Farmers Gain Ground on Communication Technologies

by Sara Steever
July 3, 2012

The industry has widely accepted that a media mix to reach farmers needs to include a digital play. However, divvying up that digital budget can be tricky, so it’s important to review the research that is available in our industry.

Did you know that 34 percent of farmers say they visit the Facebook pages of companies and products? NAFB’s 2011 research confirms that growing trend. Social media was once considered a novelty, but it is rapidly becoming an expectation for serious brands and should be considered a core component of any content strategy.

Successful Farming’s most recent research tells us that at 46 percent, farmers are 8 percent more likely than the general public to check their email on their mobile phone. The trend of producers adopting communication technologies at a faster rate than the general public comes as a surprise to some marketers. If your marketing emails or enewsletters are not designed for a mobile device, you may be losing readership – even if you can prove open rates.

Social media and mobile marketing are just two aspects of the marketing mix, and those two statistics alone are a reminder of how quickly the industry is changing. Marketing tactics need to be continually under review, even while your marketing strategy has fundamental components that remain in place. Smart use of the data generated from these tactics can provide the feedback to know what’s working.

For some perspective, I reviewed an article I originally wrote in 2009 and updated it with some more recent research and thinking within our industry. Thankfully it was not a set of predictions as much as it was observations of how farmers were using communication technologies. Looking at the trajectory from 2009 – 2012 would indicate that farmers’ use of technology is gaining ground.

Learn more about this topic in our article titled, “Digital Ag: How to Talk to Producers Online.”

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