From a traditional B2B player to an increasingly data-driven organization. Netafim describe their journey of further growth through the digital lens
Regaining contact with the end user, the farmer...without cutting out regular dealers
Netafim is the world's largest irrigation company and a leading producer of drippers, sprinklers, and other irrigation accessories, as well as digital tools for irrigation management such as sensors, crop management software, and remote operation systems. They are also a turn-key agricultural project company executing huge projects for farmers, corporates, and governments. The B2B manufacturers operate a complex business environment with distribution partners, suppliers and dealers and have been doing so for years. With new digital capabilities, the company is looking for a stronger connection with the end user: the farmer, in order to increase demand to their offering.
Although the end user is typically a farmer, the chain has many layers, from distribution partners to NGOs and governments. All these are located across the globe, meaning collaborations from India to Italy, Mexico to China.
The journey to personalization
Netafim also take advantage of personalization features including visitor groups. They smartly develop personas against the agencies they cater to, including farmers, investors, and governments. That way, they understand whether the chosen direction is the right one, whilst delivering super relevant content across the site.
Netafim have made the content simpler and applied storytelling techniques at such a level that someone from outside the sector understands the general scope of our products and services. Technical details and customized calculations help a buyer through their buying journey. The final deal is done offline. Providing valuable information online and tools that convert visitors into new customers is a priority.
This sector has always been very traditional. People really do not approach you through digital channels
The entire industry thought small farmers, that could not be reached online, would be digitally inept. Netafim rejected that idea. They are finalizing the global infrastructure of 16 website with another 10 added in 2020.
Content strategy that provides access to all
There are millions of farmers worldwide that on the outskirts of being reached, but they do access Netafim thanks to searches in Google, or Yandex in Russia and Baidu in China. SEO plays a crucial role in digital growth and is regarded as a long-term investment. Thought leadership themes generate the most traffic, via SEO and via social channels providing evidence that content is the master in boosting awareness.
Every change must be holistic
Netafim have a roadmap for the future. They know the technology is there and as their knowledge grows, they will continue to integrate it with current processes and products. The organization is ‘digital ready’, in that regard, growing from a traditional B2B player to an increasingly data-driven organization. Something they know they will have to build in order to maintain their competitive nature to grow further in the coming years.
One of the biggest challenges was to be seen as a leading brand online, just as offline is already the case. And that is certainly necessary if you operate globally. We try to achieve this by really thinking from the consumer's perspective how we can improve his digital experience. And then not only with a website but also through the use of apps and tools, such as calculators and other things that can be of value to farmers
Itamar KasselProject Leader, Digital Projects (Former) Netafim