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When It Comes to Agriculture Marketing, Community Matters

Show And Tell on Feb 6, 2023

four hands holding puzzle pieces

Farmers and producers are proud of what they do. Their operation is not just their business. It’s their life. To that end, every purchase is a significant investment, so it’s important for the products and services they purchase to come from sources they trust. Many times, they are only making major purchases (fertilizer, seed, etc.) once a year, and how they feel about a particular brand will have a major impact on their buying decision.  

If you’re an ag company, this means you can’t simply rely on marketing efforts to build your brand. Connecting with your community by genuinely supporting and participating in it through community outreach efforts can be a powerful way to reach customers. 

Increase your ag brand’s presence in local communities 

Community outreach efforts will show the broader agriculture community that you’re invested in the lives of your customers beyond the sale.

You can show this through initiatives like: 

  • Sponsoring youth sporting events/teams 
  • Supporting local arenas with the purchase of ad space 
  • Hosting/sponsoring community events (festivals, parades, etc.) 
  • Donating to community initiatives 
  • Hosting discussions about industry and producer trends, concerns, successes and innovations 

Find the local influencers 

Farmers and producers talk to each other. Whether it’s during meetups at the seed dealership, weekly coffees, or online communities, they’re sharing success stories and challenges, asking for advice, and getting feedback. Farmers are also typically hesitant to adopt new brands or products. If a product or service is working well, they’ll usually remain loyal – unless someone can convince them otherwise.  

When the ag community sees your brand represented in their towns, it’s more likely you’ll become part of their conversations. Having advocates who speak glowingly about your products and overall brand, from your reps to your purchasing processes, keeps your brand relevant in more conversations — and increases the likelihood that new customers will give you a try.  

You can even take this one step further by establishing a more formal brand ambassador program. Brand ambassadors can talk about their experience with your company’s products or services within their communities. This helps generate word-of-mouth marketing and creates a personal touchpoint with your ag brand. 

FREE DOWNLOAD: 5 Tips to Build an Effective Ag Brand Ambassador Program

Today's ag marketers can’t rely on traditional marketing tactics alone. download our 5 tips to help you build your own ambassador program, and create and foster personal relationships with your producers.

Amplify your ag brand outside the sales cycle 

The seasonality of agriculture dictates the sales cycle. Many times, farmers and producers are making purchasing decisions for the next season before they’ve even seen results from the current season. That’s why a continual cycle of brand-building is important.  

This is particularly true when you are trying to win new customers. It takes more than a year for most farmers to decide to switch brands — and even longer for them to decide to stay with your brand for multiple years. So, to even have a chance to win over those farmers and producers, you need to keep your brand at the forefront.  

Think through ways your brand can increase the number of touchpoints you have with producers all year round. This will keep your brand top of mind — and more likely to come to mind when it’s time to buy. And go beyond traditional marketing tactics. Instead, consider ways your brand can give back to the community and, more specifically, the farmers.  

For example, your brand could partner with restaurants or caterers to bring meals to farms during harvest. This is a busy time for farm operations and workers don’t usually leave the field for meals. By recognizing and responding to this reality in a creative way (and not focusing on sales for your product), you amplify your brand and build trust and credibility with the community. Or your brand can recognize area producers for outstanding efforts in the field — innovative solutions, the longevity of the operation, etc.  

Tactics like these show farmers and producers that your ag brand is committed to the industry and its ongoing success. 

Partner with your local dealers or distribution channels 

More often than not, a farmer’s experience with your brand is built on the relationship they have with sales reps, either from local dealers or retailers, or directly from your company. Sales reps who visit the farm operations (or meet farmers and producers in their brick-and-mortar locations) become the face of your brand for those farmers. And it’s a meaningful connection to nurture.  

Local dealers are already ingrained in the community, so they’re able to establish personal relationships with farmers and producers in the area who grow to trust these dealers because they understand their farms and the community.  

That’s why you should make it part of your marketing strategy to support the dealers or other local professionals in your brand’s distribution channel. Here’s how: 

  • Provide marketing dollars to the local retailers of your ag brand’s products so they can implement brand approved local campaigns or events 
  • Sponsor giveaways through the retailers that both promote your brand and encourage producers to visit the retail location 
  • Develop and distribute in-store signage and other materials to promote national campaigns at the local level 
  • Join local dealers and retailers on visits to area operations so you can learn and understand the local flavour — and share more about your brand 

Ultimately, you want to make sure that the local extensions of your brand have what they need to elevate your brand within their community. 

Position your ag brand with the farmer’s best interest in mind 

The success of ag companies (like all companies) is ultimately measured by sales. In order to keep sales coming, your products need to work. By that we mean your products should help farmers and producers maximize their profitability. Sales also matter to producers and yield is important, so that needs to be one of your selling points.  

But farmers are also looking for companies in business to help improve their land and their lives. From a brand standpoint, that means looking beyond profit and into ways you can stand by your customers every step of the way — now and in the years to come. 

Positioning your ag brand as an industry leader and advocating for solutions to issues that are plaguing today’s farmers and producers is one way to show you are on their side. Share how your product can help improve operations and/or keep their land producing sustainably. Or, better yet, let other producers share the story of how your products have helped them become and remain successful.   

Community-focused brand-building tactics represent an extended play for your ag brand. While you may not reap the benefits immediately, an intentional focus to position your brand as one with the farmer's (and their farm's) best interest in mind will pay off down the road.  

If you're looking for help growing your community, reach out to see how we might be able to help.