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Agrimarketing : November December 2007
November/December 2007 AgriMarketing 21 Product/Species Management Klaas Okkinga, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. Okkinga is responsible for managing the marketing department in the swine division of BIVI. He has also been given the opportunity/challenge to launch a new circovirus vaccine into the swine market - Ingelvac CircoFLEX. Okkinga successfully launched Ingelvac CircoFLEX and quickly achieved the market leader position. This is an especially remarkable feat, in that Ingelvac CircoFLEX was actually the third product to market and the disease pressure and competition amongst competitors was (and is) intense. Okkinga has had many achievements throughout his career. Over the past 18 months specifically, he achieved double digit million dollar sales and profits in year three of a product's life, by reaching 30%+ market penetration in competitive US markets. The swine industry is a relatively small category, however, Okkinga is not one to let this limit his creativity ... be it a viral email campaign, television call-in program or utilizing decoder glasses at a trade show, Okkinga embraces his category and pushes the envelope with regard to communications strategies and tactics for swine producers and veterinarians. In addition, Okkinga was instrumental in the development of the BIVI PCVAD Research Award. This is an annual $75,000 award, shared amongst three winners in North America, to fund research projects related to circovirus. Okkinga, although living and working in St. Joseph, is and has been an active member of the MOKAN NAMA chapter. Sales Bill Heffron, Bock & Associates Bill Heffron is wrapping up a very successful selling career in 2007. He has excelled in achieving high levels of customer satisfaction and professionalism. Heffron is a consummate salesman. He knows his publication, the details of the market segment served, his competitors and, most importantly of all, his customers' position in this market. This allows him to design advertising proposals using all appropriate publications and related products and always with the customers' budget and objectives in mind. Research such as Starch FARMS and USDA Census of Agriculture reports were pored over by Heffron. He frequently used several sources of data to explain a marketing position and to justify a communication proposal. Today's marketplace is a multi-media marketplace. Heffron grasped this concept with enthusiasm and is a leader in integrating new media products such as website advertising and e-newsletters into customers' proposals. His strong relationships with customers have been deepened through the years because his work has kept their needs on the top of the priority list. Heffron's NAMA involvement has focused on supporting local activities. He has been actively involved in both professional improvement/recognition events like the annual Best of NAMA awards and the more social activities such as the summer golf outing. Heffron states, "NAMA is extremely important to us as a networking tool. Many of us greatly benefited early in our careers from the added boost NAMA gave us in getting to know our customers on a more social level."
2008 Marketing Services Guide