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Agrimarketing : September 2008
RURAL LIFESTYLER FAQS/continued from page 39 Cos., serves an audience of 125,000 affluent rural, multi- ple-acre homeowners. The up-scale rural consumer’s enthusiasm for their rural home and property should not be underestimated. They have the wealth to satisfy their needs and wants for products, services and gadgets — and their wants are greater than other rural segments. And not surprisingly, this rural niche accounts for the bulk of purchased-new property maintenance equip- ment and recreational vehi- cles and equipment. Rural Life audience demo- graphics include $90,000 median household annual income (average is $154,000), home lot/acreage average is 20 acres, 80% are computer owners and 72% have Inter- net access. Additionally, its audience holds a strong do- it-yourself component. The Rural Life‘s reader profile survey reports key audience and market segment details: Rural Life • 97% of readers own their own homes and have lived at their present residences an average of 24 years. Its audience reflects the recent rural-living surge with 22% of its readers living in their present residences less than 10 years. • Average reader age is 51 and the average household size is 2.5 people. • 54% of readers work away from home and travel an average of 20 miles one-way to work. • Nearly all readers have basic repair skills, including woodworking, vehicle service, electrical, building ren- ovation and plumbing skills. Many have advanced skills, as well. • Nearly all readers are involved with active outdoor interests and 82% are hunting, sport shooting and fish- ing enthusiasts. • 83% own at least one tractor • Most popular vehicle: Truck. 93% own pickups or SUVs. • Pets and livestock are popular: 90% own pets or live- stock. 83% own one or more pets and dogs are the most prevalent pet (68%), followed by cats (57%) and horses (26%). 36% own cattle. • Readers value education and 58% are educated beyond high school; nearly one-third of all readers are college graduates Beyond publishing, Rural Life is integrated into addi- tional Farm Progress business units, including www.RuralLifeMagazine.com, the company’s fall shows, Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days. With Rural Life, Farm Progress’ publications collectively reach nearly 900,000 rural homes. AM 40 AgriMarketing ¦ September 2008 BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL DEALERSHIP by Dave Kanicki Managing Editor,Rural Lifestyle Dealer magazine Reprinted with permission from Lessiter Publications Dave’sTractor,Red Bluff, CA Founded: 2001 Lines: Mahindra, Branson, Gearmore, Worksaver, Pegasus and Koyker 4-Year Sales Figures:2003: $1.8 million; 2004: $2.6 million; 2005: $3.5 million; 2006: $3.5 million D ave Siemens sometimes describes his early success in starting up a new business selling small tractors to northern California rural lifestylers as a matter of good timing and dumb luck. There’s no doubt that his timing was good, but dumb luck isn’t what led his deal- ership to earning Rural Lifestyle Dealer’s top industry recognition for 2007. What makes the story of Dave’s Tractor even more impressive was not just that Siemens started up a new tractor dealership from scratch. He also launched it with two tractors — Mahindra and Branson — that had little or no brand recognition in the U.S. at the time. GETTING OFF THE GROUND It may be tempting to look at what Dave’s Tractor has accomplished in six years as something of a rags to riches story, but Siemens looks at it more pragmatically. “They say you can’t compete with the guy who is get- ting into or going out of business,” he says. “When we started out, we would deliver free to anywhere in Califor- nia. I was the guy who was pretty hard to compete with.” If there was any good fortune involved, it was that Siemens’ saw the emerging market for compact tractors around his home in Red Bluff, some 200 miles north of the affluent Bay Area of San Francisco, at about the same he was tiring of corporate life. He had a successful 17- year career in the insurance business before he decided to become a tractor man. He had purchased his first gray market tractor to main- tain the three-acre property where he and his wife Carla lived. “I just wanted a tractor to mow the grass and put in some gravel. I only used it about 50 hours a year. It was pretty typical of why people buy those kinds of tractors.” Then he decided to sell it to make some money on it. He did it again a few more times over the next few years. While still working at his insurance job, Siemens met someone who was selling a container of eight Yanmar tractors in Redding, CA. “They were gray market trac- tors and he didn’t know how to work on them or where
CAMA 2008 Canada