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Agrimarketing : March 2008
March 2008 AgriMarketing 19 FOCUS ON: MARKETING TO THE RURAL LIFESTYLER SERVING THIS IMPORTANT CONSUMER Editor's note: We invited repre- sentatives of leading organizations who have archived high levels of success in the rural lifestyle market to share their thoughts about this important market segment. MASSEY FERGUSON by Steve Gorsuch, Director Livestock, Dairy, & Rural Lifestyle Duluth, GA In 2008, Massey Ferguson recognizes the importance of the rural lifestyle market as core of its continual focus to provide innovative solutions in farm equipment, service and support to its customers. The rural lifestyle market is an integral audi- ence in this effort because it is a continually grow- ing segment of customers who want, and in many cases, can afford technology, reliability, convenience, comfort and the service we can provide. The Massey Ferguson brand leverages our heritage of providing over 160 years of market-driven products, service and relationships with the emotional allure of the agrarian legacy that is drawing people to rural living. Our effort in marketing to the rural lifestyle audience begins by creating a unique experience which leads to the products, reinforcing the joy in the work. We're selling the sat- isfaction of a job well done, the feel- ing of sweat running down your neck, the mental stress relief that comes after the physical exhaustion of fence building, mowing pasture or baling hay. Massey brings our message for- ward through an integrated cam- paign including a strong Internet presence featuring a new micro site, www.mymasseyferguson.com; print brand advertising in numerous lifestyle targeted publications; televi- sion advertising; local radio advertis- ing; co-op and dealer support; farm show displays; events and other forms of local outreach. Because many rural lifestyle cus- tomers have moved from the city and this is their first experience with rural living, they need assistance and education. To meet this need, we held specialized training for our net- work of 800 U.S. and Canadian deal- ers this winter to help them under- stand these unique customers. This dealer training also high- lighted all aspects of the Massey Fer- guson brand experience touching our customers. It's more than just selling products, it's bringing a com- plete package to people that helps them accomplish their rural-living goals. We want our dealers to extend the commitment we're making to this market and instill confidence that Massey Ferguson will always be there to serve our customers' needs. NATIONWIDE AGRIBUSINESS by Craig Thomson VP, Sls & Marketing Des Moines, IA Nationwide Agribusiness with its affiliates, Allied Insurance and Nationwide, insure more farms in the U.S. than any other insurer. Our goal is to stay in front of new risks and provide innovative protection farmers need in an industry experi- encing rapid change. Late in 2005, as part of continu- ous research to monitor ag trends, we found data revealing a prolifera- tion of small farms and people mov- ing to rural acreages. Additional research showed that many of these people were new to rural living and potentially unaware of the unique liabilities surrounding farm ponds, outbuildings, livestock, and farm equipment, among many others. Nationwide Agribusiness offers a product tailored to small farms and people who choose a rural lifestyle: CountryChoice. It is not an expanded home- owner policy as some insurers offer, but an insurance prod- uct developed with the com- pany's extensive knowledge of and experience with small farm risks. The rural lifestyle market demo- graphic is extremely diverse, and finding ways to identify and com- municate with this market proved challenging. During 2007, Nation- wide Agribusiness collaborated with the newly launched Country Living Association, as well as with our Farm Bureau partners actively reach- ing out to this market in several states. We provide valuable insurance information in the "Ask An Expert" area of Country Living Association's Web site, and place articles as well as advertisements in Farm Bureau member publications that reach this market. We advertised in Living the Country Life throughout 2007 with a full page ad that corresponded to an adjacent one-column safety message that was tied to the editorial focus of each issue. In Rural Life, the adver- tising message and visuals mirrored other ads targeted to this market to gain additional reach and frequency. Nationwide Agribusiness achieved good visibility in this emerging market and watched our farm division grow in 2007, but we continue to be challenged on how to identify this widely diverse group as well as how best to reach them. (more on page 20) Gorsuch Thomson
Crop Life America