Marketing and PR in the Russian agricultural sphere trail the pharmacy market by 10 years. Furthermore, the isolated locations and huge distances that need to be covered complicate communication between agricultural producers in the country. The Russian subsidiary of Bayer CropScience asked Avangard GC to find a way to reach this key target audience in a growing national market.
Avangard GC recommended using face to face communication it while implementing a range of PR, marketing and educational activities for agricultural producers and farmers, branded the Bayer Field Academy.
Avangard GC developed a PR project targeted to engage 50% of those Russian regions engaging in agricultural business activities - an audience of 100,000 farmers and agricultural producers - in communication with the company, to develop strong brand loyalty.
Furthermore, this project was designed to create a constant communication mechanism for Bayer CropScience’s clients and partners, which, among other things, would increase the return on research investment. Since 2006 training programs, conferences, panel discussions and workshops for farmers and agricultural experts - implemented as a part of the Bayer Field Academy program - have promoted innovations in effective farming, and created opportunities to exchange views on tough questions and new technologies.
The project keeps growing. By now five types of communication channels have been constructed:
In spite of annual marketing budget reductions and a growing product line, and thanks to to the Bayer Field Academy, which routinely exceeds expected attendances, the company has achieved 15% increases in sales year only year. Online communication is one of the most important channels, with 50,000 emails sent, 26,000 emails opened and read every year, and more than a million Yandex websearch results for a “Bayer Field Academy” request (in Russian). In 2013 a total audience reach of more than 80,000 targeted consumers was achieved across all communication channels. Bayer Field Academy is now a well-known communication platform among 60% of farmers and agricultural producers in 80% of the Russian regions.