I recently had the pleasure of attending the PrecisionAg VISION Conference in Seattle, WA, sponsored by Meister Media Worldwide. Full disclosure: Millennium Research provides the PrecisionAg Institute with thoughtful research as part of the membership. But I digress.

The keynote was by Dr. Kevin Freiberg, a well-known business advisor.

He had either done his research or he really was a ranch boy from South Dakota. His polished cowboy boots did look worn in and his belt buckle looked like a real rancher’s: not too big, just the right amount of silver. I wasn’t sure about the jeans; they didn’t look like Wrangler, but maybe time away from the ranch had lead him to try other brands.

Keeping Up with the Data

Anyway, he noted that for farmers, and for all of us really, the variety, volume, and velocity of data coming at us has rapidly increased. Then he shared a whole bunch of interesting stories and off-beat statistics, which I wasn’t fast enough to write down.

He talked pretty fast, just like the aforementioned data coming at you and me and all the farmers and ranchers out there. But I gave him high marks, because he challenged the audience to focus on outcomes, to elevate the conversation to outcomes.

Focus on Outcomes

Hmm, I thought to myself. I never promise outcomes like increased sales, more effective marketing, higher customer retention, or greater ease of doing business. I provide the knowledge and insight to do that, but what my clients make with that is up to them.

Maybe I should at least ask the question Kevin recommended: “What keeps you up at night?”

Maybe I should switch to the outcome-based pricing model some speakers discussed, where their companies share with farmers the risks and rewards of their product portfolios. (I gotta say, I think that one is going to take a lot of fine-tuning to work).

I did think Kevin was onto something when he repeated virtually word for word what a farmer had just told me. Technology, data, information, analytics have to be accessibleaffordable, and usable – and provide information that the farmer actually cares about.

How do you know what the farmer actually cares about? 

Listening is a good start.

If you need some help listening to farmers, an experienced perspective on their concerns, and customer insights to make everything better, we can help. Just let me know: “What keeps you up at night?”

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