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Agrimarketing : May 2009
38 Agency Leaders Update:32 Feature Story 5/13/09 11:33 AM Page 39 For example, this helps us better understand the differences between profit-driven and cost-driven producers and the buying trigger point for each critical audience. We think that segmentation and targeting is becoming the standard mode of operation in ag. It fits directlywith our first rule in agmarketing—Make EveryMove Count. In thismarket climate agmar- keters can’t afford to waste resources ormiss a selling opportunity.We place greater emphasis on getting the strategies right, and making absolutely sure those strategies are correct. Those strategiesmay call for unconventional approaches to implementation— maybe its grassroots social networking instead of an ad campaign, or interactive sales tools instead of blanket public relations. Finding that right strategy and executing it flawlessly iswhatmakes our jobs soworthwhile, and one reasonwhywe have such a passion for the agricultural industry. COLLE+MCVOY Minneapolis,MN www.collemcvoy.com by Phil Johnson, COO Colle+McVoy has changed dramatically since its inceptionmore than 70 years ago.We were founded as a small advertising agency dedicated to serving the agricultural market. Today, Colle+McVoy provides a breadth of services frombranding to execution inmanymarketing communications disciplines. Our clients range from innovative local companies to corporationswhose brands are instantly recognized around theworld. With our strong commitment to Johnson agribusiness and its focus on customer relationships,we recognized early on that digital, or interactive, marketing expertise,would play a critical role in themarketing success of our clients.We’ve invested heavily in elevating our digital expertise across all disciplines, including brandmanagement, relationship management, advertising, public relations andmedia relations, social mediamarketing andmore to help achieve our clients’marketing objectives and connectwith their customers in remarkableways. This expertise is critical because we believewe are in a newgolden age of agriculturemarketing driven largely by technology. There are more opportunities than ever to communicate, connect, bemore efficient and bemore successful.With digital tools,we can bemore targeted and efficientwhen reaching the numerous segments of the industry fromrural lifestylers and producers to retailers and other influencers. The one-on-one opportunities possiblewith digital communications allowus to build dialogues between customers and our clients, ultimately creating stronger relationships and stronger brand loyalty. The communications needs of the audienceswe reach are increasingly complex.And, since our clients are constantly challenged to domore with less, smart use of these new technologies can hold the key to efficient, effective communications. In addition to this deep knowl- edge of digital capabilities,we know that strategic thinking and in-depth audience understanding are critical to creating game-changing ideas and to finding the best andmost effective ways to bring themto life.We take an entrepreneurial approach to solving clients’ challenges and tomaking every idea count, fromthe simplest to themost complex communications program. Colle+McVoy is excited about the future of agribusiness.We’re thrilled to be part of this vital global industry. GIBBS&SOELL New York, NY www.gibbs-soell.com by Ann Gottbrath Camden, Sr. VP Howimportant is ReturnOn Investment (ROI)? In a recent client pitch, theGibbs&Soell teamled offwith the campaign’s expected return on investment—and only then delved into the strategies, tactics and creative ideas that usually dominate agencies’ presentations. Fromlistening to our clients,we feel their painwhen it comes to proving ROI on communications in terms that topmanagement can understand and embrace.And it’s just as important in boomcycles as in harder times. Howarewe doing it at G&S? It startswith “getting our hands dirty” in agriculture: asking probing questions, challenging assumptions, and gaining indepth knowledge of our clients and their customers. This lays the foundation for a strategic communications approach inwhich all efforts not only support the key objectives, but talk to the customer in ways that ring true. To deliver ROI, the programmust be strategic. Itmust also be integrated,with Camden all tacticsworking together.While this has always been the case, digital media nowoffermanymore opportunities—and challenges—for integration.As broadband access finally penetrates ruralAmerica, effectively combining digitalwith traditional media allows for greater interplay and synergy than ever before, aswell as bettermetrics. G&S is currently investing heav- ily in twomajor areas to bolster ROI: continuing, intensive digitalmedia training; and a suite of research capabilities. Training our teams in cutting- edge digitalmedia has accelerated our ability to recommend, execute and integrate digital tactics, from microsite development and SEO coordination, to pitching editors via LinkedIn, and even using Facebook to reach appropriate audiences. Our research suite, to be launched later this year,will help us both at the front end of campaigns, by giving a better understanding of target audiences, and at the back end, bymeasuring impact and ROI. Here again, digital technology plays a key role both in talking—and listening—to customers, and in tracking andmeasuring their responses to communications. (more on page 40) May 2009 s Agri Marketing 39
May 2009 Supplement