Try Community Service As a Tool

Try Community Service As a Tool

It isn't as easy to reach consumers as it used to be. Telemarketing runs into opposition (a recent survey by Pitney Bowes says 63% of U.S. households now either screen their calls to eliminate telemarketers or simply hang up) frequently. But, while 72% of consumers say they prefer direct mail to telemarketing, 71% ignore or throw out direct mail.

So what's the best investment for your advertising/marketing dollar? Try community service which upscale active community leaders are drawn to voluntarily.

Habitat for Humanity (http://www.habitat.org/), for example, is a non-profit, non-denominational Christian housing organization which builds affordable houses in partnership with those in need of shelter. Both homeowners and volunteers build the houses under trained supervision while corporations, faith groups and others offer financial support.

Volunteers also tend to be upscale community leaders who are not construction professionals and can benefit from your expertise. This is also a chance to show off your knowledge directly to an audience that's considering homeownership. 

Another way to serve the community is by supporting the arts. Your local symphony orchestra, theater group, and architectural landmark committee are all headed and comprised of the key players in your community's carriage trade. These are the opinion-shapers and leaders that kitchen/ bath design professionals most want to reach. 

Looking for a less affluent active market for mid-price designs and products? Local professional and semi-professional sports teams, church groups, zoos, PTAs, and other charitable organizations attract the efforts of prosperous middle-class volunteers and would gain from your efforts.

Many municipalities allow companies and groups to "buy" a stretch of highway or thoroughfare in return for clean-up services.

That's free advertising, and on stretches that back up in heavy traffic, a captive audience.

These venues can establish your company with the community and its citizens. More importantly, it can be the edge you need to hold your own against national retail chains with larger advertising budgets.

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