Beef Industry Insider Alisa Harrison Explains How Consumer Relations are Evolving in the Digital AgeWed, 01 Feb 2017 16:41:03 CST
Alisa Harrison’s involvement in the beef industry goes a long way back, from working with cattlemen when the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association was just the NCA to serving as Director of Communications at the US Department of Agriculture during the “Cow That Stole Christmas” years. Fifteen years later, Harrison has found her way back to NCBA serving as Senior Vice President of Global Marketing & Research since October of last year. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays sat down with Harrison to talk about beef demand and how the industry has navigated the continual challenges of keeping that demand strong and steady.
“I remember when we actually came up with the Beef Demand Index, because we didn’t even know how to measure it and so it was really very satisfying to actually see that curve, the decline sort of stabilize and start to go up,” Harrison recollects. “But we still have challenges today, even though beef demand is steady.”
Since then, the way we market beef has changed dramatically, and according to Harrison, consumers not only in the US but around the world, are more interested than ever in where their food comes from and how it is produced on the farm. Especially the Millennial generation, she says, who have grown up with greater access to more information than any generation ever before. This segment of the consumer base is in fact the largest demographic on the economic scale, surpassing Baby-Boomers and is being heavily targeted these days by the beef industry. But with the group’s unique purchasing habits and their extensive use of technology integrated into their daily lives, Harrison says the challenge here lies in the industry’s messaging and delivery.
“As Millennials continue to age and as they build their families, it really is - that’s the market, not only today but 20 years from now, so that’s who we’re targeting,” Harrison explains. “Clearly they do everything online. If you’re not there, then you’re not reaching a very important target audience.”
Harrison says that NCBA and the Beef Checkoff have dedicated many resources into technologies that give them the ability to capture their audience’s attention in creative and provocative ways, such as a new BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com website to how-to recipe videos on social media platforms.
“It’s just a lot more flexible than a print newspaper,” Harrison remarked. “We have to adjust to the way people want to receive their information today, when they want it, how they want it - and that’s what we’re doing with the Beef Checkoff.”
Learn more about how the beef industry is reaching its consumer base today by listening to the full exchange between Hays and Harrison. Click or tap the LISTEN BAR below to hear that conversation.
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