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Agricultural financial market segments

  • Maud Roucan-Kane
  • Corinne Alexander
  • Michael D. Boehlje
  • Scott W. Downey
  • Allan W. Gray

Purpose – For agricultural bankers, agribusiness managers, and salespeople, understanding customers and their preferences and behaviors is crucial to success. The two goals of this paper are first to identify today's distinct market segments for financial products for US crop and livestock commercial producers, and second to predict segment membership based on observable characteristics. Design/methodology/approach – Cluster analysis was used to identify four distinct buyer segments for the purchase of financial products and services by US crop and livestock commercial producers. A multinomial logit model was used to predict segment membership based on demographic, behavioral, and business management factors. Findings – Although, traditionally, the financial services industry has segmented the market for commercial producers based primarily on sales/size categories; this research shows that this factor is not a significant predictor of behavior. Instead, this paper proposes a segmentation based on buying behaviors and identify four distinct market segments for financial products and services for US crop and livestock commercial producers: balance, price, convenience, and service. The balance segment being by far the largest segment. Research limitations/implications – Although the sample size means is representative of the US ag population, it may or may not be representative of the customers of a regional lender. Readers who are lenders are therefore advised to apply this methodology to their customer database and use the results of the paper as a quality check or benchmarking exercise. The findings also raise a number of issues, which require further research, such as how to implement a targeted marketing plan when there is one dominant segment and two other distinct segments. Practical implications – Lenders need to reconsider their market segmentation methodology. Originality/value – While there has been some research on market segments for retail financial markets, apparently there has been no work on market segments for agricultural financial products. This study exploits a unique dataset of 2,575 responses to Purdue's Large Commercial Producer Survey and the 2008 survey is the first time the survey included a series of detailed questions on how producers choose a financial service provider. This paper's findings will benefit agricultural bankers and agribusinesses that offer financing to their customers.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Agricultural Finance Review.

Volume (Year): 70 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 231-244

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Handle: RePEc:eme:afrpps:v:70:y:2010:i:2:p:231-244
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  1. Alexander, Corinne E. & Wilson, Christine A. & Foley, Daniel H., 2005. "Agricultural Input Market Segments: Who Is Buying What?," Journal of Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia, vol. 23(2).
  2. Jason Henderson & Frank Dooley & Jay Akridge, 2004. "Internet and E-Commerce Adoption by Agricultural Input Firms," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 26(4), pages 505-520.
  3. Glenn Milligan & Martha Cooper, 1985. "An examination of procedures for determining the number of clusters in a data set," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 159-179, June.
  4. Gloy, Brent A. & Akridge, Jay T., 1999. "Segmenting The Commercial Producer Marketplace For Agricultural Inputs," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 2(02).
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