Riding Shotgun – It’s All About Product
As we travel the highways and by-ways of the Limousin family and breed we often cuss and discuss the cattle business, sports, politics, great cheeseburgers and most of the time, the promotion and marketing of Limousin cattle.
Through “Riding Shotgun” we invite you to join us in the right-hand seat, so that we can let you in on what we find to be our marketing pet peeves, shortcuts and some of the favorite habits of top-flight professional producers. Grab a cup of coffee and take the ‘shotgun seat’—we are pleased to have you riding along.
The spring sale season is well underway and in our view from the Shotgun seat, it is obvious there is a demand for quality Limousin and Lim-Flex bulls. We see new people, repeat customers and breeders with lots of interest in bulls that have thickness, power and a solid EPD set. There is a demand for performance bulls that can move, for thick bulls with expression and for bulls that have a number set with commercial appeal to it. In plain words, it follows completely one of our sayings on the road, “It’s all about product!”
If you are finding that your customer demand is lacking, it might be time to look at your product. The market is extremely competitive. There are lots of places for commercial men to buy bulls of your breed and others. Pick up any progressive livestock paper and you can see the tens of thousands of bulls offered any week of the year. Now with internet buying and internet exposure, you are not only competing in your general area, but with the whole country. If your cattle do not compete, your marketing gets much tougher. You need to study your calf crop with a critical eye. There are lots of tools for improvement, if you are just raising a male calf with testicles, it is an uphill struggle.
Speaking of product, I want to send a shout out to all of you that participated in benefit auctions through the early spring. Many of the auxiliary arms of the Limousin breed function with funds raised by quality organizations. NALJA, Heartland and various state organizations often have benefit auctions to continue their operations. Selling donated puppies, quilts, trips, embryos and semen gathers cash for worthy projects and all involved have a little fun in the process. Cheers to ACS, MC Marketing, R&R Marketing, Bev and Dean Summerbell of the Heartland and the nation’s Juniors and Juniors Advisors for finding creative ways to not only raise money but also foster camaraderie. If you see something at one of these auctions that you can use, give a call to the organizers, they could use your help and it goes to a good cause.
Be careful out there and we will see you down the road.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR
Mark A Smith