Unmarketing: Jesus’ Unconventional Method of Spreading His Message

I’ve thought for the longest time that marketing and advertising (my chosen profession) is probably the most useless things in the world of Christianity.  My rationale goes something like this:

Jesus didn’t have a brand. He didn’t even have logo.

Jesus didn’t have the media. He didn’t even have the internet for crying out loud.

Jesus wasn’t worried about ROI (his Return On Investment)

And yet the entire known world was changed by a man with no marketing plan. Inconceivable.

And yet. And yet there are still some things we business people can glean from Jesus’ un-marketing methods.  Let’s start with the high-level stuff:

Jesus had a whole different way of doing things.

He got their attention.

He got their interest.

He proved himself credible.

He got them saying yes.

He was able to close the deal (can I say that?).

Bonus:  his customer service was out of this world.

(At this point I need to take a short step back and ask if you’ve done any reading or studying on marketing and sales methodology.  If you have, you may notice a familiar theme or two here).

A few years ago (ok – a bunch of years ago) a book came out called “Love is The Killer App.” It’s a smart essay on things like understanding the value of treating your customer as though they have value as people – not just as a collective means to an end.  But I digress …

Interwoven, overlaid, embedded, basted-in and pasted all over Jesus’ methods was this same killer app – the idea that these people were more than numbers, more than just dirty bumpkins who needed a hand, more than lost sheep – he actively and genuinely LOVED them. Talk about an irresistible sales pitch.

Jesus:  “I love you. Let’s hang out.  I’ve got some really amazing stuff to give you.”

Stunned Person:  “Uh… I’m in!”

It may or may not have actually gone down that way, but hopefully you’re getting the picture.

I’ve built a LOT of marketing plans over time and I’ve mapped out some principles for great marketing.  They go something like this:

People are really smart. They can smell insincerity a mile away. Start with that one.

No amount of media is going to cover up a lack of love, respect & honor.

A customer who genuinely feels loved is capable of broadcasting your message further and more powerfully than anything that happens during the Super Bowl.

A budget is good. A budget that enables love is way better.

You don’t have to conquer the known world, you just have to conquer yours.

If your campaign falls on its face then fall back to puppies. Puppies rule. Can’t go wrong with puppies (that one is a bonus).

Jesus didn’t “market.” He didn’t advertise. I’m definitely not knocking either of those, but he connected with people He loved them. He got their attention (definitely got their attention). And they responded. Are you seeing what I’m seeing?

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