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It’s that time of year again,  bull sale season!  Each day the mailman delivers another stack of bull sale catalogs and it's now to the point that we can't find the top of the conference table in our office. With so many choices, how do you make your bulls stand out above the rest? 

Everyone wants a surefire way to develop customer relationships that lead to higher sales and profits. And who wouldn’t want this? The truth is that there’s no one single way to do this.  Your bulls and breeding programs are multidimensional, as are your clients. So should be your marketing plan.  The most successful marketing uses a combination of approaches which requires a strategy. 

Here are some tips to help make your marketing rise above the rest. 

The best print ads use headlines, visuals and information that spotlights the reasons why a producer should come to your sale.  Design ads that create an emotional response.  Emotions are the core element that motivates consumers to buy goods and services.  Make sure your ads are clear and easy to read because what you say matters. The most effective ads are the ones that give the producer a reason to buy, use or find out more about a bull or your breeding program and that highlights important features.  Let your customer know how choosing to buy one of your bulls will positively impact their herd for years to come.  Emphasize value added-traits for your breed and market. 

One of the best or the worst impressions can be your sale catalog. Aim to make a visual impact with good photography, a clean layout design and easy to read text.  Don't over clutter pages with too many bulls per page.  Make it easy for your readers to navigate your catalog by putting a table of contents or a bull index in your catalog, a schedule of events for the day of your sale, terms and conditions, sale order and don't forget directions to the sale location and area lodging. 

Online catalogs should also be readily available to post on your website, in social media or to be sent in e-mail.  The pages of your online catalog should fit into a standard computer screen which keeps the page from being cropped out of view. Include a zoom function so buyers can get a better look.  The catalog should include clear links or tabs so buyers can easily navigate from one section or page to the next.  Also include e-mail and forward links to encourage viewers to share your sale catalog. 

No matter what type of business you’re engaged in, social media is crucial if you want to stay ahead of the competition and generate more sales and customers.  Instead of going to search engines, a growing number of users prefer to make queries on social networks such as Facebook when searching for products or services. So make sure your farm or ranch has a Facebook page,  even your favorite bull can have his own page. 

But there’s more to using social media than setting up accounts on Twitter and Facebook and putting up posts and composing tweets. You need to be active and engaging, and offer information people are looking for. Without a definite plan, social media activities can be a waste of time.  

Therefore, in order to make an impact, you must first formulate and commit to a long-term strategy that includes an effective means for management and performance monitoring.  

The most obvious goal of using a social media strategy is to increase your business's presence and extend your reach. But there is much more you can achieve.  Including increasing traffic to your website, improving your credibility and bringing new buyers to your sale. 

What content should you post?  

The best content strategy is one that involves mixed content. There need to be posts that showcase your bulls, but others need to address the specific needs and interests of your target audience. If you’re only posting bland messages about your sale, people will likely tune out and avoid you in the future. Curate posts that are interesting, like news stories, how-to articles, videos and picture lists that are relevant to your industry and to your breeding program.   

Also talk directly to your audience and encourage people to interact with your brand continuously. After all it's all about building long term relationships with your buyers. You need to show your customers that you care about what each person has to say about your business.   

Presentation is as important in marketing cattle privately as it is in a public auction.  High quality videos and photos give you an edge up on others marketing the same type of cattle.  Make sure that videos and photos link to your website. 

Here are some ideas for social media posts. 

In addition to personal tours, video an on-site bull tour that guide potential customers through your facility and answers common questions about your bulls.  This gives potential buyers the chance to get a personal viewing and readily available data of each animal, maximizing the exposure for your cattle and creating interest in your program. 

While you can buy any genetics, you can't buy someone's management.  It is really easy to get caught up in the data, but remember these animals need to be sound and functional in the pasture. Buyers like to see cattle raised in similar conditions to their own management practices.  Show in your videos that your bulls will easily adapt to their new homes. 

Show your operations herd health protocols.  There's nothing worse than bringing a new bull home and having him not be healthy and the risk of infecting your buyers herd.  Let buyers know what you do to ensure that your bulls pass a Breeding Soundness Exam. 

Help buyers identify and understand EPD's and phenotypes and how specific traits can add value to your clients herd.  For example, while calving ease is important avoid stressing low birth weight bulls for cows because producers don't get paid for light birth weight calves.  Instead stress how the confirmation of the bull with average EPD's are better off for mature cows and greater profits for the producer.  Producers who sell calves at weaning are more interested in calving ease, heifer pregnancy, stay ability and weaning weight.  Producers who retain ownership through a feedlot and market to a packer are most interested in yearling weight and carcass traits. Help your clients produce the most profitable product without increasing cost of production by showing them how they may utilize multiple trait selection indexes. 

Show how you are increasing the accuracy of your EPD's on yearling bulls resulting in less risk, less change and more predictability in how your bulls will sire. 

Discuss how buying your bulls is beneficial to crossbreeding producers who raise commercial cattle or how your bulls are the best for different management practices. 

Show how you stand behind your bulls as a breeder.  Show how they last, will hold value, can add value to a herd for the next five years and how his daughters will impact a herd for the next twenty years.  Help your clients find everything they are looking for in a bull. 

Marketing is multifaceted and continuously ongoing. Look at it as a long term prospect with lots of contributing factors to bring attention to your cattle and get top dollar.  I hope these tips have helped and that you have great success at your upcoming sales.  



04/21/2016 2:48am

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06/07/2016 4:23pm

I hope you found it helpful!

05/04/2017 12:55am

Your unique style and technique in marketing your business would surely bring you success in the near future. Plus the fact that you already have a strong passion and dedication in doing this kind of job, just makes it more possible for you to achieve your goals in life. All of your tips and advices are on point and very relevant in this generation. This could probably be beneficial to those who also have an interest in this kind of business. I'm glad that you stand as an inspiration and motivator for everyone. Continue having that kind of mindset in your life and I do believe that you're already halfway through in reaching your goals in life.

06/18/2016 12:33am

I am grateful to you since your article is extremely helpful for me to carry on with my research in very same area. Your estimated instances are very much pertinent to my study area.

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06/20/2016 1:32pm

I'm very happy to hear you found this article useful!

08/09/2016 7:04am

Wow this is a great idea of marketing. Very much useful to the people who would like to sell their bull or even buy them at an affordable price. Every farmer must visit this blog i hope.

01/04/2017 7:19am

You are doing a hard work here. Where do you take time for blogging?

04/04/2017 12:44am

I'm always doing my best to help the clients. And trying to make them happy!

08/28/2017 8:46am

It's that season of year once more, bull deal season! Every day the postal carrier conveys another heap of bull deal lists and it's currently to the point that we can't locate the highest point of the meeting table in our office. With such a large number of decisions, how would you influence your bulls to emerge over the rest?

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    Author Jennifer Archibald

    Reflections of life and lessons learned in the fields of marketing and agriculture.  A place to shout from the roof tops our clients success and keep you up to date on industry trends.


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