Advice On Reaching The Ruralpolitans

Chuck Zimmerman

ZimmCast-191 - Targeting The Rural Lifestyle MarketIn this week’s ZimmCast you’ll hear the viewpoints of two industry leading experts on the rural lifestyle market. It seems like this is all anyone wants to talk about in the agrimarketing world these days. Keep your eye on AgWired if you’d like to learn more about it.

Dennis DoughertyThe Marketing Director for John Deere Commercial and Consumer Equipment is Dennis Docherty. He says that the ruralpolitans have a strong desire to re-connect with the land and try to bring back a lifestyle that was very common decades ago. He views their dealer organization as the primary tool to communicate with people in this market category.

While I talked with him he told an interesting anecdote about visiting with their Ocala, FL dealer who met a gentleman from the west coast who wanted to move to the country locally and approached him to ask his advice, including walking the property with him even before he bought it. He uses this as an example of how important the local dealer is, who often gets very involved in their community. I also thought it was interesting how important being in touch with local real estate agents is.

Dennis says the internet is very important since these are people who are searching for information online. He says you really have to develop a network that includes your local retail partners, the media and having a good internet presence.

P Allen SmithP. Allen Smith is “an award-winning garden designer and host of the public television program, P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home and the syndicated 30-minute show P. Allen Smith Gardens. He has emerged as America’s most recognized and respected garden design expert, providing ideas and inspiration through multiple media venues.”

He confirms that the ruralpolitan “longs to be on the land whether that’s 3 or 300 acres.” He says education is the key to this market and that organizations should make sure they’re providing opportunities for it. He lives the lifestyle himself and has his studios on his farm. He says, “My farm is my golf.” He does have a relationship with John Deere and uses a lot of their equipment. When he designed his gardens he made sure he had “Gator-sized paths.” For advice he says, “Listen to your customers” and he polls his audience 5 to 6 times a year.

The program this week ends with music from the Podsafe Music Network. This one is called “Gator Bait” from Robb McMahan. I hope you enjoy it and thank you for listening.

You can download and listen to the ZimmCast here: Listen To ZimmCastZimmCast 191 (22 min MP3)

Or listen to this week’s ZimmCast right now:Interviews with Dennis Dougherty and P. Allen Smith - ZimmCast 191

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