When marketing to farmers make sure to use data that is actionable and specific

by Diane Martin
January 18, 2017

Actionable data

Farmers’ business savvy is increasing along with everyone else’s and they rely ever more heavily on analysis and data to make their decisions.

Every business uses analytics to help guide their decisions. Technology and the proliferation of data collection allows these metrics to become both more robust and more specific. Your favorite sports team uses analytics. Your company’s finance department uses analytics. Your customers do, too. In all of these cases, data collection has grown exponentially for years, leading to advanced metrics becoming the standard.

Not long ago a pitcher in Major League Baseball had a good chance of winning the Cy Young Award if they got enough wins. In today’s world of analytics, it’s important to look at field adjusted batting average on balls in play. Before this explosion in data collection, a finance department was primarily concerned with revenue, profit, debt and assets. A recent quarterly report will almost certainly look at EBITA. If you don’t believe farmers aren’t expecting more specific metrics as well, you are missing out on an opportunity.

Weather sensors, drones and their own tractors constantly collect data about their fields. A small industry of companies has popped up to help farmers make sense of this detailed level of analysis. Unsubstantiated or generic claims of improved performance will ring hollow when compared to the level of detail now available. With that incredible opportunity to make more informed decisions comes a lot of noise. In order to stand out in the crowd, data must be both actionable and specific.  There are several ways to accomplish this without reinventing the wheel.

  • Bring it home. Make any metric specific to their geography. Farmers have a deep connection to their land, and information about how a product performs in their area means much more to them.
  • Take the next step. Help show them exactly how a lower price or improved performance will impact them and their business.
  • Customize results. Allow them to tell you about themselves for more detailed results. Even ratings and reviews from customers similar to themselves will be more intimate than unfiltered results. Not only will you offer better results, but you’ll gather some information about your potential clients.

When deciding how and where to implement performance metrics into your marketing to farmers, always be conscious that they are businessmen as well as your customers. They spend a great deal of time considering the numbers that influence their business. In order for your claims to have an impact on them, you’ll have to show your value to them and their farm.

Marketing to farmers has a greater impact when the message is specific to their situation. Every farmer runs a unique business with its own challenges and measures of success. Farmers won’t take claims of greater performance from your product seriously if you can’t show how it relates to their situation. Results that are specific to a geography or situation will be more appealing and will help engender a relationship with your product.

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.

1 Comment

  1. If you like to be social, try running a meet-the-farmer happy hour at a bar or restaurant. Even better if this restaurant buys from your farm! This is a win-win because the restaurant can help you market the happy hour and they get to burnish their local food credentials.


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