Marketing to the 21st Century Farmer

Much like the rest of the world, farming is evolving at a very rapid pace. As we’ve touched on before in the article, More Farmers Are Online Than Ever Before, Are You Doing All You Can to Target Them?, technology allows marketers and original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) to reach out to farmers in new and exciting ways.

Technology and “smart farming” equipment is changing how the average farmer works. Each year new advancements are made that allow for increases in farm productivity; and the advancements and growth in smart farming will only become bigger and better in the years to come.

What Does Smart Farming Mean for Marketers?

The big take away from this surge in farming advancements is to realize that smart farming is powered by the internet and the growing interconnectivity of farming equipment and devices. The farm equipment today is more effective and efficient than ever before, but it comes at the cost of being more dependent on the advancing technology than any other time in history.

This growing need to be connected opens the door for savvy marketers. Farmers are becoming more comfortable with technology and as each year passes it is becoming a bigger part of their every day lives. Today, 40% of active farmers are using Facebook; that number will continue to grow as the overall internet presence of farmers increases and the influence of smart farm equipment becomes more widespread.

Marketers Can Take Advantage and Target Farmers Online

Coupled with growing competition from outside the United States, companies need to embrace the available data, through a source such as EDA, to successfully target and reach farmers online. Using this data will allow marketers to accurately identify and pursue prospective customers who are in need of these advancements and can benefit from them.

The Rise of Smart Farming

Smart farming not only refers to the advanced equipment farmers now utilize, but the overall approach of using data and more refined techniques, products, and approaches to get the highest possible yields.

Equipment and its growing interconnectivity will continue to play a large role in the years to come, but we’ve already seen the benefits of smart farming techniques for decades. Since 1950, farmers have been able to produce 262% more food, all the while using less fertilizer and fewer seeds.

This was made possible through scientific research and advancements. Just 5.7% of America’s farms were responsible for 75% of the domestic agricultural sales. At the current rate, an average farmer feeds 170 people annually. Current projections indicate the global population could swell to well over 9 billion people in just the next three decades.

That means, in order to provide the food needed to sustain a population of that size, farms and farmers must embrace new technologies and techniques to maximize production.

Domestic Farm Income is Falling and Global Competition Is Rising

Falling IncomeWhile new equipment and techniques have led to a higher productivity, surprisingly the average farm income has fallen. After a record year in 2013, United States farm income has declined every year and is predicted to drop by another 8.7% by the end of 2017.

In addition to the pressure and increased demand for crops, the American farmer has faced more competition from the rest of the globe. American farmers were responsible for 65% of the world’s wheat production as late as recently as the 1970’s.

Wheat FieldYet today, American wheat only comprises 30% of the overall market. Both Russia and India have overtaken American wheat production and China is currently the top producer in the world, more than doubling the American output at 126 million metric tons annually.

Using Data to Reach the 21st Century Farmer

As farmers struggle to compete in the expanding global marketplace amid a time when annual income is falling, utilizing this new more efficient and interconnected equipment could be the key to maintaining and increasing their position in the framework of worldwide agriculture.

With data available from EDA, it’s possible for marketers to find those most in need of advanced equipment now being offered by OEM’s. Whether searching based on geographical location, equipment age, or type – marketers are now able to precisely search for and target based on specific criteria to get the most out of their marketing efforts.

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