Every three months, I make a trip out to rural Australia (Charters Towers) to meet with  a number of clients.

From the moment I get out of the plane in Townsville, I instantly am in a different place. The weather is hot and humid – all year round. The people are very friendly and if you don’t say a dozen hello’s as you are walking through the terminal, you are either rude or have blinkers on. The atmosphere is relaxed… almost in a sleepy way.

And… the traffic – there is very little and therefore no excuse for being late to a meeting.

Charters Towers has just over 10,000 people in it. It is a true country town, with Queenslanders (homesteads) throughout, dry garden beds and statues of everything from a bull to a country music star. It’s a bit dusty but as you drive down the main street, the country and historic charm that only Charters Towers can boast, is simply beautiful.

Meetings with clients aren’t like they are in the city. First of all, the way you dress is everything. No 6 inch heels here! Flats is most acceptable. Neat attire but absolutely no suits. And… you do need to talk a bit slower. Now the latter isn’t in a negative way, but simply importantly  because there is no rush and why should there be? That’s for the city folk afterall.

Stress levels are considerably lower in the country with most people satisfied with their lot in life. It makes you realise just how superficial lives can become when influenced by the demands of city life.

Knowing your target audience is imperative. Understanding their needs and ways of doing business is the only way to success. Having a cup of team and not scheduling another meeting in the same door is equally as important.

Tips for doing business in the country;
  • Slow down and talk in the same language as your audience
  • Dress appropriately for the climate and area
  • Listen to what they have to say
  • Don’t try to be too fancy and definately don’t turn your nose up at anything
  • Be happy to stay in a motel or eat at the local diner or pub
  • Understand your client, their business and their target audience and make sure you keep this in mind through every step of your ’sell’ process

Marketing in Charters Towers or marketing in rural areas is inherently different as the market is completely different. Too many marketers forget this and try a one size fits all approach to marketing and then wonder why they have failed.

What is your rural marketing story? Have you every done business in rural Australia and learned a very important lesson? Please share!

Marketing Eye

Marketing Eye is Australia’s leading small business marketing company with clients throughout Australia and overseas. For a professional marketing consultant that understands small business, why not ring Marketing Eye today? www.marketingeye.com.au
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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