Question for the Profession: What can we learn from Marketing 101?

I recently facilitated a workshop on marketing/advocating for the agricultural program. Now, I can’t say I’m an expert at this, but I will say that there are a whole lot of resources out there to get better. That being said, why do we struggle with marketing our programs? Is it because we’re too busy with the daily grind to worry about it? Do we think we’ve already got that covered so there’s no need to do more? Or are we just plain ignorant on how badly we are actually at it?

I’d propose that it’s some of all those reasons. And like most things, we don’t worry about it until we need it (and often that is entirely too late).

What can we learn from a basic Marketing 101 class? Take a few minutes and view a great example of these principals in this Allstate Insurance commercial (Google “Allstate tiny tow truck” to find it).

In 30 seconds, the marketers were able to illustrate:

  • Product positioning (Are you positioning your program where it’s easy for students to choose you over other electives?)
  • Having a package that stands out from the rest (Are you wrapping your program in more than an FFA jacket?)
  • Extra benefits (What can students get from you that they can’t get anywhere else?)
  • Premium/Token/Catch (What’s your tiny tow truck to push students over the edge and choose you?)
  • Tag line (Have you got something besides the stereotypical labels?)

Share your thoughts, strategies and success stories of marketing your agricultural program on the NAAE’s Communities of Practice.