Being a native of West Texas (Littlefield to be exact – that’s 45 miles NW of Lubbock and on your way to New Mexico, you might run into great small towns like Shallowater, Muleshoe and Sudan) – this story caught my attention.  I found it on my Google Alerts which I hope is a tool you are using to find relevant content to share on your blog or to share with a client or colleague.  (It’s a great way to have Google do the investigative work for you).

In Lubbock, New York Life has decided to ditch downtown for the suburbs west of town.  In the article, the author speaks of Ben Holman, the managing partner with New York Life Insurance Company’s Lubbock office:

Because he values marketing, he also values demographical information. He saw that new schools and growth are occurring in West Lubbock, and acted accordingly

Holman seems to get it.  One of the long standing Ps of marketing has been PLACE.  Holman understands that while it may seem prestigious to be atop the large buildings of downtown, your impact may be greater where your potential market actually lives.  As you seek to have your prospects know, like and trust you (for more on the marketing principles of Duct Tape Marketing, go here and here), shouldn’t you go to them rather than demanding they find you?

So where are you located?  Are you where your customers are?

(1) Physical location – has your town changed demographically since you opened?  is your ideal client and target market still living nearby?  do you need to consider moving or opening a branch location?  if not, are you making it easy (and enticing) for people to drive long distances to see you?

(2) Web location – are you on the web yet?  I’m still surprised to hear how many small business owners aren’t on the web.  But don’t forget that building a web site is only the first step – you have got to continue to work at your site to get people coming back to it.  Do this through continual fresh and relevant content – this is where integrated blogs work great.  You may use your site to house special promotional coupons, forcing people to go there to get the coupon (and while they are there, possibly they learn about other products and services you offer – or better yet, just more to learn about you, your values, and your story).

(3) Social location – where does your customer/prospect hang out while “in waiting”?  In economic times like we are in, people are holding tight to cash – they are hesitant and studying the situation.  But even now, people seem to be always talking and sharing ideas.  Are they hanging out in social settings where you can interact with them?  Toastmasters, coffee shops, after-hour gatherings, networking meetups, seminars/workshops?  And if you haven’t been paying attention to the reality of social media, it is likely one of the significant tools people will use to survive this economic recession.  Could you begin to use tools like Twitter and Facebook to connect with your market and lure them to your store or website? (for other 2009 predictions from small business gurus, read John Jantsch’s blog at Duct Tape Marketing and find the two posts about “Snack Size” – great comments, too!)

On this topic, we are looking for small business people who are serious about connecting with their target markets – and yet want to know more about this phenomenon of social media.  For only $99, find out how you can GET ONLINE IN ’09!

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