By: Jenny Kreisher, marketing specialist with Farm Credit
This past April, I was able to attend the National Agri-Marketing Association’s (NAMA) Conference in Dallas, Texas. It was my first time attending this event, which attracts hundreds of ag marketing professionals from all over the country. I know – a room full of ag marketers may sound boring. But, to me, it’s not only my job – it’s what I love to do.
A wide variety of topics were covered, and I took home many gems of wisdom. Below are five of my favorites that you can apply to your own farm operation’s marketing strategy. You may already be thinking about some of these, and if you are, kudos! If not, don’t worry. These are tactics you can start to initiate this fall, or work into your 2018 plan.
- Marketing is like dating. Yup – you read that right. Marketing, like dating, must start with attraction. What is it about your business that attracts a customer? Whatever that thing is, nurture the spark that is created once they are attracted. Think about how to reach your customers beyond the attraction phase – what will keep them coming back for more? This, my friends, is how a lasting relationship is started.
- It’s possible to talk too much. We hear every day the importance of social media, email marketing, direct mail, etc. Have you ever purchased from a company and you continue to get bombarded with communications? We all have! You need to hone your messaging to cut through all the noise. Make it clear and to the point. Don’t ask your customer to “get used to” you. Get used to them, and customize your messaging to them. Sometimes, this may result in upping your marketing budget. But guess what? The happier you make your current customers, the more you can spend to get new customers.
- Events are now called live experiences. The next time you host an event on your farm, think about how to make it a memorable experience. Brands – like your farm – are not just products. They are experiences that your customers buy into. Your customers are more likely to share a fun experience and interaction with others. Encourage everyone to share photos and videos of their experiences with you on your social media networks. You’ll be going viral before you know it.
- Consumer’s views on agriculture are shifting. It’s not all about organic anymore. Consumers want fresh, local foods. They are all about that “no” marketing – NO hormones, NO artificial ingredients, etc. People trust farmers more than ever before, they are just unsure of the practices. Understand this, and the next point will be easy….
- Be your own advocate. Now, more than ever, farmers are needed to be advocates for ag. Invite people for tours of your operation, get involved in local community organizations (including schools), build partnerships with other local businesses however you can, blog, and be loud! Get out there and tell your story to anyone who will listen. If you’re not sure where to start, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always looking for guest bloggers and people who will tell us their story.
We love ag as much as you do, and we’re here to help you ensure the future of the industry is on a solid foundation. If you’re looking to expand your business, or want to start a farm operation of your own, give us a call at 888.339.3334. We’ve been supporting farmers and ranchers for over 100 years, and are looking forward to 100 more.