Earlier this winter, the leaders at LG Seeds recognized that the 2020/2021 decision cycle was going to be unlike any other due to the depressed farm economy. With the additional pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic, marketing manager Chris Haag says the decision was made to pivot its marketing investment in how it works with farmers.
“Right now, farmers need people that will saddle up alongside them,” Haag says. “This moment in time has caused us to stop, and make sure we are going back to basics.”
For the remainder of 2020, the company is refocusing its efforts with a new campaign—Mix Matters Field Series, which will offer its STAR Partner dealers the tools for more local, in-person discussions about growers’ specific needs.
“Our STAR Partners can apply their knowledge of how products excel with different traits—green snap, disease tolerance—and can pull forward the best in class programs. As the end result, farmers can walk away with a much stronger plan,” Haag says.
This campaign is an example of the company’s focus on how it will invest in its customer relationships to be more than just an input supplier. Haag says STAR Partners have developed deep relationships with customers, which is something they want to use as a springboard for their business.
"It’s not about the next big thing. It’s about fine tuning what we have. There are cool things on the horizon, but right now we are focused on field level planning, scrutinizing management practices, and making sure product choices match up to the field,” he says.
And LG Seeds will not be participating at six farm shows—Farm Progress Show, Husker Harvest Days, Ohio Farm Science Review, Minnesota Farm Fest, Dakota Fest and Big Iron.
The focus on the Mix Matters campaign alongside the withdrawal from the fall farm shows is a big change for the company, but Haag says LG Seeds has shown past success with being able to take change head on.
“Recently, we unified six seed brands into one, and we held the business,” he says. “There’s always question about if this (not being at farm shows) is part of some bigger cost saving measure. What I would tell anyone—this decision started with the farmers’ economics. They are under more pressure. We will continue to push ourselves to do what is right for farmers. I don’t see anything that we could share with a farmer at a farm show that would help them gain economic security. We need to have conversations that give them confidence and help them feel they are prompting their own economic security.”