A 3-point marketing wheel
When it comes to marketing, there probably is not an approach that is all right or wrong. However, after observing farmers for over 20 years, some of the most astute and progressive producers, year in and year out, do a great job of marketing. They have three key points, or areas, of focus. These are time, knowledge, and discipline. As a visual reference, think about an isosceles triangle, that is a triangle that has equal sides and has three points. If you draw a circle connecting each point, you end up with the shape of a wheel with a triangle in the center. We will call this a marketing wheel. It may take some imagination, but the goal is for you to keep your marketing wheel intact and moving forward.
First, we will address time. Those who appear successful in marketing dedicate time to marketing. Whether this is daily, weekly, or whatever frequency appears to work best, it’s a matter of consistent scheduling. When measuring time, you need to consider two variables. Is it time well spent or an opportunity cost? Also, are you receiving desired results? If the answer is no to either of these, or both, then you need to rethink how you are spending your time. A concern often voiced from producers is that they spend a lot of time reading and learning, yet in the end feel confused, make few decisions, and often give up.
Discipline is a key point to successful marketing. Disciplined marketers not only spend time marketing, they implement and stick with strategy. As indicated in the previous paragraph, if you are not getting the desired results out of your marketing, then perhaps you lack discipline to follow through. Discipline helps farmers utilize their time effectively and builds confidence to visualize long term goals and objectives. A lack of discipline leads to inconsistent results. Frequently, many take marketing seriously after it’s too late. The mindset then shifts to, “Next time I’ll be more disciplined and implement strategy”. We all know what happens when “next time” rolls around. Things are humming along fine with no urgency to strategize and then all heck breaks loose. Without changing your approach, you end up with the same results.
Knowledge is the third key point of the marketing circle. Knowledge isn’t necessarily knowing all the intricate details to each and every strategy that you can utilize. Knowledge can, and should be, used to seek the right input from the right people to help you make and implement decisions. Knowing the right information for your operation is useful and pertinent. An increase in knowledge builds confidence and discipline. In turn, this helps you to be effective and efficient with your time.
The three key points of time, knowledge, and discipline are intertwined and feed off of each other. The question you now need to answer is, what does your marketing wheel look like? If one of these key points is missing, or if there is inconsistency, your circle may end up having a flat line and, in turn, you may have a bumpy ride. This could also make you feel like you have a flat tire, in which your marketing just doesn’t go anywhere. Keeping each point of the marketing triangle intact can make for a smooth ride.