New York State is a vast region that holds one of the most densely populated cities globally and also hundreds of small villages with less than one hundred residents. It’s safe to say that the needs of those located in the different parts of the state vary tremendously. The businesses are no different from the cities they reside in.
Many businesses find themselves having a sizable market in both big cities and small towns at some point in their operation. Due to the inherent differences in the people’s lifestyles and the market ecosystem, it’s easy to fall into using incorrect branding and marketing strategies for whichever market they’re trying to reach. Hence, it’s essential to know which techniques are better for which markets.
Challenges for Big City Marketing
The biggest hurdle in big cities, like Manhattan or even Buffalo, is a crowded market. It’s quite difficult for businesses and their marketing strategies to stand out from among a sea of competitors. Unlike small towns in the middle of the Adirondacks, it isn’t easy to get business from word-of-mouth or online recommendations in big cities since brand reputation and customer loyalty play a significant role in big markets.
Challenges for Small Town Marketing
Although word-of-mouth is a great way to gain business in small towns, it can be significantly harder to bring in new customers because there are fewer potential customers. Small towns also tend to be much more dispersed than big cities, which are more densely packed. That, and ascribing to the fact that traditional marketing is the more efficient form of marketing in small towns, creates additional expenses like travel expenses.
Best Practices for Big City Marketing
Big cities tend to have a much more competitive market base compared to small towns. As such, small businesses should focus on both traditional and online marketing strategies equally. For example, people living in large metropolitans spend a significant amount of time commuting. Effective use of billboards placed in common routes can significantly raise brand awareness.
Though often deemed outdated, radio advertising is another form of traditional marketing that can be highly effective, done correctly. A study shows that 91 percent of adults listen to the radio each week for about one hour and 39 minutes every day during commutes. Keep in mind, though, this is dependent on the city. If the city’s workers travel mostly by subway, radio ads will not be effective.
As a small business owner, you should also focus on creating a robust online presence for your brand by creating a well designed, easy-to-use e-commerce website regularly updated with proper inventories and a strong social media presence. Podcasts that align with your business are also a great way of promoting brand awareness.
Best Practices for Small Town Marketing
Joining accelerators, incubators, or chambers of commerce should be on top of the small-town marketers’ priority list. That can be a great way to build relationships and grow your network, which is crucial for cementing your brand presence in such places. You should also reach out to local newspapers who’ll be more open to covering a new business when compared to large press corporations found in big cities.
Although billboards may not work in small towns simply because most small towns do not own them or the ROI is not there, traditional radio ads do. Many small-town residents also listen to the radio on their daily commutes to and from work. Often small-town residents have commutes that are just as long, if not longer than big-city dwellers, due to fewer employment opportunities in small towns.
When it comes to building on your brand presence, you shouldn’t ignore online marketing, and business owners should develop a robust online presence just as in big cities. Sponsoring and co-sponsoring charity events and a community advocate as a business may significantly increase your brand’s likability.
Pitfalls to Avoid for Big City Marketing
Traditional marketing, especially billboard and radio advertising, are still a highly effective means of getting new business. Thus, companies should invest in both conventional and online marketing to maximize their returns.
As an aspiring business owner, you should focus on developing personal connections and networking and not neglect them in favor of marketing campaigns. Having strong personal relationships can help you get business from large corporations that might not consider you otherwise. Bigger cities always host networking events because it’s a great way to meet people both professionally and personally.
Pitfalls to Avoid for Small Town Marketing
Since internet availability is still an issue in many small towns and rural America, you should invest in radio advertising and TV advertising campaigns as a small business owner. It’ll improve your reach with as many people as possible, including those without proper access to the internet.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect your online presence in small towns. Word-of-mouth marketing can only get you so far. Online websites and advertisements will help you sustain new clients when word-of-mouth marketing starts falling short.
A Common Solution for Both
Regardless of where you’re located throughout the state of New York, you can always opt for help with your small business branding and marketing needs. Whether you’re struggling because you just don’t know how to begin or if you just simply don’t have the time to put toward branding and advertising, there’s an agency to help get your business on track.
Start your search of finding a digital branding agency service in NY by following the best practices for marketing mentioned above. If you’re in a smaller city, ask other business owners you know who they would recommend. If you’re in a larger city, like NYC, you may want to start your search online.
Figure Out the Right Balance
Big cities and small towns have key lifestyle differences. For example, while word-of-mouth marketing can be an extremely effective means of marketing in smaller cities, it doesn’t always work well in big cities. However, this does not mean that metropolitan businesses should avoid it altogether. Instead, you should rely less on it and focus more on other forms of marketing.