This year’s conference was held on November 2-3, 2009, in Hyde Park, NY, with nearly 60 attendees participating. The presentations encompassed a range of marketing topics, but with them all centered on building and telling your farm's or firm’s unique story. This year’s conference picked up on a number of current issues and teamed them with successful agribusinesses that have addressed them through their own unique story.
In addition to the impressive presentations on developing and evaluating marketing practices, each attendee also walked away with each speaker’s 5 Keys to Marketing Success, a new element to this year’s program added to help facilitate the conference’s objective in providing attendees with concrete ideas and tools to apply to their own business. The 5 Keys helped ensure that the essential elements from each speaker were captured for the participants and helped link each speaker’s topic with the necessary skills for producers to focus on in their own marketing process.
Additional programming information, upcoming events, and links to member programs and industry stakeholder websites are available on the Agricultural Marketing and Management PWT website. Smart Marketing articles published by the PWT are also available. The December 2009 article was authored by David Becker, an attendee of this year’s Strategic Marketing Conference, and weaves in many of the ideas he heard during the conference. Cornell’s eClips was at the conference to record our speakers' presentations, which will be added to their collection and strengthen its content on ag-related enterprises. All presentations, video files, and audio podcasts are made available on the PWT website for stakeholders and educators to use these in their own educational programming.
The annual Strategic Marketing Conference was a huge success again this year. The philosophy of this conference has always been to present, educate, and discuss hands-on, usable information that participants can walk away with and begin utilizing immediately. Based on feedback received, the conference lived up to this philosophy once more. On a scale from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent), attendees rated the set of speakers a 4.1 average, with several averaging over 4.5. They rated the overall quality of the workshop a 4.5 average, overall value of the workshop a 4.4 average, and the probability that they will attend future Strategic Marketing Conferences a 4.4 average.
impact statement issue
The marketing decisions of today’s small- to medium-sized agribusiness firms selling agricultural, food, and specialty products are becoming more and more complex. New markets and channels are developing for local products, changing consumer demographics and tastes and preferences are affecting the types of new and emerging products consumers are demanding, new technologies are improving the way products are packaged and increase access to local and distant markets, and alternative business organizations continue to be created that capitalize on collaborative production and marketing synergies, to mention just a few. Agricultural and food markets are dynamic systems continually influenced by changing supply and demand factors. Today’s food marketers need to understand the implications of changing markets to their business operations and have the necessary skills to adapt and adjust their businesses to retain and grow their competitive position.
Today’s buyers are demanding a closer connection to their food and knowing, not only more about the product itself, but more about the farm or firm that produces it. Whether it’s improved product quality through alternative technologies, collaborative activities that support family farms and agricultural communities, or utilizing sustainable production practices, they all uniquely define your story. In this way, marketing the unique story of your business provides the opportunity to showcase the unique qualities your firm and products possess, separates you from your competitors, and allows you to capitalize on your competitive advantages. Effectively communicating that story to market your products was what this conference was all about.
impact statement response
The 2009 Cornell Strategic Marketing Conference, sponsored by the Agricultural Marketing and Management Program Work Team (PWT), encompassed many of these complex issues, but in a way that addressed that primal question of concern: “Why should I buy your product rather than someone else’s?” The conference has always been about giving farm producers and value-added agribusiness operations specific marketing tools and improved marketing skills that they can go back and apply to their business right away. The conference is organized each year by the Agricultural Marketing and Management Project Work Team at Cornell University, a collaboration of on-campus faculty and staff, Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and directors, and food and ag-based industry stakeholders, whose mission is to give New York food and agriculturally related businesses a competitive advantage over the rest of the world by significantly improving the knowledge of marketing as well as improving general management capacities and skills (http://marketingpwt.aem.cornell.edu.)
Key producers, processors, and other agribusinesses showcased their business stories and ways they built success through improved marketing strategies. Particular attention focused on marketing products to growing markets, internet approaches to product marketing, and diversifying marketing outlets to improve business performance. Professionals and industry experts were also on hand to provide methods that help evaluate the success of various marketing activities and how to analyze the financial implications of the marketing strategies employed.
impact statement summary
The 2009 Cornell Strategic Marketing Conference, sponsored by the Agricultural Marketing and Management Program Work Team (PWT), focused on educating agribusiness industry stakeholders about new and innovative marketing practices and tools and enabling them to better market and tell their own unique story. The conference has always been about giving farm producers and value-added agribusiness operations specific marketing tools and improved marketing skills that they can go back and apply to their businesses right away. Today’s food marketers need to understand the implications of changing markets to their business operations and have the necessary skills to adapt and adjust their businesses to retain and grow their competitive position.