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Work Update

[Work Update]: FarmEd Timor - Call To Action Methodology - July 2018

Justin Marshall
Justin Marshall | Jul 13, 2018 | in FarmEd - Timor-Leste

Communication with farmers in rural Timor-Leste poses many challenges in trying to gain potential customer traction for a social media based Minimum Viable Product.  Communication through translators works in the empathising process, however when we need distinctive answers from farmers for a Call to Action, written communication is often more reliable. A Call to Action is an instruction to the audience that provokes an engagement with the product. A well designed CTA methodology is key in our ability to gauge whether farmers are interested in our FarmEd facebook page MVP, intended to engage community interaction about common farming issues. 

There is an uneven presence of technologies such as smart phones and internet access at both a regional and generational level here in Timor-Leste. Facebook is well known even in rural areas and could be used as a very simple CTA. For example, if we show someone our newly developed facebook page and they 'like' it, we would regard this as a Call To Action. Although most farmers are aware of facebook, not all of them utilise it as they often only have simple (non-smart) phones. These potential customers require a different CTA methodology. 

Through this we have developed a Call To Action methodology that utilises business cards hand written in Tetun, asking farmers to text 'yes' to our phone number if they are interested in receiving agricultural advice in the future, as well as details of our facebook page. This allows us to eliminate any translational miscommunication and know for sure that farmers have received the right message. 

Since we have only just implemented this methodology, we are yet to receive data and therefore cannot gauge its success. However, we are confident this may be a valuable solution to a common problem when communicating with other language groups. 

edited on 6th September 2018, 01:09 by Justin Hakeem

Jimmy Menzies Jul 16, 2018

Is this just to get a general sense of how much interest there is for your product amongst the local farmers?
Because I was just wondering after you get these responses to your CTA how might you find out who it is that is interested and where they/their farms are? Do you just reply to the text asking them who/where they are? Or do you have a more efficient method planned?

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Justin Marshall Jul 17, 2018

During the process of handing out the business cards we also asked farmers for their contact details (phone number and FB name if they had it). This way we can know how interested people are from a certain area. Once they have confirmed their interest, we can continue the communication and set up a potential case study with them. The facebook side of it also has the ability to gain customer traction, since we are aiming to use the page as our MVP.

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Felix Zerbib Jul 18, 2018

This is really interesting. Our team is taking a closer look at making individual currency tests with farmers (i.e. offering them a demonstration of our MVP for a small price) to gauge whether they are willing to pay for agricultural expertise, but your CTA approach sounds really applicable on larger scale. It would be interesting to see what method of distributing the business cards had proven to be the most effective, and what your data so far has been

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Alexander Teicher Jul 19, 2018

Love your work Jutman, in terms of expanding this, have you considered how to reach more customers without physically handing out business cards or empathising? This could look like people already engaged in the FB platform referring their friends/relatives to it or contacting village heads to pass on details. Ideally it could get to a point where it spreads by itself virally.

From there you could take the CTA a step further with currency tests as Felix mentioned to get a more significant commitment from potential customers.
Very interested to see how this all goes, as it is a very scalable idea!

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Patrick Edwards Jul 20, 2018

Thanks for your input boys! I really like the idea Felix, just wondering what the demonstration exactly looks like, and if you are actually providing them with advice? Currently our currency tests have involved firstly finding background information of how much the farmers pay per month on their farm, and then a rating out of seven on their willingness to pay for advice. (One being that they are not willing to pay anything, to seven being that they are willing to pay any amount for advice). This is also to assess what the dollar value of the service may be.

We had MVP case studies in the works, involving providing advice after a soil and farm analysis for a fee. This was to assess how the farmers engaged with the advice, and its impact, as well as gauging the genuine interest in activating the traction gained. Due to the uncertainty of the quality of the advice we may give, as well as its impact, it was decided for this to not be carried out this month.

Also, interestingly the offer test results fell below our deemed fail percentage of 20%. This included many farmers who expresses 7/7 interest in receiving information. We are still analysing why this occurred, and is beneficial in assessing the technology user experience. We have therefore iterated the offer test, and began messaging farmers via text or Facebook to prompt a response. This touches on your points of increasing the reach, where through these distribution channels autonomous traction can occur.

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Justin Hakeem Aug 27, 2018

Status label added: Work Update

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