Amy Miles, Account Director, Rooster Strategic Solutions

“There are no traffic jams when you go the extra mile.” ­– Zig Ziglar

At Rooster, we pride ourselves on being a “Yes, and” type of business. Yes, we can and do execute traditional agency deliverables for our clients. And we’re always looking for new ways to provide value, which means going the extra mile. Because sometimes that extra mile will unearth solutions the client didn’t even know were available.

Case in point: When Illinois Soy Association (ISA) asked us to help boost ad sales as they transitioned their magazine from Soy Perspectives to Illinois Field & Bean, we saw a much bigger opportunity. Because ISA was gracious enough to let me tell their story, it may serve as a template for others on the benefits of going the extra mile.

Look past the ask. Illinois Field & Bean is a well-respected publication distributed to soybean farmers in Illinois who pay into the checkoff program. ISA had high aspirations to increase advertising revenue based on the changes they were making to their magazine, and with good reason; it’s an excellent publication that offers an easy way to reach invested and engaged soybean farmers. But our media team, with a combined 80-plus years of ag experience, knew that it’s easy for ag companies to pass up ads in state magazine. And for commodity associations, sometimes the ad buyer is the industry relations contact, with a pocketbook that’s typically slimmer than the brand marketers have. Advertising might be a tough sell, but what these buyers really want isn’t necessarily an ad – it’s access to the soybean grower.

And ISA has access to spare. More than 43,000 Illinois soybean farmers pay into the checkoff and have a vested interest in how their dollars are being spent. It’s a very engaged audience, and one we felt advertisers and corporate partners would be willing to pay to reach with tactics beyond print ads, so we partnered with ISA to let us help them capitalize on their strengths.

Look at all available options. Our strategy, endorsed by ISA, was to make everything available for sale. Not just print, but digital opportunities. Sponsorships. Paid guest content. Weekly email ads/sponsorships. Custom webinars. Paid social media advertising. Everything. We used our data tools to help ensure we’re delivering the audiences most valued by advertisers, and we used our media expertise to help ISA set competitive rates. We monetized all the channels and all the projects an advertiser might want to use to get in front of Illinois soybean farmers and related audiences.

For example, ISA was working on a four-part virtual trade team video series to use during the pandemic when on-farm visits were impossible. We knew there were other companies who’d love to get in front of international buyers of soybeans, as well. So why not let them sponsor the series and get their logos featured prominently in the videos? This was just one example, one of many different tactics we helped ISA implement. We helped them set up the infrastructure needed to execute the programs, price them correctly based on industry standards, personalize the pitches with ISA investment stories, overcome technical issues when we encountered them, and get the strategies out the door in a timely manner.

And the results speak for themselves. By creating new and innovative ways for advertisers to reach soybean farmers, we helped ISA increase revenue by more than 140 percent year-over-year. The ISA board was ecstatic, their marketing team was blown away, and advertisers were pleased with the new and expanded opportunities. That’s a win/win/win.

We’re thrilled with ISA’s success, just as we’re thrilled any time that we can help a client exceed their expectations. And I believe that we can benefit other ag companies who want to improve their advertising ROI. We may not be able to help you increase revenue 140 percent – but I guarantee that we’ll come back with options you may not have considered to help you try. If you’re interested in seeing how we can go the extra mile for your company, I’d love to start a conversation.