Research Engine is working with agricultural publisher Lewis Business Media, home of the Farm Business and Pig World stable of titles, on a project to set up a YouGov-style network of farmers and industry professionals to gauge opinions and insights on a wide range of topical issues affecting the industry.

Newbury-based Research Engine was founded by Chris Horne and Mike Heisig, who both have long experience in agricultural market research, from carrying out straightforward surveys to more complex segmentation and behavioural science studies.

The Hub4Ag project is described as a new agricultural market research concept designed to help farmers shape their industry – and earn rewards for doing so – and solve specific problems for farmers, industry professionals and manufacturers alike.

Mr Heisig observes that while some people love to feel that they have a voice in the industry, there are probably many more that don’t, and who are irritated by calls to complete surveys. At the same time, recent years have seen an increase in the number of organisations, manufacturers and agencies wanting to contact farmers with questions.

The situation is complicated by the new GDPR legislation, which means marketers have to be open and transparent about why they are contacting people and where their contact details have come from. “This is why we set up Hub4Ag. In a GDPR world, it’s for people that want to get involved, network, have their say and every now and then do occasional surveys,” he continues.
“We are asking people to sign up and join a unique community of like-minded individuals who are interested to feedback to the industry and take part in surveys and polls. In return, they get cash rewards of £5-£20 per questionnaire and the chance to enter big prize draws. Members of Hub4Ag will always be in control of their membership – they will not be obliged to do a large amount of surveys just because they are members.”

In return, participants have the chance to influence the industry and be first to receive briefings on survey findings. More details from Mr Heisig on Mike@Hub4Ag.co.uk

● Research Engine is partnering with agricultural communications agency Agro Mavens to enhance services available to clients of both businesses.

Agro Mavens was established in 2016 by Adrian Bell, formerly of the Whisper PR agency, to help companies develop bespoke marketing, communications and public relations plans for products and services in agtech and agriculture. It works with British and European companies.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Agro Mavens,” says Mr Horne. “We share a common focus on agriculture; agtech and the goal of helping our clients succeed, thanks to marketing strategies that are grounded in knowledge and fact.

“As market researchers, we can provide valuable insights around which Agro Mavens can build and execute tighter, strategic communications programmes – the ‘yin’ to their ‘yang’, if you like. Like them, we are tremendously excited by the current opportunities open to the agricultural industry, not just in the UK but around the world, and especially in the hi-tech and disruptive technology arenas.”