As followers of Jesus, our motivations matter when it comes to marketing. They matter to God, to you, and to those you are seeking to serve.
If we claim to be a lead-follower of Jesus and our primary motivation is to make money through marketing efforts, then we are severely missing the mark.
Here are 3 Questions to Help both Diagnose Your Motivations and to Fuel Your Marketing MoJo.
What Need Am I Trying to Meet?
“I have come to seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10) reflects the redemptive drive of Jesus’ heart for entering our space and time, and taking upon Himself the limitations and sufferings of our humanity (Phil. 2:5-9).
As was stated in part 1 of this series focusing on “The Marketing Genius of Jesus” Jesus paid the ultimate price in meeting our need for redemption by subjecting Himself to the horrors of dying on a cross.
Jesus provided a pathway for us to find forgiveness, peace, and purposeful relationship with God, yet He was quick to meet more tangible, physical needs as well.
It’s easy to recall the countless people who were miraculously healed of major physical diseases, handicaps and abnormalities. One of my favorite narratives of such an encounter is in Mark chapter 10 when a blind man named Bartimaeus cried out to Jesus for mercy.
Despite the crowds that were rebuking Bartimaeus, trying to shoo him away, Jesus made it a point to seek him out and compassionately asked: “What do you want me to do for you?”
What a question! What did that reveal about the inner motivations of Jesus’ heart? First, it showed that He deeply cared. Second, it displayed that He was in the business of changing lives by meeting physical, as well as spiritual needs.
The point? It’s more than ok to create and provide goods and services designed to meet the spiritual and the non-spiritual needs of people, and to craft marketing messages that appeal to those felt needs. In fact, it is needed to be more effective and can be very “like-Christ.”
I love how succinctly Darren Shearer emphasizes this in his book Marketing Like Jesus:
“Marketers often think, ‘If I could just get my prospects to understand what I am offering…then, they would want it.’ Yet, understanding the description of a product isn’t enough to engage a prospect. Rather than focusing on the features of your product or service, you must direct your message toward the deeper need…You must target the desires of your prospects to get them to engage. Like Jesus, you must connect with a deeply felt human need, which triggers that desire for what you are offering.”
Would I Buy This Myself?
This is a question that applies the golden rule instruction of Jesus to “love our neighbor as ourselves.”
The principle is to put yourself in the place of those who might be interested in what your leadership or organization has to offer, and ask:
- “If I were _____ would I be interested in _____?”
- “If I had the financial resources of _____ what would I be willing to pay for the value of _____?”
- “In what way would I want to see, read, or hear about ______?”
The answers to such questions are worth much more than what any marketing education could provide.
How Does My Product or Service “Re-present” Christ?
Recently, I found it intriguing to think about what it means to serve as Christ’s representative. One definition I read said that the word “represent” simply means to “re-present” someone or something.
What a mind blowing concept. As ambassadors, or representatives of Christ, we are charged to “re-present” Him in everything we do.
It is not hard for those who are called to serve as Pastors, Missionaries, Christian School Teachers, Doctors, Counsellors, or other such “ministry” or “help” professions to grasp the idea that what they do can “re-present” Jesus to those they serve.
After all, such professions focus greatly on the communication of gospel truths and directly minister to the mental, emotional and physical needs of people, just like Jesus did.
It is difficult for Christians who serve in other professions, however, to make that connection, especially if their vocation involves buying, selling, and marketing. Somehow such work is seen as a “less spiritual” or a “second-rate” vocational calling.
But here’s the thing. Scripture says that:
- “Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above” (~ James 1:17)
- “Everything God created is good and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.” (~ 1 Timothy 4:4-5)
Translation? If our motive is to steward what God has created; to design products and services that extend His care, His goodness and common graces to all humanity, then we are “re-presenting” Him and it is a very good work.
Operating with such a belief system cannot help but to impact our motivational MoJo as we craft marketing strategies and communication pieces in an effort to connect God’s goodness and grace to people and communities through the ideas, products and services we seek to provide.
- What are the deep human needs your leadership is trying to meet?
- Would you buy the products or services you are involved in selling, or provide support services to those who sell them?
- How are you “re-presenting” Jesus in your life and leadership in general? In how you design products and services, and how you market them?
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