In the dynamic landscape of the digital era, successful communication goes beyond the traditional realms of running ads. It’s about harnessing technology to enhance the effectiveness of your message, creating a meaningful connection with your audience. To truly excel in the digital realm, a comprehensive strategy is essential—one that involves commitment, careful planning, and a continuous commitment to education.

1. Commitment to Strategy: The foundation of any successful digital communication strategy lies in a firm commitment. It’s not just about having a plan; it’s about dedicating yourself to its execution. Your strategy should align seamlessly with your brand identity and business objectives, ensuring a consistent and authentic voice across all channels.

2. Creating a Roadmap: Developing a roadmap is crucial for navigating the vast digital landscape. Define your goals, outline key milestones, and establish a timeline for implementation. A well-structured roadmap serves as a guide, keeping your team focused and accountable throughout the journey.

3. Content Pillars: Craft a content plan with pillars that represent the core themes of your brand. These pillars provide a framework for creating diverse and engaging content that resonates with your audience. Consistency in messaging builds trust and reinforces your brand identity.

4. Continuous Education: In the ever-evolving digital landscape, staying informed is paramount. Commit to continuous education or ‘agucation’—a blend of agility and education. Embrace new technologies, trends, and best practices to stay ahead of the curve and adapt your strategy accordingly.

5. Internal Communication: Build your plan internally by fostering effective communication within your organization. Ensure that every team member is aligned with the overarching strategy. Internal channels serve as a platform to share updates, successes, and reinforce the company’s mission.

6. External Media Partners: Collaborating with external media partners is a strategic move to extend your reach. These partnerships offer a different perspective, allowing your company to intake information from target news sources. External media partners can amplify your message and drive new interest in your brand.

7. Confidence and Focus: Confidence and focus are the cornerstones of a successful digital communication strategy. Own your narrative and key messages in the market. By staying confident in your approach and focused on your goals, your company can effectively control the narrative and shape its public perception.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the real value of digital communication lies in a holistic approach that integrates commitment, strategic planning, continuous education, and effective internal and external communication channels. Embrace the power of digital to tell your story, reinforce your messages, and connect with your target market. In a world where attention is fleeting, confidence and focus will set your company apart, allowing you to own your narrative in the digital landscape.

Written by:  Jim Eadie

Crafted by Jim Eadie, the visionary behind Agriculture Advertising, a stalwart boasting over 18 years of digital media expertise. Jim leads the charge at,,, and, showcasing his dedication to pushing the boundaries of digital media in the agricultural sector. His extensive experience positions him as a key influencer, driving innovation and excellence within the industry.

Welcome to this episode of Agriculture Advertising Podcast where we sit down with Sarah Kutz, the Senior Manager of Digital Marketing of Paid Media at Filament, a dynamic team of passionate individuals in the agriculture realm.Visit:

Episode Summary:

1. Team Dynamics: 
*We explore the diverse personalities at Filament, from ag-enthusiasts to storytellers. Sarah shares which role resonates with her and why, giving listeners a glimpse into the team’s collective passion.

2. Filament’s Journey and Sarah’s Marketing Love Story:
*Sarah narrates Filament’s story, highlighting their diverse AG portfolio and key client results. She opens up about her personal journey into marketing, the driving forces behind Filament’s success, and what makes her a marketing guru.

3. PR vs. Advertising in Agriculture Marketing:
*Sarah dissects the distinctions between PR and advertising, exploring how paid storytelling fits into a comprehensive media plan, providing insights into effective strategies.

4. Tailoring Tactics for Different Species:
*We explore the nuanced tactics in agriculture marketing specific to different species. Sarah shares examples of how approaches vary and the importance of customization for success.

5. Effective Practices and Areas for Refinement:
*Sarah identifies two practices in agriculture marketing that are working effectively and two areas that may require refinement based on her experiences with clients.

6. Ag-Tech Trends Impacting Marketing:
*Sarah anticipates and discusses upcoming Ag-Tech trends that will influence the evolution of agriculture marketing strategies.

7. Efficiency in Ag Marketing: 
*Sarah provides valuable insights into maximizing marketing plans and opportunities in the agriculture space, sharing practical tips for efficiency and impact.

Join us for an insightful conversation with Sarah Kutz as we unravel the dynamics of agriculture marketing and the evolving landscape in the digital era.

About our guest


Give Sarah a spreadsheet and she can conquer any task. Variety is the spice of life, and that holds true for Sarah. From coordinating with vendors, designers and industry contacts to copyediting and budgets, Sarah does it all. She’s also an avid learner and won’t shy away from research.

Sarah’s agriculture heritage runs deep. Her family has been farming the same land for more than 150 years. Sarah knows agriculture touches almost everything. Growing up on her family’s dairy farm, Sarah’s dad would challenge her to name random objects, and he would always find a way to connect them to agriculture.

To say Sarah’s a Badger fan is an understatement. As a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sarah cheers on the football and basketball teams at almost every game. Varsity and Jump Around are her go-to jams.

In a business landscape where branding is synonymous with success, the idea of a company forsaking its branding efforts is both intriguing and, in many ways, unthinkable. Let’s delve into the potential consequences if a company were to take the unconventional path of going incognito and removing its brand identity from its products.

Lost Identity:

  • The immediate impact would be a loss of identity. In a world where consumers rely on branding to distinguish products, your offering becomes just another face in the crowd.

Trust and Credibility:

  • Trust, a cornerstone of customer relationships, is often built through branding. Removing it may sow seeds of skepticism among consumers regarding the product’s authenticity, quality, and origin.

Customer Loyalty:

  • Brands foster loyalty and emotional connections. Stripping away branding might sever that bond, prompting customers to explore alternatives that still provide that sense of connection.

Competitive Disadvantage:

  • In a competitive market, branding sets you apart. Without it, your product risks becoming commoditized, struggling to justify premium pricing or distinguish itself significantly.

Marketing Challenges:

  • Branding is a linchpin of marketing. Abandoning it would pose significant challenges for your marketing team in effectively promoting products. Marketing messages often hinge on brand promises, which would no longer be present.


  • Identifying products in a sea of unbranded items could overwhelm consumers, leading them to rely more on price or features, potentially triggering a race to the bottom in pricing.

Perceived Value:

  • Branding adds perceived value to a product. Without it, your offering may be perceived as generic, irrespective of its actual quality, forcing you to compete primarily on price.

Innovation Challenges:

  • Brands often signify innovation and a commitment to improvement. Ditching branding might convey the impression that you are stagnant or not invested in enhancing your products.

Legal and Trademark Issues:

  • Discontinuing branding could invite legal issues, especially if your brand has trademark protection. Similar names or logos by others might cause confusion and potential legal entanglements.

Embarking on such a radical departure from conventional business strategies poses a myriad of challenges and risks that could reshape the company’s relationship with consumers and its standing in the market.

By Joe Ferraro

A seasoned leader with a passion for driving innovation, fostering growth, and championing entrepreneurship in the agricultural landscape. With a wealth of experience, Joe has dedicated his career to empowering teams and ensuring excellence in the field of agriculture.

Assisted by Jim Eadie

A stalwart in the realm of digital media in agriculture. With over 18 years of expertise, Jim oversees,,, and His commitment to advancing digital media in the agricultural sector has made him a key figure in the industry.

In the ever-evolving world of business, marketing isn’t just an option—it’s the heartbeat of your brand’s success. Here’s a glimpse into why marketing has become more vital than ever:

Agriculture consept consept : Businessman touching the screen about agriculture consept

  1. Visibility Boost: Marketing is your ticket to getting noticed by your target audience. Having a fantastic product or service isn’t enough; you’ve got to broadcast it far and wide!
  2. Brand Sculpting: Your brand’s identity takes shape through marketing. It’s the art of narrating your unique story and leaving a lasting imprint on your customers’ minds.
  3. Deepening Connections: Effective marketing goes beyond transactions; it’s about building genuine relationships with your audience. Understand their needs, deliver solutions, and create lasting connections.
  4. Standing Out: In a sea of competitors, a well-thought-out marketing strategy is your superpower. It’s the secret sauce to outshining others in your industry.
  5. Trackable Triumphs: Thanks to digital tools, marketing efforts are measurable. This data-driven approach lets you tweak your strategies for optimal results.
  6. Adaptability Ace: Marketing is your compass in navigating through market shifts and evolving customer preferences. It’s the key to staying agile in uncertain times.
  7. Catalyst for Innovation: Marketing sparks innovation. It nudges you to think creatively, explore new avenues, and stay in sync with the ever-changing times.

Remember, marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It’s about understanding your unique goals and crafting a strategy tailored to achieve them. Whether it’s through content marketing, social media, SEO, or a blend of tactics, a robust marketing game is essential.

What’s your favorite facet of marketing, and how has it transformed your business? Share your insights!

By Joe Ferraro

A seasoned leader with a passion for driving innovation, fostering growth, and championing entrepreneurship in the agricultural landscape. With a wealth of experience, Joe has dedicated his career to empowering teams and ensuring excellence in the field of agriculture.

Assisted by Jim Eadie

A stalwart in the realm of digital media in agriculture. With over 18 years of expertise, Jim oversees,,, and His commitment to advancing digital media in the agricultural sector has made him a key figure in the industry.

Episode Summary:

Our conversation with Leigh Ann delves into her entrepreneurial journey, tracing her evolution from a rising star to an established figure in her field. We explore what distinguishes Leigh Ann as an exceptional and standout marketer and how she harnesses the strengths of her team to achieve success. Additionally, we delve into the current landscape of media trends, emphasizing storytelling and education, as well as the growing influence of marketing compared to traditional advertising.

In our discussion, we scrutinize a standout marketing plan that has been successfully executed and whether it aligns with winning prestigious awards. We also emphasize the significance of cultivating strong relationships, diligent work ethic, and staying attuned to emerging innovations in the industry.

Furthermore, we indulge in some enjoyable segments, exploring Leigh Ann’s passion for sports. Finally, we compile a list of several agricultural marketing terms and invite Leigh Ann to provide brief insights on how these terms correlate with her journey to success in the field of marketing.

About our guest

Leigh Ann Cleaver has over 28 years of work experience in various roles and companies. Leigh Ann is currently serving as the Executive Vice President, Client Experience and Partner at Mod Op since July 2020. Before that, Leigh Ann founded and served as the Chief Executive Officer of Sage (formerly BCS Communications), which was acquired by Mod Op in 2020. Leigh Ann established Sage in 2003 and provided strategic communications, public relations, advertising, and event planning services to local, national, and international clients, including Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to Sage, Leigh Ann worked as a Team Leader at Valentine Radford Advertising, specializing in Bayer Crop Protection. Leigh Ann also served as a Brand Manager at Sprint, a Sr. Account Supervisor at Osborn & Barr Communications working on the John Deere account, and an Account Supervisor at Valentine Radford Advertising, again focusing on Bayer Crop Protection.

Before their time at Valentine Radford Advertising, Leigh Ann worked as an Account Executive at Swanson Russell Associates, where they handled clients in the animal health, agriculture, and healthcare industries. Leigh Ann began their career as an Advertising Sales Account Executive at Telecom USA.

Leigh Ann Cleaver has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a focus on Advertising from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Leigh Ann also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Baker University, specializing in Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services. Additionally, they have pursued coursework for a Master of Arts in Communications at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Prior to these higher education experiences, they attended Cottey College and Platteview Senior High School, although the specific degrees or fields of study obtained from these institutions are not provided.

Visit the Modop Group Website:

At Mod Op, everything we do starts with understanding our clients’ marketing opportunities. Then, we identify the unique methods to help them achieve those goals. That may mean launching a complete, integrated advertising and PR campaign or tapping into some of our more specialized expertise for a given project.

We are thoughtful. We are purposeful. And yes, we’re creative, too.

We’re Mod Op. And that’s our M.O.

Abstract people silhouettes against glass, 3D generated image.

Building and sustaining a great PR agency has never been easy. But it is getting even harder now, because shifts in the nature of the business itself are bringing a new challenge, several forms of integrated operational communications chaos known previously to only digital agencies.

A certain level of chaos is baked into PR agencies and the work they do. Rapid turnarounds for breaking news, unexpected events and crises can wreak havoc on an otherwise orderly content and communication schedule. But as happened to many traditional and creative agencies a decade ago, PR agencies are finding themselves drawn into the much more-complex world of integrated, multi-platform communications and marketing services.

At the heart of this shift are increased demands from brands for integrated offerings, a double-edged sword for PR firms as the opportunity to deepen their engagements (and stabilize revenue) means new complexities.

Signs of Chaos

In our work with over 200 agencies, we’ve noticed that the key forms of operational chaos have become increasingly present in more traditional agencies and PR firms.

The increase in size and complexity of engagements ignites this operational chaos within agency teams, driving up rework rates. Unchecked, it leads to a cascade of schedule slippages and internal firefighting, where the rescue of struggling projects causes a contagion as resources are “borrowed” from healthy projects, turning them into struggling projects as well.

Leadership in most agencies react incorrectly to this phenomenon, assuming that more managing and managers are the solution. In highly-afflicted agencies this appears as a rapid growth in “coordination” type managers (account and project) collapsing the manager to worker ratio to one manager for every three workers, or worse.

Agency size also exacerbates these challenges. As agencies grow past 40 people or so in size, complexity, over-managing, and the natural fragmentation of agency work combine to drive down productivity and quality by 30-50% (based on a survey of AgencyAgile clients), and with it, large drops in worker and client satisfaction.

A recent client of ours, a PR firm that had made the complexity-shift in offerings to their clients, had discovered on its own that adding project managers actually made things worse. The team discovered that the counter-intuitive solution lies in a re-emphasis on team-driven control of the work. This approach reduces the chaos from over-management, restores worker’s sense of ownership, and boosts work quality.

Tools to Battle Chaos

That’s but one of a handful of shifts that agency leaders and their teams need to master to battle delivery chaos. Here are several others:

  • Find ways to get back to small. Growth can feel like a welcome relief to a struggling agency, but it also introduces layers of complexity that can transform nimble agencies into chaotic workplaces. Organizations of over 40 people benefit greatly from partitioning schemes that turn them into a federation of smaller agencies. Small is fast.
  • Embrace cognitive diversity. Implement a richer set of methods for how teams and workers get onboarded and aligned to new projects. Replace the overly-simplistic and ineffective written briefing methods and “DIY learn as you go” with high-quality collaborative discussion and solution-based models. Increases in project or engagement complexity mean that extra effort is needed to engage and grow the mid- and junior-level makers.
  • Unify priorities. The agency model spawns a legion of managers as it grows, but that means more people who think their work comes first. Production chaos can ensue. Create alignment of priorities between managers to reduce thrashing of the teams.
  • Stifle the meeting urge. Meetings are highly costly, yet rarely do agencies have a strategy for how to avoid them. They are costless to schedule yet in a growing agency will obliterate productive time from the calendars of workers and teams. Develop a meeting reduction strategy, socialize it through the agency, and make sure leadership and team members stick to it.

While these techniques are proven in a wide range of agencies as being effective at relieving the challenges of complexity-driven chaos, they also appear to be effective in smaller, growing agencies.  If proactively applied when they are still 30 people or less, it seems to serve as a “vaccine” of sorts against the onset of the chaos.

One of the key findings from our proprietary research into sources of agency chaos, based on a five-year study of over 80 agencies, is that managerial activities have the highest impact upon worker productivity. Growth often brings the urge to hire more managers, but agencies rarely realize how costly that move might be.


Source: Jack Skeels is CEO and Founder of AgencyAgile, an agile transformation and coaching firm. ‘Unmanaged,’ his forthcoming book, highlights a new managerial mindset that boosts productivity and happiness in marketing agencies and project-driven organizations. 

Storytelling is a process used by Agri-marketers to communicate a message to their audience, via the combination of fact and narrative. We explore how vital this is to control your message as your story constantly evolves and you need your target audience to hear all aspects of it.

Four pillars we examine about why brands tell stories:

1. Stories are easy to remember

2. Stories simplify complex concepts

3. Stories united your audience

4. Stories inspire action

Visit or

(Jim Eadie oversees,,,, and and has been involved in digital media in Agriculture for over 18 years)

How you can create or use your Corporate Culture to tie in to effective Agri-Marketing strategies? Do you have a corporate culture and can you tie your strategy and Agucation ( to showcase your culture more effectively? We review important characteristics of culture such as: Vision, Values, Practices, People, Narrative and Place, Teamwork, Innovation, and Leadership. We also review the types of Corporate Culture: Clan Culture, Adhocracy Culture, Market Culture, and Hierarchy Culture. Use your culture to guide your path to continued effective communication tactics.

(Jim Eadie oversees,,,, and and has been involved in digital media in Agriculture for over 18 years)

A simplistic review of Effective communication and key strategies that make a big difference in a marketing plan.

-Leveraging a variety of forums
-Consistency, keep sending the message
-Strategy, make this strategy a focal point of core value
-Determine a niche target or broad target
-Adaptability: Adapt to how people are receiving information
-Focus on the overall process then short-term stats
-Build relationships and define a real story to engage people more
-Agucation- Lifelong learning is key. Always educate people on your product and service and why your different

Concepts of business planning, high-performance business processes and workflows, problem-solving, quality control, and long-term business assessment tracking.

Episode Summary:
-Shannon discusses her career journey and the incredible story and longevity at Lessing-Flynn
-Shannon answers what Agri-Marketing means to her
-Shannon discusses trends she is seeing in the industry, what is working and not working, along with something we need to try but may be afraid of.
-Shannon discusses why she chose Ag Marketing and what makes Ag different from other industries
-We learn Shannon’s marketing style
-We learn more keys to what makes Lessing-Flynn different
-We discuss about overreacting and under-reacting to success or failure in marketing
-Shannon wraps on a stand out idea or plan she has executed

About our guest

Over the past decade, Shannon has built a rock-solid foundation in ag and construction marketing. When she joined Lessing-Flynn eight years ago, she developed their media department from the ground up. Now, as the director of digital media and strategy, she grows and supports the agency’s media, digital and social efforts. Shannon and her digital and media communications team optimize clients’ investment values by converting their traditional media plans into highly targeted digital strategies across all platforms — and with outstanding measurable results. The team is also responsible for all digital offerings, social content and channel growth strategies.

Shannon holds marketing and advertising degrees from Iowa State University from the College of Business and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, respectively.

Visit the Lessing-Flynn Website:

Founded in 1907, Lessing-Flynn is the longest-standing independently owned advertising agency in America (according to our research) and a Top Workplace in Iowa four years running (according to The Des Moines Register). Our agency helps clients solve complex brand and marketing challenges, producing award-winning work across a variety of industries, including agriculture, animal health and nutrition, construction, financial, healthcare, higher education, manufacturing and technology.