Marketing Research:  An even greater need in Agribusinesses today

In an earlier article, we discussed four conditions under which marketing research is of even greater need than is typical:

  1. Market dynamics are changing – rapidly.
  2. The target customer is changing – rapidly.
  3. Competitor approaches are changing – rapidly.
  4. Your organization is changing – rapidly.

Put another way, the greater and/or faster the pace of change, the greater the need and potential value for marketing research.  Intuition is less reliable, in-house data ages quickly, more unanswered questions exist, upsides for the right strategy are greater, and risks for poor choices are larger.

So, why a greater need for Marketing Research in Agribusiness today?  It is not a stretch to indicate the pace of change has never been greater in the agriculture industry than it is today.  We face significant driving forces for each of the major conditions described above.  These lead to implications, opportunities and challenges, and ultimately unanswered questions which must be addressed to deliver the results you need in an evolving market place.

Specifically, we are faced with the following major driving forces: (not exhaustive)

  • End Consumers will demand some mix of the following: more, different, inexpensive, safer, higher quality, healthier, locally produced, and/or reliable food.
  • The market will continue to become more global influencing where food is produced, distributed, and consumed.
  • Government policies and regulations will influence product/technology introduction, rules of commerce, producer strategies, and more.
  • Major mergers across the value chain will alter business relationships, product/service/technology offers, approaches to market, pricing, technology innovations and commercialization, and more.
  • Changes in the farmer/producer/rancher population will alter: who makes decisions, how decisions are made, how information is accessed, the nature of the supplier-customer relationship, willingness to try new products/services/technologies/approaches and more.
  • Increasing technology development and use will influence: product and service demand, communication approaches, information access, how food is produced, decision making processes, and more.

The strategic implications from these driving forces are significant.  Further, questions from these driving forces are numerous.  Categorically, there is a tremendous need to understand the following across the agribusiness value chain and by industry participants to support effective decision making:

  • Current and future market size and trending.
  • Perceptions of market dynamics and current business strategies/approaches in the market.
  • Current and emerging actions/behaviors/purchase intent considering shifts in the market.
  • Potential actions in response to new offers, strategies, and tactics. 

To prepare your business for these specific driving forces in agribusiness, arm your organization with high quality marketing research that answers critical questions, provides actionable insights, supports decision making, and delivers the results you seek.  The need for marketing research has not been greater in agribusiness than it is today. 

About the Author:

Robert Weaver has provided management and marketing consulting insight for nearly 20 years to leading agribusinesses.  He believes that high quality marketing research is central to developing differentiating and sustainable strategies that deliver results.  He is the Vice President of Agribusiness for The Farnsworth Group.  Reach him at rweaver@thefarnsworthgroup.com or 317-241-5600 x. 104

Learn more about how The Farnsworth Group can support your organization at www.thefarnsworthgroup.com