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Picture Perfect | January 2023

by Sarah Hill

Photos courtesy Focus Marketing Group

Focus Marketing Group focuses on creating successful marketing strategies for cattle producers.

Like any business, cattle operations need to engage in some type of marketing. Whether that’s taking out an ad in the local paper, managing a website or social media page, or hosting an annual sale, there are many types of marketing and promotions that can boost business. One of the keys to successful promotions is high-quality images and presentation. For many producers this task is better suited for marketing professionals. The founders of Focus Marketing Group recognized this need in the cattle industry and developed a company dedicated to helping producers create a picture-perfect marketing plan.

Building The Business

Kyla Fawcett, owner of Focus Marketing Group, combined her extensive background in the cattle industry and passion for photography to create the professional livestock photography and marketing company. Showing cattle gave Fawcett her start growing up in Baltic, S.D. Fawcett admired the work of photographer Christy Collins, vowing to be like Collins when she grew up. This goal took Fawcett to South Dakota State University, where she graduated with a degree in agriculture journalism in 2003. She began her career as the director of communications at the American Maine-Anjou Association.

Fawcett started Focus Marketing Group in 2010 with partners John Boddicker and Kent Jaecke with the goal of offering a one-stop-shop for customers to build a marketing campaign. Fawcett wanted to take the stress out of livestock marketing, using her people skills and good-natured attitude to streamline the process while making customers happy. Fawcett became the sole owner of Focus Marketing Group in 2016. To date, Focus Marketing Group has served more than 1,400 customers across the U.S.

Focus Marketing Team

A team of five staff members includes graphic designers, web developers, a social media manager, and field staff to handle photography and video services. “A good work ethic, good customer relations, quality work and grit allowed our clientele to grow, and Focus Marketing Group grew to what it is today,” Kyla Fawcett explained. “My passion is livestock photography.”

The Focus Marketing Group team works completely remote and travels to visit customers’ cattle operations. Fawcett resides in Ree Heights, S.D., with her husband, Dan, and two kids, Hollis and Ivy. The couple lives on Fawcett’s family ranch, Fawcett’s Elm Creek Ranch.

Proper Presentation

It takes a special touch to take excellent quality photos of cattle. Fawcett says that a good marketing plan and professional work and look is important when promoting your cattle or any species of livestock. “As the old saying goes, ‘You have to spend money to make money.’ Good photos, videos, and design get you noticed, and in turn, make your operation money,” Fawcett said. “Bad photos, videos, or design will turn people away and make them less interested.”

In the competitive world of selling seedstock and show cattle, operations can’t afford to not be noticed. Focus Marketing Group provides a variety of services to help their clients get noticed, from sale photography and videography to stall card or business card designs. Not everyone has the creative knack for graphic design, so Focus Marketing Group assists customers with producing sale catalogs, ad designs, logo designs, and more.

On the Road

Focus Marketing Group creates top-of-the-line websites for cattle operations. Additionally, the company has a team of outstanding photographers that travels to ranches to take photos in order to showcase producers’ operations, family, and livestock at their best. “We cover the entire United States,” Fawcett said. “Our team is located in different areas, and we will travel anywhere in the U.S. for customers.”

Today, most savvy cattle producers have their own social media page to promote their seedstock or show cattle. Focus Marketing Group assists cattle producers with social media management, since there just aren’t enough hours in the day for ranchers and farmers to do everything.

Focus Marketing Group also does show photography at cattle shows, and has photographed at the South Dakota State Fair, Maine-Anjou/Chianina Junior Nationals, Black Hills Stock Show, jackpot shows across the country, and more. “The biggest show we cover as of now is the South Dakota Summer Spotlight,” Fawcett said. “There are more than 1,500 animals and 800 exhibitors for all species. The four-day show is held at the end of July in Huron, S.D.”

Putting Customers First

Fawcett emphasizes solid customer relationships and a willingness to go the extra mile to make things work. Weather sometimes causes rescheduling, and the Focus Marketing Group team regularly puts in late nights to make deadlines. “It has to be a balancing act with doing quality work for every one of your customers, but that will get you noticed,” Fawcett shared. “My favorite part of this job is the relationships with the customers. They become like family, and I love getting to work with them and truly value their trust in hiring me to get the job done.”

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