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Agrimarketing : November December 2007
38 AgriMarketing November/December 2007 ADVANCED BIOLOGICAL MARKETING'S EXCALIBRE ENCAPSULATED INOCULANT Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM) entered the soy- bean inoculant market for the first time in 2002 at a time when two companies dominated it and others were also entering it. Its new technology, Excalibre encapsulation for- mulation, allows a high degree of protection for fragile live rhizobia and other beneficial microbes, resulting in a longer shelf life and often higher compatibility with seed pesti- cides. Tested by universities, seed companies, distributors, retailers and farmers, it was found to have a field perfor- mance that matched or exceeded the yield responses of its competitors, while adding convenience and flexibility to farmers and dealer seed handling systems. 2007 was the first year ABM "graduated" as a com- pany to significant penetration with sales and marketing through national and regional crop protection and seed distribution, including United Agri Products, Croplan, Wilbur-Ellis, CPS-Agrium and others. Nearly all of its communication activities were focused on crop input retailers, including direct mail, trade shows and trade publications. ABM believes it nearly doubled its market share in 2007. It believes the overall inoculant use rate in the U.S. soybean marketplace to be about 20%, representing a "normal" size of $28 million annually. BASF'S HEADLINE In today's ag economy, corn growers want to continue pushing yields higher, but with the advent of biotechnol- ogy, there was little research taking place into what was going on inside the plant --- the triggers. BASF achieved success for Headline fungicide by first identifying this market need that was going unfilled, investing in the research science, developing the innova- tion, and then introducing the solution. It's research showed the application of Headline boosted corn yields 12 to 15 bushels per acre, with a resulting Return On Investment (ROI) of an average more than 160%. Creating a "Plant Health" initiative, BASF worked closely with retailers, distributors, aerial applicators, crop consultants and other Centers of Influence to create a market acre-by-acre and grew it by creating a "buzz" about the product. Marketing activities included grower meetings, lead sponsorship in the National Corn Growers Association's yield contest, significant presence at industry events, print and Web site ads, plus many other activities. By July 2007, a survey of corn growers indicated that 25% planned to apply Headline this year, representing an incredible increase from the 0% three years ago. It also showed an 81% level of awareness for the product. CASE IH'S MODULE EXPRESS 625 Over the years, three major innovations have transformed cotton production: • Eli Whitney's cotton gin, • International Harvester's mechanical cotton picker, and • The first in-field (but not on-board) module-building implement. These innovations have made cotton more available and also caused cultural shifts in areas where cotton is grown. The Module Express 625 has been described as the fourth major innovation. Successful marketing of the machine began with the initial development process. Case IH has cooperatively worked with the entire U.S. cotton industry to develop a machine that fits with common practices of both cotton farmers and gins --- without additional handling or capital investment. The Module Express was officially unveiled to Case IH dealers, media, potential customers and other industry representatives at an invitation-only launch event held in October 2006. Its communications activities include heightening its profile at major cotton trade shows and events, ads in grower publications, and key customer tours at its manu- facturing facility in Minnesota. Due to overwhelming demand, planned first year production was expanded, but Case IH was still unable to meet full demand for 2007 machines. DICKEY-JOHN MINI GAC/ MINI GAG PLUS The need for a hand held portable grain moisture tester was first recognized by DICKEY-john in the early 1970s when the first tester, the DJ1S, was brought to market. In February 2007, the company launched its next gen- PRODUCT OF THE YEAR ALSO HONORED BY THE JUDGES Editor's Note: The following is information provided from the companies whose products were named runners up in the 2007 Product of the Year program.
2008 Marketing Services Guide