I’m an optimist. Most farmers are too. You plant a crop each year, knowing you will have to battle all kinds of obstacles enroute to harvest. Sometimes even the harvest doesn’t go well, like this year. Yet sure as can be, you’ll be an optimist when spring comes again. Thank goodness for your annual optimism—it’s what feeds the world.
And yet farmers do not always have the same optimism when it comes to the markets. In my many years of hosting marketing workshops, frustration with marketing is always evident in the surveys.
I think we are all naturally frustrated by things we can’t figure out or control. It’s human nature.
As 2009 draws to a close, I encourage you to make a resolution that markets are not going to frustrate you in 2010.
- Resolve to lay out all the possible scenarios that 2010 could present to your business, to come up with strategies to address each possible scenario, and to set trigger points that help you recognize when each of those scenarios is beginning to play out.
- If you cannot do all this advance work on your own, resolve to find someone you trust to help you.
- Resolve to stop the endless pursuit of information that will help you make a “better” decision.
- Resolve to find good, trusted sources of information that will alert you to your trigger points, and help you stick to that approach.
Yes, make the resolution that you are going to take control of your marketing in 2010.
By now you know that this blog is not about giving you market information or helping you discern what the market might do. Rather, I strive to be that little voice on your shoulder, encouraging you to be more strategic and more disciplined. You need those reminders (whether from me or from someone else), because there is always another headline, another piece of information, another voice, making you doubt your decision or telling you marketing cannot be done well. I believe you need to hear positive messages over and over again, because it is human nature to get down and out about the things that frustrate us.
Don’t allow frustration to take over. Believe that marketing in 2010 can be done well with the right resolutions in place.
It is my pleasure to wish you the very best for the New Year.
Scott Stewart is president and CEO of Stewart-Peterson, a commodity marketing consulting firm based in West Bend, Wis. You may reach Scott at 800-334-9779, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.