Preface To:
"How To Market, Advertise And Promote
Your Business Or Service In A Small Town"

by Dr. Mike Reilly, Ph.D., Montana State University

When Tom Egelhoff asked me to write the preface to his new book on Small Town Marketing, I had no idea he was actually going to blame me for the whole project. However, while reading the introduction I discovered that he attributed the notion to write a small town marketing book to a conversation we had several years ago. While I don't remember having that conversation, and therefore can plausibly deny all responsibility for the end product, I was interested in reading the manuscript.

I can bluntly say, as a marketing professor for over 20 years, that this is the most practical and usable help for people to market small businesses in small towns that I've ever seen. By using lots of examples and talking in non-technical language, Tom has made the secrets of marketing a business in a small town intellectually available to a wide audience. There are lots of good ideas here, even for folks with lots of experience.

As you read through the book, I would encourage you to apply the concepts to your business. While you'll find some outstanding ideas that you can apply immediately, the real benefit of the book will come from better understanding the perspective that is needed to successfully operate any business in the challenging environment of small towns. As Tom clearly points out, small towns typically don't provide a continual flow of new customers. Tactics that will work successfully in larger cities often fail miserably. Market research data, information on the audience of media, demographic information, economic data, and a variety of other resources that can help guide decisions in more populated areas are typically sketchy or absent in smaller towns.

Despite this, small business owners make marketing decisions daily that can have substantial positive or negative impact. Prior to this book, there has been little in the way of guidance. I am very familiar with most of the academic and popular literature on marketing, and find little of it to be of much use for most of my small business consulting clients, because it is broad, general and frequently describes tactics that may be appropriate for a large manufacturer, but difficult to translate to a small business scale.

Tom's book does an excellent job of adapting traditional marketing thought and technology to the unique problems of small towns. If you're marketing a small business in a small town, there is no better source of information available.

I intend to distribute this manuscript to small town clients for whom I provide marketing consulting service. I think you'll find it to be helpful and informative.

Mike Reilly

Professor of Marketing
Montana State University
Bozeman, Montana

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