In any industry there are those who adapt and those who die. It really is that simple. For example look at the dairy cattle publication world. Those that are trying new things are thriving while others are wandering around lost in no man’s land or living on life support. There is no question that if you cannot adapt you will die. In the dairy cattle breeding and marketing world that means, using the same old methods that have been used for the past 50 years. They just don’t cut it today. The dairy cattle breeding industry of the past is dead. In order to embrace the new you need to lead not follow the path of others into a world that has reconfigured the possibilities. Blame science. Blame technology. Blame the Bullvine. But don`t stop there.
Leaders Never Worry About Being Average
Tomorrow’s leaders are not the ones who seek to be average today. Tomorrow’s leaders are the ones who are willing to be seen as outlandish today because they believe in a different and better tomorrow.
A great example of this is Jerry Jorgensen (Read more: Breeding Ri-Val-Re: Where Looking Good in the Stall Is Just as Important as Looking Good on Paper and $10,000 a dose polled semen). Instead of worrying about what has been done in the past, Jerry is always looking for new ways to do things in breeding and marketing. For his recent sale, instead of just trying to do all the same old boring advertising everyone else does, Jerry looked outside the box and tried something new. He set up a free giveaway for all those people on Facebook that helped spread the word about his upcoming sale. The results were outstanding. He reached the right people and got a far greater response from one simple giveaway and request than all his other marketing combined. And at a fraction of the cost I might add.
I watch as more and more breeders embrace technology such as Facebook. I see some of the most traditional breeders, leveraging the power of social media to spread the word about newsworthy events in their breeding programs. A fine example of this is Quality Holsteins who are seen by many, including myself, as the model for successful “traditional” breeding and marketing (Read more: Quality Holsteins – Well Deserved Congratulations). Recently Quality started a Facebook page and has seen their already great “brand” explode to thousands more people than a traditional “ad” would have reached, again – at a fraction of the cost. They simply take a few minutes each day to share firsthand the great things that are happening at Quality. This willingness to step outside of the “traditional” and into the “new” has Quality reaching a much larger marketplace than many even imagine!
You Don’t Have To Pander
Just giving people what they think they want is a shortcut to banality, mediocrity and ultimately invisibility. For the dairy cattle magazine world that means doing the same rote coverage of all the same events, year after year. These magazines are living on borrowed time. For dairy breeders, it means putting up the same boring ads every month reaching the same ad readers of the past 20 years and expecting them to purchase from you. This segment has not been inspired to buy before. What makes you think things are going to change now?
Stop pandering to past perceptions. The Bullvine is living proof that you don’t need everyone to love you and your work. When you focus on the out-there, the passionate and changing segment of the industry, you are focusing on issues that generate emotion and targeted reaction. You then can highlight the extraordinary – and watch it spread -instead of watering everything down to the status quo.
Take our recent articles about dairy cattle marketing ethics (Read more: Dairy Cattle Photography – Over Exposed and Introducing the Dairy Marketing Code of Conduct) . We knew long before we ever wrote them that our position on this issue would cause problems for some. But instead of worrying about how people would react, we focused on where the industry needed to be in the future. And man already things are starting to change. Pictures carrying the DMCC (Dairy Marketing Code of Conduct) logo have become some of the most viral shots seen over the past few months. Breeders are not only accepting this new program, they are starting to request it. And yes we know there is a very long, long road ahead, but these changes show us where the market is heading and early adopters are great about encouraging us to drive forward.
The Bullvine Bottom Line
There certainly has been no shortage of reaction to some of the material we have written about here on the Bullvine. But instead of worrying about whether everyone will love us, or who will agree with what we are writing, we decided not to knuckle under to the average but instead to seek out the segment that some would consider “far out”. I am talking about those outliers in the dairy industry that are willing to think outside the box and try new things, to look at things differently and ultimately to drive change and make things so much better. Are we killing the dairy cattle marketing industry? Or are we saving?
To get a copy of the Dairy Marketing Code of Conduct please click here.