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Agrimarketing : June 2009
38 Direct Marketing:32 Feature Story 6/12/09 12:58 PM Page 38 FOCUS ON: DIRECT/RELATIONSHIPMARKETING SOLUTIONSFORAGRI-MARKETERS Editor’s note:We invited organizations providing agri-marketerswith direct/ relationship services to share their thoughts onwhat’s newin the business. AGCALL www.AgCall.com The evolution of the traditional “top down” approach to Direct/ Relationship marketing is “SocialMarketing,”where relationships extend “across,” or from one customer to another. SocialMarket- ing is about going beyond a single business transaction. It’s about building a long-termrelationshipwith your customers. It’s about peer-to-peer influencing over the phone, in person, and online. But most importantly, it’s about trust. AgCall is an organization that ArronMadson President has spent the past 20 years building that trust, fromthe grassroots up to the executive boardroomlevel.We customize,manage and implement turnkey solutions that drive adoption and sales, build advocates, and achieve ameasurable ROI for our customers. In the last five years, I have seen our services growand expand from purely face-to-face on-farmsales and service programs, to nowbuilding technology platforms to allowcrosscustomer interaction and peer-to-peer dialogue.AgCall has developed an SMS texting technology for influencing customers and improving internal client communications, aswell as a proprietary GRID technology that enables our clients to communicate and provide information such as geographic specific data, testimonials and cropmodels to their customers without having to drill into company web sites for the information. BECK AG www.beckag.com Sometimes it only takes a short conversationwith someone you trust to change howyou feel about a 38 Agri Marketing s June 2009 product, service or company forever. Here at BeckAgwe have investedmore than 12 years helping our clients harness the experiences of their best customers and provide the forumfor those conversations to take place. The strategieswe employ influence and impact our clients’ business results. Dave Rhylander, 2008NAMA Marketer of the Year andMarketing Lead atMonsanto says our customized solutionswork. “Experience sharingworkswell in agriculture because farmers listen to other farmers,” he says. KerryannMehmen, Elanco Ani- malHealth U.S. Swine Business Unit andwinner of the 2008Wordof-MouthMar-ketingAward, agrees. “Experience-sharing strategies get customers to act. Whether it’s finding outmore information about the product or issue, adopting the product, etc., experience-sharing always seems to get people to take some sort of action.” After twomajor research studies Stephanie Liska President on our tactics, Purdue University also validated ourwork. “People want to talk about their experiences. Themyth is that the results of those conversations are out of our hands, but the reality is that amanaged experience-sharing initiative can have a significant positive impact on bottomlines,” saysDr. Joan Fulton, Agri-Marketing Professor at Purdue. DTN/THE PROGRESSIVE FARMER www.dtnprogressivefarmer.com In difficult economic times, it’s essential that companies stay close to their customers. They need to know the issues they are facing andwork to help themdealwith those issues. It’s also important to find and developmore customers.And all this needs to be done in a personal, directmanner that creates and grows relationshipswith customers and potential customers. Finding and developing those customers requires access to the latest,most complete database of farmers. But, a database by itself isn’t enough. It’s the relationship that the publication/media company has with its customers that is the key. Progressive Insight, themarket- ing services division of DTN/ The Progressive Farmer,workswith ag companies and agencies of all sizes to develop and implement targeted, relationship-basedmarketing programs. For instance, Progressive Insight recently did a project for Southern States using the database to identify dairy producers that have purchased feed butwere not buying Southern States starter feed for their replacement cows. Their field sales staff took the identified prospect file and converted over 80%to their starter feed. Another pro- gramrevolved around generating potential purchases based on our demographic profile in six categories ranging from seed, feed, fertilizer, crop protection, general and petroleum. Progressive Insight provided each storemanager their top 15 based on actual sales and potential and themanagers contacted these customers to in-crease their level of spendingwith Southern States. These reportswere provided twice a year so the storemanagers and their district and regionalmanagers could evaluate their performance. At the core of Progressive Tamara Kass VP, AgMedia Insight, is a comprehensive database ofmore than 1.2millionAmerican farmers. Progressive Insight offers a turnkey database andmarketing systemtomeet themost sophisticated directmail and relationshipmarketing needs. For complete flexibility, (more on page 40)
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