Agricultural Cooperatives use a different business model than traditional businesses. It is a medium for producers to channel their product to local distributors and directly to consumers. Since the main purpose of a cooperative is not in generating a profit for the entity alone, it is often ran using very little working capital. With limited resources, members of a cooperative must be efficient with their marking strategies to generate the most revenue from the least amount of resources. Choosing the correct advertising methods could mean the difference between the survival or dissolution of a cooperative – a medium that is ecologically sound, socially-responsible, and economically viable. Cooperatives promote stewardship by increasing farmer-members – not by increasing cattle on each pasture. It creates an avenue to farmers who wouldn’t otherwise be able to channel products to larger distributors. Finally, cooperatives strengthen the local economy by increasing revenue for farmer-members and providing a safe, healthy and all-natural product to surrounding communities. In this study, the Buckeye Valley Beef Cooperative hopes to gain insight on the effectiveness of several advertising channels. Each method will be evaluated on its effectiveness by measuring sales growth, customer reach and demographics, and self-reported exposure.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Introduce four new advertising methods to the cooperative, namely support media such as billboard displays, broadcast media such as radio ads, social media such as Facebook, and internet advertisement such as Google AdWords.
- Measure the impact of those methods by evaluating the following variables before and after implementation: sales growth, customer reach, self-reported exposure.
- Share the strategies used in this project and the outcomes via a written report and working with the Ohio State University Extension Direct Agricultural Marketing team to share insights about our progress and short fallings as a cooperative.