Judging today’s creative when marketing to farmers

by Diane Martin
February 14, 2017

judging creative for emerging markets

Even as new channels emerge, the rigors of creative evaluation remain unchanged.

A few months ago we discussed the challenges of reaching and engaging farmers in their media-stacked days.  While it is getting more difficult to intrigue farmers with marketing and persuade them to take action, great ideas still can, and do, reach three important parts of today’s farmer regardless of the channel: the head, the heart and the wallet.

You might think that the fragmented and ever-evolving channel choices add complexity in determining whether ideas are on-strategy and will be effective. The good news:  The criteria haven’t changed. The basics still apply. Regardless of the mix, ag marketers should push for work that is on-strategy, simply communicates the idea, finds its white-space, triggers an emotional response and works across channels.

So what should be considered?

One timeless tenet of creating great communications is to work from a well-crafted brief. It should not only be used to initiate the work; it should also serve as a framework for judging it. So even before you and your agency start the work, make sure you answer the following questions:

  • What business problem does the work need to address? See our July 2016 post for three simple steps for setting objectives.
  • Which growers are we talking to?
  • What are the competitors saying and doing?
  • Where do we put our messaging and tell our story?

When actually evaluating the work, be it digital, direct or mass-media, consider the following five key criteria:

  • Is it on brief? Does it follow the pre-determined strategic direction?
  • Is it simple? Can the reader or viewer easily understand the idea?
  • Is it distinctive? Does it stand out from competitors and all the other clutter?
  • Does it evoke emotion? Purchase decisions are 90% emotional and 10% rational – even for farmers.
  • Does the idea exploit emotional white space?
  • Does it have legs? Can you create effective and impactful executions across the multitude of channels based on the core idea?

No guts, no glory

Also, be sure to listen to your gut. There may be times when your instincts tell you something is just right or absolutely wrong about what you’re looking at. Pay attention. Communications is, after all, a blend of art and science.

Marketing agencies exist to create great ideas. And, in order for these ideas to be great, they must be valued by the farmer. Regardless of changing media, the tools for sound creative assessment remain constant and as important as ever.

Diane Martin
About the Author – Diane Martin

Independent Consultant. Before starting her freelance career, Diane worked at Rhea + Kaiser for more than 25 years. During her tenure she put her strong critical thinking and creative problem solving skills to work across a variety of clients.


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Since 1978, the ag-marketing experts at Rhea + Kaiser have been helping brands connect with the farmer customer.

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