SI EQ Agricultural Trend Predictions

February 28, 2022
The marketing world is constantly changing, and at times it seems unpredictable. That’s why SI EQ has a number of tools that make things a little less hazy. By using several data gathering tools and software, as well as adding a good portion of human innovation, we are able to stay on top of the latest agricultural trends and even jump ahead of them. Keep reading for a little taste of our secret sauce, industry tips, and even some trends that you can expect to boom this year in agriculture.

How we stay on top of trends

There’s no single solution to staying on top of trends. It requires a combination of tactics- following the best marketing blogs, getting the latest newsletters, and simply observing the world around you. As helpful as those things are, though, they are only part of the equation for SI EQ. The biggest piece of the pie is in the consumer data. 

Many agencies utilize first-party data and market share data for sales implementation. But it’s another level of determination that makes us take further steps. SI EQ has an all-access pass into data that many agencies can’t reach until months and even years later and that is thanks to Google Premier. SI EQ prides itself on being a 2022 Google Premier Partner, a title only the top 3% of Google ad account users in the country can claim. This title was given to us by meeting several requirements pertaining to client growth, client retention, product diversification, and annual ad spends. 

Through the Google Premier program, we have access to exclusive marketing tools and technologies that allow us to see predictive digital behaviors. Some of these tools include consumer insight reports, product beta, and more. The data from the Google Trends reports pair beautifully with market share data and first-party data to create more opportunities for our clients. 

One example of how these different data can work together is when we discovered that consumers were interested in agricultural e-commerce even before COVID-19. 

Navigating the major trend of E-commerce in the Ag world

Through first-party data, we found out that there was a 356% YOY increase in “Buy Online” searches across our dealerships. But contrary to popular belief, interest in equipment and agricultural e-commerce was spotted long before covid. “Covid did not change behavioral traits, what it did was accelerate behavioral traits,” said Tim Whitley, CEO and CIO of SI EQ. From first-party data, third-party data, our work in the automotive space and Google Trends; SI EQ predicted that e-comm would take off in the Ag space, but covid was the push to get it off the ground. 

Prior to covid, only 22% of surveyed agricultural dealers saw sales from digital channels but that number spiked to 88% during and post covid. That was the biggest jump in any category. Those who addressed the original 22% before covid are now ahead of the curve. “Tractor Supply saw this thing coming before covid as well. They poured a hefty budget into their e-commerce platform. So they were already accelerating in 2019. In 2020, they already had the platform and foundation to support the 88%,” said Whitley.

Now, other dealers are playing catch-up to support the increase in online demand by pouring into the foundation, the e-commerce website, something new to many dealers. “I think the problem historically is that there haven't been vendors that can offer e-commerce functionality…But now SI EQ and other agencies have the functionality to build and maintain e-commerce websites,” said Andrew Levenson, Director of Growth for MHP/Team SI. 

Trends to look forward to in Agriculture

Since many dealers are adjusting to the agriculture e-comm boom, we can expect to see many build up their online presence through various media.

Live Shopping
Live shopping can allow dealers to connect with their consumers in live time digitally creating that personalized feeling one gets by purchasing in person. This format typically includes a brand spokesperson showcasing the product and giving information on the product while consumers have the option to purchase. Think of a digital QVC. In 2017, China saw much success from this format and made about $3 billion in sales from the platform. That number rose to a jaw-dropping $171 billion in 2020. This craze has already started taking off in America and platforms such as Facebook and TikTok have begun implementing a Live Shopping feature to their platform.

A lot of equipment dealers are investing in video capabilities. This could also be a great way to connect with the consumer and show them a little more about your brand and equipment. There are many routes to take with this format whether it’s a dedicated YouTube channel or organic videos on Facebook. “I think it’s super important, especially for such a large purchase point like expensive tractors and machinery. I think having video resources can really walk people through their purchase,” said Levenson. Video marketing can be a happy medium for consumers who are unengaged with written content yet overwhelmed by live shopping and interactive media.

Marketing in a “Cookieless world”
There has been a lot of talk in the marketing world of a quickly approaching “cookie-less” world, which will prevent the use of 3rd party tracking cookies to target ads to the right audience in hopes to give users more privacy. Google has hopped on board with this approach and plans to depreciate the use of third-party cookies on their platforms in 2023. With that being said, we can expect to see alternative ways to track and advertise to a brand’s target audience. One way we are doing that at SIEQ is through Search Engine Optimization and keyword marketing. “We’re exploring new and better tools that allow us to identify the types of content that people are looking for, and from there we add in the human element that consumers today so crave,” said Alli Perkins, EQ SEO Manager. You can read more about some proposals happening now here on our blog.

Trends that will never die

In a world that is ever-changing, there are some things SI EQ believes will never change when it comes to marketing in the agriculture industry. That is rural radio and billboards. Billboards are a great way to target potential consumers in a specific area or to show that your dealership is located at an exit nearby. Whitley says that billboards are a great way to break through the digital “disruption” of modern media and get across your branding message. 
Rural radio, as well as digital radio, are also great ways to advertise to a tractor buyer as it helps break through the clutter of media on phones, tablets, and other devices when they’re in the cab. The mediums of radio and billboards have a mass reach for the consumers in this market. Rural areas might not always have 5G or the latest technology but they are likely to have the basics. With that being said, the people of rural areas have behavioral traits that have proven to be consistent with their use of traditional media, so these platforms are more than likely here to stay.

Despite the ever-changing market, one thing that has stayed consistent is that data is the most vital tool to navigate it. If you have any other questions about trends in the agricultural world don’t hesitate to reach out to us to see how you can stay ahead.

Written by Kennadi Harris
Share Article

Agriculture digital marketing google