A person walking on a fallen tree to represent a 10 Step Strategy to Market

Follow our 10 step strategy to market your rural business

Marketing is much more than a logo and a leaflet and there are many definitions. As you will see from the image below marketing covers everything from your product (or service) right through to your processes and physical environment. Our 10 step strategy to market your rural business assumes that you are already working on most of these elements and are now focusing your time on how to promote your business.

So where do we start our 10 step strategy?

1. Know your why

We start by knowing your why. I’ve written about this before in I believe in supporting businesses. In his TED Talk Simon Sinek explained that most businesses know what they do, some know how they do what they do – most however don’t know why they do what they do. Simon stresses that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

Before you read any more, watch Simon’s TED Talk, it will be 18 minutes of your time well spent.

2. Write down your values

The second step in our 10 step strategy is to write down your core values. Values are the beliefs, philosophies, and principles that drive you and therefore your business. Your values impact the relationship you develop with your employees and your customers. In their blog Company Values: Definition, Importance and Examples, Smarp explains that having a set of specific and unique core values can be a highly competitive advantage.

They ask us to think about it: if we manage to build a relationship with our customers based on the values we share, we’re most likely going to strengthen this relationship because it is built on common beliefs and principles. 

3. Look externally

Step 3 is to look externally. Have you heard of a PESTLE analysis before? If not, don’t worry as you are more than likely doing one subconsciously. PESTLE stands for:

  • Political
  • Economic
  • Socio-cultural
  • Technology
  • Legal
  • Environment

The framework helps you to focus on what’s happening externally. This will alert you to what might affect your business in the future and how you can best respond. What threats and opportunities are on the horizon?

4. Know your strengths (and weaknesses)

The fourth step is to know how well you function as a business. I’m sure you’ve heard of a SWOT analysis before and more than likely been made to do one within a 10-minute time limit (which is impossible right?!). The idea is to begin to understand your business strengths and weaknesses so you can be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities looming (in that external environment) and minimise weaknesses to head off those treats. If you can, write them down.

5. Who is your perfect customer?

Unless you are Coca Cola you cannot sell your product or service to everyone – fact. I bet you’ve already got some idea of who your perfect customer is but have you got it down on paper? You may have heard about customer or buyer personas? These are visual, semi-fictional representatives of your ideal customers based on data and research. Good buyer personas help you focus your marketing communications and thus save you time.

Check out HubSpot’s How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your Business (which includes a free persona template).

We’re now halfway through our 10 step strategy to market your rural business – are you still with me?!

6. Know the customer journey

I love the image above which visually represents the customer journey. It breaks down the stages your perfect customer may be at and therefore the different types of information they might need. Knowing your perfect customer and where they are on their customer journey is key to the next few steps of our 10 step strategy to market your rural business.

7. Set your SMART goals

Now we know our why, core values, what’s going on externally, our strengths and weaknesses, our perect customer and customer journey, we need to set a SMART goal. SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Achieveable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

So step 7 is to write your SMART goal down and send it to someone to hold you to account. Members of Rural Business Network have access to regular ‘Set your Goals‘ 1:2:1 sessions with our founder Jo Martin.

8. Break it down

Now you’ve got your SMART goal, the next step in our 10 step strategy is to break your goal down into smaller chunks, to help you get from A to B. Many people call these objectives and like your goal, they should be SMART.

9. Decide on tactics

It’s only now, at step 9 of our 10 step strategy that you should decide what tactics to use to promote your business. Tactics can be anything from writing a letter (yes, old school is coming back!) to which social media platform you should prioritise. There’s no point spending time on Twitter if your perfect customer is not there. Whatever you do though, aim to be consistent and make sure you drive your new and existing customers to your website.

10. Review – everything!

Review, review, review! How do you know if something is working or not working? Review your tactics regularly and if something is not working as you’d hoped, try something else. Review your objectives, your goal, your customer journey and your perfect customer. Make it a habit as it’s the only way we can improve.

That’s the end of our 10 step strategy to market your rural business, I hope you’ve found it useful and a good starting point.

Join Rural Business Network now to access our member-only online ‘What is Marketing?‘ event taking place on Thursday 25th November at 10.30am.

Rural Business Network – supporting your rural business journey

We are a UK-wide community of farming families and rural business owners who want to learn, connect and grow our businesses.

How do we support you?

  • We run member-only events, where you will learn from experts on a wide range of subjects from business planning and marketing to regenerative agriculture and tourism trends. Most events are recorded so you can watch them on-demand if you are too busy to attend.
  • We send a well-regarded weekly e-Newsletter with updates, industry news and opportunities. Don’t worry, they are short and to the point!
  • We provide opportunities to talk to people in a similar situation, at events, in our Facebook Group and in our WhatsApp groups.
  • We will connect you to other organisations that can help.

All for just £5+VAT per month.  Join us now.

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