Examine your marketing routine

Are you stuck doing the same thing repeatedly and not open to new approaches? Examining your cattle marketing approach can raise your profit

Doug Ferguson

October 8, 2021

5 Min Read
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Watch each Friday for Doug Ferguson's Market Intel blog on Beef Producer and BEEF magazine.vectorbomb-ThinkstockPhotos

Years ago I got in the habit of putting on my right boot then putting on my left boot. I would then lace up my left one and finish by lacing up the right one. This was just a habit that formed without me even realizing it. That’s how paradigms are formed and how they work, most happen without us even realizing it and they control our behavior without us even realizing it.

One day my best friend pointed out that I always put my boots on the same way. I was on a hot streak riding bulls at the time, and because of the timing of things coming together a silly superstition was born from it. For 25 years I have had to put my boots on the same way every day.

This week as part of my routine of trying to improve myself I was listening to a podcast focusing on the traits of successful people. During that podcast they stated that successful people have a routine they follow strictly every day.

This of course got me thinking about my daily routine. Some parts of it I follow very strictly and other parts I do not. And as I was reflecting on that I said to myself that part of my routine I follow strictly is how I put my boots on. Then I stopped

At that moment I felt like a weight had been lifted off me. I don’t have a superstition I have a routine!

I realize how silly this sounds and it is a little embarrassing to admit it. Here’s the rub, perception is one of the six faculties of the mind, and that small change in perception broke me out of the bondage of the superstitious paradigm.

Understanding your marketing paradigm

Let’s tie this into cattle marketing. People come up to me once in a while and tell me they read this column every week. Every week I end this by listing the discounts, and premiums paid for certain cattle. Once in a while I see one of these loyal readers sell their cattle. I’ve even seen some of them sell unweaned cattle or feeders bulls.

Now they tell me they read this every week. So we know they know that they’re about to sell a discounted group of cattle, but they do it anyway. Why? It’s what they do. It’s what they’ve done for years. They know better but they are so bound, so imprisoned by the paradigm they can’t help it.

Some people will challenge me on the topic of marketing and that’s ok. When I challenge back is when they get all uptight. Some try to make a point the cattle square doesn’t work. Even though I have proven time and again that it does, both on the philosophical plane and the physical plane, they still reject the idea. The paradigm simply has them stuck.

We all do sell/buy trades, just very few of us realize we are doing them. Most think they go to an auction and buy some cattle. They take them home and feed them for a while and hope they get more for them that what they have in them.

What if I told you there were sell/buys in that whole process, only the cowboy doesn’t realize it. If he doesn’t realize it, he probably doesn’t do a good job executing them. First, he sold his money to buy the cattle. I know the idea of selling money sounds strange. Then he sold his feed and the cattle bought it when he fed it to them. This is where the stale joke of the cattle doing well, but he did a poor job marketing the corn comes from. Then he sold the cattle and bought money.

In my marketing schools I begin with what is called the X Y Factor. I discuss paradigms and explain how we got them and how to change them and why it is necessary. Having this explanation helps people to understand the simple concepts of sell/buy marketing when we get to that point in the school. A slight shift in perception has big pay offs.

Consider this idea. With sound sell/buy marketing skills we can be self hedged in the cash market. The key factor is we have to take full responsibility for ourselves and pay attention to the markets. Then the board no longer matters. This is the first time I’ve ever mentioned the board here and it was to say it doesn’t matter. I don’t pay any attention to it. What would life be like if you could delete that app off your phone and rely on yourself?

The greatest author on the topic of success, Napoleon Hill wrote “Action is the real measure of intelligence.” In his books he talks about cultivating certain characteristics and creating certain habits. To me this means gathering the correct information and being able to shift a paradigm. I have a marketing school coming up December 7-9. I’d love the opportunity to help you stretch that measure a little farther.

View from the cattle market

This week feeders were higher. The price relationships that have been in place the last few weeks stayed the same. Flyweight cattle continue to have an attractive Value of Gain. Heifers still have a better VOG than steers throughout the spectrum. On the steer side buyers continue to hold their sights on the 8-9 weights, giving those weights a boost in VOG

People must be waking up to the fact the heavy feeder heifers are the buy against fats. The rise in their price is stretching the margin a bit thin.

Multiple load lots caught a little premium this week. Southern markets were under-valued to plains markets. Unweaned cattle were 10 back, feeder bulls were 20-30 back, and replacement quality heifers caught a $4 premium.

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