Rural Business Marketing – Using the New 5 P’s of Marketing Part II

by Joanne Steele on November 30, 2010

In this three part series we’ve been looking at the New 5 P’s of Marketing as proposed by marketing expert, Tom Patty. Here are the first two segments:

Rural Business and The New Five P’s of Marketing
Rural Business Marketing – Using the New 5 P’s to Make Money

Today we’ll be looking at the last three P’s, Paradigm, Persuasion and Passion. I’d love to hear your comments on this series…


chick hatching out of the Earth3. Paradigm: ‘A pattern example, a model way of doing things.’

– Oxford English Dictionary

According to Tom Patty, “The most critical thing to understand about a paradigm is that in a paradigm shift, everything goes back to zero. What does that mean? It means that whatever made you successful in the old paradigm may not even be necessary in the new paradigm. For example, if you are the best blacksmith in the world, these skills don’t help you when the paradigm shifts from horse-drawn carriage to the automobile. In order to master the third P, Paradigm, you must be able to identify the paradigm shifts that are going on around you and position yourself accordingly.”

What does a paradigm shift mean for you?

What you do and are as a resident and purveyor of a “rural experience” is suddenly very attractive to people living and working in urban areas. The opportunity behind the shift is immense, but while we work to preserve our lifestyle, we need to improve our communications in order to get the word out – broadband. The paradigm shift of this century is in communications and in order to succeed, we must be able to communicate about ourselves using the channels our customers are using, internet and mobile technology.

Taking advantage of the paradigm shift means mastering these new internet and mobile technologies and using them to communicate with prospective visitors about how our small town lifestyle meets their needs and desires. The Paradigm Shift is not only about what we communicate but about how we communicate. Our new “front porch with the rocking chair” is our website, our new “coffee clatch” takes place on Facebook rather than the corner drugstore. We find the latest “gossip” on Yelp and TripAdvisor.

4. Persuasion:  ‘To induce someone to think or do something.’

– Oxford English Dictionary

Persuasion is based on trust, the content of the message and the understanding and involvement of the person being persuaded.

Trust is built through your own online message on your website and being in dialog with your customers through a blog, comments in other areas online, and social media like Twitter and Facebook. The only axis of control of your message is your awareness of what is being said and willingness to interact and be responsive.

Advertising is not a trusted source of information according to every survey ever taken, yet it’s the first place a small business looks to, to get their message out.  Curious…

Persuasion involves the content of your message. This is called content marketing. More than ever before content marketing is the basis of your success. Is your message all buy, buy, buy, or are you also giving away helpful information and advice? You earn trust over time and build relationships by providing people the information they need. Tom Patty says, “People buy holes, not drill bits; they buy hope, not perfume.”

To get the involvement of the prospective customer being persuaded, you have to know what motivates that person. Male or female? How does he/she dress? Does he/she have a family? What keeps him/her up at night. What does he/she wish for him/herself?

For rural tourism businesses this is not rocket science. You do what you do because you’re passionate about it. Those customers you need to persuade are well known to you. In many ways, they resemble you, or you spend enough time with them everyday in your business to know them intimately.

I have worked with many small business owners who have trouble with this because they’re afraid if they target too narrowly, people who don’t fit their profile will be lost to their business.

The reality these days is that with long-tail marketing and very detailed Google searches used to find you online, you’re going to be found by the people whose needs you are focused on. If you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one.

One client of mine does a very specialized type of massage. The people who currently pay her bills are active seniors with chronic pain. Her ideal market is athletes trying to improve their performance. Each requires a very focused and targeted online message. It’s easy to see that trying to reach both of these groups with one general message wouldn’t persuade anyone!

5. Passion:  ‘An eager outreaching of the mind towards something. An aim or object pursued with zeal or enthusiasm.’

– Oxford English Dictionary

In order to succeed as an entrepreneur in the 21st century you have to have passion for what you do. And, as part of your marketing, that passion has to infect your customer. Think about the difference between being greeted by a shopkeeper in a small town who owns the store, does the buying and is the one who opens up and closes everyday, and that greeter at the door in every WalMart these days. WalMart understands the role of passion in marketing and is trying to duplicate what we have in small, locally owned businesses!

We in rural communities are passionate about our towns, our lifestyle and our businesses. The challenge is to use the other 4 p’s  to convey that passion to our customers.

Want to do more reading on some of these topics? Try these past posts:

Photo on Flickr by  Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig

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