paulsen marketing

Paulsen Thought Paper Captures Industry Attention

Paulsen Marketing’s latest thought paper, “How Multi-Generational Farming Operations Make Major Purchase Decisions” has been creating a buzz in the agri-business industry since its release in November.


Mark Smither and Heather Covrig, Paulsen’s co-authors of the paper, shared insights they learned from interviewing 14 multi-generational farm families throughout the Midwest to find out how older and younger producers make important purchase decisions. The responses from these farming families offered a snapshot of what goes on around the kitchen table when “experience” meets “enthusiasm.”


Agri Marketing Magazine featured the Paulsen thought paper findings in its November/December 2011 edition. Smither and Covrig were also invited to host a National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) webinar in December for agri-marketers to learn more on how farming generations come together to make decisions. Important findings revealed in the thought paper included:

The consideration cycle leading up to a purchase can last well over a year.
The need to increase production is a continuous cycle and causes farmers to be in a constant state of consideration.

Major purchase decisions require several different perspectives.
Traditional ag media is still highly valued between both demographics, especially when it comes to creating awareness and identifying a purchase need. Online channels, however, are becoming more important for comparing and evaluating possible purchases. Peer recommendations and positive word-of-mouth are some of the most significant influencers when it comes to actually making a decision.

Younger producers may be willing to take more risks…to a degree.
The most noticeable difference in purchase philosophy between older and younger producers is younger producers are more comfortable making a purchase decision based on maximizing return or profitability; older producers are more comfortable making purchase decisions based on minimizing costs. As a result, younger producers seem to be more willing to adopt a new piece of technology or try a different planting strategy.


To read the complete thought paper and view video clips of producer interviews, visit The NAMA Webinar featuring Smither and Covrig is available online at