Riding Shotgun – Close To Home
Riding Shotgun…Close To Home
One of the most overlooked parts of promotion is local advertising. For breeders large and small, much of your product sells within 50 miles of your home and the people you need to reach, especially new customers, are largely made up of people who live close to home. Yet many times, we spend much more time and effort on attracting customers that are too far away to be viable assets to our operation. The other nice thing about local promotion is that generally, the cost is affordable and you are reaching your friends and neighbors as well as potential customers. So even if they are not looking for a bull they are a potential influencer of somebody else looking for a bull. When my barber found out I was in the cattle business the first thing he asked me was whether I knew “Fred Bullseller” who lives over on Route 33. When I asked why, he said “I see his ads in the local shopper newspaper every week and figured you might know him.” Being visible in the local newspaper convinced my local barber there was a bull seller in the area, his name was Fred, and his promotion was working.
Another great method of promotion is a billboard or ranch sign at your local sale barn. It gives you a couple of ways to interact. One, the sale barn operator is more likely to be friendly toward your operation if you’ve been promoting through his barn, and two, every time good calves come through out of your bulls, your contact information is right up there for everyone to see. It’s your trade area—own it.
Radio spots on the local farm market report are another viable advertising option. Even in the new days of internet and XM Radio, many producers still listen to the market reports while doing their chores throughout the day. By having your ad before or after the markets you are reinforcing your brand to possible customers. Then when they see you in the newspaper or on a sale bill they feel like they have already been “introduced.”
Once you are comfortable in your local area, then it’s time to think about moving out into your cattleman’s newsletter, state cattlemen’s magazine and maybe the sale barn down the road. Having a strong genetic product that no one knows about it is almost as bad as not having a strong genetic product at all. So consider your promotion program and think local to start with, it’s cheaper and hits a lot of people you already know. Be creative in your quest to own your home turf, you’ll reap the benefits for years to come.
We’ll see you down the road.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR
Mark A Smith