The Australian fresh produce industry is in need of advocates to push its key messages, according to Fi Bendall, Chief Executive Officer of the Bendalls Group. Fi Bendall was a key presenter at the recent PMA Fresh Connections 2016 conference on transforming digital disruption into an advantage for fresh produce.
With more than 1,000 attendees, over 70 exhibitors, and 29 international and local expert speakers, this year’s PMA Fresh Connections Trade Show was record breaking and the largest in the 10 year history of this premier event for the fresh produce and floral industries of Australia and New Zealand.
Ms Bendall was one of the Westpac / Australian 2015 Financial Review Top 100 Women of Influence and boasts of more than 20 years experience in the digital sector. She is one of Australia’s most respected thought leaders in the digital space.
She explained that advocacy is the cornerstone of social media and can be used to promote a brand or product as advocates share their love for it online. She also noted that the Australian media landscape had changed dramatically and opened new opportunities for promotions and reaching consumers.
As cited in farmweekly she said, “Most Australians now don’t watch commercial television. Download growth is extreme. It is not the realm of the young. You are all controlled by your mobile phones and you download it when you want it.”
“We are controlled by ‘wow- that is amazing- I must buy one of them’. Irrational buying is on the up. It’s about taking it from like to love,”
Ms Bendall remarked.
Furthermore, she said that while traditional media organisations were struggling to reinvent themselves, clever marketers were making the most of the social media boom. Part of a successful brand awareness strategy these days was all about establishing brand advocates.
“The power of advocacy is the cornerstone of social media… This is about taking time and investment to build the right relationship and rapport,”
Instead of aiming a mass campaign at thousands of people, a product might refine that to a key group who is genuinely going to connect with the product and spread a positive message about it. For her, advocacy is about genuinely wanting something and being willing to openly share that brand admiration throughout various social networks both online and in the real world.
With the recent commercial launch of the Sky Muster™, the fresh produce and floral industries in the rural, regional, and remote parts of the country that are eligible for the new long term satellite service will greatly benefit from its much improved and reliable Internet connection. It can enable Aussie farmers and florists to efficiently extend their market reach locally and globally.
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