Running a business in a rural setup or small town is a challenging experience. You have to overcome the challenges caused by inadequate infrastructure and entice conservative and stubborn customers to buy your products. You need to be smart and adopt an aggressive and objective marketing strategy in order to succeed. Here are some of the best marketing ideas you might want to consider.
Consider the Demographics
The first thing you need to do is to figure out who your customers are. Get to know how they spend their time and what they are interested in. Knowing what your customers love and how they spend their time will enable you to channel your products to the correct client base. It is also important to look at the demographics of the area before you begin to market. Find out whether the community has many children or stay at home parents. Get to know the local language, population and existing infrastructure.
Establish Yourself As an Expert
You need to stand out from the rest in order to gain a competitive advantage. You can do this by establishing yourself as an expert in your industry or a reliable source of information. Share your knowledge with the locals and let them know that you are the key source of solutions to their problems. You can share your knowledge by writing in a local newspaper, hosting seminars during weekends or creating a blog as part of your website.
People in rural areas love to do business with those they know, trust and like. Make the locals like and trust you by connecting with them on a personal level. Walk around the area and get to know people by their names. Do not buy your groceries and run your errands in another town. Get everything you need from the local shops and grocery stores. Support the local butchers, banks, salons and any other business that offers the services you require. Attend local business and social events to meet and share with new people.
Have a Good Internet Connection
You need to make sure that people can find you online. Unfortunately, rural areas do not have high internet speeds due to the enormous cost of installations and maintenance. However, there are some companies that provide remote internet access at high speeds. You can get 3G or 4G wireless rural internet at affordable rates from them. You can also call your phone company and inquire if they have an ISDN line. This option is not the fastest, but it is better than having nothing.
Build Trust and Reputation
Word of mouth referrals are invaluable marketing assets in rural setups. They are good ways to get the name of your company out there without spending a penny. Before you get referrals, you must have the customers’ trust. Those who trust your business will be more than willing to encourage their friends, family members or workmates to buy products from you.
Add Personality to Your Business
Adding more personality to your business brings customers closer to you, leading to long-term engagements. Use photos of you and the staff in your promotional materials. Refer to your customers by names and always be there for them whenever there is a problem.
Offer Discounts and Promotions
Offering product promotions is a great way to get people into your business without straining. The incentives will give the customers a reason to go to your premises and check them out. Even if a customer does not like your products, he will be more than willing to tell others about your business.
Embracing more than one marketing technique in a rural setup can lead to a huge client base and increased sales volumes. You simply need to study the locals, be personable, create many connections and have a strong online presence. You should also remember that you are serving a smaller group, so each action you take will be closely monitored and evaluated.
Erik is a master’s level career counselor with a specialization in sales and marketing. He is internationally certified as a Career Management Practitioner (CMP) by the Institute for Career Certification International and have been recognized as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board for Certified Counselors.