Marketing in agriculture during coronavirus

Angus Chalmers

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Marketing In Agriculture

Covid-19 has changed the landscape.The whole world is currently uncertain what the full extent of the coronavirus pandemic will be, nor the long-lasting consequences – though these are sure to be substantial. In this new era of isolation and social-distancing, there are a number of changes businesses can and should make now in terms of their marketing.

Above all: be sensitive.

This is not the time to be in peoples’ faces. Avoid anything even slightly at risk of seeming exploitative.This is a serious crisis. Many people have died or suffered and will continue to do so. With that in mind, any marketing content that is overtly light-hearted, flippant or commercial will likely gain less traction, if it doesn’t outright provoke offence. This is especially true on social media –consider revising any scheduled output and making changes. Save those posts for another quarter.

Take the opportunity to audit

This is an excellent time to look inward as a business. Look over your existing marketing collateral. Is your branding as strong as it could be? Do you have brochures that could be reworked? What strategies will you need in your marketing going forward? Make sure you’re moving your business forward during this time rather than standing still.

Look to digital

Trade shows usually account for the largest chunk of a marketing budget. With these all cancelled (or likely to be), consider redirecting that investment into web marketing. With more and more people stuck at home on the web, this is one of the few outlets that remains largely unchanged. Rededicating your focus to web marketing will help establish a sense of normality during this difficult time and keep communication lines open.

Create content

Despite the disruption, content creation can go on and still remains king. With a greater focus on digital, what content can be created – even if employees are largely remote and working from home? This might be a good time to schedule some interviews and create a series of case studies, or even use those interviews (conducted by video call) for a number of informative updates and valuable content.

To go one step further, webinars can draw in your target audience. This will not just keep messaging going but ensure that your business is still driving the conversation at quiet times. At times like these, community is important, and webinars help foster connection during a very isolating time.

Foster robustness

There are weak areas in every business – and recent events have left many extremely vulnerable. For marketing, consider where those areas might be in an unprecedented event like this. Is your business able to always roll with the punches? Nassim Nicholas Taleb, statistician and author, described the concept of “antifragility” – an attribute of systems that actually strengthen in reaction to pressure and shock. For example, bones actually gain strength from extra loads, and immune systems are ultimately strengthened through mild exposure.

Use these awful circumstances to learn and strengthen your marketing offering. Don’t let disruption make your marketing opportunities wither on the vine.

Plan your strategy

Successful marketing strategies aren’t just about knowing how and when to speak – they’re about knowing when to shut up. Coronavirus is and will continue to impact every single sector and industry. At this point, we all need to either be helpful or be quiet. This is not a time to ignore consumer state of mind, but we should also not market with apocalyptic messaging. It is a difficult balance.


We at RDP Marketing wish you well during this difficult time. If you would like to discuss any of the above at no obligation from your end, please get in touch.

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