Marketing Boot Camp Preview: How Farm Journal Used Social To Turn 50,000 Names Into 1 Million Prospects

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Marketing automation. Predictive intelligence. Persona marketing. Social media that drives results, not just likes. And of course, breathing new life into the old workhorse, email.

Those are key issues for marketers trying to take advantage of both the tools and data at their fingertips today and leading topics for the upcoming SIIA/Connectiv Digital Marketing Boot Camp that will be held May 3 at the Westin River North in Chicago. SIIA’s Marketing Road Show brings together the best of Connectiv, SIPA, Software and Education to offer a series of road shows around the country that provide a deep-dive into the marketing issues facing our members today and giving them an opportunity to go beyond their usual groups to hear new perspectives, make new connections and experience the full value of SIIA.   

Personalization is a driving force in marketing today and it starts with unique data. In a session titled “Putting It All Together: How Personalization Drives Farm Journal’s Go-to-Market Strategy,” Jim Arnold, VP of Digital Sales at Farm Journal, will show how his team sources that data, including third-party data, behavioral inferences culled by observing activity on your digital products and creating content alignments by finding marketing niches across the Farm Journal portfolio, then pooling audiences on those sites. “You want to build a wall facing your competition so that you can be the strongest partner for the marketers and the audience that they want to reach,” says Arnold.

Social media success in B2B is quality of audience, not quantity of audience. Farm Journal was able to use the specific audience profiles in its databases to create personas that could fill in the blanks that advertisers were trying to reach, rather than just reach out to its existing social audience, which may or may not include influencers and qualified buyers. “We know our people well, we have 1.6 million e-mails, we have tons of traffic,” said Arnold. “Once you have that, you can find them on social media. The beauty is it's zero waste—you’re only targeting the people that you want to target.”

But social media can also be a boon for publishers who don’t have strong data sets yet. “The social tools that you’re given to find lookalikes of who you’re targeting gives you scale you that weren’t able to see before,” said Arnold.    

A few years ago, Farm Journal was struggling to find prospects in the Southwest. “Our data was weaker than we wanted it to be,” said Arnold. “But we knew what cattlemen look like, so we put up 50,000 names of known cattle guys in our data base and found a million lookalikes on Facebook and we marketed to those folks. We were able to bring in a substantial Southwest quadrant of cattleman that we didn’t know.”

While efficient, Arnold warns that kind of cultivation requires patience.  “It wasn’t fast growth, fast growth came was when we bought a competitor and assimilated their data,” he added. “But that’s one way you can take a small data set and scale it."

Other sessions at the upcoming Marketing Boot Camp will include:

The Future is Now: Behavioral Data and Predictive Intelligence
Marketing is currently moving from marketing segmentation to marketing automation. The next phrase will be predictive—understanding what customers will do next and serving recommendations based on that. This session will show how market leaders are observing customer behavior and building a profile of customer preferences based on every action taken that leads to the right products and the right marketing.   


Frank Cutitta, Director of the Center for Content Analytics, HIMSS

Own Your Audience Data and Own Your Market
It’s a data-driven world and your marketing is only as good as your ability to reach the right people at the right time. However, most marketers struggle with getting the right data into the right hands. This session offers a step-by-step game plan for developing an audience data strategy, from an overview of how audience data is being used today to target prospects with pinpoint precision to how marketers get there by effectively capturing audience data, developing a database that’s actually useful and determining who owns what internally.

Joe Benson, President, Knowledge Marketing
Joel Hughes, Chief Digital Officer, EnsembleIQ

Marketing Automation the Right Way
Marketing Automation offers great promise - increased efficiency, greater customer and prospect engagement, and improved marketing results. However, technology alone will only get you part of the way there. For marketing automation to be successful, you need to use it effectively - from lead scoring to audience segmentation, to deploying campaigns. This session will focus on how you can more effectively use marketing automation to drive your programs. 

Real Magnet

Social Media: Using Social to Raise Awareness and Drive Action
Almost every marketing campaign has a social media component but too often our social strategies are simply regurgitating the same information from executions in other marketing channels rather than really driving engagement and advancing the campaign. This session offers best practices and case studies on how you can be effectively leveraging each of the major social media platforms as well as why “likes” and “followers” are taking a back seat to influencers and driving specific action as the real goals for social media.


Tracy Samantha Schmidt, Principal, Socially Authentic


E-Mail Marketing: Six Ways to Cut Through the Clutter
E-mail doesn’t get the same buzz as social media and content marketing but it’s still the workhorse of business-to-business marketing. Get six actionable tips for refreshing your e-mail marketing strategy, boosting open rates and driving conversions. 

Christina Karabetsos, Executive Vice President, QSCC 

To register for the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, click here

Tracy Samantha Schmidt
Tracy Samantha Schmidt

Matt Matt Kinsman is vice president of content + programming at Connectiv, the only association focused on the integrated b-to-b model—including publications, events, digital media, marketing services and business information. Prior to joining Connectiv's predecessor American Business Media in 2011, Kinsman was executive editor of Folio:, the leading information provider for the magazine industry.