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madeline issenhart

Kuhn

Madeline Issenhart, web marketing manager

World leader in farm machinery

An agricultural machinery manufacturer based in Saverne, Alsace, Kuhn has been enjoying major international growth since the 2000s, with production sites in the USA, the Netherlands, Brazil and Argentina. Kuhn’s web marketing manager, Madeline Issenhart, describes the company’s strategy, which places the internet at the heart of its marketing tools.

Founded in 1828 and headed by Thierry Krier since 2014, the Alsace-based company has become a world-leading manufacturer of agricultural machinery. It makes machinery for large-scale farming (ploughs, seed drills, manure spreaders, etc.), livestock management machines (Kuhn is the leading manufacturer of disc mowers worldwide) and landscape maintenance equipment. It employs 4,540 members of staff, close to 2,000 of them in France working at five sites in Saverne and Monswiller as well as in western France (Châteaubriant, Cheméré and La Copechagnière).

Kuhn has been selling its products internationally since the 1950s in over 100 countries. It launched a strategy for international industrial development in the 2000s with the takeover of overseas companies, such as American brands Knight (2002) and Krause (2011) in the USA, and seeding unit manufacturer Metasa (2005) and sprayer manufacturer Montana (2010) in Brazil. As a result, the company’s turnover reached 994 million euros in 2015 across three key markets, France, Germany and the USA.

21 websites for 21 countries 

Kuhn’s website policy has a resolutely international focus. “As well as the corporate website available in four languages (French, English, German and Spanish), we have 21 sites corresponding to the 21 different countries where Kuhn operates,” specifies Madeline Issenhart, the company’s web marketing manager. “Each website has a dedicated local webmaster who is both a farm machinery specialist and marketing expert.”

In addition to these websites, Kuhn has created two theme-based sites: one dedicated to landscape maintenance equipment (in French and English), the other focused on hay-making machines (in six languages). The online product catalogue is updated twice a year, in May and September.

“Thanks to Europages, we appear in the top search engine results”

Kuhn has been registered with Europages for six years. Madeline Issenhart feels that the company’s Europages membership “means we are mentioned on trade websites and included in the top ranking of search engine results.” She adds, “We find the B2B aspect valuable in establishing relationships with new suppliers.” When it comes to social media, Kuhn makes different use of them depending on the country, as Madeline Issenhart explains: “In France we tend to focus on Facebook, while in England we make more use of Twitter.” Kuhn also places display advertising on specialist farming websites as well as running email marketing campaigns.

“Devise your strategy before taking action.”

“If I have one piece of advice to give in terms of international development, it would be to devise your strategy before taking action. It is important to be open to taking all the good advice you can and to take into account your client’s background and needs. Successful marketing actions depend on knowing your clients inside out and constantly monitoring their purchasing habits,” underlines Madeline Issenhart.

E*Page: Kuhn

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