Each Friday afternoon we spend some time looking at stories you might
have seen or perhaps missed and then add our commentary. If you want to jump directly to The Friday Wrap with Insight on Business here you go. Topics and issues this week:
Target Marketing - Knowing Where Your Customer Is
Agriculture & Main Street - The USDA Farm Bill and You
Jason Falls Does DSM - Social Media/No Bull/All Business
We share, with our clients, the value of target marketing and how it can
impact their ROI. Here is a practical example of target marketing that can be taken to nearly any product/service: Know where your customers are!
Recently we held the great Iowa State Fair. Over one-million people visited the storied state fair grounds to chow down on double bacon corn dogs and cheese curds (my favorite).
The Iowa State Fair has a rich history of being a premiere agriculture event yet agricultural equipment manufacturers rarely spend the time and money to showcase their products/services. Why? Because there are better venues in which to target growers: Farm Shows.
This is a simple lesson to business. Go where your customers are. Just because the local TV station has high ratings for men 18 - 24 does not mean that transfers to your demographic. Why attend a trade show where only a fraction of your customers go? Why start a blog and not target your consumer group? Why not spend the time and get to know where your folks are hanging their hat?
Target your message into many different silos...it works.
Our advertising agency has been involved in the business of social media
since figuring out Technorati Tag wasn't a playground game in Japan. But that's not keeping us from attending the "All Business, No Hype" program being delivered next week by Jason Falls from Social Media Explorer. Here's why your business needs to cough up the cash and attend:
Your consumers are...waiting.
Look, this ain't my first rodeo and I know most business leaders, marketers and advertising folks are failing when it comes to putting together a solid plan to maximize their social media efforts. Why? They have no direction and they have no idea of the ROI that can be attained when social media is done...well.
Jason will give you solid ideas, plans and tactics to use that will draw consumers to your message. But, more importantly you'll learn how critical it is that you become engaged in the conversation. That means actually responding to consumers. Scary huh?
So, let loose some of that moldy money, click here and sign up for the afternoon event on August 30 at the Science Center of Iowa. Added bonus our friends Angela Maiers and Ben Milne will also spend some time with us.
Part of what we do is create packaging for our clients. Yep, it's advertising agencies who design the stuff on the shelves and there is a real science in what goes on labels, cans, bottles and packages. When we see things we think to ourselves, "Hmmm...wonder what that cost the client?" In addition, we notice some subtle differences/changes that seem to match up with what consumers are requesting or at least think they are requesting.
For example, here is a can of Miller Lite made for the brewer by Ball. Bet you didn't know the old 'Ball Jar Folks" were doing this. (In fact, they no longer manufacture the glass jars.) The company is the largest manufacturer of recyclable beverage cans...in the world. (Go ahead and click on the image to enlarge) We wondered, out loud, what the cost was to private label with the Iowa Speedway on a national brand. Talk about regional marketing. Pretty cool how Rusty and the folks teamed up with Miller to push both brands to a loyal consumer group and hook them as a major sponsor.
And then there was this from our friends at Frito-Lay. While the front of the Fritos package is pretty normal there are a couple of interesting points on the back panel.
The corn is a nice "natural" touch and then check out the "Made With All Natural Oil" the wording along with the colors are all meant to scream..."Hey, it's OK to eat this stuff! Honest."
Then, there is something else about the back panel that caught our eye. Just above the UPC is "Where we live!". Notice the wording. It's not "Contact the Corporate Office Here!" but softer and more...human. The addition of the barn cutout is also on purpose...
Packaging is an interesting science and something that our team enjoys as much from the design aspect as the consumer psychology side of the business.
Our firm is deeply involved in agriculture. We've got clients from Germany to California who depend on selling everything from equipment to food. We are grateful for those long-term relationships.
This past week we were fortunate to take part in two agricultural events that were different but still major. On Thursday I was invited to the Agricultural Townhall Meeting sponsored by RFD-TV and held in the Media Center of the Cattle Barn on the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Well known farm broadcaster Max Armstrong hosted the full hour event (no commercials) featuring US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack that centered on the drought, the stalled Farm Bill, the future of agriculture for young people and food security.
Some Quotes from Sec. Vilsack:
Congress needs to pass the Farm Bill now because growers/producers need to know where they stand going forward;
A major part of my job is to assure trading partners that the United States is a worthy ally and we take global food security issues seriously;
We need to get back to teaching agriculture issues in the public schools only then will a society, so distanced from the farm, begin to understand the relationship between farm and food;
The future of agriculture in the United States is in good hands given the leadership we see in FFA and other farm directed youth groups;
Agriculture groups need to talk to each other rather than fight among themselves. When we fight it does nothing to present a unified voice to non-farm state leaders.
Big props to RFD-TV and my old friend Patrick Gottsch (in the photo with Max and Sec. Vilsack) for doing these townhall meetings and his continued work to spread the good news of agriculture. I wish I could find the video...it was very informative!
Agriculture & Social Media
My friend Deb Brown has been a brand spokesperson for the 140 Character Conference "The State of Now" for several years. Following two successful events in Des Moines Deb felt that agriculture needed a special event centered on using social media to communicate with each other and the non-ag world. She brought together several of us for the 140 Conference AgIowa. While you'll soon be able to see the 17 presentations on UStream here is a quick video with some fun out-takes from the event.
Why share these events with you? Because they matter and it shows how committed agriculture is to reaching out to each other and the general public. Agriculture matters and everyone is...welcome.
What to do following several days at the Agricultural Media Summit in New Mexico? Head back to Iowa and visit with farmers at the AgIowa 140 Character Conference this Friday.
Look, there may be only 2.2 million farms and 4.4 million farmers but they, just like you in your business, count on information to guide them. This Friday seventeen of the states best social media folk will gather for a grower specific event at the Scheman Building on the Iowa State University Campus to talk about using Twitter to gather and share news and information.
The AgIowa 140 Character Conference kicks off at 2PM and each presenter has ten minutes to share his/her advice on the how, when, why of Twitter for Agri-Business. The cost? Less than two bushels of corn.
140 Character Conference, AgIowa, agri-business, Agriculture, Ames, Deb Brown, Des Moines Register, Farm Bureau, Farms, Insight Advertising, Iowa, Iowa State, Jeff Caldwell, Larry Sailer, Michael Libbie, Shannon Latham, Twitter
Face it, the vast majority of US citizens know next to nothing about food production. It's sad how far we've strayed from "the family farm" over the past 30 years. Those are some of the concerns expressed by professional writers, film makers, editors and social medial experts at this years Ag Media Summit sponsored by the American Agriculture Editors Association.
How deep is the disconnect between consumers and agriculture? In my hands I am looking at a 16 page piece called "Building Trust in Agriculture" a research piece by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. The bottom line is that when agriculture says the sky is blue many in our society say it's black.
How did we get to this point? Trust & Numbers
For all the good things agriculture means for the world there are those things that hound our work. For example we've recently been through the "Pink Slime" issue. Lean Textured Beef isn't "pink slime" but that didn't keep the unknowing urban media from blasting the story and causing companies to fold and a loss of 700 jobs. There are too many of "them" and not enough of...us.
And Trust. We have become a country divided. We're deeply divided on food issues, religion, politics...and why? Money my friends. Division creates wealth among those who would divide. It is the business of distrust and it is growing.
So we pound out the positive stories while all the time knowing it is the negative that sells. That's a sad commentary on our times and we can do better. Moderation does need...voice.
If you want to comment here feel free or follow us on Twitter @InsightADV. Thanks for reading.
Each Friday morning we sit down with some of the advertising and marketing stories you may have seen...or missed...and lace them with our opinion. It's our way to share with you ideas for your business, no matter the size. If you want to throw us a comment you can do that here or on Twitter @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here. Let's go...
The New Apple Ads
There's been some buzz regarding these and most of it has been negitive. Things like, "Why show consumers to be ignorant?" and "I'm disapointed in Apple. We miss Steve!" Here's the ad and our take:
We think most of the negatives are coming from folks who are already deeply involved with Apple products. They have become used to the sleek and sophisticated side of Apple and this ad is anything but. However, we think it works because...of the "great unwashed". Look there are a slug of people who know not the difference between Apple and Android. The consumer here isn't "dumb" but simply...the average person who just does not know. That's the market...we think. You?
Then There is...This
FedEx just released a series of ads that point to the issue of hauling golf clubs around. It works on so many levels. One of the interesting things was the timing. Releasing these this late in the...summer? But, then again perhaps it's geared to the traveler who is headed south for the next business meeting?
We likey...especially the last line, "I'll get some water for those flowers..." Brilliant! Bottom line: If you take your time with a great idea and write well...oh, and spend some money..OK?
This morning, early, a group of eight "advertising types" gathered for the monthly meeting of the Central Iowa Bloggers. Known as CIB it's a very informal meeting where we just share...stuff. Three interesting things from today:
You shouldn't use a screen protector on your iPhone (from Jon Thompson)
This month we've got three great events that are meant to help us communicate the reality of agriculture. Each is different but worth a solid look.
American Agricultural Editors Association
Each year the AAEA brings together some of the best minds for a three day learning session. This year we'll gather in Albuquerque to better hone our craft. From trade show meetings to learning better photography skills members will learn new and exciting methods as we reach out to growers and the general public.
State of Now - Agriculture Iowa
On August 17 at Iowa State University farmers, ranchers and growers of all kinds have the opportunity to spend a day learning about how to connect, market and share information by using Twitter. Deb Brown the organizer for the 140 Character Conference has assembled a great group, including farmers, who will present solid ideas to get you going and keep you on track. The State of Now - Agriculture Iowa will take place in the Scheman Building. Here is the link to get you started.
The Iowa State Fair
Imagine the possibilities when rural and urban folks get together for this eleven day celebration of Iowa. From video to blogs to Tweets the Iowa State Fair offers those of us committed to agriculture a rare opportunity to impact people with our story. For those of you using Twitter it's #IowaStateFair and @IowaStateFair is the Twitter "handle" where Emily will answer your questions and take your comments.
We'll be at them all and look forward to seeing you...