January 12, 2021

Growing Good – WS Invests in Support that Drives Growth in Agribusiness

North American marketing agency WS is leading growth in agriculture with their GroWS More Good initiative, giving over $250,000 in pro bono marketing intelligence and services to deserving ag organizations in 2020.

The agency drove outcomes for incredible brands across North America even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in marketing outcomes that produced stronger bottom lines. “Good grows—thanks to our clients and industry partners, we donated over $250,000 to deserving ag-related organizations, from farm to table, across North America,” says Susan Groeneveld, co-founder of WS.

Rather than following the corporate trend of going after the biggest dollar, WS, which has offices in Calgary and Toronto, is focusing on a different business model. “We’re striving and inspired to be distinct among today’s marketing and communications agencies, by focusing on giving back to support the future of ag, which is reflective of the values of the industry,” says Groeneveld.

Services gifted include groundbreaking marketing outcomes, persona work, dialed-in performance plans and award-winning creative. Businesses supported with pro bono marketing include deserving organizations and not for profits, such as the Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program.

“Less than 10 percent of the farming population is between 18 and 39. There is a growing need to recognize and reward the inspired, committed young Canadians who are answering the call to farm or lead agribusiness,” says Groeneveld.

WS supported this effort with the “CALL to FARMS” campaign, a celebration of revolutionary young farmers, and an invitation to nominate “Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers.” The campaign creative morphed to include the headline “STAY STRONG,” encouraging words to young farmers during the pandemic.

Mealshare, which is working to end youth hunger, was another recipient of pro bono marketing work in 2020. A partnership between restaurants and consumers, Mealshare provides simple, healthy meals to youth in need. Recognizing that “hunger eats their appetite to learn,” WS developed a campaign for Mealshare around the metaphor of a chewed HB pencil.

While ag is a highly competitive and highly saturated industry, it is also one of the primary pillars for growth in North America. “Corporate social responsibility is an imperative that’s raising the stakes in agriculture,” Groeneveld says, “We’re stepping into that responsibility, learning alongside the deserving businesses we support, and contributing positivity to the agricultural landscape.”

While 2020 was a very different year for everyone, WS focused on evolving toward outcome-driven marketing. The shift in focus involves planning the most cost-effective strategy to achieve business goals, using the most effective triggers to make the sale, and capturing key behavioural data to understand farmers. Being data-driven, says Groeneveld, “means putting the farmer in the centre of decision making for forward thinking companies.”

To support outcome marketing for its clients in 2021, WS recently added new staff in key areas: media, accounts, insights and analytics, and creative. The teams work collaboratively to develop winning brand work, as part of a 360-approach to marketing.

By focusing on creative, insights and analytics, the WS team has been able to continue to realize their tag line “We Solve. With Soul.” as an approach to solving client problems. Being able to give back is a product of their successful client work. “We’re grateful to our clients for letting us help them achieve their goals, and enabling us to give back. Good grows, and we’re inspired to grow more good in 2021,” Groeneveld concludes.

WS is a full-service outcome marketing practice with offices in Calgary and Toronto. WS delivers insights-driven business intelligence and marketing services that helps clients achieve measurable outcomes that align with key business goals. Their audience-first approach ensures that people, not products, are at the heart of every marketing strategy, ensuring lifetime customer loyalty and measurable return on investment. WS Also Grows More Good by giving back to agriculture and food related organizations to help support this vital industry.