The power of evidence to drive change

The Agri Food Comms-Cast (AFCC) bridges the food and farming sectors, taking a marketing and communications perspective and gleans insights from guests about the initiatives they’re most passionate about.

The power of evidence gathering in farming and rural communities is the theme of episode 12. Catherine Linch explores the role of research and intelligence on the audience you’re looking to reach out to, that can be a catalyst for knowledge exchange.

Jim Williams, head of market research at Map of Ag, explains how application of social psychological theory and research into personality types has led to the farmer audience being segmented into five key ‘types and traits’:

  1. Progressive
  2. Defender
  3. Optimiser
  4. Adventurer
  5. Operator

From understanding the types and traits of farmers, it’s easier to break down this audience and, therefore, present strategic business propositions and tailor marketing and communications messages that create an impact.

Up next is Jane Craigie, director and co-founder of the Rural Youth Project, and project and communications officer, Alana Black.

Since 2018, the Rural Youth Project has been building an international movement for positive change targeted at the under 30s who are rurally based.

Previously, there has been little research into the young, rural demographic, which has made it difficult to help those in isolation develop leadership and enterprise skills and retain those skills in the countryside.

Over the last two years, the team have been compiling a wide range of quantitative and qualitative research in the form of surveys, podcasts, blogs, case studies and ideas festivals.

The recently launched Qualitative Report delves into the full scope of rural living and how it affects young people, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, to complement the 2018 Survey Report.

They found that prior to COVID-19, 72% of young people were optimistic about their futures in rural areas but since the outbreak has begun, this has halved.

Young, rural people also want better access to mental health services, enterprise opportunities and more affordable housing.

Such insight is providing direction on the future of the Rural Youth Project to help facilitate young people to learn from each other, pair up with mentors and access jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.

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The power of evidence to drive change

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Catherine Linch

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