Listening to the voice of your target audience can improve a product launch or help avoid a costly error.  That’s what one of our clients – a leading brand of cattle feed mixers – learned in the process of expanding their product into the dairy industry. Many within the client’s management simply wanted a survey of farmers to confirm the design and functionality of its current product line for this new market. The research process we designed revealed they’d be missing the mark by focusing on these superficial aspects of the product. Avant Marketing held ideation focus groups with dairy farmers across the United States that uncovered important distinctions between the needs of dairy farms compared to cattle feedlots.  The findings led to product design changes driven by differences in feed rations, feeding environments and operator expertise. A revised product design was prototyped and introduced to the market at a key dairy trade show where it was met with exceptional interest among dairy farmers.

One of the fundamentals in designing good research is to understand the market you intend to survey and use an appropriate method to assure optimal response.  Working on behalf of a leading commodity checkoff management group, Avant Marketing was asked to conduct a national study of growers to determine best practices and areas of improvement for education in protocols related to herbicide, pesticide and fungicide resistance.  This was of significant value to our client because of the amount of dollars they invest to improve the profitability of growers.  Noting the diversity of this audience and the average age of farmers is nearing 60, Avant Marketing chose to deploy a mail-out survey, proportionally distributed to the number of growers in each state.  The study delivered nationally projectable statistical results regarding current growing practices and guided our client to develop specific education programming on a state-by-state basis.

All marketers want to ensure that both their product offering as well as communications are custom-tailored to their market.  Farm Credit, like many marketers, services a very diverse audience and one association asked Avant Marketing to assist in segmentation analysis of their customer base, contrasting full-time farming customers and part-time farmers (the most difficult audience to understand).  Through a series of focus groups and a comprehensive mail-out survey, we identified seven full-time farmer segments and six part-time farmer segments each with unique financial needs. Our research not only modified the association’s product and communications to the different segments but led to organizational changes to service prioritized market segments.

Knowing how you rank in terms of brand awareness and usage are essential for brand management. It is even more critical when you are a regional player going up against larger national brands. A regional corn hybrid marketer enlisted Avant Marketing’s agricultural capabilities to provide longitudinal brand research – a sophisticated observational study over an extended period. The research program we devised not only tracked brand awareness and usage but delivered to our client essential attitudinal information that illuminated an advantage over both the national and regional competitive brands.