The Evolution of Agrimarketing

The Biggest Trends in Agrimarketing (from 2020 and Beyond)

A World of Change

It seems that for agriculture, change has been the status quo for some time. From the xxx. Big 5 merger activity to smaller-scale upheavals, companies of all sizes are bending under the pressure, forced to abandon their old ways to satiate the needs of evolving consumer, market and grower demands. While the industry has never been a stranger to change, it seems increasingly certain that we are currently in the greatest state of evolution — maybe even revolution — that ag has ever faced.

At Think Shift, we believe ag’s current state creates an opportunity: For the brands willing to dive head-first into the new reality, to make wholesale shifts in the way they operate and abandon “the way things are” in favor of leaning into change, there exists a chance to differentiate and shape the curve, rather than merely keeping up.

In this piece, we’ll speak to the rapid change our industry faces and the key trends that will shape the future of agrimarketing. This includes the potential forms of disruption that will challenge and alter our industry, the larger shifts in sales and marketing that we need to understand and ultimately champion, how companies navigate in the shift from traditional to digital practices and how corporate culture is becoming more important than ever in a landscape of continued consolidation.

Agridisruption – What Got Us Here Won’t Get Us There

We’ll begin with some of the largest and most disruptive trends taking place in the ag industry. We call these “industry disruptors,” as they affect more than a single or specific area of ag and generally leave a lasting mark on the industry for years to come.

For each of these, there is no easy agrimarketing solution, especially given the fact that what worked in the past may not solve these issues going forward. We recommend agrimarketers open themselves to new strategies and ways of thinking to address these issues, rather than looking for tactical fixes, as many of these trends aren’t “fixable.”

Agrimarketing – The Toolkit Keeps Getting Bigger (and Better)

EVERY COMPANY HAS A HEART AND SOUL. ASK YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING…

While the industry is facing a spate of new challenges, the good news is that innovation and automation continue to add new and vastly smarter weapons into your marketing arsenal. These tools can deliver truly transformative results, and while it can be tempting to sample them all, it’s important to remember that moderation is key. Identify the trends that seem to work best for your business, and start small — otherwise, you risk spreading efforts across too many tactics, initiatives and innovations to be effective at any single one.


Agridigital – Get Ready for Pre-Commerce

Though we believe it’s only a matter of time, there is still a great deal of speculation around whether e-commerce will make a true impact in traditional ag. However, many of the trends that are driving agridigital best practices stem from e-commerce-based thinking. So for agrimarketers looking to improve their digital return on investments, it’s time to embrace the pre-commerce mindset, which underlies most of the following agridigital trends:

Agri-Culture – Managing Culture Isn’t Just the C-Suite’s Job

At Think Shift, we believe an organization’s culture is the biggest driver of their brand (link to Culture Drives Brand eBook). While the act of intentionally defining corporate culture is the responsibility of the executive team, agrimarketers also play a critical role: they are the ones who leverage their company culture to bring their brands to life through every physical and virtual touchpoint. To this extent, it’s important for agrimarketers to understand some of the biggest trends in the world of “agri-culture,” including:


Change is Afoot

While the constant barrage of industry challenges, marketing innovations, and broad-spectrum change may feel daunting, remember — you are not alone.

With the right colleagues and agency (or agencies) by your side, you should feel like each of the above trends present an opportunity to explore new potential, to stand out from the competition and to hone your craft as a progressive agrimarketer. By remaining cognizant of industry trends and being willing to lean into and grow with change, rather than holding fast to old, tired habits, you can steer your brand into a brighter future.

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