Farm Lessons for Stellar Market Research
If our last newsletter convinced you there are insights to be found in academic journals, we hope our fall newsletter will convince you of another source: Henry Brockman, organic farmer friend extraordinaire and keen observer of consumer behavior. During market season, I volunteer for and work alongside Henry at the Evanston Farmer’s Market. Here are some earthly and super practical market research lessons that Henry offers:
1. Know your data. Henry keeps journals and diaries and notebooks stuffed with data about everything he grows, where he grows it, how it performs, everything he does on his farm, how many of his crops he shares with insects and rodents, and so on. Every year he uses the data to make decisions about what to grow next, when to grow it, and where in the field to grow it.
2. Know your customers. Despite the size of his operation and all the help he has farming and selling, Henry almost never misses a market. He is always there, talking with customers, watching what sells, noting how buyers circulate and behave, and so on. Henry observes first-hand all the decisions that add up into his sales data so he knows immediately all the “whys” behind the numbers.
3. Know your mission. Henry uses data and first hand knowledge of his customers to make smart decisions that fit within the context of his business and what he is trying to achieve. Sure he wants growth and profitability, but he would never let a number like gross margin trump his need for crop diversity.
For more, please take a look at Versta Research’s fall newsletter: From the Ivory Tower to the Farm: Earthly Lessons for Stellar Market Research. It has some beautiful photos of the market, as well!
As always, we hope that you continue to find useful ideas in our newsletters. And as always, send us an e-mail or web inquiry, or give us a call at 312-348-6089 if there is anything we can do for you.