June 30, 2020
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Cattle producers who work year-round to set their animals up for success — through nutrition management, for example — strive for the best possible outcome. The same is true when it comes to marketing.
The American Hereford Association is equipping members with knowledge and tools they need to be impactful marketers in all market conditions. Mark Johnson, Hereford breeder and livestock marketing agent, shared advice during The Brand marketing summit last summer. Step one, he says, is knowing your operation and what sets it apart.
“One important thing is trying to define who you are as an organization,” Johnson said. “What are your strengths, and once you identify that, how to tell people about it.”
Each operation runs differently. Finding and employing the best marketing strategies can change the way an operation performs in a very competitive industry.
“There is never ‘one size fits all,’ in my opinion, and there are so many different segments within the Hereford industry on how you can market cattle,” said Jason Barber of Superior Livestock. “Some people can sell horned and polled bulls for a lot of money and volume. Some people have just a handful of cows and they need to market some calves or some show heifers. Just try to offer [your customers] a marketing product that might fit their business models and help them on sale day.”
Building relationships, providing top-quality customer service and keeping the genetic program top-of-mind should all be year-round goals for today’s seedstock producer – along with seeking marketing support.
“Consistent effort yields consistent results, in my opinion,” Barber said. “There’s all kinds of ways to promote sales and there’s a lot of people that are professionals in this industry that’ve dedicated their lives and their professionalism to help other people be successful.”
At the end of the day, it’s about relationships.
“No matter what you are marketing — whether it is fed cattle or feeder cattle or purebred livestock or whatever widget you might be selling — when you’re working with someone, just treat them fairly,” Johnson said. “Develop relationships that you can fall back on when times get tough. If you have a strong brand, you can have a few setbacks and people will still rally around you rather than just focusing on your product.”
The American Hereford Association provides a variety of year-round marketing opportunities and resources for marketing beef cattle genetics.