Farmers are at once among the most traditional and innovative of business people. Quick to adopt new technology when it makes business sense (drones, autonomous tractors, GPS, robotic milkers), they are also creatures of habit, meeting at coffee shops, attending crop tours and sticking with land line telephones, because it’s the way it’s always been done.
So how do farmers stack up when it comes to information seeking and media consumption habits?
The 2020 Media Channel Study, put out by the Agri Media Committee, sheds some light. Although the study is US based, a similar study conducted in 2018 demonstrated the media consumption habits of Canadian and US farmers track very closely together. The results are borne out by proprietary research conducted by Glacier Farm Media, the leading publisher of agricultural titles, traditional and digital, in Canada.
In short, farmers demonstrate one striking difference from consumers when it comes to use of media – they seem to be consuming traditional media at similar or even higher levels than ever before, while layering new digital and social media channels on top. It makes farmers amongst the most intense media consumers anywhere.
Some top-line results from the studies include:
As we said in a report in 2018, agri-marketers who completely abandon traditional media in favour of digital do so at their peril. A strategic and integrated marketing approach, featuring both traditional and emerging media channels, continues to be the best strategy to cover all the bases. In other words – print is dead, long live print in agriculture!
And as an aside, in terms of what drove Canadian agricultural related online searches in 2020, the Google Year in Search reveals that Agriculture Canada was the single most searched term, followed by ‘What is agriculture’ and ‘Agriculture jobs’. All three of these terms are most likely tied to the COVID-19 situation, as the agri-food sector was clearly in the spotlight, especially at the front end of the pandemic.
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