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Penton Ag audience research

For those of us in ag marketing, our information consumption and needs have changed over the past several years. More, faster, better – is how we want our business information. What about our target markets: Producers?

 Know thy audiences

Penton Ag’s recent producer digital-use research project zeroed in on the HOW, WHEN and WHAT of our readers and users on this subject. We surveyed farmers from across the nation to update our knowledge base and keep us on target with their priorities. Our “Ag Producer Research, Info Needs & Platform Use” study is a large, involved project and I’ll chunk the data into easy takeaway bites.

Graph page 16

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The only way is up. More than half of today’s producers spend 2+ hours online for farm-related info. Study page 16.

Graph - page 13

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Heavier digital use – 53% of producers report spending 2+ hours on the Internet for farm information each workday. Study page 13.

Graph page 18

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Mobile access is 24/7,very portable, and provides on-demand access to information and people. It culminates in access-opportunities for marketers. Study page 18.

Graph page 17

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Mobile access is key to producer and here are the most popular activities. Weather is a popular mobile access subject – also the No. 2 “keeps me up at night” reported topic. Study page 17.

Graph report page 19

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Almost a third of producers use apps for specific, defined and narrow purpose. Weather is always a hot topic with farmers and this bears out on several study questions, read on. Study page 19.

Changing digital reliance

More than a half (53%) of producers report they spend 2+ hours each day on the Internet for farm-related purposes. (See graph at left, study page 16.)

  • Definite shift: More than 2x farmers spend 3+ hours connected each day than producers who reported spending less than 1 hour online per day.
  • Heavy man, heavy: 75% of producers report they are heavier users of digital ag information sources today, compared to two years ago. A significant portion (41%) of these heavy users are “heavy-heavy” users today. (See graph at left, study page 13.)

Key findings – Mobile use

More key producer digital and mobile indicators:

Farmers are massive mobile users.

  • The majority (55%) of farmers are checking their mobile devices multiple times throughout the day for farm-related information. See graph for the full breakdown. (See graph at left, study page 18.)

What are they doing on their mobile devices?

  • Most popular types of information accessed on mobile devices:

Weather – 84%
News – 64%
Market data – 63%
Search – 58%
Navigation – 50%
See graph for more activities on mobile devices (See graph at left, study page 17)

31% use farming-related apps. Apps that were named most frequently used are highly specific with a very defined, narrow purpose. (See graph at left, study page 19.)

  • Top apps reported:

Farm Futures
Weed ID
Climate Corp

Key mobile takeaway

The study shows that marketers have greater on-going opportunities throughout each workday to connect with producers via mobile. Indications are that this trend will continue to grow this year and beyond. In the midst of this key mobile growth, producers aren’t ready to give up print … much … yet. Only 30% of producers tell us they use print information sources less today than they did two years ago. We aren’t at the tipping point yet for the shift from print to digital. That’s why we need to stay in touch with our readers and users.

Get more

Our next post from this research will dive into age-related and farm size-related mobile trends. Contact your sales representative for the full study.

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