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Agrimarketing : May 2015
WHAT’S NEW/continued from page 27 clients we have the good fortune to serve. To be given opportunities to work alongside them and see their businesses grow brings everything full circle. It’s a great time to be in agriculture! MAJOR TRENDS RHEA + KAISER, Naperville, IL by Diane Martin, President/CEO It’s not enough to think of ourselves as being in the brand communications business. In order to gain consideration and be relevant we are recognizing that we’re in the business of business-building. Sure, creativity is important — it is our core product. But clients are demanding that creativity goes beyond creative messaging and placement. We are expected to deliver creative brand solutions that drive business results. From this new paradigm, we’re Martin seeing three key trends emerge in how we and other agencies run our businesses. 1. Talent.We have always pursued strategically focused, creatively inspired talent. However, we’re looking for people who have a deep understanding of business as well as of branding and communications. People who learn our clients’ businesses and industries as well as their products. People who understand where brand and business intersect. 2. Data & Analytics. Collecting and using data is not a new trend, but the trend has a new trajectory in real-time. Clients look to agencies to help sift through and prioritize data that can be translated into meaningful, leveragable insights and inform communications strategies. We’re helping develop analytical tools and dashboards to enable on-the-fly tactical tweaks and strategic shifts based on real-time (or near-time) data. 3. Results. Increasing emphasis on results also is not a new trend, but 28 Agri Marketing s May 2015 how we define and report results is changing. Our clients are held accountable for impact their marketing has on business performance. Which means measures like awareness, clickthru rates and media placemats are merely means to an end. We have to translate what we do into our clients' business KPIs. When we’re setting objectives and determining metrics, we need to be connecting our work to KPIs like lead generation, increased doses administered or acres treated, increased sales and market share and ROI. Being in the business of building businesses not only impacts how we develop teams and deliver services, it impacts agency leadership too. We are as focused on business results (for our clients and R+K) as we are on the creative product. We challenge our teams to create ideas and content that drive hard outcomes for our clients. Afterall, if we’re working in true partnerships with our clients, then we have to be willing to be held accountable for the same business-building goals. CHANGES SWANSON/RUSSELL, Lincoln, NE by Dave Hansen, Partner/CEO One of the leading agency trends is developing strategies to effectively manage multi-media advertising opportunities. There are more options to communicate your message than ever before. It’s great that we have all of these choices, but over time, it has contributed to a diluted media strategy. That’s why your public relations and creative strategies need to be integrated with your media strategy to increase impact. Determine when and where your audiences go for information, how they want the information delivered and which media outlets and influencers they trust for information on your products and services. In addition, it’s critical for agricultural companies to develop messaging that’s meaningful and will resonate with your target audiences. Once that messaging is developed, all forms of communications need to be in lock-step to amplify your brand. Remember, it’s not about us, and it’s not about you. It’s about them. Another trend that’s impacted our industry is the slowing of the agricultural economy. Because of this, marketing dollars are being stretched to last longer and still have an impact. As an agency that’s been in the business for more than 50 years, we’ve been through these economic ups and downs. You have to ride the wave and be flexible when maximizing your marketing investment. There has also been a morphing of online editorial and advertorial content in our industry. This trend, called native advertising, blurs the lines between a public relations earned media effort and an advertising paid media endeavor. When looking at available earned and paid media opportunities, it’s important to have an overall integrated marketing strategy to make the greatest communications impact. It’s also critical to repurpose content across multiple platforms, making it part of a greater content marketing plan, to stretch the value of your messaging. Finally, an effective Hansen communications strategy is impossible without making a real connection with your industry and target audience. It’s important to be part of the conversation so that you can gain that intimate knowledge and insight. And, it’s the only way to develop a successful communications campaign that meets and exceeds your company’s goals and objectives. AM To receive breaking Agri Marketing news Alerts, sign up at: http://alerts. agrimarketing.com/ or text AGRI to 283342. Free service for qualified agri-marketers.