Communication of Dutch farmers: What stands out?
More than 800 Dutch agri- and horticulturists participated in a communication inquiry performed by Agridirect.
In an online questionnaire they answered questions about their communication- and information behaviour. This resulted in a representative analysis of the (online) communication behaviour of agrarians. In this article you will read about the most important results of this research: an analysis on the most notable communication styles of farmers. Which channels are used? How often and with what purpose?
Summary of the results
Most important information channels
According to more than 68% of the agrarians the most important information channel to keep up to date on agricultural news is the trade journal. The second most important information channel is the internet with 60.6% of the votes. When decisions about investments are concerned consults with advisers/representatives are considered most important.
Like the research in 2016, trade journal Nieuwe Oogst has the largest reach in the agricultural sector (57.2%). Nieuwe Oogst is considered the most important trade journal by more than a quarter of the agricultural entrepreneurs. At some distance Nieuwe Oogst is followed by Boerderij Magazine (38%), and the journal Melkvee (25.6%). Boerderij is viewed by 1 in 5 businesses as the most important trade journal.
80% of agricultural entrepreneurs has visited one or more trade fairs in the past two years. This is comparable with the percentage in 2016. RMV Hardenberg is the most popular Dutch agricultural trade fair. This fair was visited by 25.5% of the respondents. With respect to 2016 this percentage has fallen with 3.1%. Other well-visited fairs are the RMV Gorinchem (24.9%), ATH Biddinghuizen (21.9%), and LIV Hardenberg (13.5%) . Since 2016 the percentages of the ATH and LIV have risen with 4.1% and 1.6%, respectively.
94.5% of agricultural entrepreneurs indicate that they receive mail of agricultural suppliers. Only 14.5% declared to not read this mail. Therefore, the reach of postal mailings is larger than each single trade journal. Moreover, agrarians receive significantly less postal mail than email and postal mails are able to target a very specific target audience.
Online communication behaviour
Almost 90% of the agrarians state to receive email newsletters of agricultural suppliers. More than half of the recipients indicate that they read these emails (most of the time). Nieuwe Oogst sends out the newsletter with the largest reach. Boervindt.nl sent out by Agridirect has a reach of almost 40%. The average opening rate of a single newsletter through boervindt.nl is 20-35%. The best time to send these emails is during the evening hours, as 38% of the readers indicate to read email newsletters in the evening.
More than 4 in 10 Dutch agrarians spend time surfing the internet for business-related reasons multiple times a day. The computer is still the most popular device for this purpose. The rise of the smartphone usage is most striking. This percentage has doubled since 2016 (from 27.1% in 2016 to 54.7% in 2019).
Approximately half of Dutch agrarians (48.6%) are active on social media. In 2016 this percentage was still about 44%. Almost two thirds of agrarians on social media are active on a daily basis. 78% is active on Facebook, an increase of more than 20% with regard to 2016. The most notable rise is that of Instagram. At present, 13% of the respondents are active on Instagram, in 2016 this percentage was only 2.5%.
43.1% of Dutch agri- and horticulturists have installed an agricultural app on their smartphone or tablet. Most interest goes out to apps that provide weather forecasts and agricultural news.
Combination of media leads to the best result!
The communication research of Agridirect indicates that no single medium will reach your full target audience. The most effective way of communication appears to be combining multiple media sources based on an agricultural database (for example to follow up an email- or postal newsletter by phone). In that way you will communicate most effectively with agrarians.
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