Research decodes farmers’ media habits

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New independent research about farmers’ and growers’ media habits reveals the rural market is unique. In response to demand from marketers for more data on the rural media landscape, four major publishers have collaborated to have independent research done about farmers’ and growers’ media habits.

The Rural Media Habits Survey 2018 was released today.

It shows that in the internet age, rural newspapers and magazines are still accessed at least weekly by 88% of farmers and growers. Respondents included dairy, beef & lamb farmers, and commercial fruit and vegetable growers.

Crucially, printed newspapers and magazines have the biggest impact on farm purchase decisions, with 82% placing it in the top three. And rural print (newspapers and magazines) have advertising that farmers pay attention to and find more relevant to their businesses than all other media.

The level of influence of rural print on farm and horticultural property decision making is significant. A third say they have made a purchase after reading rural publications, with tractors, motorbikes, vet products and agrichemicals being the most frequently purchased items. 

“Printed newspapers and magazines have the biggest impact on farm purchase decisions.”

Internet use up
Internet use has increased, the most prevalent uses of the internet being email (80%) and paying bills (48%). On the farm and horticultural growing property, internet use is heavily influenced by rural print, with 63% accessing a website after reading about it in a rural publication.

The four publishing companies that commissioned the independent research are NZ Farm Life Media (publisher of NZ Dairy Exporter and Countrywide), Horticulture New Zealand (publisher of NZGrower and The Orchardist), NZX Limited (publisher of NZ Farmers Weekly) and Rural News Group Limited (publisher of Rural News, Dairy News and NZ WineGrower).

In a joint statement, the group of publishers said this kind of research about farmers’ and growers’ media habits is well overdue. “Assumptions being made about how to market to farmers and growers are often made on the assumption that they consume media the same way as their city cousins,” the release says. “This is not true.”

“People working in the industry have long known the rural market behaves differently to other sectors. This research finally puts some solid data around this.”

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