Multi-Media Marketing in Rural America
OUTdrive Episode 47 with Jeff Moore
In this episode of OUTdrive, Cliff visits with Jeff Moore about multi-media marketing in rural America. Jeff is strategic sales director at Farm Progress, one of America’s most trusted sources for agricultural news and resources. He is passionate about building relationships with others and works with clients across the nation to build integrated marketing plans to engage rural American audiences.
Farm Progress has been a leading source of information for those in the agricultural industry for over 100 years. As agricultural technology changes, so do the methods used to communicate with people in the industry. Today, Farm Progress helps its clients engage rural American audiences through a multi-medium approach that includes print, digital, television, radio and events.
Keep reading to learn more as Cliff and Jeff discuss how the Farm Progress team effectively connects with rural American audiences through multi-media marketing, the importance of evolving to meet customer needs and leveraging data to deliver relevant communications. They also talk about media consumption trends in rural America and the importance of finding a work-life balance.
The Benefits of Integrated Marketing Plans
Farm Progress has been effectively reaching audiences for over 100 years and the team has no plans of slowing down. As technology continues to change, Farm Progress has recognized the importance of adapting and evolving to meet the changing needs of their customers and clients. Today, Jeff and the Farm Progress team develop strategic, multi-media marketing plans for clients across America. Integrated marketing plans are vital for companies wanting to effectively reach their audiences, inspire them to action and maximize their return on investment.
“I think in this world today, you have to have an integrated approach,” says Jeff. “We participate with some other ag media companies and we do a survey every two years on ag media usage to find out how farmers, producers and rural America get their content. And what’s interesting is, we might be the only industry out there where print is still the number one medium. Other traditional media like radio and TV are second and third, and it’s no surprise, digital is growing.”
In a technology-driven world, it may come as a surprise that print continues to perform so strongly. Print is a key part of an integrated marketing plan and compliments other platforms like radio and digital. Integrating a variety of mediums is key to effectively reaching all the segments of your target audience.
Media Consumption Trends in Rural America
Print continues to perform well, but other platforms are growing rapidly. These changes have left many companies wondering which mediums will deliver the strongest return on investment. Media consumption trends in rural America show that people are consuming more content across all platforms. Jeff explains that understanding where your audience is and integrating their preferred platforms is the most effective way to reach them.
“Digital is going up fast, and people are adapting and using digital media more,” says Jeff. “Usually you think when something is rising, something is going to drop, but that’s not really what we’re seeing in media consumption. People are taking in more content [across the board].”
Whether it is reading the local newspaper in the morning, listening to the radio on the way to work, watching TV or scrolling social media in the evening, people are consuming more content than ever in new ways. But what does that mean for marketers?
“When you think about an integrated marketing plan, you have to really understand your customer and listen and hear what they’re saying,” says Jeff. “I think it’s important to know that we consume content from a lot of different places. So with any sort of marketing, you should use a multi-media approach, because one size or medium doesn’t fit all.”
When developing your strategic marketing plan, it’s important to listen and recognize where your audience is and build your plan around their needs. For Farm Progress, print is a preferred platform, but for other companies, digital media may be the primary medium for communicating with audiences. Recognizing where your audiences are and adapting your messaging to fit that medium is key to an effective integrated marketing plan.
Leveraging Data for Strategic Targeting and Relevant Communications
Recognizing your audience’s preferred platforms also enables you to leverage data for strategic targeting and distribute relevant communications. Social platforms like Facebook and YouTube are growing, and many people are consuming content through social media. However, many users do not realize that social media is a great way to consume content related to their industry.
“I think sometimes you don’t even necessarily realize that you’re consuming content,” says Jeff. “Our ag media usage survey backs up that Facebook is the number one platform and YouTube is probably second. But a lot of people will say, ‘Well, I’m using Facebook to see pictures of my kids or my grandkids. I don’t necessarily go there to do research or get information. But when I see an ad on Facebook, I recognize that event or that trucker or seed company or whatever.’”
Consuming content online is different than reading the local newspaper. Both are great sources for information but digital content provides new opportunities for marketers. Through digital mediums, marketers are able to leverage data and strategically distribute relevant content to users in new and effective ways.
“Your online behavior dictates what kind of ads and content you get served up,” says Cliff. “It is a little spooky if you think about it, but at the same time, from a marketing perspective, it’s pretty cool. The advertisers out there know that I have this interest and they’re giving me information and content that I’m interested in. So it’s going to be more effective, I’m going to be more engaged with it and the results are going to be better for that advertiser.”
Leveraging data to provide relevant information is a core part of any marketing plan, not just digital. Whether it is through a targeted video advertisement on YouTube or a spot on a specific radio station, a data-driven approach will help you effectively reach your target audience.
Finding a Work-Life Balance
Jeff is passionate about helping clients reach their target audiences through strategic marketing plans, but he understands a strong work-life balance is key to success in all areas of life. He shares insights to how he balances his work with his family and faith.
“I want to have a work life, family life and a faithful life,” says Jeff. “I think if you work too much, you’re going to lose out on family time. And I also think that will take away from how good of an employee you can be, so I think trying to have a balance in each of those areas is important. That means when my kids are home, and it’s time to eat and have an evening together, really being present and putting the smartphone away. Another part, as I said, is I’m trying to have a stronger journey in my faith, so that includes reading the Bible and some other faithful publications to stay sharp there. So I think if you can be balanced in those three areas, they overlap, and they help you as an overall person.”
Learn more about integrated and multi-media marketing in rural America from Cliff and Jeff in this episode of OUTdrive.
Visit www.farmprogress.com and www.farmprogressshow.com to learn more about Farm Progress, upcoming events and stay informed about the agricultural industry.