Marketing to Farm Businesses

Author: Justin Funk, Managing Partner, Agri Studies

I’ve written before about how I believe one of the more significant challenges in any business is finding the best way to get sales teams and marketing managers on the same page. Although this may seem like a simple task, it’s never as easy as it sounds. The fact of the matter is, when you look at the basic purposes of sales and marketing teams, it comes down to this: marketing is responsible for developing strategy, while salespeople are responsible for implementing strategy. Without proper lines of communication, understanding and buy-in, strategy — as good as the intention may be — can fall flat due to improper implementation.

While it’s unfair to point the finger at one group or another, there are things both sides of the aisle can do to create alignment. We talk more about bridging this gap in our Marketing to Farm Businesses program, which is beneficial for both sales and marketing professionals, those new to the industry, veterans and everyone in between.

If you’re new to the industry, this program will help you learn more about agriculture in order to better support your marketing role. During the course, we offer insight into the nuances associated with marketing in agriculture to help anyone from a non-ag background establish a solid foundation to succeed in the industry.

If you’re a territory sales manager, regional sales manager or district sales manager, you’ll benefit from this program as it will walk you through meaningful territory plans that will help you support sales activities. You’ll learn to identify ways to design territorial marketing activities that build on your company’s overarching marketing strategy and help support sales activities in the field.

If you’re a marketing coordinator, Marketing to Farm Businesses will help you learn more about marketing in order to better support sales teams. During the program, we walk through the fundamentals of agricultural marketing, giving you a better understanding that can be used to help design and implement integrated marketing programs to support your company’s sales activities.

If you’re a retail manager, you’ll develop meaningful plans for your retail business during the program, gaining insight into both qualitative and quantitative areas of marketing that will help your ag retail business succeed in a competitive market.

If you’re a sales manager, you’ll learn how to provide your team with the skills they need to effectively do their job. Your sales team is responsible for carrying out the company’s sales and marketing objectives, and giving them a solid foundation that allows them to better understand the company’s marketing strategy in order to design and implement more effective territorial marketing plans to support sales activities in the field is priceless.

Beyond the Blog

Hear more from Justin Funk and Scott Downey at the Marketing to Farm Businesses professional development program November 1-3, 2022 on Purdue University’s West Lafayette, IN campus. You’ll learn to think like a marketer and define your role in implementing marketing strategy — whether you’re in marketing or sales. Register now!


Resetting the Table

The food production and distribution industry is increasingly at the forefront of public discussion and debate. Is organic food a fade or growth market? Will “industrial farming” continue to dominate food production? What are the future prospects of “local” food? What role will automation and robotics play in future food production, processing and distribution? How will climate change shape the future of the food and agribusiness industries? What is the future of biotech and GMOs in the industry? These are simply a few of the questions Rob Paarlberg discusses and attempts to answer in his engaging book, Resetting the Table: Straight Talk About the Food We Grow and Eat.

How Farmers Markets Support Local Agriculture

Farmers markets are a popular way to support local agriculture and expand direct-to-consumer sales. For consumers, they provide an avenue for them to purchase goods not often sold in grocery stores; however, the COVID-19 pandemic heavily impacted farmers markets around the country. As they return, some cities have implemented social distancing and capacity restrictions. Therefore, it is imperative that farmers markets and vendors work together strategically to provide the best experience for consumers.

How to Tighten Your Grasp During Industry Shifts

There’s no double that the ag and seed industries have experienced major changes over the last 5-10 years, with the last two years greatly accelerating these changes across all levels. Mergers, acquisitions, cost saving initiatives, the pandemic and much more have impacted our daily operations. With such a dynamic and fluid marketplace, it can be difficult to make sense of these shifts; however, those who don’t attempt to keep up can quickly be left behind.