The sales and marketing strategies that worked a decade ago are no longer viable. When our family was young there was a battle for the Holstein Journal … and the winner locked his or her self in the washroom to fend off contenders.  Today’s reach goes far beyond the throne room. Whenever the family gathers, there are several (never less than one) handheld devices in the room. This guarantees that the most familiar view that we get to see of spouses, offspring and grandchildren is the top of their heads!

Obviously, if you are reading this you know how to connect to the Internet.  Perhaps you are also following The Bullvine on Facebook and Twitter.  Perhaps one of your new pastimes is Pinterest. If these social media applications have made it to your house, they should also be making it into your marketing plan for selling your dairy cattle or dairy goods and services.

Here Are 9 Ways The Dairy Marketplace Has Changed And How We Can Stay Relevant Today!

  1. Don’t Waste Your Money!
    Everyone is watching their money these days.  The days of high spending and quick cash from international sales of bred heifers have gone the way of the dial telephone. Everyone is careful.  Everyone is informed (or should be). For many dairy operations, cash flow is tighter than it has been and they are looking to stretch their resources by purchasing less, but higher quality genetics, cattle and services.
  2. Get More Bang for Your Buck!
    Dairy breeders are looking to get the biggest bang for their buck.  When they decide to buy dairy genetics they are looking for cost savings or added value benefits. They seek to buy animals that will move them closer to achieving the goals they have set for their herd. Breeders must have “buy in” before they “shell out”. They want to be sure that the genetics, the production numbers or the conformation are going to move them ahead before they tap their resources.
  3. Go Where the Action Is
    Social media, social networking and the dominance of the internet in our everyday lives means you are now fighting for attention in a very “noisy” marketplace. If you choose to avoid the very visible interaction of social media, you are choosing to be invisible to the most dynamic and growing part of the modern dairy industry.  At the very least, not choosing social media, means not impacting the young breeders which are the future of the industry.
  4. Have Something to Say
    It isn’t enough to be seen … you must also be heard! In order to be heard, your content needs to be creative, dynamic and engaging. Okay doesn’t cut it.  You might as well surrender now if you have decided to simply move your same-as-everybody-else pictures from hard copy ads in breed magazines to social media sites.  Others will put in the time and resources it takes to create great content which will be shared and gain new life across the web. We are seeing live videos and you tube clips giving streaming pictures. Anything less will soon become another murmur that gets drowned out by the voices that are bold enough to stand out.
  5. Sharing is Caring
    It may sound childlike but sharing really is caring in our social savvy, hyper-connected marketplace. Word of mouth has always been important in how you and your cattle are known but today through social media that word is spreading to your friends, and their friends, family and social connections. Today, followers share your content on Face book, tweet their positive, and yes, negative experiences on Twitter and refer you through reviews on Yelp and Amazon.  They will send instant photos of your cows, heifers and calves and share your fan page and blog posts with their networks, which can have a reach of thousands.  It`s important to make your content easily sharable.  There are many tools that can help, but the key is to ensure that sharing is easy for them.
  6. The Social Media Farm lane is a TWO-WAY Street
    To miss out on testimonials and word of mouth that social sharing provides is a sure-fire strategy to sink into dairy obscurity.  Your most successful competitors are facilitating social sharing, 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  The Internet doesn`t sleep.  Take advantage of your audience`s interests in sharing what’s happening in your herd with their networks.
  7. Go Mobile
    You have to meet your dairy customers where they are with messages that are relevant to them.  It`s not enough to blanket traditional marketing channels with generic messages.  Today`s cattle buyers spend less time reading ads in magazines and newspapers. Traditional advertising is getting bypassed. Even when your target audience is watching their favorite shows today, they are using their DVR to bypass the commercials or using the commercial breaks to browse the Internet or flip through their iPads.  To grab their attention you have to meet them where they are.  On their mobile devices.  If your website is not optimized for mobile, you are doing your web marketing a severe disservice.  If you are not spending time on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, then your potential customers, who are getting their fill of social interaction on these sites, all day long, are finding other dairy genetics providers to interact with.
  8. Are You Listening to Me?
    And if you`re failing to listen as much as you are taking on these social sites, then you are ignoring an opportunity to mine valuable research on what your target consumers are interested in, what motivates them, and what they are looking for.  Track your analytics and listen to what people are saying about you, and to you, on your social sites.  You can`t gather information that is more relevant and useful than customer feedback freely provided online.

One of the quickest ways to gain the attention of buyers of dairy genetics is to listen to them. Consumers want to be heard. It’s no longer enough to push out your message, no matter how well-crafted and attention getting your message may be. Today’s marketing has to be a two-way conversation between you and the buyer. Engagement is the best way to make an impact. Increase awareness of who you are and what you’re offering and you win the loyalty of those you are targeting.  Dairy breeders are passionate. Social sites are essential in creating that bond and ultimately the trust that is built on your care and shared interest in them, their dairy business and their feedback.

THE BULLVINE BOTTOM LINE “Are you still marketing to last decade’s customer?”

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