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AKC Wins Big at Region 3 Best of NAMA Awards Celebration

AKC wins 11 awards at Region 3 NAMA

The Region 3 Best of NAMA (National Agri-Marketing Association) Awards Celebration was held January 18, 2022, at Exile Brewing in Des Moines. More than 200 entries were submitted in 61 categories from businesses throughout the Cornbelt, Iowa, North Center and Northern Prairie Chapters.

The hard work and creativity of the entire AKC team was on display, as the team took home 11 awards from the event (5 first place and 6 second place, or merit). Here are the awards that received recognition during the celebration.


Pivot Bio - Virtual 2022 Sales Launch Virtual Event
Events – Internal – 1st Place
Audio/Video Broadcast News – 1st Place
Events – Virtual – 2nd Place

As a new company offering market-shaping nitrogen-producing products, Pivot Bio is in a unique position every sales cycle.

How do we get farmers to change their mindset when it comes to purchasing nitrogen?

Traditionally, this purchase is made in the spring, prior to planting. Pivot Bio has been working to change that purchase window to the fall to help meet production demands. As such, each year the company hosts a Sales Kickoff designed to inform, entertain and encourage growers to make purchases during a special sales window.

The Pivot Bio Virtual 2022 Sales Launch was promoted on social media targeting corn, sorghum and wheat growers in the U.S. Current customers and prospects were also invited via email and postcards.

In addition to speaker panels and first-hand accounts from customers, the sales event offered the first in-season performance data of the year, an appearance by CEO Karsten Temme and a special appearance from celebrity Corn Warrior Cory Atley.

Because Pivot Bio is still new to the market, the event allowed potential customers time to get more acquainted with the company, its products and its purpose — replacing synthetic nitrogen fertilizer with a more sustainable and safer tool for farmers.

The event was designed to encourage farmers to purchase Pivot Bio products during the sales launch window with the incentive of the best per-acre price of the season.

The company has had tremendous success with the event in the past, selling out of available product in each of the past several years. More than 400 people attend the event live (virtually) and thousands more watched the event in the days and weeks after. The event worked well as Pivot Bio had, by far, its biggest sales launch to date.

The 2022 Virtual Sales Launch increased sales 300% from the 2021 sales launch event and 23,942%(!) from the 2020 sales launch event.


Pivot Bio - We Built a Better Nitrogen
Audiovisual Presentations Directed to Farmers, Growers and Ranchers - 1st Place

Pivot Bio has transformed the way farmers think about and use nitrogen on their operations. While synthetic nitrogen was instrumental in advancing food production for a growing world, it had several unintended negative consequences. As such, Pivot Bio built a better nitrogen. From the environmentally sound fermentation production process to the zero waste and minimal footprint, Pivot Bio’s nitrogen-producing microbes give farmers a more efficient and sustainable product to fuel their crops.

Pivot Bio wanted to create a video that told a heartfelt story of how farming has evolved through the years and how Pivot Bio’s nitrogen product is transforming the agriculture industry. This video highlights the importance of each aspect of farming — hard work, family, and history — and shows how Pivot Bio can help farmers get back to what matters while confidently replacing synthetic nitrogen with a better product from Pivot Bio.

This video was designed to evoke a sense of pride and accomplishment among the viewers. Farmers have a rich history in this country and have evolved to meet the challenges of the times. They also know the importance of hard work and family. This video touches on each of these important topics while outlining how Pivot Bio is the next evolution of farming. After watching, the viewer begins to associate Pivot Bio with all the good things about farming, as well as where farming is headed.

The music and voiceover also play a huge factor in pulling on the emotional strings of the viewer as they watch. The rhythm of the music speeds up and grows in intensity as the viewer gets to the end of the story and they learn about Pivot Bio. The voice talent also sounds more assured the further along as the story progresses, which lets viewers know the future of farming is here and you can be confident using products from Pivot Bio.

After watching this video, viewers should feel inspired about the new technology that Pivot Bio is bringing to the farming industry and would continue watching and learning more about the company and its products — whether through other videos on our YouTube channel, or by visiting

This video debuted on RFD-TV’s Rural America live when Pivot Bio CEO, Karsten Temme participated in an interview. Since then, this video has been used as a Welcome video at national and regional meetings and it has been turned into thirty-second TV commercials. The video has also racked up more then 22,000 videos on YouTube.

Pivot Bio - Oasis at the 2021 Farm Progress Show
Exhibits -Live – 1st Place

Pivot Bio recently launched its second-generation nitrogen product to increase farm productivity and deliver improved sustainability. In addition, the 2022 sales season kicked off the week of the Farm Progress Show. In order to make a statement in Pivot Bio’s inaugural display at the Farm Progress Show, they wanted an exhibit that was unlike any other tent or booth on the grounds.  Within the Pivot Bio booth was an “oasis” where farmers could stop, talk to a sales representative in a comfortable resort-style outdoor setting or choose to meet in an air-conditioned meeting room complete with refreshments and snacks.

With the outdoor space, we wanted farmers to relax near the water features while they learned that Pivot Bio PROVEN® 40 is a more productive way to supply nitrogen to their corn crop and doesn’t wash away with the rain. Farmers walked away knowing that Pivot Bio PROVEN® 40 will be there to meet their needs and help them ensure that the natural resources they rely on will remain healthy for generations to come.

Families were also invited to spend time in the “oasis” during a reception the afternoon of the first two days of the show.

The target audience was 500+ corn growers attending the Farm Progress Show and most likely interested in a new nitrogen product for their crop. A postcard mailing was sent to growers in Illinois and areas of surrounding states inviting them to visit Pivot Bio at the show, to take advantage of the early season sales kickoff offer and to enjoy the oasis. The postcard offered an additional gift of a toolkit for those who made a purchase at the show. Thousands of growers came through the Pivot Bio exhibit over three days and strong sales during the show proved to make the oasis a successful part of the sales launch week and the first exhibit by Pivot Bio at the Farm Progress Show.

Pivot Bio - Nitrogen's Turning Point Tour - Grower Field Day
Events – Customer – 1st Place

Months of planning and organization went into this 8-stop, 7-state customer event. The Nitrogen’s Turning Point Tour was created to get into top corn-producing states and meet face-to-face with growers after more than a year of virtual events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These stops allowed growers to learn more about Pivot Bio and the company’s new product, Pivot Bio PROVEN® 40. It was also an opportunity for them to ask Pivot Bio’s nitrogen experts specific questions and speak directly with CEO Karsten Temme. The event gave farmers the most direct access to Pivot Bio to date.

To ensure word got out, a many-pronged approach was taken. Social media ads were targeted to growers within 100 miles of each of the tour stops. Additionally, lookalike lists, grower interest targeting and custom lists were utilized. Postcards were also mailed out to current customers and prospects within driving distance of the events. A series of reminder emails were then sent to those in the Pivot Bio CRM.

All these communications led to a landing page where farmers could register for the event. Select growers at each stop also enjoyed a reserved fine-dining experience in which all accommodations were taken care of prior to their arrival.

About 250 growers attended the event, taking home Pivot Bio information packets and swag items. One lucky farmer at each location walked away with DeWalt tool set.

Turnout for each stop was strong and the enthusiasm for the company and products was evident. This event led directly into Farm Progress Show and the launch of the 2022 sales season, during which Pivot Bio observed a 300% increase in sales versus the year prior.

Pivot Bio - Groundwork for a Successful Season Cover Wrap
Unique Print Advertising – 2nd Place

Farmers know the volatile nature of synthetic nitrogen. However, until now, they haven’t had an alternative to the critical crop nutrient. This wrap was a fun and creative way to highlight the missing “N” that farmers must endure every growing season. By removing the “N” from the word plant, we catch the readers’ attention and invite them to learn more about the more productive, more predictable nitrogen solution offered by Pivot Bio.

Once they read the ad, they realize there is no mystery and they knew all along that using synthetic nitrogen results in lost or missing “N.” The audience is then invited to learn more about the nitrogen that stays put — Pivot Bio.

By turning the ad into a small game, we keep their attention and will remain top of mind as they make their nitrogen-management plans for the coming crop year.

The wrap was placed in Top Producer Magazine, which focuses on industry leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators in the agriculture world. This audience is highly desired by Pivot Bio, as the company offers a relatively new product that targets innovators and influencers in the industry to help spread the message about the company and its products. With more than 160,000 farm executives who read Top Producer, we were guaranteed to be in front of those making the farm input decisions for the coming year.

Lely North America - Point Reyes Advertorial
Advertorials – 2nd Place

Throughout the dairy industry, labor is becoming an increasingly profound issue. Demand for milk, cheese and other dairy products continues to rise, but finding and keeping qualified labor remains challenging. This advertorial helps highlight how Lely robotic dairy automation can help conquer those labor issues while also putting more milk in the tank.

The story of the Giacomini family is a relatable one. The family had been farming the land for generations and couldn’t keep up with the demand their cheese was creating. By moving to Lely robots, they have been able to get more milkings per cow per day and get more milk per cow per day, all with less labor.

The advertorial ran in Progressive Dairy magazine, which is distributed 20 times a year to forward-thinking U.S. dairy producers. This publication was chosen because the nature of using dairy automation requires the dairy producer to be open to a more forward-thinking way of dairy farming.

Pivot Bio – Pivot Bio PROVEN® Video Mailer
Direct Mail Directed to Farmers, Growers and Ranchers - Three Dimensional – 2nd Place

Pivot Bio PROVEN® microbes take nitrogen from the air and make it available for plants, replacing the need for synthetic nitrogen. Pivot Bio had been working on increasing its brand awareness with traditional mediums but this video mailer was created to target a unique audience that doesn’t have a lot of access to the internet, television or magazines. Pivot Bio was looking to tell the story to Hutterite colonies in South Dakota.

Since the colonies might not have seen or read about Pivot Bio yet, the video mailer brought Pivot Bio to them. They could watch the videos again and again without the need for internet or a TV. The piece needed to be educational, so it included a video called ‘How it Works’ in addition to several testimonials. The Hutterite Colonies look to other colonies for wisdom and really respect the decisions made by their neighboring colonies.  

By getting the Hutterite Colonies to fully understand the value proposition of this product: it is more productive and more predictable all which rolls up into more ROI for their operation, the likelihood of a purchase increases. The goal was to inform prospects and turn them into customers, which has been very successful in 2021.

After sending out the video mailer to 82 Hutterite Colony Farm Bosses, 25% of the colonies purchased Pivot Bio PROVEN® to use on their corn acres which resulted in 20% of all the colonies’ corn acres planted with Pivot Bio PROVEN®.  


Lely North America - FMS Conference
Events – Internal – 2nd Place

Each year, Lely North America hosts an in-person event to allow its group of third-party retail centers and support staff to ask technical questions and interact with the corporate brand. With dozens of locations scattered across the U.S. and Canada, the event is always a huge undertaking. Because of the ongoing pandemic, the event was shifted to a live broadcast where viewers could interact in real time. It takes a lot of planning and execution to do a live event with a virtual audience and even more so when the event spans three days.

Additionally, the event puts Lely North America support staff, who generally aren’t the center of attention, front and center in order to handle the technical questions that are raised. This required proper training leading up to the event. As an added challenge, not every speaker was able to be on-site for the recording. Several speakers for the conference were remote and had to be patched in from the Netherlands.

The event also featured a custom logo for branding and to generate excitement prior to the event.

The purpose of the Lely FMS Conference is to discuss new information from a technical standpoint. The event features a more conversational tone, with experts answering live questions and talking about issues that viewers may be facing.

All Lely Center support staff employees were invited to participate in the event via email. As this has been a well-attend in-person event in the past, shifting to a virtual-only event raised a lot of questions. Each potential viewer was invited to sign up for the event on a landing page and were provided with a digital conference booklet that outlined the itinerary, provided background on the featured speakers and allowed viewers to take notes.

Each attendee received a SWAG box prior to the event, containing Lely-branded merchandise and additional goodies from the event sponsors. The idea was for the box to be used during the three-day event.

During the conference, live giveaways took place in order to keep people interested and watching the entire time. These giveaways included a T.V., Apple AirPods, iPads, speakers, hats, shirts, coolers, mugs and other Lely-branded merchandise.

Industry achievement awards were also given out during the show.

The Lely FMS Conference was very successful. The attendees were very active and asked lots of questions. We received so many questions and so much audience participation that we didn’t have to use any pre-prepared questions.


Lely North America - Knigge Farms
Blogs – 2nd Place

There is still a lot of reservation from dairy producers when it comes to making the leap from traditional methods to using Lely automation. This blog highlights Knigge Farms, the first U.S. farm to utilize robotic milking. For more than 20 years, the family has used Lely robots to feed and milk their cows. It’s become so ingrained in the way they operate, they couldn’t envision doing it any other way. In fact, their grandson, now 18, only knows about dairy automation.

This blog entry highlights how well dairy automation has worked for this family and how it is a long-term solution for many dairy producers. It is written in a way that slowly brings the reader to the realization that automation is a viable option for their dairy operation. It does this by putting their fears to rest and answering the questions every producer has going into the change to automation.

The Knigge family is very relatable and readers can see themselves and their operation in the family’s farm. The reader can see how Lely robots changed the Knigge’s lives for the better and how they wouldn’t go back to the old ways. The reader should feel connected to the story and think, ‘If it worked for them, it can work for us.’

At the bottom of the blog, readers could claim a $5,000 manufacturer discount on each Lely Astronaut A5 robotic milking system or Lely Vector automatic feeding system they purchased.

More than 520 people read the blog, resulting in three major deals closed.

Entries that were awarded a first or second place finish advance to the national awards celebration later this year.

At AKC Marketing we honestly assess the perception of your company. We push to market you above your competition. We do this by igniting your inner brand - focusing on what your true value to the marketplace is. To make it impossible to be ignored in your industry.
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