Summer  2008      Vol. 17, No. 3  REAP HOME PAGE  A publication of the Center for Rural Affairs    
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Marketing Seminars Show How to Get Big Results

Is there really a market for your product or service? That’s one of the key questions you need to answer as you consider your business and your marketing budget, according to David Buchholz with David & Associates in Hastings, Neb.

In May, the REAP Women’s Business Center collaborated with local economic development organizations in North Central Nebraska to offer marketing seminars presented by Buchholz. Seminars were held in O’Neill in partnership with Holt County Economic Development, Ainsworth in partnership with the North Central Development Center (NCDC), and Valentine in partnership with the Valentine/Cherry County Economic Development Board.

The Broken Bow Chamber and Valley County Economic Development partnered with the REAP-WBC to host Buchholz in Broken Bow and Ord in June. Business owners and/or community leaders gained a new appreciation of marketing efforts after attending one of these sessions.

Dave Buchholz distinguished between “selling” and “marketing” and emphasized the importance of “marketing” – which is customer-focused rather than seller-focused.

Price vs. Value was discussed. Price is only one factor in a purchasing decision. Other factors are quality, selection, service, location, convenience, uniqueness, and many others.

What is important to your customers? The seller has to provide the customer logical reasons to justify their purchases, especially if they made an emotional buying decision. Make sure to identify the benefits to your customer in relation to the features of the product or service.

Buchholz identified three ways to build your business:

  1. Get more customers.
  2. Increase the frequency of purchases from existing customers.
  3. Increase the average purchase from existing customers.

It’s critical to realize the importance of taking care of current customers.

A Marketing Calendar is essential for budgeting and planning, in Buchholz’s opinion. It provides one the ability to say “No” to requests for “donations” if the budget is allocated or expended. It allows for evaluation and adaptation as times change. The calendar should be flexible. It is also critical to track any marketing and advertising activities implemented to know if they increased sales.

The advantages and disadvantages of various advertising venues were discussed. Internet marketing and web site hints included: make contact information easy to find; have a memorable URL (your web address) and ensure it is on all materials.

Other tips included the importance of using testimonials to develop credibility, partner with other
companies, share mailing lists, joint promotions, offer in-store seminars, send thank you’s, and make follow-up calls.

Participants in these seminars indicated their knowledge and skill level increased from the information presented. We plan to hold more of these sessions in the coming months. Please contact your REAP Business Specialist if you are interested in having a Marketing session in your area.

For more information, contact Monica Braun, REAP-WBC Director, at  or 402.643.2673.
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