Jason Smith, CAI Attends Advanced Digital Advertising School

Feb 5, 2017

Jason J Smith

Jason J Smith

Auctioneer & Land Broker

Jason is an experienced farmland broker and auctioneer with extensive experience in farmland sales across this Midwest.  Jason has worked with hundreds of clients to create advantageous outcomes.  If you are selling land schedule a consultation with Jason by calling or using the calendar.

Phone: 515-537-6633

I have many friends that come from all over.  If I was to categorize my friends they would all typically fit into a column or two.  Some wear overalls, some wear suits and some wear uniforms.  They are farmers and farm families, hunters, wealth managers, professional services like accountants, lawyers & doctors, police officers & emergency service, military personnel and my peers in the real estate and auction world.  Unlike the majority of my friends I have a passion for marketing and advertising.  It makes me kind of unique among my network because most people find it very boring.  Marketing and advertising is exciting to me, especially with the huge changes we are seeing right now so while I can’t engage them in conversation about marketing and advertising, I’m lucky to have the ability to survey a good group of people that are the very people in DreamDirt’s demographic.

I love to understand what makes people tick 47nz2hc.  I really have an intense interest in modern advertising and especially todays digital techniques that have completely changed the world of advertising.  To me its interesting that people will react to some things and not others.  Its fascinating to me that the message can literally make or break a marketing campaign.  When I was new in the real estate world I was told that I had to do everything 100 things to be successful once.  That was really disheartening to me and yet it played out to be true.  Early on I decided for me, a 1% success rate was not acceptable.  It was easy for me to see, that unless I wanted to work myself to death for a commission I would need to learn to target prospects much better than I was being taught so I took it upon myself to learn.  Those teaching me barely knew a thing about the Internet yet I saw it as a huge potential, not only for myself but for those clients I was serving.  The technology back then was fairly simple, less effective but it showed promise.  Over the last decade thats all changed.  Social media has matured at least to its function and data has led us to predictive marketing that allows us to much more precisely target the exact people that need to see specific information.  You know what I always compare it to?  Precision Agriculture.  Think about how agriculture has evolved.  Today you don’t have to hit a field in a pull behind boom sprayer and hit everything exactly the same.   Have you seen the sprayers that employ lasers to identify weeds and spray just that weeds instead of the entire field?  It saves herbicide, its better on the soils and our environment, it creates less run off and it conserves a farmers resources.   Today we’ve got variable rate seeding so we can seed higher populations into higher quality soils and lower seeding populations for lower quality soils to maximize our results and its all controlled by a GPS enabled computer in the tractor.  Even fertilizer can be applied to different parts of the field at different rates based on soil samples fed into a computer and guided by GPS to get the exact fertilizer in the exact spot its needed.  The efficiency of modern precision agriculture is amazing and its no less amazing in the advertising world.

Imagine if you hired an auctioneer/broker that was so efficient they could apply the advertising for your auction or listing to the precise places and people it would do the most good and not waste any on places it won’t do any good?

This week I attended the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation training known as AMM or Auction Marketing Management Course to learn the latest techniques in digital marketing as they relate to the auction industry and discuss todays best marketing practices.  This fairly new course advances our industry’s understanding of how digital marketing has decimated many traditional advertising media and opens the doors to little known secrets that are not prevalent in todays auction advertising despite the overwhelming evidence of their success.

I began researching these concepts and using many of these evolving techniques more than a decade ago and every year they advance by leaps and bounds in just short periods of time.  Many auctioneers and brokers don’t or can’t use them for various reasons.  In some cases they don’t want to learn new technology or refuse to believe that some methods are outdated.  Some don’t have the resources to devote the dollars to a project to build the interior infrastructure and knowledge needed and quite a few don’t even know that such methods even exist or that advertising is even changing.

top auction advertising iowa nebraska

Today if you mentioned advertising pixels or the concept of re-marketing, even custom or look alike audiences to most people they wouldn’t understand what those things are and the same in true inside our industry, but its exciting to see more and more of my peers starting to see the light.

So why exactly is advertising changing so much?  Where is the disruption? Here are a few statistics that might explain.

  • The average person spends over 6 hours per day using the Internet on a computer or smart device.
  • In January 2017 Facebook has 1.86 BILLION users, a 17% increase over the last year.
  • 1.23 BILLION people log into Facebook everyday.
  • In 2016 64% of Americans got their news online.  64% get their news on 1 website, 26% get it on 2 websites and 10% get it on 3 websites.  That number continues to grow!
  • The average person now spends more time online than with TV and all other media, newspapers, magazines, etc combined.
  • Total spending on Internet advertising is predicted to grow 12.9% next year. The Internet will becamethe largest medium for advertising in 2016, yes even bigger than TV!
  • 85% of people use the Internet at least 1 time per week.
  • Social ad spending has doubled over the past two years.
  • By 2019 mobile advertising will represent 72%  of all US digital ad spending.

Over the course of my career as an auctioneer and land broker social media has evolved.  The day I started there were no smart phones, few people had Internet access in their homes.  Many people still drove to the library to access the Internet.  We did have texting on flip phones and we thought that was pretty high tech.  You know how fast things evolved from there.  Today the statistics look like this and they move almost faster than they can be measured.

Auctioneers with the best advertising

In the graphic to the left do you notice that Rural comes in at 81%?  I’ve had so many people tell me that farmers are not on the Internet.  I’ve even had the statement thrown at me “Older people don’t use the Internet”  or “people with money are out making money, they are not messing around on the Internet”  The truth is, none of that is true and the current statistic is 84% which has progressed since this April 2016 survey.  84%, that is an overwhelming number and it changes advertising as we knew it in the past.


When it comes to choosing an auctioneer today how will you choose?  Will you choose based on their popularity with other sellers?  Will you just choose the name that you’ve heard your entire life and call it good?  As an expert in the sale of farm assets I would recommend shopping around and learning about the tools your auctioneer will use to expose your farm or machinery to the market.  How will they achieve exposure?  Will they use newspapers as the centerpiece of their campaign?  You want to see an interesting statistic?  In 2012, 5 years ago PEW Research said only 23% of people read a print newspaper!  That was 5 years ago.  In 2015 weekday circulation of newspapers fell 7% and Sunday circulation fell 4% which were the greatest declines since 2010.  Would you want to put your eggs in that basket?  Consider for a moment, out of the people still reading the newspaper how many of them are not even be the target of your ad?  How many of them miss your ad mixed in with all the other black and white things?  How many of those that are the target of your ad just didn’t read that newspaper?  I can tell your from being in the marketing business, I’ve heard it hundreds of times “I didn’t even see it in the newspaper was it in there” and I hear that when it was actually “in there”  How many newspapers are there?  Will your ad end up in the right newspaper?  Many areas are covered by multiple newspapers.

I don’t want to beat newspapers up because we still use them in places.  We have some free to consumer (not us) farm newspapers that we advertise in and we always do a local ad and regional newspaper ad for each and every auction we do, but the truth is sometimes we do that to make the seller happy, and because there is a small chance of catching that right person.

Newspapers aren’t the only media that suffers today.  Direct mail is very difficult because disrupting the consumers attention at the mailbox is difficult without perfectly designed and thought out mailers, something I think we excel at based on the number of awards we have won for print advertising.  Television today has fast forward.  People jump up when the commercials come on pausing the TV only to come back and fast forward through commercials to get straight to programming.

At DreamDirt our advertising relies heavily on digital marketing and delivering your message directly to the consumer in a fashion thats most likely to get their attention.  We still use many of the old fashioned techniques that have stood the test of time and produce results.  While I can’t lay our exact recipe out here in a blog post we would always enjoy the opportunity to visit with you in person or on the phone and show you the exciting advertising products we offer as well as the tools we use to expose and ensure your farm assets sell for market value. If you would like to talk to us about the best way to sell then please contact us. You can click on the form to the left and email me or just call me at 515-537-6633, even email me direct [email protected]

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