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.

Why you should always attack a lead and never defend one

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...

The single biggest factor you need to look for in rural sales recruitment

The single biggest factor 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...

Why running separate rural sales & marketing teams is failing you

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: 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"…

Is one NZ Ag story too simplistic?

Is one NZ Ag story too simplistic?

If every one of us has different DNA, why do we insist that our Ag companies have to share one central story? Are we commoditising the very thing that's supposed to differentiate us? Storytelling is fast becoming a default panacea to most marketing woes. NZ Ag needs to go deeper than the basic consumer expectations of free range, animal friendly, hormone free and grass fed. If we don't, we're playing catch up footy to a protein-substitution game that's already moved up a league.