Don't get left behind....

Jul 05, 2024

Farming tends to be 10 years behind other industries and change is glacial at best. But last week, change came from the most unlikely of places - John Deere.

I am of course talking about the CTO (Chief Tractor Officer ) campaign from John Deere that has received mixed reviews on social media. The lukewarm reception is irrelevant, the strategy behind the campaign matters much more.

Just some of the backlash received by the CTO campaign on social media
So, if you're marketing or selling anything into the farming industry then let this be a wake up call.

In this newsletter I'm going to show you;

  • Why John Deere took such a risk with their marketing
  • Why you should too
  • What it means for the industry

Why take such a risk?

John Deere are the brand leader - they sell more tractors than any other brand in the US and UK. They don't want things to change, so why rock the boat?



John Deere realise that, across farming, there is an age problem. Unless they can attract the next generation of farmers, their brand is going to decline over the next 10 years. There is a risk they will lose the top spot.

Marketing is changing and they way younger generations are discovering, engaging, and consuming brands is online - particularly social media.

Faceless brands don't work anymore

Can you name the CEO of John Deere? I know I can't. What about Tesla?

The reality is, people want to deal with people. It's so much easier for consumers to build relationships with a person than a company and so brands with a face behind them outperform those that don't.

Bringing in a CTO is a pretty clever move by John Deere to make their brand more relatable, more impactful, more human.

So what?

This should be a wake up call for everyone in agriculture because the brands that will succeed over the next 10-15 years are the ones that are able to build strong relationships with the next generation of farmers.

So, what does this actually look like:

  • Go online - socials are your second website. If you're not building your online presence then you're going to get left behind. No two ways about it.
  • Be human - be relatable and have a face behind the brand
  • Stop selling - consumers don't go online to be sold to. They want to be entertained, educated, inspired. Deliver value through your marketing and put the consumer front and centre.

Even in an industry reluctant to change, the shift has already begun. If you're not prepared to shift with it then you risk being left behind.

Need any help with the above? Then drop me a message and let's talk.

Until next week...…


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