Direct Marketing based on Information Availability

S. A. Modena samodena at csemail.cropsci.ncsu.edu
Sat Sep 12 05:46:49 EST 1992


The following is quoted *without* permission from
       Ag Consultant: The Magazine for Professionals Advising Farmers
       August 1992 Edition, Published by Meister Publishing Co., 
       Editor: Judy Ferguson

  -----------------Cut Here------------------
"Help for U.S. ag exporters

A new program, Automated Fax Service, captures foreign trade leads
and delivers them via telephone line/FAX machine to interested
individuals within 24 hours of the lead being listed by U.S.
trade agencies.  The program is operated through the Advanced 
Technology Information Net (ATI-NET), a computer-based 
information service based at the California Agricultural Technology
Institute at California University, Fresno.  Subscription fee for
the program is $20 per month.  Exporters may sign up to receive trade
leads on one commodity, such as cotton or livestock, or register for
all leads on a variety of products.  For information on the program,
call........."

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I might point out that the ATI-NET is InterNet Accessible...though I
haven't looked to see if these tips are listed for "free" when
you provide your own access to these automated ag info services.

Certain information channels (costing $20/month?) allow a smart
producer to corral his neighbors into a consortium that is capable of
selling their "differentiated" ag products "direct."

Whether building clone PC products or peanuts, the wrong marketing
approach casts the producer into the COMMODITY mold, which usually
is a financial hell for most players, given the extremely thin margins
of competing against 1,000's of others thin-margin commodity producers.

Remember, PC clone boxes or peanuts: a commodity item is a commodity item.

But suppose there is a chance to sell "direct" to a Swiss buyer who
demands ZERO-ppb aflatoxin and will pay a good price for CERTIFIED
aflatoxin-free peanuts?  That is a differentiated product that a North
Carolina peanut grower can deliver on but a Georgia grower can't. 
(Weather, etc.)  Well, if I send my peanuts to an elevator to be mixed
in with Georgia peanuts, I can't sell to Switzerland.  Get the point?
But if I grow the peanuts and my college educated daugther (summa cum
laude in Ag Economics) takes care of the consortium details and my
son (summa cum laude HARVARD International Marketing Law) takes care
of the paper work, I can trade with Switzerland direct and maybe
even interest other peanuts growers to go in with me.

Of course, there is a flaw here. Can anyone see it?

Steve

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|     In person:  Steve Modena     AB4EL                           |
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