We talk about visibility, profile or awareness all the time but few of us actually walk our talk. We pay lip service to it, don't know how to do it or worse, fail to fire a shot at all.
The real question should be: what unique position do you want to own in the market's mind?
Customers already expect quality or innovation so please, please, please never use these are they are expected givens and table stakes which is the price of entry to play with any customer.
Positioning is powerful and the best book I read on it is Al Ries and Jack Trout (called, funnily enough Positioning - I recommend you go and buy it now). What customers think and feel about you and your brand is directly correlated to if they will buy.
What are you doing to ensure your rural brand is out there being promoted (sight) and positioned (mind) effectively?
Forget efficiency because if no one sees it it doesn't matter how efficient you've been. You need to focus your energy and efforts on being effective.
I'm seeing huge wastage in Facebook, digital ads and traditional advertising. The intent is well-meant but the execution is often poor which makes it highly ineffective.
Must of it fails what I call the "flick test". It fails to stop people to stop and take notice because it says nothing interesting or commits the cardinal sin of "we language" vs "me language", serving their own interests rather than those of their customer (tip: if your post title or description starts with or includes the "I" word I delete it and unfollow your account, you should set the same rule so your wall feed becomes better).
As Jeff Ross, 42 Below founder and author of a brilliant book Every Bastard Says No reminds us: "everyone is doing their best to ignore your crap".
So much marketing is missing the mark because it doesn't say anything useful. It's like it was created in a bubble with no regard to its value for the end customer.
My personal favourites are emails, conferences, media columns and blogs. Some might say it's old fashioned but at least I know when it's been read or clicked on.
I focus on a "3 legged stool" as a minimum because you can't rely on lead generation using a pogo stick. If you want your lead generation system to be stable, it needs many legs, maybe even five like the diagram below:
What would be the legs to your marketing stool?
Have you tested them against each other to see which ones work best?
Have you put Fieldays against local demo days instead? Earnt media vs paid? Email vs. blog? Webinar vs. workshop? You don't know which works best till you test.
When I write content, I often get messages from people simply because I've prompted them that I'm still here. Often they hit me up with a requests unrelated to the subject I shared.
You could and should do the same.
What ways can you share your knowledge and help your customers?
What's the one thing that would help them be a better business?
What could you share or teach as a tool or technique that helps them grow?
What piece of content could you create that customers are willing to exchange for their email?
You should never assume your customers are waking up thinking about you. They're too busy and only interested in themselves. It's all about them and nothing about you. You should be dedicating half your time thinking about how you can help solve their problems.
How can you activate or trigger them to turn their heads and take notice? What could you say or do that got them thinking, or better, feeling? What could you say that makes them smarter and more well-informed vs. ill-advised?
Here's one: help you customer not make mistakes
Show them how because every customer wants to make the best decision. They will love you for it.