Sales & Marketing is a broad space to be in. Within this space, I have been trying to answer the question – Do the ag. shows still matter as much in a world that seems to love the convenience of the internet so much more?
Let’s face it; the shows consume a good part of our resources, be it time, energy or money, and given the competitive space we operate in, the business margins are hard to maintain. Plus, participants talk about the plummeting attendance year after year. Dealers, farmers and users have access to a whole lot of information from ag. companies & institutions on their smart devices, and social media which keeps them abreast of what’s happening. Product videos, testimonials, literature, benefits, comparisons, interviews, you name what you need!
As the Sales & Marketing Head at Agri Till for North America, I have attended shows and participated in a few in the US. We were at the Farm Progress Show in IL this August (2019). This is one of the largest outdoor ag. equipment shows in the country with over 600 exhibitors, spread across acres. The show is organized every alternate year at Decatur, Illinois, and Boone in Iowa.
My team mate and I interacted with a number of farmers who crossed our booth. They were holding poly bags, wearing hats & were curious. They asked us a few questions, and we asked them a couple of our own. Together, we laughed a bit, and it was a great learning experience, direct from the users! We got a better understanding of what they prefer, what works, what doesn’t and more. We also met with scores of tillage and planting equipment manufacturers & were lucky to spend quality time with them. During our 3-day participation, we had a lot of face-to-face interaction with the agricultural community. Coming from India, some people saw us as an opportunity while others needed to know a little more about the company and its people to build trust.
And trust makes all the difference.
No doubt we all like the convenience of online shopping, but we still expect Santa to deliver gifts to our kids, personally!
Wishing you a happy Christmas and a wonderful 2020.
Director – International Sales and Marketing