How to effectively segment the agricultural market, so that the segments are useful in sales activities?
Our client, a leader in crop protection products, had in the past conducted segmentation of the agricultural market. Results of this project had served the company well for a few years. However, recently they had been receiving more and more feedback that the segmentation is confusing. Therefore, the client needed to create new definitions for the segments, ones that would be more precise and practical from the point of view of the daily activities of marketing and sales.
It turned out that it is necessary to conduct studies that will allow for a better understanding of the industry. The results of the study would make it possible to verify and improve the structure of the segments of the agricultural market, so that the segments are coherent, easy to distinguish and adapted to the real market situation.
Segmentation of the agricultural market by creating marketing personas
Our team of researchers suggested abandoning the traditional approach of describing segments. Instead, we proposed creating a marketing persona for each segment. This was to add depth and liveliness to the segmentation, thereby improving the understanding of the structure and definition of the individual segments.
To make our segmentation of the agriculture market well adapted to the market and consumers of products offered by our client, we conducted a survey among farmers. They took the form of in-depth interviews with farmers representing each of the segments. The interviews were held in the respondents’ place of residence or work. Each interview was carried out by skilled moderators with experience in the field of psychology. This way, we were able to better understand our client’s target group – their ways of decision-making, attitude towards their business, as well as general views and way of thinking.
Comprehensible and easy to use market segments
The segments created using the technique of personas are not only clear and intelligible, but also very practical in terms of marketing and sales activities.
Users of the new definitions of segments appreciated the advantages that stemmed from our approach:
- Personas are characters representing a typical customer. They are not the “average” consumer of goods or services, but rather a concrete (although fictional) person. This makes it easier to imagine how the customer functions in real life, what they like, avoid, fear and appreciate. Personas tend to engage the imagination, therefore facilitating the understanding and application of segments, e.g. by the sales and marketing department.
- The technique of building a persona is commonly used in the design of utility and planning marketing campaigns. Regrettably, it is rarely used in research projects. In this project the method has proven to be a powerful and effective alternative to traditional descriptions of segments.
- Applying this approach enabled the development of better, more effective (and better suited to the audience) marketing communications – both tools and content. Our client had the opportunity to see how much better sales and marketing activities now respond to the needs, desires and concerns of customers.