Small towns across our nation are populated with hard-working Americans living the dream. While every small town tends to share the same timeless appeal, they aren’t easy to label. They’re unique with character, history, and culture. Some small towns are busy and rich with pride and history. They’re often responsible for the growth of the larger communities surrounding them. Other small towns are newer with a community appeal and a much different list of perks. For every small town, one thing rings true: Small Business Marketing is different in small towns.
Common Small Business Marketing practices include paying attention to your competitor and staying one step ahead. Keeping an eye on your competitor’s prices, service list, target markets, and company progression can be key to daily growth. Your online marketing, B2B marketing, and network marketing efforts are designed specifically for your service, product, and company as a stand-alone entity. As a standard small business, these practices are effective and efficient, and applauded! Still, they aren’t enough in a small town.
Small Town Marketing is Community Marketing.
Small Town Example A is a historic town. The Downtown area is small but busy, with consistent daily professionals from the county courthouse. The area is swimming with small offices of lawyers, insurance agencies, and realtors. Main Street is adorned with grand old buildings with interesting historical stories, now home to antique stores, apparel boutiques, cafes, and hobby shops. Standard Small Business Marketing practices would tell you to keep track of the competitors and focus on what you can do better: better service, better products, better experience, better value. In a small town, however, this practice can be very short-sighted.
Small Town Marketing practice would instead encourage the antique shops to work TOGETHER. Form a communication group so that the shops are coordinating on a regular basis. Host a weekly Senior Discount Day or monthly events. Work together so one customer becomes a potential for ALL of the shops. Cooperating with similar shops in the area adds IMMEDIATE VALUE to consumers wanting to visit the town.
Small Town Example B is larger but still operates as a community of its own. The outskirts of the area are continually changing and growing, offering larger retail chain options for shopping, dining, hotels, and perhaps a University. Downtown/Uptown is clearly defined, hosting the smaller cafes and restaurants, shops, tourism, and daily attractions. Small Business advertising will work for small businesses located near the large retail chain stores. The businesses that can benefit from the historic Downtown area perks should take advantage of Small Town marketing directions, too.
For example, Small Town advertising practices would suggest the local jewelers, wedding planners, and venues coordinate and offer every potential customer a full-service experience. When someone visits the town, they are comforted by everyone knowing and supporting each other. Although different entities, the businesses work seamlessly together. Consumers feel the security of hosting in a small town because the whole town is working for their interests.
Small Town Marketing:
Consumers who shop in small towns are looking for the small-town experience. This can mean going against the grain of typical Small Business Marketing practices. If your small business is located in a small town, you have incredible opportunities available that typical small businesses don’t have. If you’re doing your own marketing, consider the facets of Small Town Marketing practices. The mindset of cooperation makes a huge difference in small-town markets. A third-party coordinator, such as a local Marketing Center like VantagePoint Marketing can offer incredible organization benefits and encourage additional traffic into the town as a whole.
Take advantage of Small Town Marketing strategies, while continuing the small business marketing efforts that are returning on your investment. Marketing strategies for small-town locations are important, essential, and fun! They focus on the way YOUR community operates and are fun because they are different and creative avenues not commonly found in typical marketing plans. Contact your local Marketing Center for networking and partnership opportunities and event organization. Every business of a small town should utilize their local Small Business Marketing Center, and as a result, the town grows together.
Do you think this information applies to your small town? Let us know in the comments what works for you in your little corner of the world!
VantagePoint Marketing is proud to practice small business marketing AND small town marketing, both for ourselves and our clients. We have more than just an opportunity to help the business community around us, we have a RESPONSIBILITY to them. We are driven to get any small business in our area to treat us as the hub, connecting with other businesses who are driven to help their shops and the whole town succeed.
Thank you for taking the time to read our small town marketing tips – we hope to hear from you!