In the spirit of Good Friday, I’ve got a 12-pack of fresh marketing hot cross buns for you in this email.
And, because it’s Easter, we’re going to draw our inspiration from the life of the man who Easter is all about: Jesus.
I think you could easily make the case that Jesus was the best marketer that ever lived.
Behold just 12 of the ways the Son of Man showed his mastery of marketing to preach his gospel …
* Knew how to draw his audience into his message by opening with arresting stories: “Hearken! Behold, there went out a sower to sow …”
* Painted a horrifying vision of the fate (Jesus was the original ‘fire and brimstone’ preacher, after all) that awaited those who didn’t take his ‘offer’ of salvation by grace
* Led his pitch by openly acknowledging the downsides of his offer (persecution and surrendering one’s earthly desires to God), but followed up with an eternal guarantee
* Knew how to appeal to his market’s desires for (eternal) self-satisfaction, aka ‘Christian Hedonism’: “Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have TREASURE IN HEAVEN: and come, follow me.”
* Focused on using concrete imagery in his stories — bread, water, farmers, fishermen, roads, robbers, fruits and trees — rather than abstract, lofty ideas that were hard to grasp
* Knew the value of a surprising ‘hook’ that would get people’s attention and get them talking (e.g. turning water into wine)
* With no money, connections, or even Internet access, still created content so good that he built a ‘list’ of literally thousands of people who would follow him for miles on foot to get it, and that endured for millennia afterwards
* Embraced the principle of “better to be respected than liked”, by speaking uncomfortable truths without letting criticism deter him
* Was a master of the artful use of ‘shaming’ to destroy his opponents’ credibility and build his own (e.g. by putting his critics to silence with public riddles)
* Pioneered the concept of empathy in marketing — not only with the ‘Golden Rule’, but even by living the life of a commoner, rather than being born into stuffy royalty and lording it over them
* Created literally the most divisive ‘brand’ in history (with people willing to DIE for their ‘brand loyalty’ to Christianity), and made clear that it was deliberate: “I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.”
* Lived with an unwavering belief in the value of his offer of the salvation of God to lost sinners — to the point he was willing to die for it.
In other words, Jesus knew how to SELL his gospel — and a lost and dying world should be grateful he did.
Of course, there are more ways he did this than just these 12.
Still, any one of these, when applied to YOUR brand, could be worth many thousands of shekels over the coming years …
How good Jesus was at marketing is, I think, one of the LEAST important things to believe about him.
When the Lord asked his followers, “Whom say ye that I am?” the answer he expected was, “The Son of God”. And as he famously said: “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
So lest I’ve upset any Christians here (oh, the irony): yes, I know the Messiah’s message was about much more than money.
But it just so happens that we can all take a leaf out of his (Good) Book for our own products, too …
And thus, the pitch:
I don’t claim any special inspiration for my own marketing skills.
Nor do I expect my process for doing my market research for clients to last another 2,000 years from now.
But I daresay it will be valuable for the next 20 at least.
And if you would like a discount when I publish it, finish off that hot cross bun, wipe off those sticky fingers, and then type your email address in at this link:
Have a happy Easter,