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Farmers buy more from companies who contact them directly and offer attractive programs

Stratus Ag Research recently released the 2018 Farmer Feedback report for Crop Protection companies in the US and Canada. The purpose of this study is to enable Crop Protection companies to strengthen their relationship with farmers by tracking the extent, quality and impact of their interactions with farmers.

The following are a few key insights derived from the USA report.

  • For major CP companies, the primary growth opportunity is to get existing customers to use more of their products (not to find new customers).  Direct mail is extensively used by CP companies to move customers from use of 1 product to 2 products. Rep farm visits and grower meetings are used extensively to move customers from 3 products to 4 or more products.
  • Field activities have a powerful impact on the number of products that farmers buy from a CP company. On average, farmers who participate in a field tour, attend a product information meeting or visit a company at a tradeshow use 0.7 additional CP products from that company; 1.5 additional products if the rep visits their farm.
  • Media is linked to willingness to recommend companies but has limited impact on product purchases. Most farmers do not think that media advertising is useful, and in fact recall of media is less effective than other types of interactions with farmers. Recall of TV advertising seems to have no impact on purchases. Direct mail is more effective than other media types in expanding the number of products used by customers.
  • Promotional activities are seldom utilized but are effective in generating increased business. Many farmers think that product samples, grower programs and company websites are very useful. Customers who participate in a grower program use more CP products from that company.
  • Multiple types of interactions with farmers are required to maximize the strength of customer relationships.  With no interactions, very few crop protection customers feel aligned with those manufacturers. By contrast, about three-quarters of those customers who report 7 or more different touchpoints are strongly aligned with those manufacturers.

The report contains information about the following topics:

  • The extent and quality of direct contact between CP manufacturers and farmers.
  • The impact of those interactions on customer relationships and use of products from those companies.
  • Tactics used by CP companies to expand the number of their products used by their customers.
  • The strength of company relationships with farmers.
  • Farmer perceptions of company strengths and weaknesses.
  • Performance of company reps.
  • Company market positions including number of customers, average number of products used, product satisfaction and unaided company awareness.

The report delivers actionable insights that clients can use to evaluate how they interact with farmers.

By President

Mike’s extensive experience in all aspects of agri-business led him to discover the tremendous value of customer insight and how it can be applied to developing successful business strategies. He founded Stratus Ag Research in 1996 and has since been helping clients identify critical issues and make practical, functional recommendations based on comprehensive and innovative research.

T:  519.826.0823 E:  MikeWeddel@StratusResearch.com