Where is Your Green Hat
I once had a friend whose grandfather gave him a green John Deere ball cap as a kid – we were around eight or so. His grandfather had probably gotten the cap for free after buying a tractor sometime in the sixties. The cap was worn and stiff with salt around the brim. There was nothing special about it, just a cheap, mass-produced ball cap. We’ve all seen a million of those John Deere promotional hats. My friend loved it. Even after his grandfather died and the farm was sold, he wore it — the cap became part of his identity.
The key to promotional products like this is to find something simple and cheap that your demographic will use on the farm, and might use in other parts of their life. That’s what makes the John Deere cap work so well. Of course a farmer is going to protect his eyes on his tractor — but also, it becomes a statement as time goes on.
Years after his grandfather died and the farm was sold, my friend became a world traveler — he worked in stockrooms and gas stations from here to California, but he never took off that cap. A few years ago he found himself as the lead groundskeeper for a few township cemeteries in Tennessee. The city council knew it was time replace a lot of their older equipment. They asked my friend to shop around and come back with the best deal. How much shopping do you think he did?
Forty years after selling the original tractor and giving away that cap, the promotion paid off, when a Tennessee township ordered a new fleet of John Deere mowers. That is the story of a single cap. How many of those caps have been given away over the years? We have said it time and time again — great business is about great relationships. It isn’t just about the relationships you have with your customers — it’s also about the relationships they have with anyone else. Loyalty is contagious!
What is your green cap? How can you turn everyone of your customers into an unwitting advertisement for your brand?
Customer Data & Dealership Marketing
Clearly Kirkpatrick Creative’s methods are centered on efficiency through data collection and analysis. So how can dealerships help themselves with their own data collection? The information is more readily available than you might think…
Why Data-Driven Marketing?
Agricultural marketers can generate better results by combining data with an integrated marketing strategy. Integrated marketing occurs when we mix various methods using consistent messages to various targeted markets. This new strategy is highly effective with the number and diversity of target audiences reached increasing with each channel (i.e. direct mail, email, social media, and online advertising)
Use What You’ve Got!
Chances are, your dealerships are already collecting demographics, contact information as well as keeping purchase and repair histories for each piece of equipment sold. This is a great basis for any data-driven advertising. Well-constructed campaigns also use data on the communication preferences of their target audience to drive the direction of their campaign. Instead of simply blasting generic electronic and direct mail, advertisers use data to find where their audience is and which are the best channels to reach them.
What sets agricultural advertising apart from things like auto dealerships, is the fact that the entire industry is tied to the land — including the advertising data. Data based on geography, geology and weather patterns is referred to as “Geospatial data.” This data is informing your customers’ purchasing decisions, which makes it integral to your advertising decisions. More or less rainfall in a season is going to have a major bearing on irrigation supplies as well as soil amendments. If a large dealership covers a large geological area where clay deposits are prominent in the east while a river bottom keeps the west fertile year round — different farmers in the different regions will have different equipment needs at different times.
Your dealerships should be using every piece of data available to help them create more personal relationships with each individual farmer they serve.
The importance of data-driven integrated marketing has increased rapidly in the past decade due to the development of Internet marketing and more sophisticated data technologies. However, connecting multiple channels is still a challenge. The primary difficulty with this task is coordinating and interpreting big data sets with the large number of departments, vendors and launch dates that are typically part of an integrated marketing campaign.
It’s a universal fact of farm life: Success starts from the bottom. From the tiniest of seeds, come the greatest of harvests. As equipment manufacturers, your success is made or lost on the lot at each of your dealerships. Keeping those dealerships happy and productive is the key to selling tractors, or balers, or whatever else.
Manufacturers and dealers think differently about sales and marketing. From a financial perspective, you’re speaking two different languages. Manufacturers think about sales on a large scale, while dealerships move units one at a time. This difference in thinking can cause friction, frustration and a lack of communication between manufacturers and dealers. This boils down to: a manufacturer’s advertising language, simply doesn’t work as well on the dealership level.
That is where Kirkpatrick Creative comes in. With our manufacturing partners Rhino and Reinke, we have developed several methods to create advertising strategies to increase dealership involvement, at little cost to either the manufacturer or the individual dealerships. Dealerships are taking control of their individual success and supporting the brand, manufacturers are moving more inventory while spending less time and money on advertising.