The Purina Animal Nutrition Business Builder program is a unique offering for feed dealers around the country. The program allows dealers to leverage the power of the Checkerboard brand in their local markets through selling support, training and education, events, marketing and advertising and signage.
There are four different levels of the program, depending on the dealer’s desire to participate in Purina-related training, events and knowledge of the products. At the highest level, as an Elite Certified Expert Dealer (ECED), dealers have committed to having an on-site Livestock Production Specialist (LPS), which is a specialized employee hired by Land O’Lakes to sell Purina exclusively for the dealer.
Three benefits of the Business Builder Program
“This program is not just about what the dealer has committed to Purina, it’s a two-way street. We want to invest in those dealers that are investing in us,” says Steve Vekich, Marketing Director for Feed Retail Channels.
“The Business Builder program came from the need to separate ourselves as the market gets bigger, we want to be a partner with local dealers who have a deep knowledge of our animal nutrition offerings and are aligned with our specific training and research. And we want to be a company that provides a depth of services that helps dealers grow their entire business, beyond just selling product.”
In return for their commitment to the Business Builder program, dealers are offered a wide-variety of enterprise-level services and support from Purina. One of those services is marketing and advertising, an area that small, rural dealers really need and can benefit greatly from in today’s market.
Vekich says that they consistently hear that dealers are looking for ways to increase their digital and social presence, but don’t have the staff or resources to do it. “This is where we come in,” he explains, “we can help build strategies, train them on social media, create content calendars, execute digital advertising and even do paid searches.”
The Business Builder program is about extending Purina services to dealers and co-ops helping them be the most successful they can be, through marketing their own local expertise, knowledge and growing their business.
For those dealers who are enrolled in the Business Builder, there is a new program to address digital marketing solutions. Dealers are partnered with Purina enterprise agencies like FLM Harvest and VAN LEUVEN Communications that will help strategize and run paid searches in their local markets.
Diana Van Leuven, who has worked with Purina as an agency partner for over ten years says the program has been a great success. “All 50 of the participants had never done paid search before. It has been an exciting program for dealers to test this advertising strategy, learn about the way that technology can aid in finding new customers and educate the team to learn which markets are more responsive to paid search.”
In addition, the program also offers social media support and digital execution, which can be helpful as most local dealers have small staff and little time to devote to marketing and advertising.
Diana shared this feedback of the program from Jayne Carstensen, River Valley Cooperative: “The social media support on the feed side of our business, cattle, horse, etc. has been great. Honestly, without the Facebook content we wouldn't have the time to develop and having the team to post allows us to focus on other areas of our business."
If a dealer is not ready to dive into the full program yet, there are still resources to learn and grow their business, one of those ways is though TT30 training videos. TT30 are online webinars produced by Purina that offer 30-minute sessions on social media, marketing and advertising.
“Overall, we are very excited about the future of these program offerings, especially for social media and paid search” says Vekich. “We are planning to expand these services in the future because they are vital to the future of our business and our customers.”