A specialty crop block grant made available to Delaware Farm Bureau by the United States Department of Agriculture, managed through the Delaware Department of Agriculture, is making it possible for the nonprofit organization to promote local farmers and produce side-by-side with iHeartMedia.
The campaign will run for two years through December 2021, digitally introducing 24 fresh market specialty crops available seasonally at markets all over Delaware to consumers who are on the go and ready to find local produce.
The goal is to improve awareness of local farmers and increase sales of their homegrown products. Bringing this content to a digital platform will be important as more and more consumers bring their purchasing power online.
In 2018, global marketing research firm Neilsen found that consumers spend almost 11 hours per day engaged with media sources on their phones or via computers. Salesforce and research partner Publicis.Sapient also discovered that a majority of consumers start their product searches digitally.
WDSD, an iHeartRadio company, will help the Delaware Farm Bureau reach almost 3 million consumers over the next two years at a rate of 488,750 per month through the use of digital audio with a companion banner, social targeting and social media postings. They will digitally target specific audiences with geofencing technology and retarget consumers who have left a store to redirect them to local farmers markets or stands. Consumers will also be directed to go to www.defb.org.
"This grant has given the Delaware Farm Bureau an opportunity to exercise multiple techniques that are innovative in the marketing field. This can provide greater results in advertising to our target markets for specialty crops and local farm stands,” said Hannah O’Hara, Delaware Farm Bureau marketing intern.
One of those modern techniques is geofencing, a proven marketing technique using locations made available through GPS and radio frequencies. Partner iHeartMedia will be able to send messages directly to a consumer’s smartphone using geofencing technology when the consumer enters a predefined geographical area. This will help attract consumers to local produce near them while they are traveling around.
The campaign will also utilize graphics created by Delaware Farm Bureau staff in hopes of generating more coverage for the specialty crops marketed.
“The goal of this marketing campaign is to increase consumer awareness of over 80 on-farm Delaware markets for fresh, locally grown food. Delaware Farm Bureau is implementing technology that consumers are using every day to show where these on-farm markets can be found in Delaware,” said Joseph Poppiti, Delaware Farm Bureau executive director.
Crops to be marketed include strawberries, radishes, honey, lima beans, green beans, cucumbers, cantaloupe, potatoes, broccoli, eggplant, watermelon, peppers, sweet corn, peaches, tomatoes, cabbage, pears, squash, apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts and Christmas trees.