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It doesn’t take much to notice that most small independent insurance agencies are constantly looking for ways to combat the deep pockets of large writers which give them the ability to market over TV, the Internet, and newspapers. As independent agents, we need to do everything we can to overcome this, and I feel we can accomplish this by focusing on our community through community-based marketing.

Making Community Your Marketing Foundation

What is community based marketing? Well, it’s the marketing that we do right within our community. In order to accomplish this type of marketing, we need to invest time, energy and money back into our community. I personally feel we do not need to invest money to large corporations in order to get our message (brand message) across to our prospects and potential clients. For example, invest time, energy, and money into your local soup kitchen and/or local sports program such as Little League, Sunday basketball league, youth soccer, or youth football. Back in the old days many insurance agents went to their clients to collect premiums on a monthly, sometimes weekly, basis. What this did for an insurance agent was establish a profound relationship. How could you not have a relationship with your insurance agent who showed up either at work or at your home to collect the premiums on a weekly indoor monthly basis? It would be pretty hard not to. This is a form of community-based marketing.

How We’ve Failed

As time goes by things change, and unfortunately we as independent insurance agents have lost a little focus and that focus needs to be redirected back into the community. At a young age my father taught me a very valuable lesson and that was to always put food back on the tables of those who put food on the table for you and your family. I live my life this way today and feel it so very important to give back to those who are in my community who have allowed my children to attend dance recitals, soccer leagues, swim lessons and all the other opportunities my children have had thanks to my clients.

First: Define “Community”

The one aspect that I have not discussed is how we define “community.” That word can be defined in so many different ways, and it’s up to you to understand your community with your own definition. I look at my community as being several different levels, the main level being  my country. I choose to spend extra money buying products that are built and made in the U.S.A, even though in many cases it’s very difficult to find these products. If we all do our part though, just maybe someday we will start to make products back in this country and put Americans back to work.

My definition of community on a smaller level is my town of Stafford Springs, of which I’m very proud. We are a small industrial town in the northeast corner of Connecticut, more commonly known as  the ‘quiet corner.’ We at Paradiso insurance give back to our community and conduct our community-based marketing through many different avenues such as supporting the local Little League in which we donate time and money, as well as give our support the local girls softball league. This is what we do to give back to the children in our community. We are also members of a local Rotary club which supports local people and local events. Perhaps our most important act of community service however is the time and energy we give to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, because they help the future of our country and the future of our community – our children.

I believe in the power of  my community. I have the undying passion, drive, and desire to give back to the people of this great community, and how we do that is through community-based marketing.