Northern California’s Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI) is an economic development non-profit which has developed a (deserved) national reputation for their innovative approaches to rural wealth building.
To help their rural, small-business entrepreneurs access global markets and compete with bigger – and more centrally located – organizations, JEDI is looking to Internet marketing. Accordingly, they asked me to teach segments in online marketing to a class of entrepreneurs, and also wanted a workshop on interactive Web 2.0 marketing.
The workshop was a sellout (we’re scheduling a second to meet demand), and working with the entrepreneurs was gratifying.
My message was simple: small businesses can out-compete bigger organizations online — especially when using interactive “engagement” methods. Engaging with customers and prospects via shared values and passions is much easier for smaller companies, who — due to smaller customer acquisition budgets — need to do a better job retaining customers.
Engagement marketing techniques are a natural for entrepreneurs looking to compete and win in tough online markets, and JEDI’s entrepreneurs immediately grasped that thinking.
As technology recedes, and values-driven content comes to the fore, the technology advantage enjoyed by larger businesses will erode. It’s a good time to be an entrepreneur.