Migration toward digital continues accelerating

by Bob West

I’m a big fan of data, particularly when it comes to understanding the trends of specialty ag marketers and their digital activities. Most of the data we look at focuses on audience behavior – visits, page views, clicks, etc., and those numbers certainly matter.

But one of the most telling statistics for you as a marketing professional in this industry to consider is the number of your peers (and competitors!) dedicating at least a portion of their annual budget to digital media, which includes enewsletter ads, website ads, email blasts, video and webinars.

Our tracking obviously focuses on what our clients spend with us, so these numbers will not be exact. But what this information does is tell a story regarding the trends in different industries and the degree to which companies use digital media in different markets. Not surprisingly, the number of companies buying digital continues climbing as the ag audiences increase their use of digital media, and there is no reason to think this trend will change.

Our analysis shows that nearly 20% of marketers who bought print advertising in 2013 also spent money on enewsletters, online, video or custom digital marketing in 2013, although the adoption rate varies considerably by market. Here’s a breakdown for our brands:

2012

2013

Greenhouse Grower

38.9%

44.1%

Today’s Garden Center

31.8%

28.3%

CropLife

27.4%

29.4%

Cotton Grower

32.4%

28.1%

American Fruit Grower

22.2%

16.1%

American Vegetable Grower

18.3%

18.3%

Florida Grower

15.1%

16.8%

 

Our clients typically expand into digital marketing slowly, which affords them the opportunity to learn with minimal risk. While some companies dedicate more than half of their annual spend to digital media, most companies are comfortable allocating 15 to 25% of their budget here. (No rules exist regarding how much to spend on one advertising format vs. another, but we offer some thoughts here.)

The author is Director of Interactive Sales for Meister Media. He can be reached at 440-602-9129 or bwest@meistermedia.com

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