The mission of to assist rural microenterprises in adopting a systems - based quality orientation, lean thinking principles and the tactics of Six Sigma necessary for relationship-based marketing.  Relationship-based marketing is based upon investing heavily in the customer relationship and knowledge of the customer in order to provide optimal service -- this understanding is critically important in order to design a product and produce what exactly matters most in the eyes of the customer.   The formation of is not yet complete; a business plan is in progress. Logo

The Rural Microenterprise Marketing Information Technology project will support the marketing and inventory management systems of rural microentrepreneurs by engineering appropriate open source software for customer relationship management, process and inventory management and quality improvement.  

If you have a strong and abiding interest in making a contribution in this area, please consider joining this open source project.  At a minimum, you will definitely want to visit the Salebarn Wiki (a MoinMoin Python WikiClone based on PikiWiki).

Publicity, Sales, Relationship

Marketing sorts levels of participation as it focuses priorities, values, commitments

In order to understand the Salebarn marketing methodology it is necessary to think in terms of a very large processing or sorting funnel.  At the outer edge of the funnel, the publicity campaign reaches out to the universe of probable stake holders or those who are perhaps likely to have interest or inclination to becoming customer.  At the other end of the funnel are customers who are so loyal that they not only tell their friends and family about the product, but they also invest in the organization, become mentors and directors and begin to shape the organization by assisting in strategically directing the future products and ventures.

  1. Publicity:  Reaching Out, Becoming a Trusted Source of Knowledge -- 250,000 - 1,000,000 members -- This is about public relations and spreading the word through every measure possible [except for advertising].  Good public relations involves being accessible to members of the press, opinion leaders and those who rely on 5-minute phone calls an similarly brief, high-value sources of knowledge to provide information to the public as the need arises.  In general, this involves becoming known as source of knowledge in areas related to the product ... for web-intensive ventures, this involves efforts to establish search engine prominence.  In other words, during the course of one year, the goal for this level of the marketing funnel is to have 250,000 - 1,000,000 people who have been exposed to organization and/or its product -- at this level of involvement, we must recognize that very few will even remember the event.
  2. Establishing "Shared Values" Network -- 50,000 - 250,000 members -- This is about creating a very concrete vision of what the organization stands for.  It is necessary to elaborate on exactly what needs the the product will fill.  The information in this case is one order of magnitude more detailed than a 5-minute speech, but it still is fairly abstract and offers only a minimal elaboration on the bullet-points.  An example of this type of effort would be a magazine or newspaper article or a 30 minute presentation at a conference with Q&A following.  In other words, during the course of one year, the goal for this level of the marketing funnel is to have 50,000 - 250,000 people who have devoted 30 minutes of attention to organization and its product by reading an article, listening to a presentation or watching an infomercial.
  3. Serving the Community of Interest -- 10000 - 50000 members -- At this point, the marketing efforts starts taking physical addresses and/or email addresses and sending our newletters, offers and solicitations to people who are very likely to be interested in the product (i.e. people or businesses on a highly-targeted list in which the validity of every contact is validated) or have actually expressed at least passing interest in the product in some fashion (e.g. registration at a website for a trial download, signing up to win a product giveaway at a convention or show).  An example of this type of effort would be a quarterly newsletter sent out to 10,000 - 50,000 people.
  4. Paying Customers -- 1000 - 10000 members -- This is where the marketing database starts getting much more serious with information like credit card numbers, shipping preferences and detailed requirements and surveys from people who have actually parted with their cash to try the product ...even though the product may be offered with a coupon or rebate, via an eBay auction.  Each of the 1000 10,000 paying customers should receive a something in the way of a targetted email [per preferences listed in the database] or similiar semi-automated, yet individually-pertinent news update from the organization. 
  5. Preaching to the Choir, Energizing the Faithful in the Congregation -- 100 - 1000 members -- At this point, the marketing effort begins to make a more serious investment in the relationship.  Typically, this involves asking the customer to participate in a trial of a new product [at no charge], to participate in a focus group, to have lunch with the organizations management, etc.  The intention is twofold:  1) the customers can provide critically important information to improve the product and expand market share and 2) it is necessary to recruit some of these loyal customers for assistance at the next level. Each of the 100 - 1000 loyal and faithful customers should receive a something during the year in the way of a personal phone call or visit from a manager in the organization.
  6. The Zealous Evangelists and Apostles -- 25 - 100 members -- At this point, the marketing effort begins to ask the customer to make an investment in the relationship.  Typically, this might involve asking the customer for endorsement, participation in product demonstrations [with compensation as appropriate], or even for the customer to consider employment with the organization.  Once again, the intention is twofold:  1) these  customer evangelists can lend even greater trust and credibility to the product as they become part of the effort to improve it and 2) it is necessary to recruit some of the most zealous customers for assistance at the next level.   At a minimum, each of the 25 - 100 zealous customers should have dinner with a manager in the organization at some point during the year.
  7. Investors, Mentors, Co-Founders -- 10 - 25 members -- At this point, the marketing effort begins to ask the customer to make a substantial commitment to the organization.  In fact, these 'customers' will be responsible for shaping and leading organization, perhaps by serving on the organizations Board of Directors.  At a minimum, each of the 10 - 25 investors, mentors and co-founders should meet as a group on a quarterly or even monthly basis.

Reputable Marketing

Identity, Discipline, Investment

Solutions, Innovations, Ideas

Involvement, Collaboration, Sustainability

Relationship-Based Marketing

Exploiting Technology for Improved Outreach and One-to-One Communication

Requirements-Based Product Design, Quality Function Deployment

Channel Diversification, Involving Customers in the Organization

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