As marketers, we usually don’t save lives and our work is often seen as secondary, but we can make a difference; actually, we usually do. Once in a while what we do, does end up having a very positive impact on businesses and people.
Not long ago I worked on a project called Les rois de la patate for our TV channel Historia. The gist of the project is this: To promote a short documentary on the history of fast-food in Quebec, we would hold a contest where Quebecers could nominate their favourite pataterie (greasy spoon I guess would be the best translation). From all these nominations, the one with the most votes would be nominated king.
The contest had tremendous success and many of the places nominated were from smaller regions of the province.
We received feedback from some of those restaurants and they’ve seen real positive impact from this initiative. In some places entire communities rallied to help their local greasy spoons win, local libraries set-up computers so that kids could vote – it became a matter of regional pride. What I found even greater is that some of these small places saw real positive financial results.
These are small restaurants and they’re seeing increases in revenue because of new customers and an increase in repeat customers. It’s not always easy to be a small business so I love that we could help them out in that way.
I think big businesses need to spend more time figuring out how they impact the lives of their customers and small businesses around them. If you’re a credit card company, how can you help out your customers that are under crushing dept? If you’re a grocery store, how are you impacting your community?
Big business has the power to positively affect people, not as a one-shot campaign, but on an ongoing basis. It’s time to look beyond your day-to-day; it will positively impact your bottom line as well.
What are your thoughts?