Observations from NAMA


As digital marketing grows in significance, many tentative ag marketers are keenly interested in ‘what everybody else is doing.’ Well, the place to learn that was the Sheraton Crown Center in Kansas City, where I spent much of last week moving from the lobby to the restaurant to the bar in meeting after meeting with ag marketers. The purpose was the 2013 Agri-Marketing Conference produced by NAMA, and the discussions ran the gamut. Here, some observations on what the folks we met with are doing:

  • Digital marketing was at the core of nearly every conversation. Whether or not every marketer believes in the value of digital marketing, they all recognize the need to understand their options and where these tools fit.
  • The audience’s comfort with metrics continues growing, which takes the discussion to much higher / deeper levels. I cannot stop thinking about the process one agency told me they use to ‘score’ or evaluate different websites.
  • Marketers continue looking at video with dubious eyes and struggle to see the value in investing in an outlet that may only net a couple thousand impressions.
  • Many marketers look at social media options because they have to, not because they want to. Boss / client demands or competitive pressure drives these marketers there, and they readily (albeit quietly) admit they don’t personally use these channels they’re tasked with evaluating.
  • Audience segmentation is increasingly important to media buyers. Kept hearing about advertising in relevant places, even if that means reaching fewer eyeballs. Quality is clearly more valued over quantity.
  • Content marketing interests some folks but still lacks widespread appeal. Sessions on this topic were delivered to 30% or 40% capacity, while sessions on figuring out the right media mix had a standing room only crowd.
  • Quote of the week: When deciding where to spend digital dollars, listen to the numbers, not the HiPPO. (The HiPPO = the Highest Paid Person in the Office.)
  • Lastly, I know the ag industry has its stereotypes, but it clearly holds tremendous appeal as well. One only had to look at the packs of college students attending the NAMA Student Competition to see that. Their professionalism, enthusiasm and competency was obvious and uplifting.


The author is Director of Interactive Sales at Meister Media. To further discuss lead-generation ideas, you can contact him at 440-602-9129 or bwest@meistermedia.com