For those of you who advertise with or follow Stud Stock Sales online http://www.studstocksales.com.au you will be familiar with their phrase “You Can’t Sell A Secret”.
Such a simple phrase and yet so profoundly true. Studies show that you can produce the best product in the world but if you don’t take your product to the market and let people know about you then your product won’t sell. That’s why no matter what your product is whether it be yourself, black angus bulls or the newspapers that wish to publish the ads marketing is paramount.
Of course it goes without saying that you have to have a top end product in the first place and offer an ongoing client/customer support as you build up a relationship with your market place.
The secret though is not to keep your product a secret.
It is paramount to success to get your message out there.
If no-one knows about you, no-one can find you ……………and if no-one can find you, no-one can purchase your product.
This is equally true for commercial farmers who are looking to value add for example by selling their own branded beef. One local inspiration in the Gippsland is Annies Angus – brainchild of Paul and Annie Chisolm. Annie with her Irish charm and ‘Celtic Can-do’ attitude has built up a premium black angus branded beef product for sale in the local market. You can follow Annies Angus Facebook on https://www.facebook.com/AnniesAngus/as she shares her story and connects with the marketplace. Sharing her story on Facebook and supplying select local retailers with her branded beef are two of the ways in which Annies Angus market their beef and connect with their consumers.
Last year September saw one of the industry’s larger Seedstock Producer Lawsons Angus http://www.lawsonsangus.com.au/ offering their entire line-up of NSW and VIC bulls online as they hosted their Inauguaral Online Spring Bull Sale. Instead of being available on Sale Day itself for viewing followed by an open-cry auction clients could inspect the bulls at their leisure over the course of an Open Week and then bidding was hosted purely online by Auctions Plus http://auctionsplus.com.au with no physical sale! Click here to read the full article http://www.farmweekly.com.au/news/agriculture/cattle/beef/lawsons-angus-online-only-bull-sale-heralds-new-era/2753851.aspx
With the next generation of farmers growing up in this media savy world this looks to be the way forward for the future of cattle sales. How far in the future this will happen will be determined by the marketplace itself and we as Seedstock Producers will be required to modify our marketing and sales strategy accordingly. This is already evident as has been seen over the last few years with a move from the ‘run-the-bull through a pen open-cry auction’ being replaced with ‘on-site video screening open-cry auction’. This has resulted in the emergence of companies like Clear Vision Imaging https://www.facebook.com/Clear-Vision-Imaging-172727606134675/ to shoot professional video images that fully capture our bulls’ best attributes in their own natural and relaxed environment. It therefore makes sense to fully utilise the dollars we spend on these Sale Day videos and upload them onto social media platforms and websites as part of our marketing campaign. This enables greater choice and transparency of product for our client the commercial farmer. In this time-poor age, this can be a tremendous boon.
Talking about the next generation, new kids on the block Live Bidding are bringing a whole new bidding platform to the agricultural industry. Integrating social media with livestreaming and online bidding on one platform. The company is in its youth but we are sure that Live Bidding is going to become an integral part of the farming marketing world. In their own words “Buy & Sell on your terms.” Ultimately farmers want to be farming ……………… therfore marketing needs to be efficient and effortless, so that farmers will fully embrace and maximize new technology to its full potential. Check out what Live Bidding is offering at their website http://www.livebidding.com.au and make up your own mind.
Getting back to Stud Stock Sales, they are offering a multi-media presence for minimal investment. In addition to their own website, they also have a substantial Facebook and Twitter following which means that your marketing can constantly be up-to-date and always present in the public market place. Often newspaper advertisements become dated the minute they are printed. A newspaper once read is quickly tossed aside and disregarded. Web marketing however is always there in real time; 24/7.
As my grandmother used to say “Today’s newspaper is tomorrow’s fish and chip paper.”
For me the best marketing is word of mouth and the relationship that you build up with your individual clients as you get to know their herd and their needs. Real messages from real people…………….. but then again you need to get your message out there in the first place so that the clients will come. It is a little like the chicken and the egg or paraphrased from that infamous Kevin Costner film “If you build it , they will come” – “If you produce it and market it, they will buy it.”
Like all investments marketing dollars need to be spend wisely. Each dollar spent can only be spent once! Each dollar therefore must maximize return and generate new revenue. So think wisely when you sit down to draw up your marketing plan. Treat it like all other expenditure on your farm.
Ω So how will you be spending your marketing budget this year?
Ω Do you engage in social media?
Ω Which social media platforms are your platforms of choice?
Ω As a commercial farmer which platforms would you like your Seedstock Producer to engage with you on?
Ω Replacing physical open-cry bull sales with online bull sales + Open Week :
Does virtual attendance appeal to you?
Do you think this system would value add to your purchasing experience as the seller would have more one-on-one time to spend with you inspecting the bulls?
We would love to hear from you. Don’t keep your marketing thoughts a secret – join the Cattle Conversation as we Chew the Cud this week on all things marketing.