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Agrimarketing : September 2009
44 Agri Marketing September 2009 ence, while understanding the importance of providing traffic to our dealer network at the same time," Wecksler explains. "Like our dealers, they have a deep under- standing of the ag market, but are equally versed in rural audiences and issues." DIFFERENT While they share a penchant for researching purchases similar to traditional farmers, Rural Lifestylers' equipment needs are on a different scale. One of the founda- tions of the company's strategy was that these are information-hungry shoppers who use the internet extensively, especially when it comes to researching a purchase prior to visiting a dealer. The Mar- ket Directions research showed 89% research products online ahead of time before visiting a retailer so they are informed and know how to use products. The web site takes advantage of the consumer 's interest in doing out- door work and guides them through an interactive tool that displays tractor and attachment options to match what's relevant to their situa- tion. A unique site feature is "Find Your Tractor Match," which asks simple questions about what tasks require a tractor. Yet, the site has many more dimensions. One of its strengths is that it addresses dealers' needs as much as the consumers.' Massey Ferguson dealers are seeing the upside of more educated and pre- pared buyers. Consumers who rely on TractorAdvisor.com receive a checklist and how-to tips that they can take to a dealer to help them explain their equipment needs and help them compare tractors after test-driving several models. "We're proud that Massey Ferguson, its dealers and consumers are finding value in this intuitive site," says Troy Schroeder, Assoc VP of Broadhead + Co. "As we developed the site, we consulted Massey dealers and Rural Lifestylers to ensure we met the needs of a reasonably new con- sumer group, as well as dealers who have their roots in agriculture. Massey Ferguson dealers know tractors; we wanted consumers to be ready to walk into that conversation prepared to make the most of it." Dealers love it, and initial feed- back has been outstanding. "The cus- tomers who have used the web site know more about what they want when they arrive at the dealership, which puts me in a better position to help them get the equipment they need and close the deal," says Jay Chapman, Chapman Tractor Co., Waynesboro, MS. "It's a great tool to help the customer learn more about our products, but more importantly to get wiser about the demands of their property and what's needed to get their work done." AM Julie Franklin is a freelance writer based in Minneapolis, MN. WEB SITE/continued from page 42
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