Our first audience research

Our first audience research

You’ll recall Derry and I had attended the NAFB convention at Kansas City in November, 1972; he was working for KLIK and I was simply along as an observer–handing out brochures about this new farm network we were going to start (someday). And the fallout from that meeting at the old Muhlbach Hotel was what forced us to start this business. It was my first introduction to the NAFB.

The National Association of Farm Broadcasters was powerful. Its members got most of the ag dollars spent by companies wanting to reach farmers across America–well, all the broadcast dollars. Most of the money went to farm publications: Farm JournalSuccessful Farming and the like.

Early in my career, George Logan of WIBW, Ray Senate of WIBW-TV and a few others decided to meet and see what we could do to more successfully sell against those powerful magazines. The result of that meeting was the NAFB Sales Marketing effort, still in existence today as the marketing arm of the NAFB. Our first heavy gun was the Doane Media Study — the first-ever survey of the listening habits of farmers. Doane Agriculture was a respected survey firm that producers used to better understand farmers’ ideas, buying patterns, needs and wants. It served the NAFB very well.

But it also served Brownfield well. We published the results in an expensive, color, full-size brochure. Take a look at this!

Brownfield has almost 30 percent of the audience overall; soundly trouncing its nearest competition. Like all audience research, the numbers helped, but still the “sell” was paramount. I had to hustle faster to see more people to tell the story.