Marketing Strategies in the ‘Digital Age’

August 7, 2019

How rural businesses can use technology to grow and find a solid consumer base.

Photo courtesy of <a href=httpsunsplashcomwillfrancis>Will Francis via Unsplash<a>

How many ads have you seen today? Stop and really think about it–you might lose count by lunchtime. As the CEO of a successful marketing group, I have watched the technology boom and how it has influenced the world of marketing and communication. With the world moving so fast, what does marketing look like these days? Much like technology, marketing is on the rise.

Back in 2004, only fifteen years ago, Blackberry was the king of “connected devices” and MySpace ruled social media. Small to mid-size businesses were starting to utilize the web to generate leads for their business. That was the case at a car dealership that I had worked back then. At that time, many people in sales struggled to see the value in these online leads, citing a variety of reasons–but the truth was, they just didn’t know how to leverage the technology.

Through the use of marketing automation, email marketing, online advertising and continuous optimization the dealership was able to be successful marketing online. These tools have gotten more sophisticated with time, but the marketing teams that explored these new avenues through trial and error were the most successful. This is all because they saw the way that technology and communication were changing and took advantage of it.

I’ve been hooked on the implementation of technology in marketing and sales ever since.

Target Marketing media channel study
<a href=httpswwwtargetmarketingmagcom>httpswwwtargetmarketingmagcom<a>

How Technology Has Grown in Rural Areas

It’s not only urban and suburban areas that are tech-savvy anymore. Technology in rural areas is on the rise, and the tech-gap between both worlds is growing ever smaller. Despite rural communities “lagging,” three-fourths of rural citizens have a smartphone.

A higher percentage of people now own a smartphone as opposed to a laptop or desktop computer. A whopping seventy-six percent of people living in rural areas claim to use the internet every day. Yet, only forty-nine percent of rural businesses have a website. This presents a great opportunity for these small companies in rural communities.

A higher percentage of people now own a smartphone as opposed to a laptop or desktop computer.

Marketing is essential for all businesses, especially rural ones, and online marketing is the best route. Many times, companies will compensate for the lack of a marketing team with a larger sales team, but the two teams have to work together. You can’t just assume that everyone in your community and the surrounding areas you serve knows who you are.

There’s also a very good chance that you don’t own the entire market share of your area–you have to stand out within your market. Marketing helps build brand recognition and awareness, the foundations on which successful businesses are built.

Marketing Strategies Must Account for the New Channel Mix

Technology has expanded and changed drastically in the last fifteen years. MySpace and Blackberry may have died out, but their contributions to how we communicate and consume information have not. They paved the way for how we connect with the world today. Social media has expanded with dozens of platforms for people to connect and share with people of similar interests.

Smartphones boast ten times the power of early PCs and laptop computers, and nearly everyone has one in their pocket. A website, social media presence, and content marketing is a must for any business that hopes to be successful.

While the channels have relatively stayed the same, the marketing game itself has changed. Print advertising, radio, television, and direct mail still remain but how they are used by marketers and consumers is totally different. These “traditional” marketing channels are dominated by regional and national businesses with larger marketing budgets.

New media marketing allows you to tailor your messages to a targeted audience and interact on a deeper level–all with a more restrained budget. Simply put, online channels are growing while traditional ones are shrinking.

Customers in today’s world aren’t just looking to be “sold.” They are looking to be educated about what they are consuming. They utilize search engines, read reviews, or ask for suggestions from friends on social media. All of these channels have one thing in common–the internet.

Don’t make the same mistakes my colleagues did fifteen years ago and shrug technology off. Embrace it, learn how to leverage it, and you will get results. Learn more at NuRev.

  Certified Call Rail Partner
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