How to grow trust with down-to-earth farmers
Wendy Unger-Moore, international marketing director at Kramp, explains how she discovered that authenticity is the key to cut through with an agri-audience.
If you’ve ever eaten food grown in Europe, you’ve benefitted from the parts Kramp supplies to farmers to help produce it. Last year was Kramp’s 70th anniversary – 70 years of keeping farmers farming. Our 2021 objective was to build the awareness and consideration this longevity deserves and reinforce that Kramp is the go-to-brand for farmers.
Agri-marketing’s comfort-zone is the presentation of products and services, rational arguments made to no-nonsense people. So how do we stand out?
Along with our agency, mReaction we wanted to go beyond products and services and lead on superior experience to bring us closer to customer needs and help us differentiate more for our audience. But how should we talk about this ‘superior experience’ with possibly the most down-to-earth audience in marketing without wandering into platitudes? These are farmers, after all, they can smell bullshit better than anyone!
Our first step was to listen and really understand what our audiences value. We learnt that while each type of farmer has different needs, one thing is universal: farming is deeply cultural. It is handed down from generation to generation and farmers are not exclusively motivated by profit.
Next we took great care to speak their language. So often in the B2B space, we see brands claiming things like “we make custom solutions” – when all they’re really doing is making potential customers switch off with a big “so what?” But when you talk to your audience in their own language, the message becomes more authentic. Empathise with the things that keep them awake at night. For example, we focused on minimising stoppages at harvest time for arable farmers and on making life easier in a stressful environment for dairy farmers. Remember too that Kramp’s anniversary year landed during a global pandemic which heavily impacted food production. It was appropriate therefore that our ‘Generations’ campaign celebrated farmers and the essential work they do – during the pandemic and beyond.
Looking authentic is critical too. In agri, like other industries, the audience can tell if you are faking it. We made the mistake of using models on an earlier shoot, but there’s no substitute for the real deal working outdoors look – so since then we’ve only used real farmers and dealers in our comms. As well as being authentic, they also have interesting backstories we explored through our social media channels.
Finally, choosing ‘the right’ channels was also very important. We tasked mReaction to be as creative as possible with channel planning – and they went beyond the obvious with ideas including a cookbook of recipes handed down through generations of the European farming community; YouTube how-to videos built using Google analytics and data science to track the most commonly searched ‘how-to’ enquiries; and by working with agri-influencer Tom Pemberton to help convey the Kramp experience in his own down-to-earth Lancashire style.
In summary: be authentic, show genuine empathy, and choose a marketing partner like mReaction who can bring engaging new ideas to tell your story.