With the Australian Agriculture industry about to enter a period of significant change and growth, the role of market research is set to become increasingly more important to understanding the needs and wants of Australia’s farm decision makers. Australia as an innovative leader and producer of high quality produce is in a rare position to meet the changing demands of the global food system.

Projected growth in populations, export markets and the burgeoning wallets of middle class Asia present an opportunity for Australian farmers to become increasingly profitable. However the challenges of predicted increases in climate volatility, the cost price squeeze and shifting demographics amongst Australian family farms towards a new era of technical skills and digital adoption present potential barriers for the prospects of Australian family farms.

How the Australian Agriculture Industry, the least subsidised in the western world will respond to these challenges depends on the ability of all stakeholders to get on the same page. This is the critical role Market Research will play in the Australian Agriculture Industry. Sophistication in market research, partnered with the long standing, simple goal of talking to the customers that matter about the things that matter to them will continue to drive productivity and profitability growth in Australian Agriculture.

Too often than not, Market research is undertaken in a manner that doesn’t target suitable prospects. For a firm unfamiliar with the Australian agriculture industry, it can be very difficult to segment the Australian farmers into meaningful, relevant segments. This in turn erodes the ability for research firms and the companies they represent to extract worthwhile insights. Furthermore, Farmers are inundated with research, especially in their email inbox’s that aren’t relevant to their own operation, which has done much to disenfranchise the farmers from sharing insights that could benefit them in the long term. Additionally research firms relying on big data and IOT platforms to inform decisions regarding Australian Agriculture will be held back by the continued disparity and inefficiency of digital infrastructure throughout the majority of rural Australia. Communicating directly with Australia’s farmers is still the best way to understand the needs and wants of Australian farmers.

To ensure that market research is beneficial for all stakeholders, it is important that research is undertaken with the farmers that are relevant; about the issues, products and services that are relevant to them. A Data Driven approach to research is fundamental. Farmers are short of time and constantly under pressure, by ensuring the research process is efficient and flexible without compromising the integrity of the information collected, research can be highly effective.

KG2 using Australia’s largest Independent database segments farmers by farm type and size to ensure that market research campaigns are directly targeted at the farmers that matter, at a time that is convenient with their operations daily and monthly routines. Market research whether it is over the phone or through digital means relies entirely on respondents understanding the context for the research and the researcher effectively communicating between farmer and agribusiness. Making the research process convenient for farmers and assuring that their time and insights are valued is a fundamental part of the market research process.

With a shared goal of increasing the productivity and profitability of Australian Agriculture, the onus is on Agribusiness understanding the needs and wants of Australian farmers and conversely, Agribusiness being able to effectively develop and market innovations that can empower the same farmers. Market research is the linchpin that will ensure that Australian Agricultures future is heading towards its goal of $100 billion by 2030.

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