Ag Media Continues to Change

by Kristi Moss
November 17, 2011

Less than 2 years ago, with the help of colleagues at Paulsen, I wrote a video paper entitled, “The New Ag Media Model.” The purpose of that paper was to look at the rapidly changing environment for agrimarketers.

It was early 2010, the economy was struggling and new media was emerging. Agrimarketers were challenged with balancing a new frontier of reaching producers through digital strategies and social media. Media buyers spent their days trying to maintain reach and frequency through mediums which have provided year after year tried and true results, while realizing that producers were wanting to receive information in different ways. And many of us were doing that with recession reduced budgets.

We thought the world was changing fast then. Though less than two years ago, “The New Ag Media Model” was written as Steve Jobs first held up the iPad 1 to a capitivated audience; this “tablet technology” was not yet available in stores. Meanwhile, Motorola had just announced it’s Droid, built to compete with the iPhone, which was only available through AT&T at that time. Blackberries were the smartphone of choice for the 11% of producers that owned them.

Fast forward 20 months. Today, I sit at my desk, mourning the loss of the greater-than-great Steve Jobs, marveling at my iPad 2, and patiently awaiting the arrival of my iPhone 4S Siri. I relish the thought of dropping my Blackberry on the nearest train track and letting fate decide its future.

Though it would seem that the world has changed so much, the thoughts of producers we talked to in those video clips remain much the same. Today, as clients ask us about revising strategies, I can still confidently pull quotes from the producers we spoke to. While we forge ahead on the digital frontier, the wisdom of the producers we talked to still holds true.

Producers shared with us that as much as they love the Internet, it will never replace the magazine or the newspaper. One producer said, “There is something to be said for a magazine. They are always in our shop office. It’s an easier format to read. You have to know what you want when you are on your computer.” The association between the active behavior of viewing something on a screen still holds true today.

Another producer added, “I still get more out of it, if it’s on paper. The information you get on the Internet is the same, but it doesn’t soak in as well.” Our brains are programmed to absorb information in certain ways. Without a doubt some of us prefer the tactile association that print provides us.

And producers continue to remind us that the radio messages follow them all day; from the office, to the truck to the cab of their tractor.

While we sometimes feel that our worlds are changing at a pace that’s difficult to keep up with, it’s good to know that the more things change, the more things stay the same.

Download the paper to see if you agree that the producer mindset has not changed.


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