What Touchpoints Have the Greatest Reach and Effectiveness for Crop Protection Products?

Touch, one of the five senses, is an important way of learning about a physical object. Now consider touch as a metaphor for communicating with your customers. Through a long list of contact points, a company can ‘touch’ a customer to share ideas, to provide information about the features and benefits of their product, or to simply ‘keep in touch’. The list is indeed long, but which company touchpoints have the greatest reach and effectiveness with their customers?

In the summer and fall of 2019, Stratus completed a series of Brand Focus360 surveys with Canadian farmers. One of the markets studied was Eastern Canadian soybean herbicides, a market influenced by end market use (crush vs. Identity Preserved) and traits (herbicide-tolerant vs. conventional). The study examined many metrics ranging from grower brand perceptions to channel effort to brand promotion.

Considering promotion, growers were asked a series of questions about the sources of contact they had with the brands they used. Different sources of contact include media (traditional, social, and digital), direct company contact, and third party contact. The chart below illustrates the reach of some touchpoints for the average soybean herbicide brand and the effectiveness (success rate) for brand use. 

Take, for example, net any touchpoint: 50.8% of growers say that they experienced a touchpoint at least once (left graph).  Among those who said they experienced a touchpoint, on average 29.2% used the brand (right graph).

It is important for a company to understand both the reach and effectiveness of their touchpoints so that they know whether they are achieving the best ROI with their promotional resources. Consulting the graph again, 26.4% of growers experienced the average brand through a magazine ad.  As a measure of effectiveness, 30.3% of these growers then used the brand. Contrast this with radio ads: only 1.3% of respondents experienced this touchpoint, yet it was substantially more effective with 51.8% using the brand. A company can examine this data and ask: was the reach achieved with radio ads vs. their effectiveness for brand use worth the investment?

How about social media?  Many companies use social media platforms but taken as a whole, reach is very low at 7.2%.  However, effectiveness is quite good at 35.2%.  If using social media is a cornerstone in your communications strategy, the question may become: how do I increase the reach of my brand’s social media touchpoints?

Systematically evaluating touchpoint reach and effectiveness can provide valuable insights into what contact types are working for your brands and which ones provide the best return.  By using this information in your strategic planning process, decisions can be made about which touchpoints are important to your business and how they can be improved.

In 2020, Stratus will field Brand Focus360 studies in many crops and crop protection categories across Canada. Results from these studies will provide companies who purchase them with strategic insights for brand positioning, channel evaluations, promotions, and more. They are essential contributions to a company’s long-range planning process and resource allocation. 

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