Despite the immense power that digital technologies offer, marketing is and always has been about more than just finding your current customers. So why aren’t more marketers focusing on growing future demand, not just sniffing out the demand that exists today?

A fundamental shift in marketing

When digital marketing came along some years ago, it fundamentally changed the face of marketing. From a fairly intangible art in which it was often difficult to prove value, it veered into becoming an exact science in which the proof of effectiveness became more important than the actual scale of effectiveness. It allowed brands to reach highly targeted audiences at scale at a much lower cost than traditional media and with a more provable short-term conversion rate. With quick and empirical feedback via reporting dashboards that couldn’t be argued with, marketers got absolutely hooked on the dopamine loop. Create, target, report… rinse and repeat.
But purely focusing on picking the low hanging fruit, while satisfying, isn’t going to move businesses forward or create competitive advantage. Sure it’ll keep the business ticking over in the short term, but it won’t help to create a brand premium that allows for the creation of new business value. Or drive loyalty that will see you through the hard times, help fight off new competition in the category or identify new customer needs that your products and services could fulfil. When you stop and think about it, marketing has never been about just the quick wins. It’s always been about playing the long game, planting seeds today that will generate growth tomorrow.

Growth is about thinking long term

Marketing isn’t a one-night stand, it’s a committed relationship. You don’t ask someone to marry you on a first date. When you’re genuinely growth-minded, you’re doing more than just selling a product – you’re building a long term, enduring connection with your customers. Much like planting a tree, you don’t do it for the shade today but for the generations that follow.
Building brand loyalty and trust takes time. It’s about creating an emotional bond with your audience so they keep coming back for more. Building future demand isn’t just about what they need today, it’s about anticipating what they’ll crave tomorrow and the days and years after.

Growth in uncertain times

One of the great difficulties marketers face is the uncertainty of the market. More than ever, it can feel like being trapped on a rollercoaster. What’s on top today might be at the bottom tomorrow. Which makes it all the more important to focus on capturing future demand. If your marketing strategy is purely geared towards the demand of today, you’ll be playing catch-up as soon as things shift.
Being future focused demands a proactive mindset. It means not waiting for things to change and adapting after the fact, but staying ahead of trends, predicting shifts in consumer behaviour, and adapting before anyone else can. We’ve been talking about adaptation as a competitive advantage for almost 20 years now, but how many agri-marketers are really walking the walk when it comes to reading and acting on signals of change?
Constantly evolving and innovating keeps your brand fresh and exciting. It’s not just about meeting current needs, it’s about identifying needs people didn’t even know they had. That’s the secret sauce for staying relevant in an ever-changing market.
Marketing isn’t just a one-and-done deal. While it’s tempting to nestle into the comfort zone of controllable, repeatable and predictable bottom of the funnel conversion activity, you’ll only get so far.

To become a genuine growth marketer requires a shift in mindset from merely uncovering current demand, to cultivating and growing the demand of tomorrow. Plant those seeds, nurture them, and watch your brand blossom.

Tracta | Champions of Agribusiness - Rural Specialist

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