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Agrimarketing : November December 2007
This served as an appropriate opportunity for Bayer CropScience to gather each consultant's informa- tion, as well. A one question, multiple-choice quiz followed the initial podcast. The second podcast was posted a week later and announced by blast e-mail to all registered participants. The team followed this same an- nouncement and posting method for the third and fourth podcasts, and each podcast included a summary quiz. After finishing three of the four quizzes with correct answers, partici- pants then received thank you notes for completing the program and notification they would be receiving their iPods by mail. The iPods were sent four to eight weeks after com- pletion directly from Apple with thank you letters enclosed. FIRST YEAR RESULTS The program garnered great success in its first year. "With a 41% completion rate, we had almost three times the amount of participants we had expected," Walter says. But the positive returns didn't stop there. The sales force heard con- tinual buzz from consultants. "The consultants appreciated the firsthand information from people in their industry describing how Oberon works," says Jon Mixson, Bayer CropScience Product Mgr. "They had more confidence in the product even in its first year because of where and how the information was delivered." On top of the positive comments in the field, unsolicited e-mails and phone calls described how much consultants appreciated the way the information was delivered. They reiterated the trustworthiness of sources being fellow consultants. Much of the feedback also focused on the new delivery method with the podcasts. The comments said it gave participants a chance to hear true dialogue about the prod- uct, with a new twist on the tradi- tional form of reading a testimonial on a printed piece of material. CONTROLLING THE MESSAGE When marketing a product or a ser- vice, key messages need to be the focus for positioning in the target market. This campaign was no dif- ferent, as each one of the podcasts focused on a relevant message for Oberon. "Utilizing the podcasts for mes- sage control worked well," Mixson says. "It gave us the opportunity to put the buzz we wanted out there in the field." The sales force shared an opti- mistic outlook for Oberon, as well, based upon how well those mes- sages were received. "The messages were reaching the growers and gave Oberon a positive reputation in its first year, which is invaluable in any industry when you launch a new product," Mixson says. CONTINUING WHAT WORKS After reviewing the success of the program's inaugural year, the team decided to use the tactic again in the second year, including some new components. The second-year campaign launched with a three-dimensional mailer to consultants and retailers. Those who had participated in the program in 2006 could earn a Harman Kardon SoundSticks II speaker system or a second iPod. The program encouraged first- time participants to choose the iPod after completion (the speaker system also was offered as an incentive). The team also added video pod- casts in the second year. "The video component reiterated the personal connection with the consultants presenting the informa- tion," Walter says. The program had another suc- cessful year with 41% participation. Of those consultants who completed the second-year program, approxi- mately 80% chose the iPod and 20% chose the speaker system. "This program was very success- ful in promoting Oberon," Mixson says. "It relayed the key messages for the product to the consultants, got them excited about Oberon, and it brought many of them back to learn more in the second year. The learnings from this project can be uti- lized for new product launches in the future." AM November/December 2007 AgriMarketing 25 This introductory package was sent to the target audience, kicking off the program.
2008 Marketing Services Guide