A New CEO Blog From Mayfield Dairy Farms

09/18/2006

Mayfield_logo Welcome Scottie Mayfield, CEO of Mayfield Dairy Farms and Rob Mayfield, VP to the wonderful world of blogs!

Although Mayfield Dairy Farms is a subsidiary of Dean Foods the company retains the culture of a close-knit, family business. Scottie and Rob Mayfield are grandsons of founder T.B. Mayfield. The company distributes throughout the southeast to Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Kentucky, Virginia and Mississippi.

I've been waiting since the spring to write this post when Diva Amanda Carmichael, WaterhousePR, invited me to present a workshop and ideology session on blogs to one of the firms coolest clients Mayfield Dairy Farms. My first question to Amanda was not how should we position the strategy but, "Will Scottie  Mayfield be there?" Scottie Mayfield is the spokesperson of the brand and has quite a fan club .. including this Diva. <wink> And yes, ScottieScottie_mayfield was at our meeting and I wasn't disappointed. Scottie is as charming and down-to-earth as he appears in TV promotions.

One of Mayfield Dairy Farm's social media goals is in-line with the culture of blogs .. to tell the stories of the people who are the company. So while other dairy blogs may concentrate on providing information to specific segments, Mayfield's Dairy Blog is all about the behind the scene company stories.

Posts range from Rob's story about his childhood with Scottie to Scottie's post about new products and how ice cream flavors are chosen.

In keeping with that strategy it's not just all about Scottie and Rob. The Mayfield Dairy Blog is a multi author blog and includes an administrative assistant, plant managers and even a few sales and marketing people.

Welcome Mayfield Bloggers! - Mayfield "Moms" Brittney Smith, Lisa Dotson and Intern Cayci and Plant Managers Eddie Allen, Scott Watson and Mary Williams, GM and Alan Owen, Marketing and Robbie Roberts, Sales and Tangela Arnwine, HR and Chad McKeehan, Visitors Center and Jan Montgomery, Consumer Affairs and guest blogger Dr. Michael Zemel, "Guru of Nutrition" from the University of TN.

Scottie took some time out from making sure that Mayfield's latest flavor, Blueberry Cream Pie, was ready to hit the stores, to give me his take about how blogs fit into Mayfield Dairy Farm's marketing strategy.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Why did Mayfield Dairy Farms decide to blog?

Scottie Mayfield: We base many of our product decisions on the opinions of our consumers. We have two visitor centers. We have formal and informal focus groups on a frequent basis. We have an in-house consumer affairs department to answer phone calls.

We have over six hundred people, in the market daily, absorbing input from consumers. We have a group of 85 "Mayfield Moms" who sample consumers year round, and they provide feedback. I personally get out in the market and talk to people as much as I can.

We recently had over 500,000 votes cast by consumers to select a permanent ice cream flavor (Blueberry Cream Pie won). We want consumer input. Having a blog seemed like a natural extension of our efforts to provide consumers a way to talk to us.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Many CEO's are fearful of the blogoshere. They think the competition will discover their company's trade secrets, they think that negative comments will harm the brand and they feel they don't have time to blog. How would you respond?

Scottie Mayfield: We do some special things to make our milk taste better than other milks and to make our ice cream creamier than other ice creams. These extra steps are costly and take a real commitment on our part. They are not that secretive. We typically don't talk about the processes we use as much as the benefit.

I am not as concerned about our competitors reading our blog. I am more interested in having a personal dialog with our consumers. There is value in having that type dialog. If a consumer has a negative comment, I want to hear it.

If we are aware of a problem we can solve it. When I have the opportunity to talk to a consumer who has a problem, it provides me a great opportunity to understand, improve and most importantly show that specific consumer that I care about their problem. We may not be perfect, but we can fix things when they do not meet or exceed someone's expectations.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Level with me Scottie. You're among friends. Are you really writing the blog yourself?

Scottie Mayfield: We have several contributors to our blog. We all write our own entries each month. Some of mine have been pertinent to business and some have simply been personal experiences. I do write mine myself. I would admit that I have someone make sure my spelling is correct.  On a personal note, I enjoy your blog and I appreciate your interest in our blog.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Appreciate your kind words, Scottie. I am enjoying yours also. And thanks for the ice cream cone!

One more CEO for Debbie Weil's next book on Corporate Blogging!

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Comments

our business will be celebrating ( 1 ) year of business next month, and, well . . . . i'm begging -- is there any way we could get some FREE ice cream for our event ( or a bargain price )?

Posted by: ann on Jan 25, 2007 1:04:45 PM

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/rnr/418636252.html


I feel a bit like this person. I wish the price of milk was more competitive.

Posted by: tom broadway on Sep 10, 2007 2:47:19 PM

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/rnr/418636252.html


I feel a bit like this person. I wish the price of milk was more competitive.

Posted by: tom broadway on Sep 10, 2007 2:48:02 PM

Growing up in Chattanooga and having loved Mayfield products all my life ,I have to say that I am extremely disappointed that Mayfield would stoop to using a smaller carton to pose as a half gallon carton
along with some other big name brands. I didn't think a company of your caliber and integrity would" join in". I also don't think many people are actually fooled by this marketing tactic-if you have to charge a little more,go back to the REAL half gallon.

Posted by: Peggy Roberts on Dec 7, 2011 10:19:42 PM

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