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!


Non-traditional Lenders in the Ag Credit Markets

Commercial banks and the Farm Credit System have been the dominant lenders to farmers for the past century, but new participants have entered the ag credit markets in recent years. This group includes ag input suppliers, and in more recent times, specialized collateral-based lenders that use land or other assets as the collateral for their farm loans. These “non-traditional lenders” have been consistently capturing market share in the agricultural credit markets since the 1980s financial crisis in agriculture. In 2019, they held almost 13% of the total farm sector debt (USDA) and accounted for 30% of the active loans based on data from the Kansas Farm Management Association. We know little about these non-traditional lenders because they do not face the same public reporting requirements as traditional lenders. The purpose of our study — Strategic Behavior of Non-traditional Lenders in the Agricultural Credit Markets — was to examine the credit products, operational performance and business models of these new players in the ag credit markets.

Farmers’ Purchasing Behavior and Implications for Suppliers’ Go-To-Market Strategies

Every four years, the Purdue University Center for Food and Agricultural Business conducts the Large Commercial Producer (LCP) survey, which collects data from approximately 2,000 farmers across the U.S. This survey has consistently shown that farmers behave differently when buying different inputs, meaning suppliers should be cognizant of these factors when designing their go-to-market strategies.

Creating Social Impact with an Eye Towards Profitability

One thing that has always been clear to those in agribusiness is how closely our communities and businesses are united. While other industries are beginning to realize that managing the ecosystem’s health is the right thing to do to sustain long-term business, farmers and food production organizations inherently understand this.