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We’re learning new things. Are you?

Progressive Dairy Editor Walt Cooley Published on 12 March 2021

First off, I’d like to say a big thank you to those advertisers who have sponsored this space. These advertisers are truly pioneers at trying to do things differently during these disruptive times.

As all of you are aware, telling a product’s story and explaining potential solutions has been more difficult for our advertisers during the past year. “Why should I care what’s been hard for them? It’s been hard for all of us,” I can hear you saying. And you’re right. The pandemic has affected us all – in different ways and to varying degrees of pain.

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The biggest question we all need to be asking ourselves at this point in the COVID-19 pandemic – which is hopefully a tipping point in the right direction – is this thoughtful question: Have I learned what I needed to learn from this experience?

Like it or not, the world is going to be fundamentally different going forward from how it began in 2020. Consumers are changing their behaviors. That will affect how milk is made, how much and how it is marketed.

In the B2B space, including in the dairy industry, businesses are also changing how they market their products. This section is an attempt to help you connect with them in a new way. For example, be sure to check out their customized video explanations online and see what these innovative companies are doing. If you’re even slightly intrigued by their products, text in and let them know. You might just win a prize too for doing so.

A few dairy owners I have talked to have said they are getting fewer sales calls than before the pandemic. Has that been your experience? The ones I’ve talked to say they like fewer disruptions to their day. They like having that extra hour back.

Dairy product marketers and salespeople are learning this too during the pandemic. I assure you they are not just sitting on the sidelines. They are testing new ways to market that previously wouldn’t have even been considered because the “face-to-face drop-in” was the norm. While calls and drop-ins will inevitably increase again, I think we’ll look back and discover those are not the most efficient way to make the first connection for dairy owner or salesperson.

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One thing that I’m sure will be different in the future will be trade shows. Now, before you get riled up, I believe trade shows are still going to be around.(I’m actually looking forward to going to my first live event this month. Of course, I’ll be wearing a mask and socially distancing. Those are good citizen behaviors at this point.)

I challenge you to think of your best virtual meeting experience during the pandemic. What did you like about it? Why would you do it again? Most likely, no matter what your most favorite experience was, it was beneficial because it was efficient. It likely saved you time, money or hassle. That’s capitalism at work.

Most virtual experiences right now are clunky, but my crystal ball says they’ve passed the proof of concept stage. They are only going to get more effective in the future. Imagine your best virtual experience times 10. We’re headed in that direction.

As an industry, we will get back to more events in person and product demonstrations live. But maybe there will be a pre-event virtual show. Maybe you’ll be able to don a virtual reality headset at home and see the trade show booths, the products that are on display, videos of how they work on other farms and new machinery you can virtually kick the tires of first. Perhaps if you see something you like, you’ll be able to book an appointment to see it live and cut your time at the show significantly. Who knows? I just know that change is coming – for all of us – this magazine included.

We embrace the challenge. We’re learning new things throughout the pandemic. Are you?  end mark

Walt Cooley
  • Walt Cooley

  • Managing Editor
  • Progressive Dairy
  • Email Walt Cooley

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