by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Agrimarketing : February 2009
FOCUS: AG IN THE DIGITAL AGE WHENMARKETINGBUDGETSTIGHTEN, INTERACTIVECANPAYDIVIDENDS by Ken Okumura, Braodhead + Co. G eorge Bernard Shawonce said, “If all economistswere laid end to end, theywould not reach a conclusion.” Butmost of us can agree the cur- rent economic climate is dire.Mar- keting and advertising budgets are being slashed. Citi Investment Research reports the three-year period of 2007 to 2009 looks to be the longest stretch ofweak and, now declining, advertising growth since the end ofWorldWar II. At this point it looks like agricul- ture-based businessesmay fare bet- ter than their consumer counterparts but aswe all know, economicwoes impact psyche andmarkets of all, and agribusiness is not an exception. Even themost bullish of companies in the ag space are understandably playing it safe,waiting to see howthe year unfolds. In times like these, smart investments in honing your interactive strategy can pay large dividends.Why? In uncertain times, customers often ponder change, per- haps seekingmore value or differ- ent approaches. True, interactive has not won’t fare aswell, and valuable time andmoneywill bewasted. The focusmust be on the quality of the leads, not the quantity.Care- ful considerationmust be paid to the return on investment of these quality leads. Focus on your in-house list. Themoney is tight in acquiring newcustomers. These lists are often under-utilized, thus, the opportunity exists to spendmore timemarketing to familiar cus- tomers. Acombination of lead scoring and lead nurturing is essential. Lead scoring identifieswhich programbe able to create ideas for the right audience.Many compa- nies are turning to search, forums, blogs and even Twitter to dissemi- nate theirmessage. Since the infor- mation is visible inmany interac- tive formats, themarketing and sales teamsmust be fully inte- grated. Both teamsmust fully understand these programs and their execution so little time and money iswasted. 2.Now’s the time to automate marketing Marketing automation blends information technology and processmanagement into a single set of tools and proto- cols. It is driven by the com- plexity of themulti-channel universewe live in, aswell as the greater accountability for marketing spending. It’s become a hot topic in Photo courtesy of High Plains Journal always been at the forefront of agri- marketing strategies perhaps due to perceivedweakness in accessibility. But todaywith at least six in ten farmers having Internet access, it’s a mistake to ignore it. Sowhere to start. The following are five simple interactive strategies we recommend every client consider whenwe put together an integrated communications plan: 1. Spend resources upfront to optimize lead generation Discipline in an economic down- turn enables one to excelwhen the market rebounds. In a recession, traditional advertisingmethods 42 AgriMarketing s January/February 2009 leads are highly engaged,while lead nurturing can be used to work on relationshipswith prospects that are not quite ready to engage in sales. These two tac- ticswill result in higher quality leads, heightened buyer awareness and increased revenue. An auto- mated lead nurturing programcan result in a significant improvement in turning qualified prospects into sales over time. E-mailmarketing is an efficient way to nurture leads. It can be used to target specific groups, and provide up-to-date, valuable infor- mationwhile being cost-effective. But it is critical that amarketing the online arena. If you do a Google search for automated marketing, youwill be inun- datedwith a great deal of softwarewith promises of efficiency that translate into reduced adver- tising costs.While those goals are attainable, the software is just one part of the equation. Inmany agmarkets,where three- step distribution is common, an ad builder strategy can delivermore rel- evantmessages to end users, and also add value for distributor part- ners.We recently launched a solution for a client that enabled theirmarket- ing and sales teams to customize ads for localmarkets, a strategy that maintains brand consistencywhile reducing costs.We’re not in the busi- ness of selling technology,but teach- ing theways one can optimize the tools available in themarketplace. (more on page 44)
Marketing Services Guide