How do you ensure sustainable growth of your drip irrigation company? The key is to show to the farmers how your product saves their time and money. Yet, they might smirk when you mention systems and technology.
Yes, the presence of technology is increasing in all industries, and agriculture isn’t an exception. But this industry might be a tough one for gaining the trust of farmers, selling your products, and growing your drip irrigation company.
Farmers are much more emotionally invested in their business and you have to establish strong trust to comprehend how farmers decide to invest in technology and systems.
Trust = more sales for your drip irrigation business and growth. Here’s what to do.
1. Have a Marketing Plan for Your Drip Irrigation Business
Marketing is the number one thing to help you grow your drip irrigation company. Yes, it requires an initial investment, and it is a never-ending process, but it always brings profit.
How, when you hear “plans, strategies…”, you might think of expensive documents that leave you more confused than you were before.
Let’s skip that for now, because you’re looking for quick growth. Here’s a simple marketing plan we have used in our company for a long time.
- The first step is to create a buyer persona. Describe your ideal farmer. What do they do, what are their thoughts, concerns, doubts…? Survey current customers and learn as much as you can about their dreams and fears. Describe them in as much detail as possible and you’ll have a clear idea about who your marketing efforts are directed to.
- Use these insights to channel your messages through ads – newspaper, billboards, internet. For many, the first association for a farmer is an older man, but that’s not entirely true. Young people are also engaged in farming, especially with the growing use of digital technologies in agriculture and the possibility to apply smart devices for more efficient farming.
- When planning your budget for social media ads, keep in mind that the average CPC (cost per click on your ad) for social media advertising in the agriculture industry is around $0.62. In many industries, it’s 4-5x more. This means it’s not a saturated niche and you could achieve decent results with a smaller advertising budget.
- Send introductory letters to farmers and any promotional material you have–reach out to them instead of waiting for farmers to find you.
- Educate people on what you do constantly. Writing a professional blog about drip irrigation makes people perceive you as an expert and gives you credibility. If in doubt whose drip irrigation system to purchase, a blog that covers some of the most common issues in the field can help clients decide in your favor.
Be consistent and you’ll see results.
2. Be There for Your Farmers on Social Media
Word-of-mouth is the best kind of marketing, but in the 21st century, an online presence is a must because… Your competitors are there, too.
Besides, your target audience uses different channels to explore their farming options, they’re tech-savvy or getting familiar with the benefits of technology, and enabling them to find you and read about your business is the first step toward growth.
Being present and active on social media networks is a low-budget tactic for gaining more exposure and attracting customers.
Don’t forget to build a plan – this article on social media strategy for farmers might help you!
3. Focus on Customer Loyalty – Build Trust With Farmers
For almost 90% of companies, customer experience is the critical factor that helps them increase their customer retention rates and boost customer loyalty. And this isn’t surprising, since acquiring new customers may cost up to five times more than retaining your old ones.
To ensure customer loyalty, you can:
- Provide exceptional customer service. Over 85% of people are ready to make another purchase if they’re happy with how you treat them. Provide help during installation of your drip irrigation system and while the farmer is getting used to the new technology.Show patience and empathy–genuine care goes a long way in building rapport.
- Create customer referral programs. Reward your loyal customers who refer their friends and acquaintances to your business by offering discounts or free maintenance for the irrigation system to every customer who recommends your company to a fellow farmer.
4. Offer Additional Services
Expand your level of expertise from distributing systems to repair, retrofitting, and maintenance services as well. Offering these services is great for customer retention as clients will perceive your company as the expert in the field.
You will make additional profit, but you will also attract new clients, as you are offering a complete service. The need for this type of service is genuine, and customers will find it natural to come to your company for a solution.
Annual maintenance is a way to prevent any serious issues with the drip irrigation system. Thus, it has the power to save your clients’ money as they will not have to pay for extensive repairs.
Retrofitting is adding new parts of the product that did not exist at the time of manufacturing. With constant innovation in terms of drip irrigation technology, it is only natural that farmers will want to stay up to date with the latest technology.
If you offer to retrofit as part of your services, your drip irrigation business will grow and attract new customers.
For example, adding Smart Watering components to automate irrigation might make you more competitive on the market. We use irrigation sensors and a mobile app to help farmers focus on more important jobs, while watering their plants in three taps on their screen.
5. Apply Farmers’ Feedback on Your Product
Surveying your customers is essential through all business phases. Interviewing them to create a buyer person sets you up for success, but it’s equally important to talk to your customers after you’ve installed your products.
Is there something they don’t like? What’s been helpful? Is the system easy for them to use and maintain? These are just some questions to ask.
After you gather this feedback, work on applying it to your product and how you market it. “Field” information is critical since it comes from real people and your product put into practice, not just what you believe your customers need.
Grow Your Drip Irrigation Company Just Like Your Plants
Growing your drip irrigation company requires careful listening to what your customers need and being there for them. Invest in marketing and talk to the farmers often–they’re the best source of ideas on how you can further improve your product.
Need more ideas on growing your irrigation business? We talk to drip irrigation systems suppliers every day and make affiliate partnerships with them to make your business more profitable and competitive. Reach out today and get to know our offer that gives an unfair advantage to drip irrigation system suppliers on the market.