“Forging New Frontiers” was the theme of this year’s annual National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) Conference in Kansas City, the largest assembly of agri-marketing professionals. Attendees gather to stay current on marketing trends, make connections with others in the ag industry and sharpen their skills.
All too often, we accept “the way it’s always been done” or ask “why do we need to change?” rather than explore new ways to find solutions and ideas. Anders Sorman-Nilsson, founder and creative director of the Sydney-based research company Thinque, opened the conference with a discussion about “Digilogue—Where High Tech Meets High Touch.” The idea of digital disruption, managing tension between the analog and digital customer touch points, is a wave of change threatening the agricultural economy today and will continue to do so into the future. Even though everything is being digitized, we cannot forget that our hearts are still analog.
According to Anders, tradition and technology need to coincide with how we market to producers. It’s not one or the other but rather a combination of both. He says we need to find the balance in marketing between tradition and technology, between the old school and the new school ways of reaching our audience. Anders advises, “Don’t throw the analog baby out with the digital bath water.”
The current rapid pace of change means we need to constantly upgrade our personal, organizational and leadership software.
As a NAMA member for 16 years, I have attended the NAMA Agri-Marketing Conference several times and can attest that it is a “can’t miss” annual event. Each spring I look forward to it, and newcomers to the industry attend because there’s simply no better place to soak up ag-centric education, networking and new ideas. Until next year!