MyFarm – an innovative irrigation system

MyFarm irrigation management system allows maize producers to monitor vegetation’s growth and diseases. In addition, through the use of satellite images, it becomes possible to provide weekly information on the amount of water to be applied by pivot or sprinkler. MyFarm service was provided for free to the Portuguese irrigation association in Vale do Sorraia and their farmers. This service ended in December 2015 because users in the domestic market revealed no interest in paying for this new service. They were conservative and sceptical towards new technologies. As a consequence, Deimos, the owner of this service, decided to apply the VCW in order to discover what would be the international market with more potential for MyFarm application.

During the application of the VCW methodology, 77 filters were generated to identify the potential markets for MyFarm. The input from several stakeholders allowed generating filters that have never been thought before by this tech-led company. Interviews with the farmers also revealed that many aspects initially ignored had a huge impact on the unsuccessful implementation of the service, such as the use of a technical speech without an emphasis on perceived benefits, the prevalence of small farms in Portugal, Portuguese farmer’s aversion to breakthrough technology and their lack of interest in precision agriculture.

After the meeting of the Board of Directors, the markets with the highest potential and the most appropriated filters were identified. The Value Creation Funnel (VCF) was then applied to 193 countries around the world to find out that Stevens County in Kansas (USA) was the market with the greatest potential for MyFarm. Deimos was then able to segment the market and find the most appropriate go-to-market strategy.

In conclusion, the VCW allowed dealing with the paradox of simultaneously standardizing (in order to cut costs) and adapting (in order to satisfy local needs) MyFarm service to the new international market. Supported by constant feedback from critical stakeholders, the VCW generated novel filters to identify the foreign market with the highest potential, and refining the market entry strategy through an added value experience to its potential customers. At the organizational level, the VCW helped to avoid emotional conflicts and overcome the paradox of choice within the decision making process.