Cookie Settings
We use cookies on your device to enhance your experience. Some information may be shared with third parties.

How Curiosity — And The Right Partner — Can Elevate Your Ag Marketing

Show and Tell on Feb 13, 2023

wheat sheaf token

When it comes to marketing your agriculture brand, thinking differently should be the name of the game. The right level of inspiration helps you push the limits, while thoughtful execution delivers the results. But striking the right balance between inspiration and execution can be challenging. 

There’s much to be learned when you look beyond the ag industry, though. Broadening your perspective — or partnering with an agency that works from a broader base — can create new opportunities for your marketing efforts.

The measures of an ag brand’s success are changing 

Traditional ag marketing focuses on the transactional – buy this seed, that herbicide, etc. Today, though, the emphasis in the industry is shifting from what to buy to how farmers are using products. Between regulatory pressures, new technologies, and an increased demand for sustainable production, farming practices are changing – and ag brands can emerge as leaders by reflecting that change in their marketing. 

Success now looks less like simply getting someone to purchase your product and more like changing perceptions and behaviors. The most successful brands are moving from purely sales-focused marketing to educational – and sometimes even policy-focused — messages. 

But if you're looking for marketing inspiration, you probably won't find it in ag. Fortunately, industries outside of agriculture (including financial, post-secondary, government, etc.) already recognize this shift. Understanding the efforts within these verticals provides inspiration for ag brands like yours to use their influence to convince producers to change farming practices to more economically and environmentally sustainable ones.

Ag brands with standout marketing will rise to the top 

In the ag industry, the number of customers (i.e. farmers) is small. Companies are competing for the attention of a finite audience, often at the same time. That makes it even more important to stand out from the crowd.

Fresh ideas can elevate your brand and make your content recognizable, especially in the sea of sameness. Traditional approaches like print ads in agriculture publications still have a place and a purpose. But incorporating unique tactics like augmented reality (AR), immersive experiences, or building stronger relationships with farmers can set you apart from other companies and create a lasting impression.

However, for marketers who have been entrenched in the ag space for so long, it can be difficult to know what new approaches to start with. After all, you want to be memorable in the market while also being a good steward of your budget. 

Partnering with an agency with a full-service offering and a diverse industry portfolio can provide intriguing new ideas for your ag brand. In these organizations, strategy, channel tactics, and creative approaches are all informed by a variety of people with diverse backgrounds and experiences (in and outside of ag). When you can leverage that breadth of inputs, you’re able to make more informed decisions about your marketing investments. 

Look to the “leading-edge” and “bleeding-edge”

It really comes down to where you look for inspiration. We find the best new ideas surface through a combination of leading-edge and bleeding-edge knowledge.

Leading-edge ideas are happening now – the new and innovative practices that top brands have already introduced to the market. Bleeding-edge opportunities are the ones surfacing above the horizon. Maybe they’re just notions right now. But they’re causing enough disruption that they can’t be ignored. 

Here’s a great example from outside of the ag industry: automobiles. At the same time as car manufacturers are touting their new safety features or onboard navigation systems (or any other myriad, leading-edge technologies), you can also see them projecting a vision of the future where electric vehicles and automated driving lead the way – both bleeding-edge technologies. It’s the combination of these two approaches that help automotive brands position themselves as leaders: now, and for the future. 

Both leading-edge and bleeding-edge ideas challenge you to think differently. They require that you stay aware. Then, when the time is right, you can use what you’ve learned to move your ag brand forward. 

But for most ag marketers, their focus is on their own industry – and rightfully so. That’s why it’s important to partner with an agency that continually challenges themselves to be on the lookout for what’s new — both inside the agriculture industry and outside. An effective agency partner should always be on the lookout for what’s next and when to move trends into implementation. 

TikTok is a great example of how this philosophy works. When it first emerged, early adopters jumped in to master the channel. These brands were the first to incorporate TikTok into their marketing strategies. As a result, they were able to build and capture an audience before the space became crowded. But they were only able to do this because they were curious about how TikTok would impact their work. 

So, let this be your encouragement to join in on reading blogs and following industry experts (from both agriculture and marketing in general). Even just an hour or two a week can keep you “in the know” and equip you to make smart decisions for your brand that will set you apart from your competition. Your marketing agency should be sharing these ideas and examples with you, for inspiration. And if they’re not, we’d love to have a chat.

Make ag marketing as innovative as the industry 

Research and experimentation happen in agriculture every day. Big companies set aside budgets and assign people to think about how to innovate products or services. However, when it comes down to actually selling the product or service, conservative marketing tactics (aka “what we’ve always done”) rule the day.

It’s a little ironic, don’t you think? It’s time to move this industry mindset into the marketing realm. Agriculture has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. Now ag marketing needs to follow suit. 

Rather than staying risk averse, be open to exploring (and trying) some uncomfortable and seemingly risky tactics. Set aside the time and budget to try new things, and to challenge your brand to take new leaps. Our experience has proven that magic can happen in the discomfort.

“Full-stack” marketing capabilities = more inspiring results 

In the world of ag marketing, there are no silver bullets. And, really, what would be the fun in the work if there were? Instead, as a marketing professional, you’re pushed every day to find ways to make your ag brand stand out. When you’re looking for that extra dose of inspiration, partnering with a full-stack agency may be your answer.

Yes, “full-stack” is typically a development term. We think it also applies to marketing partners who offer all the pillars of service needed to be effective. That includes: 

  • Outstanding account services to manage integrated projects 
  • Strong strategy and creative capabilities to develop campaign concepts that differentiate your brand 
  • A digital marketing department with the know-how to ensure your brand is seen
  • Programmers that create landing pages and other digital assets in the most efficient, effective ways (for you and your users) 

A strong agency understands the importance of having end-to-end capabilities under one roof. This way, marketing efforts (and results) are consistent, frequent, and persistent. It’s important to find a partner who doesn’t just know marketing for agriculture, but rather has marketing (and industry) depth and breadth.

That’s how The Show and Tell Agency is built. We continually look for ways to apply learnings across industries and across marketing disciplines. In fact, some of our most impactful work is the result of applying proven tactics in this fashion. By bringing together the lived and learned experiences of our team, we’re able to solve even the most challenging marketing problems in innovative ways.

If you’re ready to move your ag marketing to the next level, let’s talk about how we can put our diverse industry experience to work for your brand.