In an effort to better promote the Farm Bureau Chevrolet, Buick and GMC member discount, Virginia Farm Bureau Senior District Field Services Director Mark Dawson and his team led a major dealer outreach effort this spring. Virginia field staff visited 67 GM dealers across the state, distributing membership brochures and Farm Bureau window clings, answering questions about the program and encouraging dealers to participate in joint marketing opportunities with county Farm Bureaus.
“If we are really going to be partners with our dealers, they need to know who we are and feel comfortable communicating with us,” said Dawson. “When you reach out and put a face with a name, it improves relationships, and you’re more likely to get contacts and interaction between your partner and the county Farm Bureaus.”
Dawson and his team also offered each dealer the opportunity to participate in a new joint marketing effort: Farm Bureau Day. Several dealers showed interest in the idea, and two have already hosted Farm Bureau Day events to cross-promote the partnership. The events included a tent and grill out at the participating dealership, door prizes, raffles, discount Farm Bureau membership rates and extra discounts for Farm Bureau members from the dealers. In fact, 15 new members were signed up between the two events. County Farm Bureau leaders were also there to talk to current and potential members about the mission and role of Farm Bureau.
Leading up to the Farm Bureau Day events, county Farm Bureaus worked together with the dealers to cross-promote the partnership. Henry County Nelson Automotive combined promotion for the Farm Bureau Day event with their spring sales events promotions, distributing 60,000 mailings. Other dealer promotions included radio ads announcing Farm Bureau Day and posts on social media pages. County Farm Bureaus sent mailings to their members, shared social media posts and put up fliers at local businesses.
“Strong dealer relationships help us get out the Farm Bureau name and provide great benefit to the membership,” said Daryl Butler, Virginia Farm Bureau Senior Southeast Field Services Director. “A lot of dealers in the rural communities really understand farming and the needs of our members. So we’re able to promote GM, and they’re able to promote Farm Bureau: an all-around win-win!”