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Agrimarketing : February 2009
As callsweremade toinvitepartici- pants totheAgTelePanel,Elanco’s database ofprospectswasupdated withimportant informationfor the company’suse infuturemarketing campaigns.Keyfieldswere refreshed, newprospectswereadded, and responses to keyquestions aroundthe topicsof Ileitispresence,methods of detection, andproductsusedfor con- trolwereaddedtothedatabase. WORD-OF-MOUTH’S REACH Almost 500 people participated in TylanAgTelePanels inAugust and September last year. Through those participants,more than 174million pigs and 13million sowswere impacted. ButMehmen says that WOMM’s effectiveness goesway beyond those hard numbers. “One of the biggest advantages I can think of is thatwe get somany residual touches,”Mehmen says. “It’s not just about buyingmore product—it’s sometimes just getting customers talking, and a program like this really allows us to reach into themarketplace.Weget somuch market insight fromthat.And some- onewho has participated in a AgTelePanel is likely to tell a peer about his experience—giving us an evenwider reach.” Arecent study by Purdue University confirms this “ripple effect.” (See Table 1.) Purdue con- ducted a research study last year fol- lowing aWOMMinitiative for an agricultural companymarketing a seed trait.After collecting data from more than 700 interviews, Purdue verified that the ripple effect is real. “Wecollected data that allows us to compare initiative participants against a control group,” saysDr. Jay Akridge, one of the leaders of the study.“Control groupmemberswere not involved in the initiative in any way,but had similar demographics to participants.Withmore than 700 interviews conducted,we collected a very rich set of data—one that shows thatWOMMparticipants talk about their experiencewith their peers.” COMPLEMENTARYWITH OTHER MARKETING/ADVERTISING TACTICS Besides talking to their peers about their experience,Mehmen says WOMMprograms can be used in oth- ermarketing and advertising pro- grams at Elanco. “WOMMprograms complement the other tactics in ourmarketingmix sowell,”Mehmen says. “We use these programs in our PRdepartment to do press releases andmailings,we make podcasts out of the programs, fied specific peoplewho requested an immediate contact fromElanco. MargaretOldham,Director of BusinessDevelopment,BeckAg,has coordinatedmanysuccessfulWOMM initiativeswithElancoandcredits the company’sabilitytopickthe right audience fromhearing thismessage andthenthey carefully craft thatmes- WOMM Reaches Customers in Each Step of the Buying Process WOMM accelerates the buying process by leveraging independent credibility and advocate experience Loyalty K N O W L E D G E Decision Investigation Consideration Intrigue Familiarity Awareness Traditional Communication Tactics Word of Mouth Tactics Time we use the dialogue in some of our advertising—WOMMgives all of our tactics a boost.” Purdue’s study also confirmedthat participants ofWOMMinitiative are more likelyto recall key benefits of manufacturingadvertising thana con- trolgroup. “It’s a criticaldistinction andone thatmarketerswork to achieve,”Akridge says.“Beyondjust recallingthe ad, customerswhohad participatedinaWOMMinitiative expresslyrecalledspecificmarketing messagesabout theproduct.Clearly the researchresults showthatWOMM amplifiesother advertising/promo- tionalmediaefforts,”he explains. RESULTS Specific polling results fromElanco’s Tylan programshowed that 97%of those polled found theAgTelePanels to be relevant andworth attending, and 94%said they are likely to use or recommend Tylan in the next six months. The initiative also delivereda timely,consistentmessage and identi- sageandtailor benefits for them. “I thinkthat’s a bigpart of the reasonthey have seenthe results theyhave,” Oldhamsays. Mehmen reports Elancowill con- tinue to useWOMMin the future and will probably look forways to use the tacticwhen trying to get out specific types ofmessages. “Wewant tocontinuetogivepeo- ple informationthat theycanreally grabandholdonto,”Mehmensays. Youknowyou’vegotagoodprogram whenthe sales teamwantsmore WOMM—thatmeansit’smakingtheir jobeasier andreachingwherethey sometimes can’tordon’thave time to.” Overall,Mehmen says that- WOMMworks for Elanco because the programs get peoplemoving. “WOMMprograms get customers to act,” she concludes. “Whether it be findingmore informationabout the productor issue, adoptingtheproduct or askingquestions,word-of-mouth always seems togetpeople totake some sort of action.” AM January/February 2009 s AgriMarketing 47
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