Rural Marketing vs. Urban Marketing

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  • 0:03 City vs. Country
  • 1:14 Urban Marketing
  • 3:02 Rural Marketing
  • 4:37 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Marketers who want to reach the right audience with the right message must understand the differences between rural and urban markets. In this lesson, we'll explore the two markets and the best ways to reach them.

City vs. Country

Did you ever hear the story of the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse? The Town Mouse, visiting her Country Mouse relative, is served a modest meal in a cozy setting. When the Country Mouse visits the Town Mouse, however, she is introduced to a fine banquet in a mansion in a more intense environment. The Country Mouse can't even sleep at the Town Mouse's house because she is accustomed to an entirely different lifestyle.

So, why is this children's fable a part of this lesson? Simply, to illustrate the differences between the rural environment of the Country Mouse and the urban setting of the Town Mouse. Both settings are appealing to their respective tenants but are hugely different in experience for its visitors.

Considering the story of the two mice, related but remarkably different, marketers can learn an interesting lesson about how to adjust their marketing messages to reach audiences in each area. In this lesson, we'll look more closely at Town Mouse vs. Country Mouse marketing, or to put it in proper marketing lingo, rural marketing vs. urban marketing.

Because of the differences in the landscape and populations of consumer markets, strategies for reaching urban consumers and rural consumers vary to tailor the right message to the right audience at the right time.

Urban Marketing

Urban marketing would be any marketing strategy that best reaches an urban population, such as those people who reside in large cities or towns. Think New York City, Boston, and Chicago. The urban population is typically more dense and concentrated, with a lot of products and brands to choose from as well as increased exposure to marketing messages.

Individuals in urban environments are frequently more attuned to shopping at malls and larger outlets and favor a range of products that meet their needs over loyalty to a particular brand. They tend to have more exposure to marketing channels, such as those on social media and advertising and sales promotions delivered through store displays and outdoor signage. Urban buyers are accustomed to high-pressure sales and advertising strategies because of the advanced degree of competition inside these markets.

Marketers trying to reach these consumers should key in on words like ''new'' and ''innovative,'' and look to highlight characteristics such as eco-friendly or green benefits and advanced product features that push a product into the category of cutting-edge.

Marketing efforts in this type of environment would need to be customized to reach each target group since the area is more densely populated, as well as be interesting enough to catch a consumer's eye amid the numerous other messages vying for their attention. Sales in an urban environment don't require the one-on-one approach, which could be viewed with suspicion; rather, urban consumers prefer a more hands-off style since they do much of their own research beforehand.

A billboard featuring a new or unusual fashion trend may work well in a highly-saturated area such as New York City's Times Square. The larger and flashier the marketing is in this environment, the better. Other places that marketing could be a focus is in transit channels, such as on trains or in subway stations.

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