Agri-marketers, I wanted to introduce a new term ADPR.  ADPR is an enhanced form of Advertising, which allows a PR component for a more robust digital campaign. I created a new term for Advertising with the goal to have marketers critically think about the digital space and how to leverage it, and what it means for company success and development.

Defining the new term ADPR is designed just for the client to adhere to the opportunity to explore what has and what will be effective for a well-rounded multi-level media approach for Agriculture.  Rather than thinking of just a banner ad or a print ad think of the term which not only combines that general advertising message but also allows the growth chance to use PR as an important component to your campaign (adding a video, article or hosting a page with search terms). This means instead of placing just an advertisement you get bonused by running additional PR messages, making it a 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 investment of products rather than just purchasing an “advertisement”.

We want the new term to allow a greater window of thinking beyond just Advertising.  When Marketing professionals receive the dreaded call from the “Advertising associate” it is hard to fit in that window with your pitch about what your product is and how it will help them.  For we know what we are but communicating that is the challenge when you use the “Advertising” terminology. If a client receives a call from a tradeshow vendor, they may be more receptive, it is more personal and having a booth at a show is not the same term or aurora of someone selling “Advertising”.

A Recent study found 75% of farmers are on the internet.  73% are connected through desktop or laptop, but 49% use those desktops or laptops for business, while 52% use smart phones or tablets. 24% buy ag inputs off the internet and 19% market through the web. This is important to showcase that if you market your product online consistently you have a 75% chance to reach your target daily, which is significantly higher than a print magazine or trade show which both offer have challenges including logistics, location, and direct reach/frequency.

We run highly popular website portals with great content, while offering solutions for companies to market their products efficiently, effectively and uniquely through a variety of interactive channels. When we ask clients to consider a sponsorship campaign, we are asking you to be a part of our “show”. The list of benefits includes having your company recognized as a sponsor, a suite of different products to leverage to communicate and advertise, while helping to support an industry specific website.  The repetitive approach will create a high-level marketing program for you to effectively build your sales and brand awareness.

To prove the ADPR value try to set up a rating score card rating several attributes which includes many factors overall which could help see where some of the value is.  As I have talked about in many past commentaries it is hard to track and pinpoint an exact level of success for any advertising we do.

Scorecard example:
/10 for exposure
/10 for your metrics (results interpretation)

/10 your perceived site value (how you feel the value of the site and the users)
/10 for branding you feel you have achieved
/10 Customer service
/10 Content/PR
/10 Focus/Position
/10 For Customer feedback/interaction

Advertising and marketing are the engine that drives our brand. Let’s become exuberant about the wonderful tools and technologies at our disposal to achieve success.

Jim Eadie

Speciality boutique Agriculture media websites provide a hub for efficient and effective Agriculture Marketing and information sharing. Think back in time, when shopping districts were driven by local downtown merchants, which now has been taken away by suburban big box shopping centers along major highways. Similar in the AG world it was a niche market with face to face sales with several companies selling competitive products, In the last several years things have changed to companies consolidating to bigger entities, which has resulted in staff cuts, over worked staff, and less competitive choice for consumers.

Why is niche and specialized so important? For example, I have been a part of for 13 years and operated a virtual trade show After testing and seeing a specific portal for the Pork Industry thrive and the General AG site stay neutral, we consolidated into a Crops site ( and launched separate sites for Poultry, Dairy, and Beef. This has allowed each website to contain relevant content and information to that specific Industry. Customers and users wanted direct target marketing to a type of Producer, not general AG marketing “hoping” to reach their target.

Quoting a study by Successful Farming, for instance, cites that “70 percent of farmers are online daily, and almost a third are online multiple times each day”. This was no doubt helped by the fact that in the past eight years, the number of farms with internet access rose from 60% to 71%, further closing the gap that divides growers from the national average of around 74%. thrived due to the geographic and content focus for a specific sector (Swine) while stayed stagnant, as it was too “General”. had too many categories, which created confusion and lack of specialty reach. In local communities’ consumers would shop downtown to socialize and shop for a specialty jewelry/clothing product, or to enjoy a cup of Java from an independent cafe. This was vital for small business and a community feel but that changed to fast and convenient big box stores all in the same location. This has created less product choice, mediocre customer and more traffic congestion/less walk-ability. In Agriculture media the trend has been to go more Digital, but we see Magazine ads sold out. To get over the hump in Digital Marketing, there seems to be a requirement for metrics to provide viability, which, I disagree is an effective way to measure effectiveness.

Tracking data by a report and saying it was a success due to higher impressions does not mean the advertising was effective. For example, the Gold Standard for everything AG is You will have higher “impressions” and readership, because it is not as specific, then you might on Just as Walmart has a higher amount of traffic in the store but it lacks on defining a choice of multiple or specialty products. The point I am making is as companies are larger and marketing is delegated with less focus. Many Marketers are relying on is the” best traffic report” or most general large site to fit the needs to show a number rather than slowing it down and target marketing right in front of your audience on a niche site. If you market on a niche site, the overall traffic may be lower but the effectiveness is higher due to your target reach. Relying on numbers is not the answer unless the number is absolutely viable in showcasing effectiveness. Effective marketing is about increasing sales, and awareness from being in the right specialized places, frequently. On a targeted niche Agriculture site, you have a daily connection with your target. Where as, with a magazine (print ads) it is usually monthly, or a trade-show where you have one to two days during the event.

I wrote a previous article about the Effectiveness Online Advertising in Agriculture. In all aspects of marketing I still stand true to the statement that there is no science to prove an “exact” method for what works in marketing. However, the need to: market is vital, while having a high exposure level in the right places, along with a combination of things right to make a marketing campaign successful.

I challenge you to do is, think about our industry and how we can be efficient and effective with a marketing strategy. The mentality has been you HAVE to go to a tradeshow or people will wonder if you’re in business anymore. You should see a niche boutique Agriculture site that is a 24/7 hub for daily content as a place you HAVE to have a presence on. Embrace the higher frequency and repetition, digital Is the future!

Jim Eadie

I attended the National Poultry Show in London, Ontario, this past week and was impressed by the buzz and traffic at the show. While at the urinal, I noticed Advertising at head level which was from a current customer that I have worked with for years. I thought to myself this was a great way to gain extra exposure with a direct contact for a niche product that could yield a positive result. I also thought about the digital world I live in which I would be probed for analytics, as the trend now for digital is to analyze and have a metric for anything you do.  At the show my client told me he was happy with that form of advertising. I know after the show he won’t receive a tracking report on impressions or how many people stopped by the booth as a result from this method of advertising. I feel like it was a tactical, tangible way to increase exposure and he will have the best results measurement from his gut based on effectiveness.

Each person has their own perspective of digital marketing and advertising.  Personally, having lived and breathed the digital world in Agriculture for over a decade, I have seen many changes in our industry such as: pre-conceived notions, old boys’ network, budget cuts, philosophies, and in general so many varying opinions of what is and what is not a good spend. The checklist below is meant to provide your mind with possibly a different way of thinking.

1. Stay even keel, try not to overact or overthink
Try not to get to high with the highs and to low with the lows. If you feel a campaign is not effective it could be from a variety of reasons such as: timing, creative, unrealistic expectations etc. Things are usually not as bad as we think, or as good as we think. Challenge to improve the campaign and process, rather than give up. Try to also focus on the positive aspects and use those as building blocks.

2. Over tracking/Realistic Measurement.
Like anything in life if it is to good be true it probably is, in most realms of advertising there is rarely a shot in the arm campaign that blows your socks off.  Effective marketing is part of a process of consistency, not a quick fix and immediate ROI’s are impossible to compare to cost vs effectiveness.  I don’t believe digital marketing is about a click frenzy.  Possibly when your putting your campaign out there instead of focusing on a number like “clicks” consider that a potential customer might use a website daily.  As they frequently go online and see your ad, they become comfortable with your company and product and in turn they Google you, or look you up at a show or just have the long-term recognition from seeing your company so often.  They may never click on the ad but that familiarity grows and blooms, which provides an intangible of just keeping your name out there.  The real value comes in for impressions, views, and location of your placement and messaging.  Listen to your inner voice/gut on the overall Fung Shui of what you are doing.

3. Just because it “used to be that way” doesn’t mean it always has to be! Keep an open mind!

A few months ago, I took an afternoon to conduct some market research. I phoned some local producers asking how they get information and if they go to key tradeshow shows. I was surprised to find that some major producers do not attend industry events. Potential clients that I speak with seem to have the mentality that they “have to go to the show” and it is the only way to see the public. Why not change your thought process? Leverage the shows to your benefit while considering that not all people are going to shows, or not stopping by your booth?  Either way digital is a constant tool to talk to those who are or are not customers and provide a wider reach and more frequency then a key tradeshow.  Re-arrange your thought process for more efficiency.  Just assuming that because you see traffic at the show and talk to your customers, does not mean the same people or more people are not seeing things online. Keep fluid with changing technology, and look at as many possible ways to reach clients and build your brand within a comfortable budget.

4. Comparing Online Digital Advertising with other forms of media
Print Media: Can you imagine if a print magazine could provide numbers on magazine open rates, ad impressions, and clicks?  If they did you probably wouldn’t put another print ad in a magazine.  Since you can track things on digital there has been an overemphasis on what a click or a number means?  With print you feel good it’s in the right hand and you get exposure. With digital, customers are overanalyzing stats and what these mean. At the end of the day digital is more exposure and you have to be careful how you interpret numbers when adverting is about exposure.  Both forms of media are effective but should not be tracked or judged so differently.
Social Media Ads: Some companies are investing in getting social media followers instead of advertising on digital portals. The difference in having exposure on an industry site is awareness, brand building, and call to action. Where as a follower on social media (if it is real followers) is someone being exposed specifically to your company’s content and not necessarily someone looking for unbiased content. These should not be counted as the same investment, if you pick buying social media followers over investing in an online campaign on a targeted website with videos, native advertising, and banner insertions are not the same type of media/investment.
Are all your current and perspective customers going to each show? Is it wise to both exhibit and sponsor a show? That seems like a lot of push on a two-day event.  Are you getting value out of all your budget to be at a show, in a guide and your logo at the door entrance for a short period of time and put no emphasis on showcasing your brand on a digital platform 365 days a year?  Focus on a tradeshow as a face to face and the strengths and spread out your tactical budget for the long haul strategically.

5. Decision making and delegation
Do you need a team of ten people to decide where you advertise? Execute with the proper content person, digital planner, creative designer, and confidently go ahead with a plan.  Too many minds and cooks in the kitchen, so to say usually can lead to too many varying opinions on things and becomes hard to make a clear-cut decision.  Focus your time and strength efficiently and effectively, put extra time in to continuing to work on enhancing the current campaign and future campaigns.   Focus on the core of the message and simplicity of the ad, sometimes new high-tech ads provide publishers with storage and uploading issues and it is best to keep the ad simple and the message strong.  Focus on the key component which is adverting your message to your targets, the publication is the source to help you execute this.  Have your entire media plan tie together perfectly, spend the extra time to research all avenues and blend Print, Tradeshow, Digital together for the best result to compliment each other and not compare them against each other. Most importantly keep an open mind.

  1. Why do I need to Advertise?
    One great marketer once told me that you can’t sell anything unless people know whom your company is and what you do. Part of that is Advertising. It’s like going to the gym or creating good relationships you need repetition, do the same things over and over to yield the best result. There is no quick and easy path to media success.

7.It is best to maintain a positive relationship with Media/Publications
Working with a digital publication and maintaining a strong relationship is important. Remember, as a digital publisher we are influencers in news, and even though we are trying to sell you media space as a member of the media it is important to be respectful and trusting of us. Embrace us, to create a relationship!

Use this checklist as a way to rationalize digital media:
1) Build a brand /Announce a new product
2) Increase sales (there is no specific way to tie advertising directly to sales as it is an intangible)
3) Communicate with current and new customers to stay top of mind and relevant
4) Make it as easy for customers to know more about you and to have a reason to contact you
5) Showcase research, and the difference between your product to your competitors

Advertising is an Intangible, which is more VITAL to your business. Some expect an IMMEDIATE result when it comes to advertising but there is not one thing in life that evokes an exact instant gratification and more so it is cumulative approach of doing the right things that leads to the desired result.

Jim Eadie

In todays Agribusiness, companies are facing many challenges; from cost cutting, to consolidation, the need to be more frugal and being results oriented when it comes to Advertising or Media Buys.  As usual, with most companies the marketing budget goes first (which it shouldn’t) because all business relies heavily on repetition and name recognition for long term sustained growth.

With advertising budgets shrinking, it seems like companies are spending more on analytics to track the effectiveness of their ads.  Is this a good approach? We all need proper spending and tracking but the concern I am seeing is that the budget is being put into someone or resources to “Track things” when at the end of the day I believe those tracking numbers do not justify, or in any way shape or form track the effectiveness of advertising, which is nearly impossible (in the sense that tracking is a science).  You need to continue to invest in your company, brand, and to speak to your customers.

Tracking and effective ROI and measurement, have become an overthinking process.  Over analyzing the analytics is holding a lot of companies back from simply putting together an effective campaign.  For example, if you track clicks, is that even a proven viable measurement or do we just need something to put in a decision makers hands for an easy yes or no? Is it proven that if someone clicks on your ad that you have made sale? Clicks are good to see some activity but that does not count the times people have visually seen your ad and remembered you, or opened another window, watched your video, or the countless number of other ways effective advertising can be measured.

With online advertising, web ads are most effective for exposure as they allow your message to be seen over and over again, consistency! With a print ad, companies still do not ask for a metric, they insert an ad each month, seemingly, because they believe it reaches the hand of a decision maker. With web advertising you can: track searches on article, host videos, provide content, sponsor pages, and many other unique options to create a heightened campaign. Tracking these numbers are of greater value, as you can see how many times someone searched for your product on a website. Now this is good information to know.

5 key points to consider when looking to use Digital Media to track effectiveness:

  1. Is the publication read? What kind of exposure will you receive?
  2. How is the customer service?
  3. Do you feel you are getting good value/experience?
  4. Are you investing enough to make it work?
  5. Are sales in your company increasing?

If you have a marketing budget you need to examine this. For print to have a placement once a month is good exposure. With tradeshows we hear people say “We have to be here”. Digital adveritisng is still new in Agribusiness, print is a touch, and a tradeshow is face to face, so customers may have a tough time with digital advertising since it is not a direct contact. However, most importantly with a digital site; customers can access it weekly, where content flow and exposure helps to offset the shows and other magazines for continuity and brand building. More than ever you need to leverage digital assets whether it is a brand ad or something higher level like a video or sponsored page. This is the same concept as sponsoring an event, websites like ours need the support to receive the 365 hosting and content/editorial added.  You need to constantly tell your story, maximize where people see you.

Realistically, nothing has changed with advertising between now and 50 years ago. Computers have taken over the world and analytics are helpful but let’s have realistic ways to track digital advertising.

Ways to track:

-Impressions (how many people saw your ad)
-Searches (are people searching for keywords)
-How much value do you place on overall exposure
-Gut Feeling (instincts are a habitual way of life)
-Look at several factors and create a score based on those factors to track (not just 1 number)

What we want to do is to challenge your critical thinking and ask: can you leverage the many tools and consistency for web advertising/marketing and maybe build effectiveness through using our channel by keeping and open mind? We need to stop over thinking a metric/report that someone wants a number to validate success.

Exposure is exposure. Exposure is a crucial yet, valuable marketing tool to help promote and communicate with customers. Until analytics can prove to be viable, to a direct link in sales, just keep doing the right things, in the right places, with consistency and effectiveness. Don’t be afraid to work with your instincts, own a campaign and make it work!

Jim Eadie

Quoting a study by Successful Farming cites that “70 percent of farmers are online daily,” and almost a third are online multiple times each day. This was no doubt helped by the fact that in the past eight years, the number of farms with internet access rose from 60% to 71%, further closing the gap that divides growers from the national average of around 74%.

We have highlighted three important digital characteristics of the modern farmer, with some key takeaways.

1. Farmers Stay Close to Their Phones

First, almost all farmers own a cell phone, and the vast majority say they “always” have it with them when doing farm work. In fact, nearly 9 out of 10 farmers said they “use their cell phones multiple times per day.” Multiple industry people we spoke with said they use it to scan Twitter and industry websites to scan the latest trends happening in the Industry.

Takeaway: You want to showcase your brand consistently, and effectively. Tell your story and have key messages set up through channels your perspective customers use multiple times.

2. Farmers Do More Than Just Watch YouTube—They Learn from It

Recent data suggests that YouTube is the current leader for Farmers to learn from on Social Media. Much of that is due to the educational content growers seek there, Twitter and Facebook are most important for brand building and article sharing/viewing.

According to new information posted at, 44% of farmers in a recent study said they “watch videos to acquire information on products and services for their farm.” Over half of the farmers in that survey say they use YouTube every month, many checking in with it weekly and daily.

Takeaway: Leverage You tube to showcase key product information/new products, or corporate marketing. Keep and eye on using Video as a short commentary alternative into the future. Use YouTube for information hungry farmers wanting to learn and Twitter/Facebook for brand building and content sharing.

3. Farmers Only go to Tradeshows and Read Magazines

If internet usage is up for Farmers and there are sustainable internet portals why is the focus still tradeshow and magazine advertising?  There is something to say with a personal connection at a show and the touch and feel of a magazine but we need to start working more efficiently and effectively to reach our targets daily. If the numbers are showing a digital increase it is time to add it as part of the mix. Digital advertising is like always having your fridge well stocked with food (by doing so you are completely covered at all times) and not just covered with bare necessities. Online advertising reaches potential customers at all times.