. Unfortunately, the realization that mobile-ready marketing and advertising touchpoints are necessary is only now starting to sink in for many B2B companies.

 

https://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2017/32463/four-ways-to-use-mobile-in-your-b2b-marketing-strategy

You know that mobile marketing is not something you can ignore. But how do you get started?

 

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By:   US Farm Data
Mobile Marketing and the B2B Buyer Landscape

Mobile marketing is huge. However, many B2B marketers in the agricultural industry are slow to adapt. Why? These ag-marketers believe that B2B purchasing isn’t conducive to mobile devices.

 

However, research shows that B2B marketing leaders across all industries are using mobile to influence a significant percentage of their revenue—almost half in many cases. Why? These leaders say they have found that mobile marketing improves outcomes in the following ways:

 

  1. Speeds up time-to-purchase
  2. Provides a more positive user experience
  3. Increases brand loyalty

 

In the Boston Consulting Guide’s article, Mobile Marketing and the New B2B Buyer, marketers are advised on ways to prevent getting left behind when it comes to the quickly evolving world of mobile marketing. Here are some important pointers that can be put to good use when marketing to farmers:

 

  • Address farmers where they spend their time on mobile (for example, in the field).
  • Understand mobile’s role in shifting farmer behavior.
  • Invest in positive mobile experiences for farmers.
  • Recognizing mobile’s impact in the purchase journey as farmers formulate intent.
  • Track farmers buying experiences across devices.
  • Test increased investment in mobile advertising.
  • Adapt technology and data collection within the agricultural business model.

 

If you want to improve your B2B mobile marketing strategy but don’t know where to start, call US Farm Data at 800-960-6267. We’ll make sure you don’t get left behind when it comes to mobile marketing in the Ag industry.

 

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By:   US Farm Data
Are Promotional Products Still Relevant in the Digital Age?

Marketing to farmers requires a high-tech approach. Any agricultural business who doesn’t believe this to be true probably won’t be in business for too long. Let’s face it, farmers are expected to feed 9.6 billion people by 2050, they are well aware that technology is going to play a huge part in that undertaking.

 

Not only are farmers connected via smart phones and tablets while out in the fields or in their offices, they also are helping to trigger a new age of digital farming, also known as precision or smart farming. In fact, 74 percent of farmers say they are using digital agricultural technologies to improve their operations.

 

While connecting with farmers online and engaging with them through social media and other types of digital marketing tactics is critical, that doesn’t mean more traditional techniques need to be abandoned all together. So, let’s take a look at one popular marketing tactic that we all remember, and that still works surprisingly well: promotional products.

 

While it would be easy to discount promotional products as old-fashioned and out-of-date, there are benefits to these items for your ag-related business.

 

  1. Promote Brand Recognition. Your name and logo are two things that you want customers to recognize and remember. Promotional products help with both of these things. A reusable tote bag, for example, is something people use all the time these days. Think of how many people bring their own bags to the grocery store. Give away these reusable bags and every time a customer goes to buy food they see your name and logo. And so does everyone else in the checkout line with them!
  2. Encourage customer loyalty. No matter who you are or what your profession, a free gift just makes you feel good. High-quality promotional products that a farmer will use day-in and day-out are sure to make a farmer feel good about doing business with you. An insulated tumbler for coffee is just one example.
  3. Work harder than a business card. What can you do with a business card? Not much. A promotional product on the other hand contains the same information as a business card but can be used every day.

 

We all know that farmers are tech savvy and marketing to them must involve engaging with them in the digital marketplace. However, throwing in a promotional product now and then can go a long way, as well.

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By:   US Farm Data
Six Critical Guidelines for Agricultural Webinars

Webinars are a great way to engage farmers. It’s no wonder. When done correctly, webinars allow farmers to learn about new research in the agricultural world as well as products that can benefit their operation.

 

There are other reasons this type of marketing is so popular with farmers. Webinars are a convenient and affordable way to connect with industry experts, ask questions and remain up-to-date on important trends in the agricultural industry.

 

Unfortunately, many webinars are hastily thrown together and have no purpose other than brand promotion. If you are serious about holding the type of webinars that will help you to become seen as a thought leader in ag-industry and entice farmers to return for subsequent webinars, it is important that you adhere to certain guidelines. By doing so, you will be sure to enjoy continued webinar success.

 

  1. Choose topics wisely. When it comes to webinar topics, most farmers list similar subjects that they would be interested in. These include ways to improve operations, risk management and production issues.
  2. Time is right. Topics need to be timely. Talk about weed management before planting and tax issues at the end of the year, for example.
  3. Ditch the sales pitch. Webinars are all about relationship building, not selling. Remember, farmers do business with people they trust and that’s what your webinar needs to be building.
  4. Promote engagement. Survey farmers before your webinar to see what they want to learn during the webinar and make sure you cover these topics.
  5. Enlist an expert. If there is an expert in the field you are covering in your webinar, be sure to include that expert. Farmers will appreciate the opportunity to hear from someone they know is familiar with the subject matter.
  6. Save time for questions. Always allow farmers the time to ask questions at the end of your webinar. Keep your answers as concise as possible, however, to give everyone who has a question time to ask it.
  7. Gather feedback. Always send out a post-webinar survey to participants so you know what they enjoyed and what you can do to make future webinars more productive. Of course, don’t forget to take comments and criticisms seriously so your webinars are always improving.
  8. Say thank you. Whether or not a participant completed a post-webinar survey, you still need to thank that farmer for participating.

 

Webinars are a great way to reach out to farmers and build relationships with them. However, remember that the more you put into your webinar, the more the farmer—and your brand—will reap from it.

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By:   US Farm Data
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