In its effort to build ICT capacity to rural farmers, WOFAN conducted training to rural communities on Effective Application of Digital Marketing. The training was targeted to rural communities to boost rural incomes and facilitate growing rural economy.
The highlight of the training is described below including pictures taken during the training:
EFEFCTIVE APPLICATION OF DIGITAL MARKETING IN THE RURAL AREAS
What is digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the marketing and advertising of a business, person, product, or service using online channels, electronic devices, and digital technologies, it can be the use of internet and other forms of digital communication to promote brands and communicate with potential customers. As a marketing channel, this covers not only email, social media, and web-based advertisements, but also text and multimedia messages.
To answer the question on how to market farm products with easy Women Farmers Advancement Network WOFAN has trained 300 Extension workers across FCT, Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa and Gombe state on of the concept of digital marketing; which includes adverts on computers, papers, phones, tablets, or other electronic devices. It can come in two forms which include both online such as Affiliate marketing, content marketing, search engine marketing, email etc and offline ( for Rural Farmers with no Android phones) such as Radio Jingles, display adverts, online video, and social media posts. The trained 300 Extension workers will in return step-down to five (5) groups each of 30members of which 3 out the five groups are female groups.
In as much as marketing methods such as magazine adverts, billboards, direct mail and television are sometimes grouped as “traditional” marketing methods compared to digital marketing, we will refer to digital marketing for the purpose of this training as all methods of promoting sales that involves the use of electronic devices to either create adverts or convey advert.
How can digital marketing place you above other farmers in the village?
The benefits that come with digital marketing are numerous and most times relative to the geographical location of the commodity to be marketed. Let’s briefly see how some digital marketing tools can place rural farmers ahead of others in the villages:
1. It will increase customer base.
Take the most popular social media network in the globe Facebook for example: rural farmers that are able to post their farm yields on Facebook will have more potential customers than those that take their farm yields to the physical markets periodically. As more people view your posts, it gets more coverage and more persons will call or even trace the location to come and buy the products or farm yields thereby saving you the stress of transporting goods to the market of which sometimes such goods might not be sold due to dropped in price . If you parboil rice, it is difficult to go around telling people that you have parboiled rice for sale but if you print a banner and place at the market squares with your house address and phone number, you are likely more to increase your customer base as compared to the other farmers that wait for a market day to start pushing his/her parboiled rice in the truck for prospective customers to price and buy.
2. It reduces cost of trading farm yields.
There is a possibility that a farmer can take farm yields to the market and still not be able to sale it. When this happens, the farmer is already operating at a loss since the farm yields were transported to and from the market. The cost of transporting 100 bags of paddy to the market and transporting them back home without any sales is what digital marketing will saves. With the digital marketing adverts, the farmer can be assured that the farm produce that are to be taking to the market already have prospective buyers waiting. In most situations, the buyers come to the farm and make choices of the kind of farm produce they want to buy, make payments and all the farmer does is transport the farm produce to the buyers’ respective destinations.
3. It is more convenient
Practicing digital marketing is convenient enough. Let’s say you want to sale bags of Groundnut for a example, you can stay at the convenient of your house and take pictures of the well package bags of groundnut in various KGs and post them online, your customers will not need to ask for the number of KGs or Type of Groundnut because your advert would have already volumes about the available KGs, and total number available for delivery. In this wise, it saves the farmer the unnecessary inconvenience of explaining certain things about the bags of Groundnut. It is more convenient on the part of the customers too because if for example a customer is looking for unshelled groundnut the customer will ignore all posts or adverts that have only shelled groundnut. The customer may also not need to come and check because it is already out of their choice based on the advert the farmer has placed using digital marketing.
What kind of digital marketing tools are most effective the rural setting?
There are many digital marketing tools that can be explored in the villages for effective sales. Depending on factors like literacy level, availability of digital marketing channels, ease of access to internet and so on. However, the simplest digital marketing tools that farmers can use to boost their sales in the village include the following:
1. Social media (Facebook and WhatsApp)
It is easy to set up a Facebook or WhatsApp account. The average, smaller versions of phones these days come with WhatsApp and Facebook applications preinstalled. You don’t necessarily need a super smart phone but a smart phone will do more. Once you have created these social media accounts, add friends that will patronize your sales and continue posting adverts of the kind of farm produce you have. Remember to include your phone numbers in the post in the event that prospective customers want to have a face-to-face interaction.
2. Print media (Fliers, banners and posters)
The farmer can make use of the computer and printer to design and print fliers banners and posters of the kind of farm produce you have for sale. These banners should be pasted at strategic places like market squares, entrances to mosques or churches and schools. The fliers can be given to market women or school children to take to their homes. Your target as a farmer should be to reach out to as many people as possible, a customer can come from anywhere. These fliers, banners and posters should describe what kind of farm produce the farmer is selling with descriptive addresses and phone numbers in the case that the customers want a face-to-face interaction before patronage.
3. Radio and Television (Radio and Television programs)
Farmers that have radio stations or local television channels around them that anchor programs to promote brands can also take advantage of it by paying for commercials that will be broadcasted on such radio or making radio jingles to reduce studio costs and television channels.
The use of different digital marketing tools has boosted sales for businessmen in towns and cities; in fact, digital marketing is the order of the day. As such WOFAN is targeting to have 45,000 rural farmers trained on digital marketing of which 27,000 will be female and 18,000 male. So, it is believed that the digital marketing techniques and tools explored in this training will boost sales for farmers in the rural areas as well. It should be noted however that digital marketing starts slow and takes time to build customer base. Rural farmers should be ready to give time to it by increasing their participation on social media and other online platforms.
The Chief Founder and Executive Director of WOFAN, Hajiya Dr Salamatu Garba addressing Extension Workers during the training.
WOFAN moderator Abdulrasheed Abdulazeez setting grand rules during the training on Digital marketing
The facilitator Joy U. during the training on digital marketing
Cross section of the participants during training on digital marketing
WOMEN FARMERS ADVANCEMENT NETWORK.