The USDA is currently conducting its 2022 Census of Agriculture with surveys having been sent earlier this fall. Taken once every five years, the Census of Agriculture provides a snapshot of land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures. For America’s farmers and ranchers, USDA reports, the Census of Agriculture is “their voice, their future, and their opportunity.”
But for those of us who market to farmers, insights into the continuing evolution of American agriculture can inform our buying conversations with farmers—and enable us to provide the products and services that can help them be more successful.
What do farmers care about most?
Farming is a uniquely challenging profession. From weather to markets, farmers have a wide variety of concerns, with specific input purchases often ranking low. Recognizing this can help us develop messaging that places our solutions within the context of farmers’ broader concerns. According to Water Street Consulting, here are some decisions many farmers say tend to concern them the most.
- Business direction of their operation
- Marketing plans and decisions
- Buying and/or renting new ground
- High-dollar farm equipment purchases
- Transferring the operation to the next generation
- Major capital purchases (buildings, bins)
- How to hire and who to hire.
One of the challenges with using customer insights to help shape messaging is understanding that grower concerns and perceptions are not static—and shift over time based on market conditions and other factors. What has worked before may not be successful next season. This is where Dominant Logic comes in.
Leveraging grower insights to challenge Dominant Logic
Dominant Logic refers to a set of mental assumptions widely shared among key members of a group. It becomes the “eyes, ears and brains” of the group as it forms the basis on which people see, hear, sense, and interpret important events. This collective worldview shapes how the group translates a given set of events into agendas and action. Over time, Dominant Logic establishes an unquestioned way of doing things.
If an organization does not have a healthy and systematic way to challenge, verify and validate its Dominant Logic assumptions, then it risks embedding a mindset that misinterprets the surrounding world. Therefore, healthy organizations and teams make it a point to systematically challenge the Dominant Logic on a regular basis. This helps to ensure that their worldview is in line with the current reality and that their business is well positioned to take advantage of changes in the marketplace and competitive landscape.
Understanding how to market to farmers includes recognizing the wide variety of challenges they face every day—and where our solutions fit. Messaging matters and understanding what farmers really care about can drive messaging that will help your brand be more successful. Learn more about how to adapt and thrive in a changing agricultural landscape from our Reshaping the Future series.