Having just moved into a new home, our mailbox has been filled with flyers from local businesses promoting introductory specials or “Welcome to the neighborhood” deals.
I appreciate the effort by local merchants to make us aware of products and services within a couple mile radius of our home, and certainly plan to take at least a few of them up on their offers. While promotions may entice me to initially order that pizza or get that oil change, product quality and service will determine if I go back a second time.
Farm equipment dealers understand this business model well when marketing new machinery or seasonal specials to their customers. But how are dealers promoting the precision side of their business?
Looking at the results of our recent online poll, the majority of dealerships — 68% — rely on an in-house marketing person or team to devise and deploy a precision promotion plan. Having a point person or people to game plan a successful strategy for spreading the word about precision services and products can offer a competitive advantage.
During a recent trip to Nebraska, I had the opportunity to visit with a precision specialist at one of 3 dealerships all located a stone’s throw from each other. He acknowledged that with primary competitors in such close proximity, it’s critical to have an organized and targeted marketing plan.
The dealership recently restructured its precision department hierarchy to provide a more personal customer service experience from the point of sale to ongoing technology support.
“We’re marketing the change to current and potential customers with the idea that this will help differentiate what we do, vs. our competition,” the precision specialist says. “Farmers have a lot of options these days, so it’s important to find a way to get and keep their attention.”
But not every dealership has the resources or the initiative to develop a detailed marketing plan. Looking at the survey results, about one-quarter (24%) say they let word of mouth from existing customers build their precision reputation.
A coffee-shop endorsement of a dealer’s reliability can be an invaluable source of referrals. But regardless of which strategy is most effective for promoting precision services, the key for dealers is to have one in place if they plan on growing their precision business.