A Producer Meeting Sure to Produce Results

It makes sense to align marketing strategies with positioning products, and producer meetings are a great way to get your brand in front of customers and potential customers. Invite them to your store, showcase your products, provide them some valuable information that might add profitability to their outfit, and offer them refreshments. And, before you know it, you have just shared your brand with a group of people who need and want your services and products.

In addition to promoting specific products, producer meetings are a great way to let producers learn more about you and your business. Time is a precious commodity. Make sure your producer meetings are time-sensitive to what your customers are dealing with. Prior to breeding season you might address pre-breeding and cow nutrition; weaning is a critical time in an animal’s life, so host an informational meeting prior to weaning to showcase products that will help reduce stress and promote gain.

The Sure Start® Program is one program that you can promote at a producer meeting. It was designed as a simple program to keep calves healthy, eating and performing. The three step program is an easy sell, but you have to get the program out in front of people in order for them to notice, then ask about and finally utilize the program.

Our statistics show that overall growth for dealers that held a producer meeting is 78.8%. By following these simple steps you can easily host a Sure Start Weaning Producer Meeting or a meeting with the topic of your choice.

Reach out to Your Area Sales Manager to Discuss the Date and Location
Our marketing team can help with invitations and posters to let your audience know about the meeting. Details about the event and who you would like to send the invite to must be received three weeks prior to your event.

Request a Sure Start Weaning Marketing Package
Call Jody Purvis, Sales Support Coordinator at 816-344-5755, and request a Sure Start Weaning Marketing Package. We’ll send you literature and signage for your store and meeting.

Hang Signage in Your Store and Create a Display Area
A display area could be as simple as putting a Vita Charge® Counter Display next to your till or creating a pyramid of Vita Charge Stress Tubs

Send Out a Text Message Reminder
So many people communicate via text message these days. Email a list of cell phone numbers to Katie Vaz, Marketing and Communications Manager at kvaz@biozymeinc.com, and we’ll send out a reminder to all your contacts the day before the meeting.

Host the Meeting
Your ASM will give the presentation, but it is nice to have a few producers there that can give a testimonial about how well the program has worked for them.

Follow Up
Follow up is important to any good marketing effort. Make sure you have all attendees fill out a contact card at the meeting. These cards should be given to your ASM ASAP. We’ll send out a follow up card and make sure these potential customers are included in any future national marketing campaigns. Don’t forget that a personal phone call can go a long way in securing the order.

Trust and Experience Help Dealer Position Products

Personal testimonials and relationship building have been equally important in positioning BioZyme® products to customers for one novice dealer in southeast Iowa. Cecil Reed, who became a dealer in January, says the fact that she and her family have had personal success using various BioZyme products helps her marketing strategy. The producers in her area build a stronger trust factor when they hear about her personal experiences, and that helps build relationships and sell product.

“Once the growers know that I have had success using the products on mine and my family’s operations, I find out the grower’s goals for their operation and suggest products with their goals in mind,” Reed says.

The marketing tools that BioZyme provides allow Reed to back up her testimonials with research and product facts, which help position the products. She has posters and brochures grouped by product lines in her office, and she carries literature in each vehicle so she has something to put in front of potential customers, giving them something to read and think about after she leaves. She adds that direct mail is part of her future marketing plans since so many producers in her area still rely on the written word.

“I have found it beneficial to have posters hung around my office and buildings as they strike up questions and conversations,” she says. “I also really like using the flyers to hand out to customers that want to use our products. When I am able to get something into the hands of potential customers it keeps them thinking and keeps their interest sparked.”

Reed grew up near Bloomfield, Iowa, on her family’s diversified farm that included cattle, row crops and a sheep flock that allowed her and her sisters to show competitively at the local, state and national levels. She graduated with an agronomy degree from Iowa State University in December 2014 and within the next year married and started her business, NexGen Ag Solutions. In addition to selling BioZyme, Reed also sells Pioneer seed.

“Adding value to your farm” is the tag line for NexGen Ag Solutions, and carrying value-added products for the producers in her area is important to Reed. With producers watching their expenses and questioning the prices of BioZyme products, Reed can share her personal success stories. She says her go-to message is the “Amaferm advantage” because it does increase digestibility, and in her area where forage quality isn’t superb, this message really hits home.

Another testimonial she shares is for Vita Charge® products, especially Liquid Boost®. She says her dad treated a freshly-weaned lamb crop that went off feed with these products, and he witnessed immediate results when they started eating again the next day. Reed said her dad was sold on the products.

“The products are simple to use, and yet cover a diverse audience,” she says. She said after attending the recent dealer retreat in June, she was impressed that the same HEAT supplement works for producers in the extreme heat of Louisiana and other Southern states. When she shared those endorsements with her own customers, they were convinced that the product would work for them, and it has.

Reed has been aggressive in sharing her vision for the products. She has a business Facebook page, where she shares information with customers and potential customers, has used radio advertising and newspaper articles to inform growers that she is a dealer and talks one-on-one with people in her area. She is sponsoring awards at the Davis County Fair – a bag of Sure Champ® – for the grand champion overall steer, heifer, wether, ewe, barrow, gilt, buck and doe. She also plans to have a hospitality area at the fair with cold drinks for the exhibitors where she can talk about BioZyme and its products. She says in the future she would like to host producer meetings to educate producers as well as exhibitors and their parents of the benefits of various BioZyme products.

Reed plans to use the CONNECT Online store more heavily in the future. She predicts that CONNECT will benefit her Vitalize® horse customers since many of those products have a lower feeding rate and are not reordered as often, as well as assist her with inventory control.

Cecil Reed is a true believer in the BioZyme products and the differences they make in livestock. With her winning attitude and belief in the product, she has positioned the products in the spotlight for many producers in her area. “As long as I build trust with my customers, and trust helps build relationships, it is easy to position the products,” she says.

Consistency is Key to Great Branding

Your favorite country band is coming to town and you have tickets. After months of waiting, the night of the show is finally here and you get to hear all of your favorite songs. However, that morning the band decided they didn’t like playing the same songs every night so they played two hours of pop covers instead. You leave feeling dejected and can’t understand why they wouldn’t play the music that made them great.

Though this would probably never happen with a band in real life, it does happen with brands quite often. Consistency is repetitive, and because we are the ones delivering that message day after day we sometimes feel like our message has become boring. What is actually the case is that consistency paves the way for creativity with an impact and is what moves your brand from a good one to a great one.

So, what is your brand? A brand is what sets you apart from everyone else. It can be anything – a symbol, design, name, sound, reputation, slogan, emotion, employees and more – that separates one thing from another. A brand gives your business an identity. Do you want to be just a feed salesperson, or someone everyone knows because of your consistent message and identification? The sales person who listens to your customers’ goals and offers suggestions to help achieve those goals? According to North Star Marketing, here are four advantages to being consistent with your branding message:

Consistency helps manage perceptions. By thinking carefully and deliberately about your brand, you can shape how people perceive your organization. Consistency connotes professionalism, purpose and stability.

Consistency conveys outlook and attitude. A focused effort to establish and maintain consistent branding will deliver a very specific set of impressions: Are you serious? Are you intentional? Do you follow through? Are you focused?

Consistency eliminates issues surrounding brand confusion. For many companies, their branding is actually more of a hindrance than a help. A consistent brand should instill confidence rather than confusion.

Consistency protects your investment. Without established brand standards, many organizations spend thousands of dollars crafting a logo and building a message, only to have it degraded by inconsistent, sloppy application. Build equity in your brand by being consistent.

As you position your product before customers, be sure to brand yourself or your business. Keep the message consistent in your producer meetings, brochures, Facebook posts and media interviews. If you use a tag line on the bottom of a direct mail piece, make sure that same tag line is on your web site. If you have a logo, keep it consistent on your marketing pieces – don’t change the font or color. Remember, when you need help with marketing pieces, you can contact Katie Vaz at kvaz@biozymeinc.com. She can help you work toward consistency in your positioning by adding your logo or brand slogan to any of the current marketing pieces.

Source: http://www.northstarmarketing.com/2015/05/07/the-difference-between-a-good-brand-and-a-great-brand-consistency/

Added Value Should Mean Added Profitablity

Adding value is the process of changing or transforming a product from its original state to a more valuable state; from one set of characteristics to other characteristics that are more preferred in the marketplace.

Today, the “produce-then-sell” mentality of the commodity business is being replaced by the strategy of first determining what attributes consumers want in their products and then creating or manufacturing products with those qualities. Market forces have led to greater opportunities for product differentiation and added value because of:

  • Increased consumer demand regarding health, nutrition and convenience;
  • Efforts to improve productivity; and
  • Technological advances that enable production of what consumers desire.

Adding value to products can be accomplished in a number of ways, but generally falls into two categories: innovation and coordination. One or both of these must do more than add value. To be sustainable, they must also increase profitability.

Innovation

Innovation focuses on improving existing processes, procedures, products and services or creating new ones.

Impact on profitability – sales revenue is a function of volume and price. Value-added products allow more emphasis to be placed on the price part of the equation, initially, but ultimately they will also impact the volume, thereby increasing sales revenue. Your company’s strategy should be to find sources of revenue where you can have both high volumes and good prices.

The relatively new HEAT product is a great example of value-added innovation. By adding Xtract 7065, garlic and Amaferm® we have a summer mineral that adds value by:

  • Lowering heat stress so animals eat instead of standing in the shade or the ponds
  • Repelling insects
  • Increasing digestibility so food consumed is utilized more efficiently offsetting the negative impacts of fescue in certain areas of the country

The product is priced such that we have the profitability part of the
equation covered. In its first year, 26 tons of product was sold.
However, the added value that this product provides has impacted the volume part of the revenue equation as well; sales grew to 455 tons in 2015, and to 1,202 tons as of June 30, 2016. This value-added product has accomplished the strategy of finding a source of revenue where we can have both high volumes and good pricing for maximized sales revenue.

Coordination

Coordination focuses on arrangements among those that produce and market products. Horizontal coordination involves pooling or consolidation among individuals or companies from the same level of the food chain. An example would be hog producers combining their market hogs to make a truckload. A coordinated effort is needed to impact cost reduction.

Impact on profitability – before examining value-added processing and marketing, cost minimization must be achieved. Only efficient businesses will be able to survive and compete. Adding value cannot take the place of reaching the efficiencies attainable through technology and economies of scale.

Our mega dealers are a good example of coordination. They buy large orders and then disseminate the product out in smaller amounts at a significantly lower cost and more efficiency than an LTL company.

No matter innovation or coordination, in the end, value-added is a fairly simple concept. Create relationships with customers to encourage repeat business, improve tactics and your profits will go up.

You Can Only Pick Two

As a marketer and designer, I have always quietly laughed at this diagram that is often shared online by seemingly frustrated freelancers or business owners who are fed up with the expectation of their customers.

A simple Google search of this “good, fast, cheap diagram” will show that not only does the marketing and design industry share these feelings, but that modifications of these little circles show up everywhere in nearly every profession from construction to investment banking to the food industry.

While there may be much truth to these circles, I have learned over time that frustration diminishes quickly for both service provider and customer when you identify where you both fit within the diagram. If you occupy different circles, it simply means that maybe you don’t have to offer what your customer expects and what your customer expects is not possible based on what you can provide. But when you do exist in the same circles, the relationship can be pretty perfect.

We have taken it upon ourselves to modify a diagram for you as dealers. BioZyme dealers most definitely represent the QUALITY PRODUCTS circle as you carry the best products in the business as indicated by the ingredients and proven record of their ability to create performance that pays. There are other circles you may represent as well. Now it is up to you to identify which level of expectation your customers have and what circle(s) they fit. It’s ok that some customers might not fit perfectly. They merely need to be educated on why “quality” is important or how the service you offer directly impacts the value they place on time or having a consultant at their door to help make important decisions for their operation. Sometimes it is ok to just know that they have no interest crossing over into overlapping portions of the circle, and you don’t have to waste each other’s time or resources marketing to that type of customer.

The sooner you begin existing in the same circle(s) so that the product and service you are providing matches your customers’ expectation, the sooner you will create an environment of known expectation and synergistic goals in which everyone involved is satisfied with the end result.

August 2016 – Letters from Lisa

 

For about six months I worked on a project we called the “messaging matrix.” Its original intent was to ensure everyone in our company was sharing the same benefits and messages about all of our products and brands. This started as a simple Excel spreadsheet, but consumed about 400 hours of my time and had so many columns I felt like a data miner. By the end of it, the project ended up being one of my most difficult, stressful and eye opening. I had never read horizontally across all of our brands and products at the same time. I had always looked at them vertically or one at a time. Sounds silly I am sure, but after much thought I realized “what a mess!” We had products that fit nowhere, branding that was going across multiple sectors within beef cattle and branding that was going across multiple species (VitaFerm® was beef, sheep, goat and dairy).

As a person who claims to be incredibly organized and run an organized ship, I had to go into hiding for a while to save face and then ended up having to take the team on a retreat to get this fixed. The end result of this project has been amazing, and it includes:

  • Strengthening our message so our dealers can benefit from a more consistent message
  • Reorganizing our products in a way that makes more sense for our customers
  • Developing a new searchable product center in the Online Dealer Center for easy quick reference to all these great brands and products (remember 43% of end users expect to get product info from you – their dealer)
  • Building excitement of stronger branding power

brand /brand/
noun
noun: brand; plural noun: brands

1. a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a
particular name.

So let’s talk branding power. Interestingly enough the word came from our roots. More than a century ago, cattle ranchers used branding irons to mark which animals were theirs. As the cattle moved across the plains on their way to Chicago slaughter houses, brands made it easier to identify which ranches they were from.

With the introduction of packaged goods in the 19th century, producers put their mark on a widening array of products—cough drops, flour, sugar, beer — to indicate their source. For example, in the late 1880s as the Coca-Cola Company was getting started there were many soda producers in every market. Before Coca-Cola could get a customer to reach for a Coke, the company needed to be sure the customer could distinguish a Coke from all the other fizzy caramel-colored beverages out there.

In the first sense of the word, then, a brand is simply the non-generic name for a product that tells us the source of the product. A Coke is a fizzy caramel-colored soda concocted by those folks in Atlanta. For more information on brands and brand consistency see this month’s Tell Everyone article on page 8.

I will end this month with a challenge – something I wasn’t doing prior to this 400-hour venture. Are you differentiating marketing from branding? Let’s work together to create evangelists for our businesses.

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