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Marketing Your Equine Business


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A presentation from the Equine Business Conference presented by Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, and Iowa State University, and partly funded by the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development. Presenter: Peggy Miller, Iowa State University

Published in: Business, News & Politics
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Marketing Your Equine Business

  1. 1. Marketing Your Equine Business
  2. 2. Three C’s Analysis Customer Needs Customer Company Competition Options Evaluation of Decisions & Options Implementation
  3. 3. Customer• Who are my customers?• Why do they use my services?• What are the demographics of horse owners and horses in my market area?• Are there service and product needs that are not being met?• Are there opportunities for growth and expansion?• Who are my good/profitable accounts?
  4. 4. Customer Relationship Management1. Find more: Has your practice targeted all the potential customers in your marketplace?2. Win more: Are you maximizing the full purchasing potential of existing customers?3. Keep more: Are you retaining your best customers? Have you developed deep customer loyalty, or are you just the best of the available options in your practice area?
  5. 5. Company• What are the strengths and weaknesses?• What are the core competencies of this business today?• What are the short-and long-term goals and vision for the business?• What opportunities exist in our unique practice area?
  6. 6. Competition• Who are the competitors in the area?• What are the competitors’ strengths and weakness?• What services do I offer that I have in common and that are different?• What is the competitors’ reputation?
  7. 7. Marketing Framework Practice Professional Goals Marketing Analysis Customer Behavior Target Market Strategic Plan
  8. 8. Branding• Heavy hitter• Develop a brand for your business.
  9. 9. Marketing Tools• Clinics • Trade show booth Hosting/Giving • Open house• Join a speakers • Feature stories bureau • Sponsorships• Guest lecture • Publicity & Pr• Write a book or e-  Top horses & book successful students• Write & submit  Re-prints articles  Press releases
  10. 10. Using Features & Benefits• Barn colors • Grooms• Show • School horses record/competition • Farrier success • Arena footing• Horse care • Clinicians• Facility • Barn social climate• Assistants • Safety protocol
  11. 11. Audio/Visual Marketing Tools• Student lessons • Internet video• Professional examples • U-tube video• Sales horses • Taped interviews• Trainer/rider promotion • Audio commentary• Stallion promotion• Professional training videos• Audio promotion
  12. 12. Making a Media Match –Choosing Your Target Audience• Internet, Internet, Internet  A Website is necessary, if not required. • You are now a web publisher and your website will not sell itself. » What’s in a name? » Call To Action » Do you need to advertise your advertisement? » You Bet.
  13. 13. Analytics “Analytics” – Yes, you need them. • Is getting hit a good thing? • Visits doesn’t mean you had visitors • “check it out”
  14. 14. Search Engine Optimization• It’s all about SEO – Search Engine Optimization • Will they find you or will you be lost among the millions? • It takes years, $$$, or intelligence to earn position.
  15. 15. An integrated social media strategyIt’s important to have a new media strategy attached toyour BUSINESS… no matter what the business is.• Do you want to spread your CONTENT and expertise to new audiences?• Do you want to reach new audiences in the exact way they choose to communicate?• Do you want to be seen as a leader in your industry?• Do you want to hear literally everything that’s being said online about your business, horses, customers in real time?• Do you want to be seen as a trusted source of information?
  16. 16. What Can You Do with Social Media?• Offer a peek behind the • Find potential customers scenes • Reach more markets• Share your expertise • Target your online• What does your company advertising do • See where your customers• Put your website’s content are to work • Let customers help each• Be Candid--BUT do NOT other out talk about others • Build a community beyond• Interact with visitor—really your barn doors• Don’t try to create a stand- • Let customers contribute in for yourself
  17. 17. What Can You Do with Social Media? • Help others promote you• Don’t pretend to be • Cultivate relationships that lead someone else to sales• Help employees bond • But don’t promote too aggressively• Reward Customer loyalty • Find ways to engage visitors• See what people are saying offline about you • Find influential people in your• Make amends with industry dissatisfied customers • Boost your credibility by helping others quickly • Look for talent off the beaten• Don’t go on the defensive path• Keep customers in the loop • Connect with potential partners
  18. 18. FacebookFacebook has become the most widely recognized name in social networks. Socialnetworks allow people to join, and “friend” members or invite others to join and thenshare and exchange information. It’s no long about ‘IF’ you should be utilizing Facebook, but ‘HOW’. Facebook business account only1) Business accounts are designed for individuals who only want to use the site to administer pages and their ad campaigns. 1) Allows you to build a simple business presence by creating public business page 2) Limited access to the profiles of people who interact with or “fan” your page. 3) Decent option for people who don’t want to do anything more than create a presence on Facebook. I 4) If you do not already have a Facebook personal profile you simply create a page or ad here.
  19. 19. Business/Personal2. Personal profile for personal use, and business fan page for business use a) Originally people created a personal profile because it was nice to reconnect with friends from the past and sharing about life with family and friends. Mixing Personal with Business or vice versa. Bad Idea Best solution is to create a Facebook Fan Page b) Allows you to create a business only page with a great deal of functionality and settings that allow you to open your page up to the world far beyond your current Facebook friends. c) Your updates and posts on your fan page spread to the wall of all those who become a fan on your page making your business presence even greater. d) Still a very close relationship between your personal profile and the fan pages you administer. e) In this case, privacy settings on your personal profile probably become very important. You can visit your Facebook Profile Privacy Settings to make updates.
  20. 20. Creating a Facebook page
  21. 21. Consider these privacy tips forbusiness use:1) Use the “Friend List” feature.• Allows you to make lists to group people based on how or why you know them—family in one group, business contacts in another, cooking club in another, etc.• Important - you can issue different privacy settings per list and therefore be very selective about, for instance, what your business-related contact might see.2) Turn off photo tagging.• An often-used feature on Facebook is to tag photos with the people in them.• If you don’t want all your business contacts to see you kicking back with a few beers, than make sure photo tagging is limited in your privacy settings.
  22. 22. 3) Protect your photos.• Change the settings on your photo privacy (a separate page) so that your darling two-year-Olds birthday pics are kept in the family—unless of course you want to share them with business contacts.4) Don’t share who your friends are.• Even before someone becomes a friend they can, by default, see who you are friends with, just without any details.• You don’t have to make this information public and there might be some good reasons in this case not to.• You can change your profile setting called ―Friends‖ to show select groups of none at all.
  23. 23. 5) Choose who can see contact info.• Many people put personal contact details in their personal profile, and as your business use increases and your start approving people you don’t know, you may not want them to have your personal email address and mobile number.6) Control your wall settings.• Good idea to control who can view posts to your personal wall.• If you allow your good friends to add comments, photos, and updates, you may not want the business contacts to view this—change who can see wall posts from friends using the lists you build by visiting your profile settings page.• You can also control who can post to your wall page, but this shouldn’t be a big issue if you control who can see posts. Of course, you can also ban individuals from posting.
  24. 24. BLOGGING-What Is It and Do I ReallyNeed to Blog?A blog is a software that allows anyone who cantype to post content to a website or blog homepage. It resembles a reversechronological order.A blog is your ticket to creating: • Content • Context • Connection • Community
  25. 25. • Is a hosted version of the WordPress software that allows you to easily create a blog that is hosted by WordPress. The benefit of this approach is that there is no real setup, you simply sign up (it’s free), choose a theme, and start The down side of this WordPress is that you do not have as much control as if it were set up on your on website domain.
  26. 26. Tips for getting more from Blogging1)Read, follow, and listen.You probably won’t get much in the way ofresults from blogging until you know what andhow to write.The best way to do that, and by the waysomething I’ve done and continue to do daily, isread lots of blogs.
  27. 27. 2) Write what people search.• If you’re one of those folks who has resisted blogging because you don’t think anyone would read your blog, don’t worry; they probably won’t.• Most blogs aren’t read like a magazine, or like you might view it. They are found.• In other words, post the answers to the questions, problems, and challenges that you know your market is asking and seeking and your blog content will become the single greatest online lead generation tool in your mix.• Discover the exact phrases people in your market are using when they search and write valuable content around that and people will find your blog before they know your competitors exist
  28. 28. 3) Ask for participation.• Blogging is one of the first ways to build an engaged community.• People talk about building community on Twitter and other social sites, but few things can compare to the engagement that can surround healthy debates, reader- generated content, and suggestions in blog comments.• Write your blog posts in ways that invite people to comment. Ask for their ideas, and even ask them to give their opinions.• Often, some of my points are amplified and made better through the comment stream that can surround them. Over time, you will build community participation and you may find that blogging is more fun when it becomes a conversation
  29. 29. 4) Engage your comment community.• When people take the time to offer thoughtful comments you should take the time to respond when appropriate.• If a debate is in order, it’s OK to start one. Visit the sites of your comment community and engage in their writing. Link to their content in your blog posts and on Twitter.
  30. 30. 5) Amplify your message.• One obvious way to get more exposure for your blog is to post links to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn with each new post.• As long as that’s not all you do, this can be an effective traffic strategy.• Another great way to amplify and broaden the exposure for your blog is to guest blog. Many, sometimes high traffic, blogs welcome well written content from guests.• Look for blogs that should have your same type of reader and offer samples of your writing. Be sure that your posts will receive a byline and link back to your blog and then also promote the heck out your guest appearance.
  31. 31. Using TwitterWhat is it?• In simplest terms, Twitter is a free service that allows anyone to say anything to anybody in 140 characters or less. It’s a what you are doing right now.• Is that all? NO  It allows you to connect and network with others in your industry or others who share your views.  Allows you to get an instant access to what’s being said, this minute about your organization, customers, employees, horses or shows?  Gives you a steady stream of ideas Do you want to promote your product and services directly to a target audience…. NOT A GREAT TOOL FOR THAT.
  32. 32. • One of the most important and frequently underutilized objectives for Twitter is as a way to monitor your brand and reputation.• Anytime anything is being said about your company, products, people, or services you can track it and respond instantly.• You can also use a set of readily available tools to track what’s being said about any search term you like. This is another way to find people with shared interests.Twitter Search: Allows you to monitor anything you can search. Use it to see what is being said back to you @your business name. It allows you to stay current with what is being said—both positive and negative.Allows you to respond immediately
  33. 33. Managing the Social Media Beast The system is the solution• One of the hardest challenges for many people just entering the world of social media is to determine how to accomplish the seemingly endless list of new tasks that they find themselves asked to complete.• Participating fully in social media as a business and marketing strategy requires discipline, automation routines, and a daily commitment.• Now, you’ve got to balance that with the fact that much of your activity is about building long-term momentum and deeper networks, and that doesn’t always make the cash register ring today.
  34. 34. A Typical Day of Social Media Write a blog post at least once a day. • Check for and respond twice a day Scan Twitter followers for relevant conversations • Check Twitter via TweetDeck which allows for preset searches @Name of your business, your name of horse, etc. Post relevant YouTube Videos • Scan and research comments to the video twice a day. Write a Facebook entry at least once a day. • Search Facebook for your business name twice daily and return comments.
  35. 35. Don’t Forget the Print• Breed Publications – Pros. – selective demographic, largest region, higher quality buyer – Cons.- cost, lead time• Sport or Discipline Publications - Rodeo, Ranch, Barrel Racing, Recreational Riding, Reining, Hunter, etc. – Pros. – very selective demographic, larger region – Cons. – product must fit the readers. More professional reader and highest quality buyer• Regional Mixed Breed Publications – Regional buyers are more likely to buy• Public Newspapers and Shoppers• Club Newsletters• Posters/Fliers
  36. 36. Graphic Designers andPhotographers• Go the extra mile and pay for best• Equine experience• They are “artists” and they have copywrite, even when you pay the bill.• They are “artists” and for good creative work they need TIME.
  37. 37. QUESTIONS?