Why marketing matters

The most successful marketing teams spend much more time planning than those who lose track of the goal mid-year. By creating a marketing plan, you can set yourself up for greater success in reaching your marketing and sales goals. Here are some of the top reasons you need to create a marketing plan every single year.

Save money

Most marketing teams who place ads piecemeal think they’re saving money. But by not knowing exactly what your budget is for the year and not calculating where you are, the end of the fiscal year might be much more painful than anticipated.

The bottom line is that piecemeal marketing will cost you much more than planning your year in advance. Planning ahead will help you stay on budget and know when last-minute initiatives can be added. Often, you can receive discounts for buying repeat advertisements in a publication or with an agency. This allows you to get more impressions and ultimately leads for the same amount of money you’d spend throughout the year.

Consistent scheduling

Planning before the year starts will help create consistency in all aspects of scheduling. It helps to ensure your team has as close to an even workflow through the year, better using your personnel and time resources. Make sure you have plenty of time to create your year’s plan; many teams spend several months preparing for the year. 

By maintaining consistent brand scheduling, you are not just helping out your team, but you are also going to ensure that your audience sees regular messaging, rather than a few flurries of activity during particularly busy times. They’ll remember you even if you aren’t running a special or going to an event because they still see your brand in the less-busy times.

Consistent messaging

Beyond planning timing, the messaging you want to use should also have the same level of consistency. When creating your marketing plan, consider any hashtags or themes you will use. Knowing these ahead of time will help reduce the number of late nights and amount of weekend work your team might need to do before big releases.

By knowing the messaging style of your marketing campaign ahead of time, you can ensure that all team members are creating content and ads that match in tone and design. We all know how big brands have used this consistency — through their logos and jingles — to even get that branding stuck in children’s minds.

While you may not aim for the level of brand awareness of McDonald’s or Target, you can still be front of mind with your target audience by being consistent and planning ahead. Consistency is key.

Setting goals and getting your ROI

If you’re not sure how to set goals or calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your initiatives, learning how to do so is an important piece to proving that you should retain — or even grow — your marketing budget year over year.

Your first year tracking might start from a set of cost estimates based on what you’d like the department to be able to do. Tracking your efforts throughout the sales funnel will help you calculate how much revenue — and ultimately profit — you gained through each initiative. Some efforts may have people costs, materials, lodging, per diem or other inclusions that aren’t hard marketing costs, and some companies prefer to lump that into overhead and others include it in the marketing budget.

Tracking can include using UTMs (tracking links used to monitor campaign progress and behavior related to clicking on the link itself) or landing pages, having specific questions on contact forms about how people found you, tracing trade show contacts through to the end of the sales funnel or just reaching back out after the fact to ask where the conversation started.

Proving that an initiative was more profitable than expected is a great reason to ask for a bigger budget for the same initiative in subsequent years. Without knowing if you are getting that return, it’s hard to prove that the department deserves the money in the next budget.

Be proactive, not reactive

The worst case scenario is being in a place where your marketing efforts are reactive. Planning ahead has benefits, but reactive marketing has steep costs in time and cash. For example, knowing that you want to advertise in a print publication before an industry event means that your team can be prepared to create that ad without feeling rushed or having to drop everything. It all goes back to the planning process; reactive marketers always feel stressed and spread too thin. You’ll keep your team happier and healthier by being predictable. 

About the author

Jess Schmidt brings a creative writing degree and over a decade of professional writing experience to the team. As a career marketer with a background in the design world, she works with clients to make their brand stories stand out. Her specialties are thought leadership, compelling descriptive language, technical details and marketing strategy. She writes content for all of the publications under the Great American Media Services umbrella and manages advertiser-driven projects. She’s also the in-house SEO and SEM guru. Learn more about our team here: smartsolutions.media/contact-us.

Great American Media Services to Launch “National Nut Grower” Print and Digital Brand

Sparta, MI, September 3, 2020 – Great American Media Services, the award-winning publisher of leading B2B agriculture magazines Fruit Growers News, Vegetable Growers News, Spudman, Produce Processing and Organic Grower, is proud to expand its Specialty Agriculture Group with the launch of National Nut Grower. Reaching the national nut production market, the new print and digital brand will deliver the most comprehensive, timely and helpful content to ensure successful production practices

National Nut Grower will be a fully integrated multimedia brand with a social media presence, weekly e-newsletters, website and quarterly print magazines. The content will be created by a team of journalists with unparalleled expertise the spans the entire agriculture industry, making this a natural addition to the company’s Specialty Agriculture Group. Each print issue will focus on the most pertinent issues facing nut growers nationwide, with helpful content intended to improve business operations, educate about the latest products and provide the latest growing insight.

The need for National Nut Grower was determined after extensive research, which revealed market growth based on consumer demand. The latest industry data indicates that total bearable and non-bearable acreage is 1.53 million for almonds, 440,000 for walnuts, 396,000 for pecans and 393,000 for pistachios1.

“Our mission is to fill every void across the agriculture industry, and we see a need to further support our nation’s nut growers with a comprehensive publication that addresses all growing needs for all nut varieties,” said Great American Media Services CEO Matt McCallum. “Our team is excited to forge ahead with this launch and reach a new audience in the specialty agriculture market.”

Led by Vice President and Group Publisher of Specialty Agriculture, Gerry Bogdon, the debut issue of National Nut Grower will arrive in mailboxes in March 2021. The website and e-newsletter will launch in January 2021, complementing the print issues with additional news, product information and insight.

Additional information about Great American Media Services can be found online, at www.greatamericanmediaservices.com. Questions regarding this launch can be directed to Matt McCallum at [email protected] or 616-520-2133 and Gerry Bogdon [email protected] or 616-520-2150

About Great American Media Services

With more than 50 years of experience in business-to-business communications and marketing, Great American Media Services is a leading source of industry information for the agriculture, horticulture, retail and sports industries through its 15 print magazines, related digital communications and supporting industry events. In addition, Great American Media Services offers a number of additional marketing solutions for clients to engage with prospective customers on a multitude of platforms. Visit www.greatamericanmediaservices.com for additional information.

 

1Sources: USDA, California Dept. of Food and Agriculture, California Pistachio Council USDA NASS

Great American Media Services Names Associate Publisher of Specialty Agriculture Group, Adds Western Account Manager to Team

Sparta, MI, September 11, 2020 – Great American Media Services has announced staffing changes within its award-winning Specialty Agriculture group of publications. Greg Sebel, who has served as Integrated Marketing Consultant for Fruit Growers News and Vegetable Growers News for 13 years, has been named Associate Publisher of Fruit Growers News, Vegetable Growers News and Organic Grower. In addition, Cindi Olwell has been added to the growing team as Western Account Manager.

“Greg has done an incredible job of growing our client base over the years, and he brings the highest level of consultative sales and service to each of them,” said Vice President & Group Publisher Gerry Bogdon. “His innovative ideas and can-do attitude are an asset to our Specialty Agriculture group, and we look forward to successfully launching new endeavors under his leadership.”

In addition to Greg’s new role, Cindi Olwell has been added to the team as Western Account Manager for Fruit Growers News, Vegetable Growers News and Organic Grower. The California resident is experienced in agricultural media sales for the Western market, most recently with Meister Media Worldwide where she served as advertising and event sales manager. She was a consistent top performer at Meister, specializing in selling print and digital advertising, event sponsorships and custom packages. Her sales territory with Great American Media Services includes California, Washington, Oregon and Arizona.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Cindi to the team and look forward to leveraging her expertise to grow our client base and reach new markets,” said Bogdon. “Her track record for impeccable customer service and innovative ideas for clients makes her a natural addition to our team.”

Additional information about Great American Media Services’ agriculture titles can be found online, at www.fruitgrowersnews.com, www.vegetablegrowersnews.com, www.spudman.com, www.produceprocessing.net and www.organicgrower.info. Questions regarding the Specialty Agriculture group can be directed to Gerry Bogdon at 616-520-2177 or [email protected].

 

 

About Great American Media Services

With more than 50 years of experience in business-to-business communications and marketing, Great American Media Services is a leading source of industry information for the agriculture, horticulture, retail and sports industries through its 15 print magazines, related digital communications and supporting industry events. In addition, Great American Media Services offers a number of additional marketing solutions for clients to engage with prospective customers on a multitude of platforms. Visit www.greatamericanmediaservices.com for additional information.

B2B Publisher Great American Media Services to Launch Organic Grower Print and Digital Brand

Sparta, MI, November 14, 2019 – Great American Media Services, the award-winning publisher of leading B2B agriculture magazines Fruit Growers News, Vegetable Growers News, Spudman, Produce Processing and Greenhouse Product News, has announced the launch of Organic Grower. The new print and digital brand will focus on the unique needs of the organic farming community, offering in-depth coverage of the latest news and products to keep the industry informed and ahead of trends.

The Organic Grower brand will be a fully integrated multimedia brand with a vibrant social media presence, weekly e-newsletter, website and quarterly print magazine. The content will be created by a team of seasoned journalists and thought leaders with expertise on organic growers, researchers, crop consultants, processors, packer/shippers and related associations. Each print issue will focus on the most pertinent issues facing the organic growing industry, including planting systems, pollinators, weed control, disease control, pest control, food safety, organic certification/audits, labor, soil health, crop rotation and more.

The need for Organic Grower was determined after extensive surveying of the agriculture industry, which revealed challenges currently faced by organic growers and a lack of informative resources specific to their needs. In addition, the research demonstrated significant growth of organic growing, with 61 percent of respondents indicating they intend to expand their organic production in the coming years.

“We’re proud to fill a void in the agriculture industry by offering a new resource that will benefit organic growers nationwide,” said Great American Media Services CEO Matt McCallum. “Our award-winning editorial and design team is knowledgeable, dedicated and eager to introduce Organic Grower brand.”

The debut issue of Organic Grower will arrive in mailboxes in March 2020. The website and e-newsletter will launch in December 2019, complementing the print issues with additional news, product information and insight. Growers are currently able to sign up to receive the free e-newsletter at http://organicgrower.info.

Additional information about Great American Media Services can be found online, at www.greatamericanmediaservices.com. Questions regarding this launch can be directed to Matt McCallum at [email protected] or 616-520-2133.

 

About Great American Media Services

With more than 50 years of experience in business-to-business communications and marketing, Great American Media Services is a leading source of industry information for the agriculture, horticulture, retail and sports industries through its 15 print magazines, related digital communications and supporting industry events. In addition, Great American Media Services offers a number of additional marketing solutions for clients to engage with prospective customers on a multitude of platforms. Visit www.greatamericanmediaservices.com for additional information.

Fruit Growers News Wins Top B2B Publishing Industry Award

– Annual Folio Awards Honor the Best in Publishing Editorial and Design –

SPARTA, Mich., November 13, 2019 – Fruit Growers News took home top honors at this year’s Eddie and Ozzie Awards Ceremony in the B2B Analysis category, for its Automation Advent article appearing in the February 2019 issue. The publication was also a finalist in the B2B Full Issue category for its May 2018 issue. Presented annually by Folio Magazine, the awards celebrate excellence in magazine editorial and design across all sectors of the industry. For the 2019 awards, a panel of esteemed judges selected finalists and winners from among 2,500 entries.

“We’re incredibly proud of the Fruit Growers News team for their commitment to editorial excellence, especially Associate Editor Stephen Kloosterman for authoring the award-winning article,” CEO Matt McCallum said. “This team goes above and beyond with every issue, and we’re honored that their hard work and dedication is being recognized by industry peers.”

For more than 25 years, the Eddie and Ozzie Awards have celebrated publishing industry success. The Eddie Awards recognize the best in print and digital editorial, while the Ozzie Awards recognize the best in magazine and website design. Winners were revealed in front of more than 300 media professionals on October 30 during the 2019 Folio Show in New York City.

Other Great American Media Services titles named as finalists were Vegetable Growers News (B2B Full Issue and B2B Series of Articles), Spudman (B2B Series of Articles), Greenhouse Product News (B2B Full Issue), Coach and Athletic Director (B2B Sponsored Content), Gift Shop (B2B Full Issue and Overall Design), Gift Shop Pets (New Magazine), and Stationery Trends (Data Visualization). Information about all magazine titles can be found online at www.greatamericanmediaservices.com.

 

About Great American Media Services

With more than 50 years of experience in business-to-business communications and marketing, Great American Media Services is a leading source of industry information for the agriculture, horticulture, retail and sports industries through its 15 print magazines, related digital communications and supporting industry events. In addition, Great American Media Services offers a number of additional marketing solutions for clients to engage with prospective customers on a multitude of platforms. Visit www.greatamericanmediaservices.com for additional information.

Seven Great American Media Services Titles Named Finalists in 2019 Folio Magazine Eddie & Ozzie Awards

– More Than 2,500 Entries Received for Prestigious Publishing Industry Awards –

Sparta, MI, August 27, 2019 – Seven magazine titles produced by B2B publishing company Great American Media Services have been named finalists in 12 categories of the 2019 Folio Magazine Eddie and Ozzie Awards, the publishing industry’s most prestigious and coveted honor for editorial and design excellence.

The company’s finalists are:

  • Fruit Growers News February 2019 Issue (Analysis)
  • Fruit Growers News May 2018 Issue (Full Issue)
  • Vegetable Growers News December 2018 Issue (Full Issue)
  • Vegetable Growers News “Grow Ahead” (Series of Articles)
  • Vegetable Growers News May 2019 Issue (Graphic Art)
  • Spudman May/June 2018 Issue (Series of Articles)
  • Greenhouse Product News (GPN) (B2B Full Issue)
  • Gift Shop® Spring 2019 Issue (B2B Full Issue)
  • Gift Shop® Spring 2019 Issue (Overall Design)
  • Gift Shop® Pets (New Magazine)
  • Stationery Trends Winter 2019: The State of Paper Article (Data Visualization)
  • Coach and Athletic Director / SmartSolutions Custom Division (Sponsored Content)

“We are honored to be named a finalist in multiple categories for the third consecutive year,” CEO Matt McCallum said. “These recognitions are the result of dedication, hard work and the industry expertise of our editorial teams and designers. We’re proud to be listed among some exceptional finalists in these categories.”

For 25 years, the Eddie and Ozzie Awards have celebrated excellence in magazine editorial and design across all sectors of the industry. The Eddie Awards recognize the best in print and digital editorial, while the Ozzie Awards recognize the best in magazine and website design. For the 2019 awards, a panel of more than 300 judges selected finalists from among more than 2,500 entries. Winners will be announced on October 30 during the 2019 Folio Show in New York City.

Additional information about Great American Media Services and its various magazine titles can be found online, at www.greatamericanmediaservices.com.

Great American Media Services Agriculture Group Named a Finalist in Six Folio Magazine Eddie & Ozzie Award Categories

Sparta, MI, August 22, 2019 – Great American Media Services’ Agriculture Group has been named a finalist in six categories of the 2019 Folio Eddie and Ozzie Awards, the publishing industry’s most prestigious and coveted honor for editorial and design excellence. The company’s nominations are:

  • Fruit Growers News February 2019 Issue (Analysis)
  • Fruit Growers News May 2018 Issue (Full Issue)
  • Vegetable Growers News December 2018 Issue (Full Issue)
  • Vegetable Growers News “Grow Ahead” (Series of Articles)
  • Vegetable Growers News May 2019 Issue (Graphic Art)
  • Spudman May/June 2018 Issue (Series of Articles)

“We are honored to be named a finalist in multiple categories for the third consecutive year,” CEO Matt McCallum said. “These recognitions are the result of dedication, hard work and the industry expertise of our agriculture team and designers. We’re proud to be listed among some exceptional finalists in these categories.”

For 25 years, the Eddie and Ozzie Awards have celebrated excellence in magazine editorial and design across all sectors of the industry. The Eddie Awards recognize the best in print and digital editorial, while the Ozzie Awards recognize the best in magazine and website design. For the 2019 awards, a panel of more than 300 judges selected finalists from among more than 2,500 entries. Winners will be announced on October 30 during the 2019 Folio Show in New York City.

Other Great American Media Services titles being honored in the 2019 Eddie and Ozzie Awards are Coach and Athletic Director, Sponsored Content; Gift Shop®, Full Issue; Gift Shop®, Overall Design; Gift Shop® Pets, New Magazine; Stationery Trends, Data Visualization; and Greenhouse Product News, Full Issue. Information about all magazine titles can be found online at www.greatamericanmediaservices.com.

Greenhouse Product News Named a Finalist in Folio Magazine’s 2019 Eddie Awards

Sparta, MI, August 22, 2019 – Greenhouse Product News (GPN) has been named a finalist in the B2B Full Issue category of Folio’s 2019 Eddie Awards, the publishing industry’s most prestigious and coveted honor for editorial excellence.

“We are proud to be named a finalist for one of the industry’s highest honors,” CEO Matt McCallum said. “This recognition is the result of dedication, hard work and the industry expertise of our award-winning editorial team. We’re proud to be listed among some exceptional finalists in this category, including GPN’s sister publication, Vegetable Growers News.”

For 25 years, the Eddie and Ozzie Awards have celebrated excellence in magazine editorial and design across all sectors of the industry. The Eddie Awards recognize the best in print and digital editorial, while the Ozzie Awards recognize the best in magazine and website design. For the 2019 awards, a panel of more than 300 judges selected finalists from among more than 2,500 entries. Winners will be announced on October 30 during the 2019 Folio Show in New York City.

Other Great American Media Services titles being honored in the 2019 Eddie and Ozzie Awards are Coach and Athletic Director, Sponsored Content; Gift Shop®, Full Issue; Gift Shop®, Overall Design; Gift Shop® Pets, New Magazine; Stationery Trends, Data Visualization; Fruit Growers News, Analysis; Fruit Growers News, Full Issue; Vegetable Growers News, Full Issue; Vegetable Growers News, Graphic Art; Vegetable Growers News, Series of Articles; and Spudman, Series of Articles. Information about all magazine titles can be found online at www.greatamericanmediaservices.com.

Great American Media Services Retail Group Named a Finalist in Four Folio Magazine Eddie & Ozzie Award Categories

Sparta, MI, August 22, 2019 – Great American Media Services’ Retail Group has been named a finalist in four categories of the 2019 Folio Eddie and Ozzie Awards, the publishing industry’s most prestigious and coveted honor for editorial and design excellence. The company’s nominations are:

  • Gift Shop® Spring 2019 Issue (B2B Full Issue)
  • Gift Shop® Spring 2019 Issue (Overall Design)
  • Gift Shop® Pets (New Magazine)
  • Stationery Trends Winter 2019: The State of Paper Article (Data Visualization)

“We are honored to be named a finalist in multiple categories for the third consecutive year,” CEO Matt McCallum said. “These recognitions are the result of dedication, hard work and the industry expertise of our retail team and designers. We’re proud to be listed among some exceptional finalists in these categories.”

For 25 years, the Eddie and Ozzie Awards have celebrated excellence in magazine editorial and design across all sectors of the industry. The Eddie Awards recognize the best in print and digital editorial, while the Ozzie Awards recognize the best in magazine and website design. For the 2019 awards, a panel of more than 300 judges selected finalists from among more than 2,500 entries. Winners will be announced on October 30 during the 2019 Folio Show in New York City.

Other Great American Media Services titles being honored in the 2019 Eddie and Ozzie Awards are Coach and Athletic Director, Sponsored Content; Fruit Growers News, Analysis; Fruit Growers News, Full Issue; Vegetable Growers News, Full Issue; Vegetable Growers News, Graphic Art; Vegetable Growers News, Series of Articles; Spudman, Series of Articles; and Greenhouse Product News, Full Issue. Information about all magazine titles can be found online at www.greatamericanmediaservices.com.

Coach and Athletic Director Named a Finalist in Folio Magazine’s 2019 Eddie Awards

Sparta, MI, August 22, 2019 – Coach and Athletic Director magazine has been named a finalist in the Sponsored Content category of Folio’s 2019 Eddie Awards, the publishing industry’s most prestigious and coveted honor for editorial excellence. The sponsored content being acknowledged is the Coach’s Playbook: The Summitt Legacy, appearing in the November/December 2018 issue.

“We are proud to be named a finalist for one of the industry’s highest honors,” CEO Matt McCallum said. “This recognition is the result of dedication, hard work and the industry expertise of our award-winning editorial team. We’re proud to be listed among some exceptional finalists in this category.”

For 25 years, the Eddie and Ozzie Awards have celebrated excellence in magazine editorial and design across all sectors of the industry. The Eddie Awards recognize the best in print and digital editorial, while the Ozzie Awards recognize the best in magazine and website design. For the 2019 awards, a panel of more than 300 judges selected finalists from among more than 2,500 entries. Winners will be announced on October 30 during the 2019 Folio Show in New York City.

Other Great American Media Services titles being honored in the 2019 Eddie and Ozzie Awards are Gift Shop®, Full Issue; Gift Shop®, Overall Design; Gift Shop® Pets, New Magazine; Stationery Trends, Data Visualization; Fruit Growers News, Analysis; Fruit Growers News, Full Issue; Vegetable Growers News, Full Issue; Vegetable Growers News, Graphic Art; Vegetable Growers News, Series of Articles; Spudman, Series of Articles; and Greenhouse Product News, Full Issue. Information about all magazine titles can be found online at www.greatamericanmediaservices.com.