Friday, September 12, 2014


The Original Word of Mouth Marketer

I’ve been working on some materials for a presentation I’m giving on “word-of-mouth” marketing. There is a ton of research on marketing methods. Everyone is looking for that magic bullet that gets people to a program or moves them to action. The fact is, there is no magic bullet. However, there are lots of marketing tools: social media, media releases, tv and radio, newsletters, etc. None of them can do the job of marketing for your organization on their own.

Another interesting fact pops up in all of the research: “word-of-mouth” marketing is, hands down, the most effective at getting people to act or respond to a request or need.

What is “word-of-mouth” marketing? Well, have you ever had a friend call you to tell you about a great new restaurant or a new store in town. By the end of the phone conversation, you were ready to make reservations for dinner, or pack up the family to go shopping. These simple conversations with our friends and co-workers will direct us to good doctors, fine dining or the best family movie this season. The word of a friend or an associate is accepted as trustworthy, and influences our decisions much more than any known form of advertising.

Just when we thought our brand new logo and jazzy radio commercials were sure to bring people to our programs – it turns out the “word-of-mouth” marketing is even better. The key is to give customers and supporters something to talk about since “word of mouth” marketing is basically getting people talking on your behalf.

Turns out, Jesus was a master at this! He apparently understood human nature very well. He performed miracles, fulfilled prophecy and taught about having a relationship with God which gave his followers lots of things to talk about themselves. He also called disciples and he gave them a clear “word of mouth” marketing directive:

Matthew 28:18-20 – “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

There you have it, the “word of mouth” marketing directive from Jesus. If it was good enough for Jesus and the spread of his church, it is surely good enough for our organizations! But at the same time, as believers, let’s not forget to use our mouth to talk about Jesus and his church.

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