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Agrimarketing : January February 2012
January/February 2012 Agri Marketing 21 genetics from all over the world," says Hoag. "Drought-resistance, disease-tolerance and more than we imagined 50 to 100 years ago." To date, the DEKALB brand's performance has been impressive. "Year after year, it has maintained yield advantages in corn over the next leading competitor," Hoag says. Further reducing risk for growers will come through the Monsanto new product pipeline according to Hoag. Flexibility with herbicides and seed treatments and advancements in trait technologies will offer farmers the ability to better manage a host of conditions, while increasing yields. Finally, there's customer service. "We continue to focus a large effort on finding out who needs what and when," says Hoag. "DEKALB has always been a farmer-driven organization. We're here to improve the farmer 's well-being by improving his productivity." "It's not just about a bag of seed. It's about making DEKALB the foundation for a whole farm performance solution." Hoag says the brand's distribution network of retail and independent seed dealers is a key element in the effort, offering customers information and assistance whenever and wherever needed. "Service to the farmer is at the root of our culture, companywide," explains Hoag. "Overall, we like where we're at," says Hoag, "but we need to continue to advance with even better products, with the best people to represent the brand and the best support for our customers." That dedication to improvement is evident in the DEKALB brand's new offerings this year. Hoag says that DEKALB will provide a full launch of Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete and Genuity VT Double PRO RIB Complete blended corn products in 2012, "providing farmers the convenience and time savings of a single-bag refuge management solution with the lowest refuge, at 5%, in the corn-growing area for higher whole farm yield potential." DEKALB will also continue to offer a portfolio of products featuring Genuity VT Triple PRO trait technology. "Farmers can plant with confidence knowing that the combination of DEKALB brand's industry leading genetics combined with the latest Genuity trait innovations on the market," reports Hoag. "We are pleased to be able to offer 47 new products to help farmers maximize their yield and profit potential in 2012." MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS Over the years, DEKALB has become one of the most recognized brands in agriculture, due in part to its extensive marketing communications activities. "We still promote the brand and what it stands for," explains Hoag. "But we have become more focused on being educational and informative, as well." Information delivery has also changed for DEKALB. "The last five or six years, we've concentrated on text and smart phone applications to deliver agronomic alerts and recommendations," says Hoag. "Our customers want quick access to information that's applicable to their specific locations." Agency Osborn & Barr, St. Louis, MO, handles all the DEKALB advertising and communications, and partners with Hughes Leahy Karlovic, also in St. Louis, for digital planning and execution. "We have a very strong alignment between agencies," explains Hoag. "We include everyone in the planning process, including all agencies, technology, and product management. Everyone gets to know and understand the brand experience." 100 YEARS OF THANK-YOU'S It's obvious that over the years DEKALB has never lost sight of its roots. The company is using its 100-year anniversary as a means to recognize and thank its customers and supporters. As Hoag says, "This is not about DEKALB. This is about the industry, the farmer, the banker, the reporter, the marketer and everyone who supports DEKALB. We appreciate that support." And DEKALB especially values its customers who bring insights, expertise, and concepts to the company. "Feedback is essential," says Hoag. "We've gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about trends and future requirements from our customers." Jason also believes that the 100-year anniversary serves another role for the company. "It's an opportunity for us to reflect upon if we're executing based on principles that we stand for," he says. "And that includes all aspects of the business, from product development to sales to distribution to customer service to communications." (more on page 22) LOGOS OVER THE YEARS 1930s 1940s--1950s 1960s--1980s 1990s
Marketing Services Guide 2012