Growing up as family friends with Roger and Betty Dyment, owners of Glen Drummond, I had front row seats for the development, marketing and promotion of GLEN DRUMMOND AERO FLOWER VG-88-3YR-CAN 18*. In reality this was the first cow family where I was able to see firsthand what it takes to be a top performing index family. The lessons I learned in watching the development and promotion of Aero Flower and her descendants have been the most educational I have ever had when it comes to marketing dairy cattle.
When you put Aero Flower up against many of the greats, you may say her numbers don’t compare. She never produced an EX daughter or a breed leading bull, she is considered by many to be one of the greats. Why is that? Well in my opinion it is because there have been no better marketers of dairy cattle than the Dyments. I am even seeing the same trends again with a DES-Y-GEN PLANET SILK *RDC VG-87, being marketed by Roger and Betty’s son David and Dymentholm Genetics.
The following are the two biggest marketing lessons I learned from Aero Flower and the Dyments:
Spot the Trends
The great hockey player Wayne Gretzky always said don’t go to where the puck is but rather, see where the puck is going and go there. Roger and Betty knew this better than anyone. Even when their cows were not at the top of the LPI list, they were able to spot trends that would differentiate them from the rest of the marketplace.
First of all, the most forward thinking thing they did started with mating of Aero Flower’s mother to Aerostar which, at the time, was extremely aggressive and unconventional. The breeding philosophy on their farm was to breed cattle that would score high on the LPI index while still resembling show cattle, thus creating the whole package and a product that was a stand-out in the market. They also had the added aspect of her carrying red factor, something un-heard of in the market at the time. They were ahead of the trend.
In today’s instance David has seen the trend towards polled and was one of the first to use polled genetics on one of his top cattle, DES-Y-GEN PLANET SILK *RDC VG-87 VG-88 MS. David purchased Silk at 9 months of age. She was one of the highest red carriers in the breed and traced back to Aero Flower through GLEN DRUMMOND SPLENDOR VG-86-2YR-CAN 36* who had been purchased from Glen Drummond as a top consignment in the Sale of Stars. While Silk is not at the top of the TPI list like say AMMON-PEACHY SHAUNA or many of the cattle at De-Su, she is ahead of the trend when it comes to marketability. David has kept Planet Silk ahead of the curve by combining both high index, Red Factor and polled in one complete package. Her sons and daughters dominate the top of the Red and the RC list (GTPI). Her son DYMENTHOLM S SYMPATICO is one of the highest GTPI and GLPI active bulls in the breed. She has a red and white polled son (DYMENTHOLM SUNVIEW STARGAZER) that will be available soon that will rank near the top of the list – if not at the top – once he’s released for red polled bulls .
Everyone Loves To Make Money
There is no better marketing magnet than a sale topper. While ads are pretty and maybe a few people might notice them, articles about your cattle, especially articles about your cattle topping big sales are what really get people talking. In my corporate life we call this earned media versus paidmedia.
Everyone loves to make money and, if they see others making money, they want to get in on it as well. So when breeders consistently see your cow family topping big sales they take notice. This is something that the Dyments knew better than anyone. You do not see one of their animals being a lesser light in a sale. If they are consigning an animal to a sale, they are doing so expecting that she will bring top dollar in that sale. Dyments were never afraid to make the tough decision to protect the reputation of their cow family.
The Bullvine Bottom Line
Great marketing of dairy cattle is not about who can have the prettiest ad. People may get awareness of your cattle through an ad but it will not make them reach in to their pockets and spend their hard earned dollar. Instead, breeders like to spend money when they see that there is money to be made. That means you need to spend more time working on the public relations aspect of your marketing program than you do on your ads. The biggest thing I learned from the marketing of Aero Flower and now with the marketing of Planet Silk is that perception is reality. If breeders believe there is money to be made in your cow family, they will spend their money. If not, no amount of marketing or glossy magazine ads will get you to the top.
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