Imagine, if you will, what can happen when your business incorporates history as part of your marketing, PR, community outreach, and internal corporate culture.
• You will stand out in the crowd of your direct competitors and other businesses as a high status, trustworthy company because you have taken steps to make your support of local history visible and genuine.
• You will, by doing your own business’s history and/or your industry’s history, expand the story of your community and impress people with your initiative.
• You will, with this historical knowledge, discover opportunities for press releases, events, special offers, and collaborations.
• You will create opportunities to interact with potential customers in a non-sales environment, thus forming personal relationships based on a mutual interest and concern – local history.
• You will impact school children, their parents, teachers, and administrators, by promoting history in the classroom (a subject, like the arts, that is often cut back just when we need it the most to encourage good citizenship!).
• You will attract the attention of media and more potential customers by backing public history projects, such as a history mural, historical park, statue, memorial, historic marker or plaque, or the creation of a new walking trail.
• You will boost the morale of your employees who will enjoy the high status reputation of their employer, especially as they interact with your customers onsite or in the field.
• You will secure your business’s legacy by attaching your name to good works in your community.
The bottom line?
You will impress your existing customers, attract new ones, and cement your high status, trustworthy reputation.
How, you ask?
First, make the decision to try this way to market.
Second, I recommend an audit of how you are already connected to local history, and what you have done about your own.
Third, do the research! Research your own business, your industry’s, the historical organizations in your community where you could form strategic partnerships, and the opportunities to plug into or initiate historical projects (events, preservation projects, public history projects, school curriculum).
Fourth, develop a plan for 1) “infiltrating” your historical community, and 2) incorporating your focus into your marketing, PR, and community outreach initiatives.
Fifth, develop a plan to engage your team/employees in your focus.
Sixth, determine ways to measure results.
Is your imagination on overload? This is a new way of thinking about “history” – as a strategic marketing tool, and not as some irrelevant, past tense “thing” we visit in museums.
We are all looking for new marketing ideas, and this is a good one!
2011 © Bonnie Hurd Smith
History Smiths works with service-oriented businesses to use history — their own and their community's — to achieve customer loyalty, referrals, and high status. Subscribe (above, right) to our free Ezine, Connections, where we share ideas and examples of businesses embracing history to achieve business goals.