Is the Fieldays formula too simplistic for today's rural marketer?

Is the Fieldays formula too simplistic for today's rural marketer?

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Fieldays at Mystery Creek and is the biggest show in town. Whilst it has many advocates, including its own passionate PR dept, equally there are as many who don’t like it, think it’s got too big and commit to regional field day events instead. The problem is unless you’re a big fish it is very hard to get cut through at National Fieldays…

Have you been deferring maintenance on your brand?

Have you been deferring maintenance on your brand?

Like our homes, lives, relationships and public infrastructure, brands need to be built on strong foundations and be kept well maintained. Short term cosmetics never pay off. If you build your brand right and maintain it regularly it will cost you a lot less and earn you much more in the long run.

NZ Ag: why we need to stop using the words value add

NZ Ag: why we need to stop using the words value add

Value add is a term tossed around so much it’s become meaningless and tiresome. People use it in the hope it will excuse them from the cognitive challenge of deeper thinking and problem solving. It’s a simplistic statement with those that use it in danger of being perceived as rather simplistic themselves.  Like the catch cry “we just need to tell our story better”, value add is easy to say but far harder to execute. That’s why I’m calling for a moratorium on the term "value add" in NZ Ag until we’ve worked out how we properly define it and apply it.

NZ Ag: B+LNZ Future Meat Report - great on detail, what's the solution?

NZ Ag: B+LNZ Future Meat Report - great on detail, what's the solution?

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) should be applauded for commissioning such a thorough analysis on the challenge and opportunities from alternative protein. Its Future Meat Report is a solid piece of work that will be doing the stakeholder rounds and roadshows up and down the country as we speak. However having read it what are the next actions? And does it go far enough?

NZ Ag: Why you should always attack a lead and never defend one

NZ Ag: Why you should always attack a lead and never defend one

Attacking a lead is such a simple concept yet why do so many sports teams and companies not do it? Defending is easier than attacking because it demands more effort, more energy and more skill. It's easier to sit back and protect what you have. This is why loss aversion is such powerful influence in human behaviour. We all know about Blockbuster, Nokia and Blackberry. What about NZ Ag? Attacked or defended environmental concerns? Fonterra? Attacked value add or defended WMP? Meat companies? Back foot or front on alternative proteins? Don’t get complacent. Don’t defend a lead, always attack one. It’s much better that way for everyone. Except for your competitors. Best to keep it that way...

NZ Ag: the single biggest attribute you need to look for in rural sales recruitment

NZ Ag: the single biggest attribute you need to look for in rural sales recruitment

Intrinsic motivation is the single biggest attribute I look for when I help clients recruit and manage sales teams. I define it as “the ability to kick their own arse”. Easy for any sales recruit to claim at interview but harder to prove. There are certain markers, or behavioural traits, that signal intrinsic motivation. If observed, these traits validate any claim of intrinsic motivation because it’s not what people say, it’s what they do that tells you what you need to know...

NZ Ag: why relying on customer surveys alone doesn't work

NZ Ag: why relying on customer surveys alone doesn't work

I’ve always been more interested in why people do what they do, not what they say. Because when you get past symptoms you can treat the root cause. As humans we always want to make sense of things. Yet the methods we use to understand why things are the way they are can vary greatly in their effectiveness...

NZ Ag: why running separate rural sales & marketing teams is failing you

NZ Ag: why running separate rural sales & marketing teams is failing you

“Marketing are cost centres and sales are profit centres.” When I look at this statement it’s generic but also contains some truth. Over the years I've seen plenty of marketers yet met very few who can sell despite sales being the commercial lifeblood for companies. Because of this I’ve always believed marketing should be  a function of sales. Any marketing department that struggles with this definition is in danger of being that cost centre or overhead so the formula for me is simple: marketing teams deliver qualified leads for sales team to close. 

NZ Ag: 5 reasons why your rural sales team aren't using CRM (and how to fix it)

NZ Ag: 5 reasons why your rural sales team aren't using CRM (and how to fix it)

Not using a CRM means your rural sales team are flying blind making assumptions and relying on guesswork at best for forecasting and sales pipelines. That's a dangerous path that can give you some nasty surprises come end of financial year. Your rural competitor sales teams will be using CRM and you should be too...

NZ Ag: why are you still using agencies?

NZ Ag: why are you still using agencies?

Some of the best talent I have been privileged to work with run their own businesses because they are good enough which means they can. Only the good ones survive. The great thing about working with people out on their own is that they have skin in the game. They are heavily invested to make sure the work works. Years ago I was told by a Client "we're a business that follows the talent, not the agency"…

How NZ Ag can stop getting beaten up

How NZ Ag can stop getting beaten up

NZ Ag is always on the back foot. Despite the rhetoric from leaders in industry about how we need to tell our story better, we continue to be out-gunned by lobby groups like SAFE, PETA and Greenpeace. Whether it’s bobby calves, PKE, dirty dairying or most recently false free-range eggs, we’re always playing a defensive position that risks our social licence to operate...

NZ Ag: are we aware of our biases?

NZ Ag: are we aware of our biases?

We’d be wise as an industry to beware of our biases which might be lulling us into a false sense of security. Blockbuster, Kodak and Nokia didn't see it. Let’s hope we do...

Could NZ Ag be the Intel of clean meat?

Could NZ Ag be the Intel of clean meat?

When clean meat is getting a lot of press and billionaire directors James Cameron and Peter Jackson are getting into plant protein as well, NZ Ag would be foolish to ignore it. So could NZ Ag be the Intel inside, or ingredient brand, of clean meat?

6 rural sales lessons from the NZ Election

6 rural sales lessons from the NZ Election

Politicians compete for power in their constituencies and rural marketing and sales teams should be no different. Whilst many dislike politicians, these elected representatives compete every 3 years so we can learn a lot from them. Here are my top 6 lessons for rural marketing and sales teams. I’ve also included a special 7th...

Book Review: The NZ Food Land & Food Annual

Book Review: The NZ Food Land & Food Annual

For those that know me I like to read. As an agri-marketer this book stood out and reinforced the same dominant thematics NZ Ag needs to heed: culinary tourism, disruptive innovation, kaitiakitanga, exponential technologies and the importance of terroir. Below are summaries from some of my favourite chapters.

NZ Ag: why spray and pray advertising is a waste of time

NZ Ag: why spray and pray advertising is a waste of time

When you’re next looking at your rural marketing budget and plans, think broader. Consider the other channels available whether it be owned, earnt or paid media using great content. Influencer and relationship marketing strategies can be effective too. Hit and hope, spray and pray advertising should never be your only option.