6 Reasons to Start Investing in Agricultural Marketing
The Why & How of Agricultural Marketing
Marketing has always been an important part of business. If you want to sell your product, your clients and potential clients must know about it, and the story or purpose behind it.
In our highly connected and rapidly evolving digitized world, with every social media platform imaginable, marketing has changed significantly over the past decades, and continues to change all the time.
We all need food to survive, and thus farmers may not always participate in traditional marketing as much as other industries. Nonetheless, now more than ever, marketing has its place in agriculture.
Marketing is fundamentally about communicating information to increase demand for a product or service. Farmers may choose to use marketing techniques to differentiate their produce from similar goods on the market, or to reach new, wider, or more distant markets, all of which depend upon successful communication within the supply chain.
6 Good Reasons to Use Marketing in Agriculture
- Agricultural products are perishable, and a failure to sell perishable goods within the right time frame results in wasted harvest. A wasted harvest means a cost of land, water, labor and storage with no income to show for it.
- The entire agricultural industry is vulnerable to external influences such as changes in weather and climate that affect harvests and cause prices to vary significantly. Effective marketing can help consumers understand the reasons for these changes in price, whether owing to local factors or weather changes in distant places.
- Different production methods mean that not all crops, products and food are the same. However, the information about those differences is meaningful only if the consumer knows about it.
- Marketing can lead to increased income for farmers. When marketing is done well, it can cut out some of the middlemen in the supply chain, which means better prices and higher income.
- Agricultural marketing also widens markets. Efficient agricultural marketing introduces products to areas that are farther away from the origin of production, which then increases demand on an ongoing basis, guaranteeing a greater income for the farmer.
- Agricultural marketing is productive for farmers and other stakeholders, from those who grow a crop to the companies who sell a product made from that same crop. For example, within the process of converting wheat into flour and then into bread, many benefactors stand to profit. Everyone gains from effective marketing.
The 2 Main Types of Agricultural Marketing
Agricultural marketing happens all along the supply chain, from the cultivation of the product, to distribution, and finally to the consumer. From small farms to corporate growers, agrichemicals to farm machinery, and even government agencies, agricultural marketing takes place within every sector of agribusiness. The different types of agricultural marketing include two processes: input marketing and product marketing.
Input marketing is the marketing of farm inputs to farmers. What exactly are farm inputs? These include fertilizers, diesel, electricity, farm machinery, and pesticides.
Product marketing is the marketing of goods to consumers following production. This movement consists of farmer, primary trader, wholesaler, importer, exporter, retailer, and, finally, consumer.
One of the most important concepts in relation to marketing in general is product branding. This can actually be quite challenging for marketing within agriculture. In fact, some U.S. states have mandated marketing programs, which means that producers are required to pay the state for its marketing efforts on the industry’s behalf. The state creates generic marketing campaigns to increase consumer demand for a given product (such as potatoes from Idaho) instead of a particular brand. The state also issues requirements regarding quality, size, and packaging of products, standardizing many agricultural products across different producers.
While this type of marketing may benefit agricultural products, small and larger farmers stand to benefit greatly by using a more modern digital media style of marketing. Even if the product is generic, a farm can create their own brand.
Considering the current economic climate and digital landscape, farms and farmers can and should dive into the world of media marketing. Brand development, constant media presence, and consistent storytelling is the name of the game now.
Nothing is truly generic as long as there is a story to tell—and there always is. The trick is finding the story that customers want to hear.
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