Strategic marketing at World Dairy Expo builds brand among dairy producers

2012-09-27T11:00:00Z Strategic marketing at World Dairy Expo builds brand among dairy producersBY PEGGY COFFEEN, DAIRY/LIVESTOCK EDITOR Agri-View
September 27, 2012 11:00 am  • 

For years, Alltech’s booth in the Exhibition Hall of World Dairy Expo has been a crowd favorite. Handouts such as ice cream certainly keep visitors coming back for more. But behind the fun and games, Alltech is a complex, diverse business, and World Dairy Expo is critical component of their marketing plan.

Alltech’s overall focus is on providing natural scientific solutions for agriculture and the food industry. Beyond dairy, their other segmented divisions include beef, poultry, pigs, equine, companion animals and aquaculture. Headquartered in Lexington, Ky., this worldwide company has offices and distributors in 128 countries, as well as three bioscience centers and 32 manufacturing facilities strategically located around the globe. Founded by Dr. Pearse Lyons in 1980, Alltech continues to operate under his three-pronged approach to sustainability that benefit animals, consumers and the environment.

Though Alltech is one of the top 10 animal health companies in the world, the name may have better brand recognition around the feedmill than on the farm. That is because the company primarily works with nutritionists who include the Alltech line of feed additives in dairy cow rations. From yeasts to organic trace minerals to mycotoxin binders, Alltech offers many solutions for dairy producers that target concerns like feed efficiency, rumen health, production, growth and development. Because most of these products have a small inclusion rate, they are typically blended at the mill and delivered to the dairy.

According to Jenn Rittenhouse, Alltech regional marketing manager, World Dairy Expo provides a forum to introduce, interact, educate and engage their end-user, the dairy producer.

“We don’t get a lot of interaction with producers themselves,” she states. “At WDE, we really think we get the core group of people looking for what’s going on and how we can help them increase their business. WDE is that prime target for us.”

To provide the best opportunity for visitors at WDE to learn about the company, the Alltech booth has been redesigned to be both accommodating and interactive. “The new design is very open,” Rittenhouse says, “with a welcoming feel.” New this year will also be more video screens, touch-screen TV monitors and a quiz game about the dairy industry, all hands-on features that promote learning in a relaxed environment.

Rittenhouse feels that the new arrangement will help visitors better understand at a glance that Alltech is a feed ingredient company. Videos will allow viewers to take a virtual trip to Alltech headquarters without leaving the show.

One of her goals this year is to educate dairy producers about Alltech’s On-Farm program. This is a combination of solutions and services offered as a team approach among the producer, nutritionist and Alltech specialist.

To further promote their solutions-based approach, they will be giving away a Craftsman toolbox. “We have a lot of products at Alltech that we call different tools for your toolbox on the farm,” adds Rittenhouse.

A social media campaign is also being launched in conjunction with WDE. The Farms in Focus photo contest challenges producers to snap pictures that they feel define dairy farming. Online voting will be open during the week of Expo, ending at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6, with the top three winners earning cash prizes.

Booth visitors can also stop by for a taste of Alltech’s humanitarian efforts, literally. Staffers will be serving up Café Citadelle, the shade-grown 100 percent Arabian coffee that is marketed and sold through Alltech as part of the company’s disaster relief efforts in the country of Haiti. Following the devastating 2010 earthquake, Alltech launched relief efforts that would stimulate the country’s economy and promote sustainability. The Alltech Sustainable Haiti project supports two grade schools, a rum distillery and the coffee roasting operation.

After show hours on Wednesday, Oct. 3, Rittenhouse notes that the Alltech drink of choice switches from coffee to their branded Kentucky Ale for their annual hospitality reception. She extends an open invitation to stop in from 5 to 7 p.m. to sample the pride of the Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company. Their line of award-winning beers also includes Kentucky Light and Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, while the distilling division crafts the Lyons Spirits line, which includes Town Branch Bourbon, Pearse Lyons Reserve and Bluegrass Sundown.

“This is a social time for enjoyment and appreciation of all the hard work that everyone in the dairy industry does,” she says. “Expo is the perfect place to be able to do that.”

Copyright 2015 Agri-View. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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