With diminishing profit margins and increasing costs, farmers need to be innovative in their marketing strategies. While purists may still subscribe to the printing of elaborate glossy brochures to advertise anything from livestock to lucerne bales and auctions, this can be a costly exercise. Another option involves the use of websites. These can be effective, but are also somewhat costly and frequently difficult to update.
Many farmers are therefore choosing another option: computer-generated presentations that can be emailed to potential clients at the click of a button. These electronic documents can be as simple or elaborate as you choose, and can contain anything from photographs and detailed text to voice recordings and background music. Excellent electronic brochures can thus be created and updated with ease.
Most PC users know about PowerPoint, which comes with Microsoft Office. But you can also download PP Viewer and open-source software (OSS) such as Open Office or Google Documents. OSS is available free of charge. The software is typically created as a collaborative effort by a group of programmers not concerned with financial gain. Each programmer works upon – and improves – the OSS, and together they create a product that has a better chance of being bug-free than commercially available products. It’s often more useful too.
Easier than you think
Creating a presentation is hardly more difficult than using a word processor programme. And, as noted, you can come up with a ‘marketing package’ with sounds, pictures and creative page transitions. Another advantage of a PowerPoint-style presentation is that the recipient can sit back and watch it like a video. If it is constructed in a professional way, this can be an enjoyable experience with no effort needed on the viewer’s part.
A farmer friend of mine, who as a sideline designs presentations for farmers and agricultural organisations, maintains that a good presentation takes the pressure off the presenter and really helps in getting the right message across.
Contact Greg Miles at [email protected] with ‘Online Farmer’ in the subject line.