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One of the best things about being in an agency with such a strong focus on agribusiness is that it takes me out of the office and into the orchards, the packing sheds, the fields and sometimes even the fish farm. It’s a fantastic way to see parts of the country I’d otherwise never get to – but more than that, it lets me see what my clients’ key stakeholders really do, and really think about.

And after 21 years in operation, a quick spin out into the regions is a great way to reinvigorate our passion for agribusiness. Not that we ever lost it, but there’s nothing like getting amongst it to remind you what a fantastic ag sector we have here in Australia.

In person makes a difference

We always talk about understanding a customer’s problem as the way to engaging with them in communications, but getting into their world is the best way to really see what makes them tick. And let’s be honest, your brand is rarely the first thing on their mind when they head out to milk the cows in the dark, or when they’re fixing the fence. Meeting people in their real environment helps you figure out where your message might actually make sense and where your product or service could actually add value.

I can learn a lot from a phone or video interview, but nothing builds connection like, well, connection. It’s the chat you have while walking from the house to the shed, it’s seeing the way the mulching operation works best in a mow-one-skip-two pattern, it’s chatting to the workers about the jobs they love – and the ones they don’t – that allow me to get a fuller picture of what matters to people.

On the road

Lately we’ve been working with NSW Farmers on a project that has allowed us to meet with farmers across the state. It’s taken me to a cherry and apple orchard in Orange, and Sue’s been to a sheep farm in Coolac, and there’s more to come.

In years past we’ve been to pretty much every state and visited pretty much every type of agri operation.

And every time, we come back completely invigorated and with a deeper understanding of the sector.

It also results in rich, nuanced content, it makes our clients’ customers feel really valued and it builds image libraries with the most incredible photos and videos.

Tell us about your latest customer visits – we’d love to hear about the surprising things you learned.

Kendi Burness-Cowan