TurFOMO Marketing

I’ve been receiving questions about Thanksgiving turkey orders, so here’s the broadcast message: Turkeys for Thanksgiving sales will be listed on Nov 1st. Simple enough, right?

Marketing experts tell me I should make this into a launch event, with a steady email campaign to build up excitement, a frenzied, almost panicky tone to my communications, and lots of emphasis about scarcity and FOMO (“almost sold out”, “get yours before it disappears”, “last year we sold out in the first 72 hours”, etc). I should also offer secret coupon codes if anyone sends me an email address so I can pester them for years to come. And I should offer a free product with a large enough shipping charge to cover the price of the freebie.

I know I need to improve my marketing because farm sales have been limping along the last few months. But it is hard to come to terms with the conventional wisdom that reduces marketing to behavioristic manipulations. Marketing, both traditional and digital, seems to be built upon the same logic as conventional row-cropping and confinement livestock farming. Production volume is the ultimate arbiter of success, customers should be reduced to idealized widgets, and individual preferences and group diversity are ignored in favor of monocropping a preset product offering. Consumers get herded into narrow marketing funnels to create predictable outcomes for each one that passes through. I’d like to think there’s a better way to market the farm without feeling sleazy, but my past experience tells me that I’m prone to pursuing unachievable ideals.

Here’s how the “ideal” pitch would sound: “So sign up now for my free newsletter where I’ll tell you the top 5 secrets to cooking a delicious Thanksgiving turkey, plus I’ll give you exclusive access to members-only content where top chefs share their turkey tips, plus I’ll send you my grandmother’s special stuffing recipe. But wait, there’s more. Sign up today and you’ll get early access to our turkey preorder event before we open it to the public. And be sure to use our 10% off coupon code.”

Yeah, I can’t pull that off…

[By the way, since a lot of our readers are outside our Home Delivery area, I have a writeup on finding pasture raised turkey in your area. It involves knowing what pasture raised is, knowing what marketing buzzwords to avoid, asking the right questions, and looking in the right places.]

7 thoughts on “TurFOMO Marketing”

  1. I am struggling similarly – Apparently, I have to have an email list, but I hate that my website has popups, and I am here to tell you that my mail list is very sad and small. I’d rather spend my time writing genuine blog posts and hoping people take a shine to order some lamb.

    1. It doesn’t help that some of the most active farm-to-consumer marketers are the least legitimate. So it seems potential customers are habituated to this form of transactional marketing and that very few people, even in crowded urban markets the Northeast are going out looking for a farmer.

  2. Love you just the way you are and because of who and how you are. ? Your emails are inspirational; we need more to pursue those “unachievable ideals”. Please don’t change a thing!

  3. Alice Smith Duncan

    This what I like most about you… an elegantly discursive, fact-filled, big old NOPE to marketeering. But I do want a turkey, and look forward to November 1. Cheers!

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