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Agrimarketing : November December 2012
In 1997 Direct Contact AG, Inc rolled out a business concept that ultimately would change the dynamics of how many agricultural organizations go to market. Direct Contact AG, Inc. (DCI) and sister organization Direct Resources AG, Inc (DRI) continue to play an increasingly dominant role in helping to change the face of how agribusiness in the U.S. develops new customers and retains existing ones. Crop protection, animal health, animal nutrition, seed companies, equipment and ag research companies typically rely on face to face --- boots on the ground (BOG) marketing strategies to reach and retain customers at the retail, distribution and the grower level. Many organizations in the agricultural industry have discovered that it makes good business sense to utilize the experience base and long term relationships that industry veterans bring. The companies have spent the last 16 years building, developing and refining a business model that makes it possible for veteran agricul- tural professionals to be part of long term or short term project teams. These teams are then assigned by the companies to various sales, marketing, research or equipment related projects. The many clients who utilize these professional and experienced teams benefit almost immediately from these valuable and variable cost resources. Tom Wingate is Vice President of both organizations and oversees the day-to-day operations and business development activities. Wingate says, "Many of our clients are long term partners, some as many as ten and 12 years. They find they benefit greatly from having the same team members come back to the project year after year because it brings predictability, continuity and enhances relationships." Some of DCI's clients sign two and three year agreements so they can achieve more long term goals and objectives. Roger Wilson manages projects and develops new business for the companies and states, "We have seen a real uptick in several specific areas of business including research and technical service projects as well as clients requesting more help with boots on the ground field claims inspections and crop claims resolution." President Terry Bowen summarizes the organization this way, "Tom and I agreed early on that our mission was simply to partner with agricultural companies to help them reach their strategic short and long term sales and marketing goals. "Our business model is very straight forward," he adds. "We do not pretend to offer an endless list of sidebars and services, but if you need a proven high quality team of experienced agri professionals to help you reach your sales and marketing goals we are the best choice." The future of DCI and DRI appears to be bright. Bob Wells, a Project Manager, sees the companies as business partners to agriculture. Wells says, "I see us as consultative partners to the ag industry. You give us 30 to 45 days lead time and we will build a team of professionals to fit our client's exact needs. Each project is unique and deserves our best efforts. This is accomplished by open and candid communications with each client." Wingate adds, "The real key honestly is the experience factor that our people bring to the table. Just the fact that our people bring 15 to 30 years of industry experience means they hit the ground running and build relationships much faster than otherwise would be possible." A strategic overview of the companies reveals the following facts: 1. DCI uses independent contractors for project teams. These are normally shorter term projects with definitive beginning and end dates. 2. DRI uses temporary employees on its projects which are normally longer in duration and often continue for a period of years rather than months. 3. Both organizations are headquartered out of the home office in St. Charles, IL. 4. The companies have over 4,000 experienced agribusiness professionals. 5. DCI has been in business since 1997 and has 11 full-time employees with offices in six states. 6. The companies boast a client list that includes nearly all major crop protection supplier companies as well as seed, equipment and animal health organizations. 7. Project teams can range in size from two to over 100 and projects can last for three months to over three years. To learn more about this unique company and how they can help you reach your goals just call 1-800-558-6803 or visit www.directcontact.com. THE CHANGING FACE OF AGRICULTURE by Tom Wingate, Direct Contact, Inc. ADVERTORIAL Wingate Bowen
Marketing Services Guide 2013