November 26, 2021 | Maz Tannir

Time to Ditch Print? Predictions for Ag Media & Advertising in 2022

As the year comes to a close, I’ve started to see the usual articles focused on predictions for the advertising and media market. 

These articles, while useful, are usually broad and based on generalizations. They’re a helpful starting point. But I’d like to take it one step further, and offer predictions focused on the agriculture industry. 

Cord Cutters Draw Media Spend to Connected TV

In 2021, an estimated 51 million North Americans say they no longer have or never had cable. More and more of these so-called “cord cutters” are moving to smart television sets, resulting in a shift in dollars to connected television (CTV).   

CTV technology uses programmatic software, allowing for a much higher frequency, at lower rates than linear television. However, like everything in the digital landscape, it all comes down to the data you have.

Television remains the leading vehicle for awareness. 

What It Means for Ag: 

Linear television will continue to play a major role for agriculture audiences, especially in rural areas, however, don’t discount CTV for its ability to deliver ad content to larger audiences. If you choose CTV for your media plan, doublecheck that you have the data you need to build successful programmatic targeting, and place ads focused on your brand and your story.

Paper Shortages Impact Print

A global shortage of paper is causing some publishers to delay their printing runs, and in some cases, increase their rates despite not having added readership.

Top of the funnel awareness is still very important, especially when you are trying to convey a story, and when executed properly, can link to your content and drive audiences through the buyer journey. 

What It Means for Ag: 

We may see some publications reduce their frequency but as long as the content you’re placing is relevant and current, print publications should stay on media plans for the foreseeable future.

Even as we’ve advanced to more sophisticated digital methods of advertising, print continues to be a strong vehicle for reaching farmers.

Radio Spend Will Depend on Your Personas

Just like with television, we are seeing a shift in audio to digital options and advertising through programmatic software. Digital audio, like CTV, allows for a much larger reach at a lower cost. And like television, that may be a good thing if you have verified data to build your targeting with. 

What It Means for Ag:

Linear radio stations continue to be a great vehicle and will remain so for the agriculture industry. One of the things we noticed with many of the growers we interviewed, was that they listened to a variety of radio stations, based on their specific demographics or interests. Therefore, using personas and really understanding the grower is very important when selecting the right radio station and the airing time of your spots.

Video continues to grow, outpacing traditional TV spend, and drawing millions upon millions of views. 

Digital Can Find Your Customers – If You Have the Right Data

While the developments have been slow, we have started to work with a lot more publishers, using their data and integrating their data management platforms for our digital media needs. This is true for all social platforms as well.

Increased use of ad blockers and increased concerns about privacy have led users to click on ads less frequently, resulting in a drop in overall clickthrough rates for display advertising. Therefore, we are going to see an increase in frequency and a shift to high impact advertising units wherever the inventory is available. 

What It Means for Ag:

Everyone is fighting for space, especially with agriculture publishers who have even more limited inventory than those serving more general audiences. However, programmatic options mean you aren’t tied to any specific publisher and their specific inventory. 

This is where verified audiences and data comes into play yet again. Gone are the days where digital campaigns are limited to statewide launches. There is data available to tell us where growers are and what crops they grow. This allows for smarter spending with less waste. 

However, the question isn’t how many impressions you negotiate, but what you do with those audiences after they click. Strong SEO and user experience is vital and can determine the success of a digital campaign. Whether you are using display, newsletters, email deployments, or high impact units, your strategy has to begin by understanding what action you want the user to take, and how you will move them down the funnel. 

The media planning industry has evolved over the years, allowing agencies and publishers to work together to find the best data to reach audiences at the right time, in the right place, with the right message. Though we will continue to see a rise in digital advertising at the expense of offline tactics an omnichannel approach built on the foundation of a clear journey and user experience will win the game every time.

Just ensure you have the right data.

Maz Tannir

Maz uses 26+ years of experience to effectively develop, negotiate and tailor media strategies to align with marketing goals. He is actively involved in industry organizations including the IAB (Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce and Programmatic Trading Committee), and AdClub Toronto (Digital Day Committee). You can connect with Maz on LinkedIn.