A quick thought today about how folks who are trying to reach mid to large size farmers might want to think about their advertising and marketing plans.
This week I am wandering the isles of the Iowa Power Farming Show held annually here in Des Moines. It is the very best farm show in the Midwest with hundreds of displays and thousands of visitors. And, it is something in those numbers that caught my eye.
I met lots of "farmers" who really work in town or have other business interests than farming. Forest, a new friend, owns several bike shops (Go BIKE WORLD where my wife, a cross country biking lover, goes.) and another works at Principal Financial and yet another drives truck. They all consider themselves "farmers" to a sense. But would my short-liner friends at Kinze or Landoll or Brillion or Feterl really want to market to these guys? Nope...but they do.
You see, here in Iowa there are about 25,000 farmers who really drive the market. (Iowa has a population of 3 million and what the USDA calls "farms" of 68,000.) These 25,000 folks are "full time" farmers who have as a sole income farming and have gross sales of over 1 million. Remember, USDA says anybody who has sales over $1,000 is a farmer! My point here is EVERYBODY ALREADY KNOWS WHO THESE 25,000 FARMERS ARE!!!!!!!!! Yet as short-line manufacturers they spend thousands of dollars each month advertising in a "shotgun" approach. Why? The ads look nice?
This is a deep and interesting topic that needs more room than I can post here...but it is worth thinking about. Agriculture is changing, perhaps more quickly, than any other segment of our country. Let's change our advertising and marketing to maximize our return on investment.
More to come...see you at the show!