Religion in Marketing?? A Good Idea or Not?

74 replies
For a really long time, I knew exactly where I stood on this topic. I thought adding in religious beliefs to your marketing made you look cheesy, desperate, and scammy.

But now days, I'm starting to focus more of my attention on helping others start an online business and less on running my own(religion fit no where in my previous niches or projects). And I keep noticing over and over when I read something in the Bible or hear things at Church how I could transfer these into lessons I could use to help others better understand core principals and mindset of running a successful business.

So I want to know what others think about religion in marketing, particularly in the IM niche.

How do you perceive people who mention The Bible, Jesus or God in their marketing or emails? Is it heroic to step out there with your beliefs or does it come across as trying too hard to make a connection with people?
#good #idea #marketing #religion
  • Profile picture of the author Steven Roberts
    It comes across as fake and cynical, IMO. But that's only my response. Others may feel differently.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dragone
    Personally I think there is a risk of irritating/offending a large group by mentioning religous beliefs. I would rather just keep it neutral although if they signed up for a bible pdf then it's a different story..
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  • Profile picture of the author Spencer Jones
    Originally Posted by Victor Edson View Post

    For a really long time, I knew exactly where I stood on this topic. I thought adding in religious beliefs to your marketing made you look cheesy, desperate, and scammy.

    But now days, I'm starting to focus more of my attention on helping others start an online business and less on running my own(religion fit no where in my previous niches or projects). And I keep noticing over and over when I read something in the Bible or hear things at Church how I could transfer these into lessons I could use to help others better understand core principals and mindset of running a successful business.

    So I want to know what others think about religion in marketing, particularly in the IM niche.

    How do you perceive people who mention The Bible, Jesus or God in their marketing or emails? Is it heroic to step out there with your beliefs or does it come across as trying too hard to make a connection with people?
    True Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with Jesus. If your relationship with Jesus is so connected to your life and you share everything else about your life with your subscribers. Why would you want to keep something away from them unless it's something that's going to hurt them ?

    You might want to check testimony of people like Alvin Phang, whose website visitor stats went through the roof, the day he decided to make that turn in his business.

    Also you might check Sean Mize who openly shares about his relationship with the Lord.

    If you go with people's opinion, they may not all applaud you for talking about God. But whatever you do, look for that inner peace. Do what you feel good about doing. The choice is yours.

    Dr.Spencer Jones
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  • Profile picture of the author mfuji55
    Why not? i think it's all in the context of the message, if it relates to what you're talking about then it doesn't come off as cheesy, for example, i'm not catholic or christian but i agree that thy will shall be done...or something to that effect.

    i also agree that meditation which is a buddhist principle will give me inner peace, but i'm not about to turn in my car and my house and go to tibet just yet!

    Religion to me is just a way of life, but when coaching others, you are taking what others have said before and just using it at the right moment that's all, so short answer is i think it's all in context and as long as you are helping your students, it's all that matters.

    hope that helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marketing Fool
    I think unless it directly applies to your product, you shouldn't use it.

    You're just going to alienate X% of your potential customers...while
    even some religious people may see it as contrived as well...it's a lose lose...
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    • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
      Unless you're targeting people with a religious bent for
      your business, then I would go easy on the biblical
      references and lessons.

      I think it's OK to make the very occasional reference to
      what's happening in your life (including religion) but if
      it begins to overly dominate your material then you could
      find that it causes more problems than it solves.

      I think it comes down to who your ideal target client
      is.

      Focus on messages that attract the people you want
      and don't worry about repelling the rest.

      Dedicated to mutual success,

      Shaun
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Victor,

      I consider myself a religious person but hesitate to
      • Offend others that don't share my beliefs
      • Get too "preachy" in my interactions
      • Criticize others when they do bring up religion
      I believe there is a place on the Internet for religious discussions by those who want to participate. Certainly, some religions have capitalized on the reach of the Internet already and I think you'll see more and more local churches putting up web sites and communicating with their members via this medium.

      That being said, I think it is good advice to keep religion out of most Internet marketing discussions if you want to avoid the chance of offending someone.

      However, I personally don't see anything wrong with transferring lessons from the Bible or likening religious principles to lessons in Internet marketing. After all, the Bible is consistently the best selling book on most lists and many people can relate to its stories.

      In the end, it's up to you what you say and how well you can make your points without collateral damage in your marketing.

      Good luck to all,

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author mydream247
    Fin, you are entitled to your opinion although your comment ads no value to this discussion, although I disagree with your statement regarding religion being a hoax.
    I will leave that debate alone due to mods might ban me for speaking out.

    As for the discussion, I think there is nothing wrong with expressing your beliefs, as you are not trying to force your religion on your students, the quality of your coaching program is what makes or breaks your business, if you are providing good useful information your students will learn and achieve there goals, and you will be fulfilling what God has called you to do.

    God Bless you and your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hypno mind
    I don't think it's a good idea , in your list you may have many people from different places in the world that may have other religious beliefs and if you try to tell them about your belief you may annoy them a little bit , especially atheists , you'll lose lots of people by doing that , be neutral so you can deal with all kinds of humans.
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  • Profile picture of the author lizbot
    Whenever I see religion crop up in marketing, my first instinct is inevitably to roll my eyes and skip on to the next subject. I always feel bad about it, as I'm sure some people anyway are being sincere, but it's what tends to happen.

    My opinion, which is worth absolutely nothing as I have no first-hand experience with this or anything else in business but that I will share with you anyway because this is the Internet and YOLO, is that your success rate with religion in marketing depends entirely on the demographic you're trying to reach. If your IM clients also self-identify as Christian and you come across as trustworthy and sincere, you might win additional favour with them, but in the meantime the atheists will be shaking their heads.

    But here in the Warrior Forum, I'm inclined to think jaded cynicism wins the day. Too many misleading WSO headlines...
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  • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
    Originally Posted by Victor Edson View Post

    For a really long time, I knew exactly where I stood on this topic. I thought adding in religious beliefs to your marketing made you look cheesy, desperate, and scammy.

    But now days, I'm starting to focus more of my attention on helping others start an online business and less on running my own(religion fit no where in my previous niches or projects). And I keep noticing over and over when I read something in the Bible or hear things at Church how I could transfer these into lessons I could use to help others better understand core principals and mindset of running a successful business.

    So I want to know what others think about religion in marketing, particularly in the IM niche.

    How do you perceive people who mention The Bible, Jesus or God in their marketing or emails? Is it heroic to step out there with your beliefs or does it come across as trying too hard to make a connection with people?
    If you are concerned with upsetting some people but still want to use your ideas, then if you can parallel things you hear in church and read in the Bible, couldn't you be creative and write say a modern day parable using the lessons you learned/heard in church and the Bible?

    That way you can utilize the ideas you come up with to help others better understand core principals and mindset of running a successful business without a direct mention of God or religion.

    Those who are believers and know the Bible will most likely recognize the lesson and won't be put off, and those who don't can learn valuable lessons without being turned off and turning away at anything that has to do with God/religion.

    Terra
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason_V
    Originally Posted by Victor Edson View Post

    For a really long time, I knew exactly where I stood on this topic. I thought adding in religious beliefs to your marketing made you look cheesy, desperate, and scammy.

    But now days, I'm starting to focus more of my attention on helping others start an online business and less on running my own(religion fit no where in my previous niches or projects). And I keep noticing over and over when I read something in the Bible or hear things at Church how I could transfer these into lessons I could use to help others better understand core principals and mindset of running a successful business.

    So I want to know what others think about religion in marketing, particularly in the IM niche.

    How do you perceive people who mention The Bible, Jesus or God in their marketing or emails? Is it heroic to step out there with your beliefs or does it come across as trying too hard to make a connection with people?
    If you feel that it's an important part of who you are and you feel that it will legitimately help you explain things, go for it.

    I see all these posts and I just picture them hand wringing worrying about possibly offending people. If you want to live the life of milquetoast, be swayed by the arguments of "you'll alienate x% of your market." Who cares?

    In all honesty, in today's day and age it's too easy to "offend" people. Quite frankly, I feel that if you're not offending someone with your marketing, you're doing it wrong.

    I'm not advocating being controversial, for controversy sake, but this is a clear cut case of you believing strongly in something that somehow miraculously (pardon the pun) became controversial.

    You should check out Sean D'Souza's book: The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy (And Why They Don't)

    He has a whole section on why you should niche yourself down extremely specifically. You should read that book and apply it to what you want to do.

    Would also suggest you check out Ben Settle's book:

    Christian Business Secrets

    I have no vested interest in either product other than thinking they're both extremely good books from well respected marketers.
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  • Profile picture of the author LarryC
    It depends on your target audience. This approach will turn off some people but it will appeal to others. If it's important enough to you, this could be a way to carve out a certain niche for yourself.

    It's the same with any potentially controversial beliefs. You don't have to try to please everyone. If, however, you are looking to appeal to a very broad audience you are better off staying away from such topics.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Anyone pulls that religious stuff on me gets deleted. Don't care where it's coming from.
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  • Profile picture of the author Complex
    Go for it -

    Plenty of IM coaches and mentors and what not get political in their messages. And are successful. I have seen lots of e-mails from Gurus that suggest that you have to adopt a Republican mindset to have success - even though there are plenty of Democrats who are millionaires and billionaires.

    Turns me off, I hate politics - but it turns on their core fans.

    Besides, Christian business is BIG business in America. From Christian Rock to Christian rap to Christian Multi Level Marketing to Christian Dating to Christian bottled water - no reason not to have Christian Internet Marketing.

    What's it called, TNA, the wrestling promotion - they even take Christian slants because their core audience tends to be in the Bible belt and a lot of their wrestlers are born again Christians.

    Wouldn't be my cup of tea - but there are thousands and thousands who'd like it. Serve them. As long as it's legit, why question it?

    I'm Agnostic, but I don't see why you can't serve YOUR audience the way that YOU want to.

    New Agers get all new agey in their e-mails, Republicans get all republican in their e-mails, Christians can get Christian if they want to.

    You'd have to set that expectation from the get go, though.

    Even though I'm Agnostic, I grew up with a heavy Christian influence, aren't you supposed to live it?

    Wouldn't that include your business?

    Me thinks spiritually and monetarily it could be a good fit if that's your bag.

    Even though I personally don't subscribe to your religion - I see it like this - If Joe Vitale can get all wishy washy New Agey in his stuff and it's okay - why wouldn't it be okay for a Christian IMer to bring up their Christianity? If countless IMers felt it was okay to tell people to vote Republican in 2012 - why wouldn't it be okay for you to bring up some religious beliefs and ideas?

    Have some faith (no pun intended).

    As long as you walk with Him, you are supposed to fear no evil.

    Right?

    P.S. I think the REAL TEST is not whether you offend anyone, but if you become offended if they e-mail you back and say that they don't agree with your Christian marketing. Can you handle that?

    If so, you are good to go. If you will be offended if anyone on one of your lists questions your religion, your faith, etc... then maybe that's not a direction you want to go in. People often forget that "offense" is a two way street.

    In one of my markets, I get really "controversial." Not convoluted controversy - just my opinions in that market tend to "go against the grain." The test is never who I offend, it's whether or not I get offended when someone doesn't agree with me or calls me out and I have to self inspect. That market makes mad monies , but the test is always whether or not You can handle the blowback.

    I get called out all of the time, get angry e-mails, get called all kinds of things. Doesn't bother me. Occasionally, it does cause me to self inspect.

    Which is usually a GOOD THING. Puts the ego back in it's place. Has on more than one occasion even cause me to change a belief or a stance on something too.

    P.P.S. I betcha a close knit Christian marketing forum would do really really well. Just an idea. Probably a 6 figure idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    I know at least one person who built his business -- teaching others how to build their businesses on Christian principles -- and he has done really well.

    No one will every succeed trying to market everything to everyone. so it is important to decide your niche and market to people in that niche.

    It really is no different if you are marketing to Christians, Hindus or Secularists. Whomever you are marketing your products or services to, you need to position yourself as someone who can serve people in your chosen niche, then make your marketing consistent with their beliefs.

    I market to writers.

    You can market to religious folks.

    When I market to writers, I must be able to step into the mindset of the writer and guide my readers to take the actions I want them to take.

    When you market to religious folks, you must step into the mindset of your readers and lead your readers to take the actions you want them to take.

    Religion may not be as big in the 2010's as it was in the 1950's, but it is still a big business.

    The truth be known, there are most likely more people who can be influenced by religious marketing than those who consider themselves writers. So, your market will definitely be bigger than mine.

    Kurt Cameron only makes movies aimed at devote Christian Protestants, and he continues to do well for himself.

    Introducing religion into your marketing will not be your death knell, UNLESS you are trying to sell your products and services to Secularists and Atheists. :p

    Providing you market your services to the faithful and you are able to speak in language that they appreciate, then you could do very well using religion in your marketing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Motley
      It depends on what you're marketing. If you're marketing bibles or some other religious oriented stuff, sure, why not. If you're not then I would say no.
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      • Profile picture of the author SunilTanna
        Unless you are only targeting people of a specific religion, or selling a religious product, keep it out.

        Why risk offending the 80%, 90% or 99% of the world who don't share you religion?

        Why risk offending the smaller percentage who do, but who may feel you are exploiting others' deeply held beliefs for your own profit?

        Why risk looking like a scammer? Lots of scammers hide behind religion, rathe than focusing on the benefits of the product or service that they are actually offering?

        Why dilute your pitches with off topic content that distracts from your sales message? The average prospect interested in your product wants to know what benefits your product offers them - they didn't come for a chat, lesson, discussion, or lecture on religion.
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  • Profile picture of the author SamirSM
    Originally Posted by Victor Edson View Post

    For a really long time, I knew exactly where I stood on this topic. I thought adding in religious beliefs to your marketing made you look cheesy, desperate, and scammy.

    But now days, I'm starting to focus more of my attention on helping others start an online business and less on running my own(religion fit no where in my previous niches or projects). And I keep noticing over and over when I read something in the Bible or hear things at Church how I could transfer these into lessons I could use to help others better understand core principals and mindset of running a successful business.

    So I want to know what others think about religion in marketing, particularly in the IM niche.

    How do you perceive people who mention The Bible, Jesus or God in their marketing or emails? Is it heroic to step out there with your beliefs or does it come across as trying too hard to make a connection with people?
    Religion is about beliefs.

    If you need religion to market your products/services, obviously you don't think they are good enough on their own.

    You are ultimately selling God, aren't you?

    Reason vs Belief. It's your choice. I'm not sure which is more ethical. Please help me out here.
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by SamirSM View Post

      Religion is about beliefs.

      If you need religion to market your products/services, obviously you don't think they are good enough on their own.

      You are ultimately selling God, aren't you?

      Reason vs Belief. It's your choice. I'm not sure which is more ethical. Please help me out here.

      Using religion to sell products and services is not -- for most people -- using a crutch to support offers that would otherwise be unsustainable.

      He is not actually selling God. That is what the church does.

      He is selling a lifestyle choice. Do you choose to live your life under the guidance give to us by his God? If you do, then you are in his target audience.

      In your signature, you have one blog that caters to people focused on technology. You also have another site committed to those folks who do blogging as a business model.

      Those who follow technology are demonstrating a lifestyle choice, the same as the wannabe blogger is making a lifestyle choice, the same as the person who wants to live their lives based on principles defined by God.

      There is absolutely no difference between what the OP is proposing and you are doing. You have defined your target audience, and you are presenting content to people who have chosen your defined niche lifestyles.

      The only difference between what the OP is proposing and you are doing is that you approve of your choices but not his.


      Originally Posted by SunilTanna View Post

      Why risk offending the 80%, 90% or 99% of the world who don't share you religion?

      Why risk offending the smaller percentage who do, but who may feel you are exploiting others' deeply held beliefs for your own profit.

      Who cares?

      The 99% are not in his target audience.

      The 1% may be in his target audience.

      Successful businesses define a niche and cater specifically to that particular audience.
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      • Profile picture of the author SunilTanna
        Originally Posted by tpw View Post

        The 99% are not in his target audience.

        The 1% may be in his target audience.

        Successful businesses define a niche and cater specifically to that particular audience.
        Depends on what the 1% is.

        Like I said, if he is selling a product specifically targeted at a specific religious audience, then it works. For example, if you are selling the Book of Common Prayer, obviously it would appeal (mainly) to Anglicans, and you probably want to mention that in your pitch, and if you are an Anglican yourself, maybe mention that too.

        If you are selling a non-religious product, say an internet marketing tool, or a weight loss product, or a car accessory, you will simply turn off the vast majority of prospects by giving them a lecture on Anglican church doctrine. 1% of the people you can reach might be potentially interested in your internet marketing gadget, but you don't want to limit yourself to the 1% of 1% you can reach (i.e. 0.01% of the people you can reach) who are both interested in your gadget and Anglican, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    It all comes down to three things, IMO:

    1. Intent.
    2. Execution
    3. Target Market

    Fail on any one of those points and the results will be predictably bad.
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  • Profile picture of the author RichBeck
    Originally Posted by Victor Edson View Post

    For a really long time, I knew exactly where I stood on this topic. I thought adding in religious beliefs to your marketing made you look cheesy, desperate, and scammy.

    But now days, I'm starting to focus more of my attention on helping others start an online business and less on running my own(religion fit no where in my previous niches or projects). And I keep noticing over and over when I read something in the Bible or hear things at Church how I could transfer these into lessons I could use to help others better understand core principals and mindset of running a successful business.

    So I want to know what others think about religion in marketing, particularly in the IM niche.

    How do you perceive people who mention The Bible, Jesus or God in their marketing or emails? Is it heroic to step out there with your beliefs or does it come across as trying too hard to make a connection with people?
    Victor,

    You are getting deism (belief in God) and religion (a belief system) mixed up...

    Everyone I've ever met has beliefs.... and is "religious" without exception....

    They have beliefs about politics, abortion, right to die, etc.

    All The Best,

    Rich Beck BCIP, MCSD, MCIS
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    I talk about religion because this is part of my work. I give scientific proof of God’s existence and I relate science to religion.

    I was afraid that many people wouldn’t like my religious teachings with my scientific explanations because my work is mainly scientific, but I noticed that more people started following my blog posts when I started proving God's existence.

    Many people care about God; especially atheists. I used to be an atheist when I was a teen, so I know the atheistic mindset very well.

    I can tell you that many people attacked my scientific explanations, but everybody agrees with my religious teachings. They seem to please the public more than my scientific knowledge.


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  • Profile picture of the author Mark .W. James
    people take religion personally - stay out of personal matters.
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by SunilTanna View Post

      Depends on what the 1% is.

      Like I said, if he is selling a product specifically targeted at a specific religious audience, then it works. For example, if you are selling the Book of Common Prayer, obviously it would appeal (mainly) to Anglicans, and you probably want to mention that in your pitch, and if you are an Anglican yourself, maybe mention that too.

      If you are selling a non-religious product, say an internet marketing tool, or a weight loss product, or a car accessory, you will simply turn off the vast majority of prospects by giving them a lecture on Anglican church doctrine. 1% of the people you can reach might be potentially interested in your internet marketing gadget, but you don't want to limit yourself to the 1% of 1% you can reach (i.e. 0.01% of the people you can reach) who are both interested in your gadget and Anglican, etc.

      The WF is a big place with over half a million registered members.

      1% of the Warrior Forum is 5000 people.

      How many customers do we need to make a living exactly?

      The more you can drill down into your niche, the more successful one will be usually. Because as you drill down, you can get closer and closer to the specific needs and desires of your customers.

      You don't have to be everything to everyone to be successful; you just have to provide something of real value to the people who might actually want to purchase what you are selling.

      The exact model that the OP mentioned is being done now, and has been done successfully for 14 years, by Mark Silver here:
      Heart of Business - Every act of business can be an act of love.

      The only difference in Mark's business is that it is "spirituality focused" rather than "Christian focused".

      Either way, it proves the model.

      Mark has at least 6 people in his employment, so they have to be bringing in some good money, eh? At least I would think so.



      Originally Posted by John Romaine View Post

      So what are you suggesting? That if I was religious that it would somehow be different?

      By real world I mean, "not believing in superstitious BS"

      John, I am not picking on you specifically. I quoted you because I think that you and I might be kindred spirits -- although I could be wrong, and you might take my comments as I intended them -- a generalized statement and not a personal attack.

      This particular thread was asking about using religion beliefs as a marketing strategy, not as a question about the validity of any particular religion.

      So long as we are discussing religious beliefs in context with our business marketing, this thread is within the rules of the forum.

      When we venture off into a discussion of whether having religious beliefs is a sign of strength or weakness in the character of an individual, we have skirted outside the forum rules of discussing religion.

      My personal religious beliefs or lack thereof are not pertinent to whether someone can make money by targeting a specific set of customers, who have a specific set of religious beliefs.

      One American company who has done very well for itself by deliberately using the Evangelical Christian values of its owners as part of its global marketing message is Chick-Fil-A.

      Occasionally they will receive negative press for their religious positions, but more often, it serves as an advantage to them in their quest for sales and profits.

      This privately owned company has 1600 stores in the United States, and in 2011, it reported $4 billion in company revenues -- an average of $2.5 million at each location.

      Despite what anyone might think of religious folks, that is some serious cash earnings for a company that embraces its Evangelical Christian heritage.
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Folks, the OP raised a valid question, which is important for a great many people. It is related to marketing, and would have been just as relevant and useful regardless of the religion or personal faith of the poster. Or if the question was motivated by a lack of such beliefs.

        Bashing people for their views on religion is not allowed here. Period. You are also not allowed to use this forum to evangelize for any religion, or any other perspective on the topic, including atheism.

        The fact that 8 of the first 50 posts in this thread had to be deleted for that kind of nastiness is not a good sign.


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        • Profile picture of the author mbacak
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          Bashing people for their views on religion is not allowed here. Period. You are also not allowed to use this forum to evangelize for any religion, or any other perspective on the topic, including atheism.

          The fact that 8 of the first 50 posts in this thread had to be deleted for that kind of nastiness is not a good sign.
          Proves to me it's a very sensitive subject.

          It would be interesting to see how the reactions would be if instead of being:

          "Religion in Marketing?? A Good Idea or Not?"

          It was a question about:

          "God in Marketing?? A Good Idea or Not?"

          I wonder how different the reactions would be... just a thought.
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by mbacak View Post

            Proves to me it's a very sensitive subject.

            It would be interesting to see how the reactions would be if instead of being:

            "Religion in Marketing?? A Good Idea or Not?"

            It was a question about:

            "God in Marketing?? A Good Idea or Not?"

            I wonder how different the reactions would be... just a thought.

            Or even, "Personal Stories in Marketing?? A Good Idea or Not?"
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    I think it might come down to your delivery. Most of the basic principles of religions are shared by nearly all faiths. Show me one religion that doesn't believe in the Golden Rule.

    Here's the modern version of the Golden Rule according to travlinguy: Whatever you do, you do to yourself. I can't imagine anyone having a problem with that unless they're guilty as spit about one thing or another.

    So if you're subtle in your delivery (with an occasional specific reference if you're so inclined) I think you'd be fine.
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    If you have to ask us then you shouldn't.

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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
      You should be free to say whatever you want.... and I support you in that. But.... I think it is better to lead by example.... Show us what kind of person you are.... be honest, fair and charitable in your dealings with folks....

      If religion comes up in conversation... don't be shy about stating your views/beliefs.... but don't preach, don't proselytize, never be critical other folks' beliefs.... and please don't tell us how religious you are. At best we won't notice you and at worst... we are likely to think of you as hypocritical.... and sooner or later you will prove us right.

      Cheers,
      chris
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  • Profile picture of the author blib79
    Boy, I really should leave this alone.

    I'll just say this:

    Targeting christians, in general, has already proven to be a very profitable move in several markets.

    Over a billion followers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
      Originally Posted by blib79 View Post

      Boy, I really should leave this alone.

      I'll just say this:

      Targeting christians, in general, has already proven to be a very profitable move in several markets.

      Over a billion followers.
      Nah... no reason to leave it alone. You are absolutely correct. And if Christians and only Christians are/is your market... then there is nothing at all wrong with it. Argh... there is nothing WRONG with it even if your market is far broader..... It just might not have the affect that you hope for or expect.

      Am I making sense?

      cag
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  • Profile picture of the author SerpSlayer
    I'm a christian, but I think you should let your actions do most of the talking. Most people don't want to be preached to, and unfortunately in this day and age, people are very thin-skinned and get "all offended" when they hear stuff they don't agree with, whether it's religion or politics.

    At the same time, speaking from a marketing perspective, I don't think you should hide the fact that you are religious, go to church, or at least have some standards in what or how you market.

    For most people who share your background, it will automatically make you seem a bit more trustworthy and probably won't alienate those who don't..
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  • Profile picture of the author owais211
    Banned
    Its isn't a good idea,not all whom you are planning sell to share the same religious views or doctrines with you.
    Just keep your religion to yourself or else you will suffer a serious setback in your marketing.
    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author peterllw
    Originally Posted by Victor Edson View Post

    For a really long time, I knew exactly where I stood on this topic. I thought adding in religious beliefs to your marketing made you look cheesy, desperate, and scammy.

    But now days, I'm starting to focus more of my attention on helping others start an online business and less on running my own(religion fit no where in my previous niches or projects). And I keep noticing over and over when I read something in the Bible or hear things at Church how I could transfer these into lessons I could use to help others better understand core principals and mindset of running a successful business.

    So I want to know what others think about religion in marketing, particularly in the IM niche.

    How do you perceive people who mention The Bible, Jesus or God in their marketing or emails? Is it heroic to step out there with your beliefs or does it come across as trying too hard to make a connection with people?

    I guess i will try to relate to someone 's belief or religion, knowing that its a very personal thing. We could share and exchange view, etc just to keep a conversation and so on... a relationship may develop, and if marketing or a recommendation is really appropriate , then it may just be a recommendation from a friend. Something to share and thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Klemen Znidar
    I'd say it really depends on your targeted market. If they are religious, it will help. If they arent, it will look bad. Now it's up to you to find that out (:
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  • Profile picture of the author David Maschke
    Nobody cares what you know or have until they know you care. Not what you believe. Your character will still be seen nonetheless, and you will still have earned your clients respect.
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  • Profile picture of the author muffty
    You've surely heard the saying - "Never discuss Reglion or Politics!" - not if you want to remain friends that is!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
    Originally Posted by Victor Edson View Post

    Is it heroic ...
    Are you trying to be heroic or are you trying to build your business?

    There has been some good advice given to you. Take what can help you and build your biz.

    As an example, I follow a guy because he is one of those location independent entrepreneurs. He has some good post but his blog is suffering because he is pushing his cause a bit to much, and it's not even a religious cause.

    For you, I would say Really? Are the religious overtones really a fit for what you are trying to do? If so then go for it. If not, I'd forgo them.

    Joe Mobley
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    OP, to me, it's all about AUTHENTICITY. It doesn't matter what faith or (in the case of atheists, non-faith) you want to present in your marketing materials, if you aren't SINCERE or are just using faith (or lack thereof) as a marketing GIMMICK, people will smell it and treat you accordingly. It's all about AUTHENTICITY. Authenticity builds credibility. Credibility builds trust. Trust builds SALES.
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  • Profile picture of the author Willie Crawford
    Personally, I have a problem with using religion in marketing, when
    it feels like you are also trying to shift another person's belief
    system or even implying that they believe the same as you do.

    I've had too many people supposedly of the same religion as I
    am assume that meant that we think the same... which is rarely
    true

    Religion is definitely too emotionally charged to use as a "marketing
    weapon!"

    I have no problem with "spirituality" in marketing... and sharing that
    your value system... partly derived from your religious training, guides
    how you operate. When I sense that in a person's marketing, I don't
    find that a turnoff... it does allow me to bond with them more!

    I shared with you my personal feelings as it relates to how I respond
    to religion being used in marketing. I make the very BIG assumption
    that many of my potential customers feel the same... and that determines
    how I use religion in my own marketing.

    Incidentally, I don't discuss religion or politics in my marketing. I do
    at times discuss my sense of right and wrong

    Willie
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  • Profile picture of the author mi4rum
    Good idea, i am very passionate about my faith as well, however, i dont know whats the rule for this forum on religion, but i would appreciate that gesture.

    Send me more info. on how u plan to do this. I am here trying to figure out how to cash in some funds on my blog and is really hoping i can get some serious help just to help me get some ads on my blog and just to get it off the ground. Wrking on it all night , its 10:39am now and still no success as yet .Pray for me the Lord send me some realy help. God bless.
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  • In my opinion, unless you're specifically targeting a religious community or audience, it's best to leave personal (and controversial) topics out of your marketing conversation: religion, politics, homosexuality, drug use, etc. They can easily (and unnecessarily) alienate a number of people away from your product.

    REAL EXAMPLE: I recently saw a refund request for one of the products sold through our platform. The message read as follows:
    I'm requesting a refund because, even though the contents are amazing, I'm annoyed by how the video presenter is always praising Apple, their brand, their marketing and their products.

    An annoyed Samsung user
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
      Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

      In my opinion, unless you're specifically targeting a religious community or audience, it's best to leave personal (and controversial) topics out of your marketing conversation: religion, politics, homosexuality, drug use, etc. They can easily (and unnecessarily) alienate a number of people away from your product.

      REAL EXAMPLE: I recently saw a refund request for one of the products sold through our platform. The message read as follows:
      I'm requesting a refund because, even though the contents are amazing, I'm annoyed by how the video presenter is always praising Apple, their brand, their marketing and their products.

      An annoyed Samsung user
      LOL... That is such a great example. AA, you get my personal "Post of the Day" award!!

      Cheers,
      chris
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      • Profile picture of the author sethdrebitko
        I myself would stick with MissTerraK's thought. That said if you're specifically targeting that market go for it. If the money is important to you then the long term goal might be a no.

        While you would have a pool of roughly 77% of the population who identifies as Christian (before even drilling down to your niche), that number is declining rapidly. On top of that polling showed that only 18% actually attended church in any capacity. So the question is if only 18% will go to church to listen to "preachy" talk to adhere to their beliefs, will the rest who can't be bothered want to hear it from someone else?

        It is a tough choice to make and certainly one I'd think about before branding yourself one way or the other.
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        • Profile picture of the author myob
          Originally Posted by Jesus Perez View Post

          I don't mix religion with business.

          There are 22 major religions. These don't include atheists and agnostics.

          Why would I segment my list by that enormous factor when I can simply avoid the discussion of religion and let everyone benefit from my marketing lessons?

          This coming from a guy called Jesus.
          Using religion as a marketing tool is not intrinsically evil. Targeting any religious demographic (not only Christian) with promotions tailored to their cultural and belief systems has a powerful leverage, resulting in much higher conversions. A format that has worked astoundingly well for me over the years in not only religious segments but also for other groups such as in technical/professional niches is to demonstrate an affinity for the targeted demographic. It is essential to communicate in their "language"; there are nuances of expression and culture required to establish some commonality and credibility before mass conversions can occur. Focusing on marketing by developing an affinity within specific groups of people who share common interests can open up a broad spectrum of niches and opportunities.

          Typically, people with common interests, vocation, members of organizations, clubs, etc tend to have similar and often predictable buying patterns. This affinity approach is powerful, and was commonly known for decades among marketing researchers as "market basket analysis". Purchase behavior was analyzed for cross-promotions and capturing new buyers. In more recent years (beginning about 20 years ago or so) it has evolved into "data mining" - using advanced statistical analysis. An excellent classic which covers this concept in detail is "Data Mining Techniques: For Marketing, Sales, and Customer Relationship Management", by Gordon S. Linoff and Michael J. Berry.

          For example, ezines, newsletters, and offline publications targeted for specific demographics can provide suggestions on the types of products being sold by examining recurring ads. Repeat ads are a strong indication that the products are successfully marketed to the demographic profile of readers, which may include several niches. Using these methods and focusing on building a genuinely customer-centric business, where the targeted market affinity is well understood, demonstrated, and respected, you can beat the competition all-to-hell.

          This is coming from a guy called Paul, a devoted disciple of the real Jesus.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Originally Posted by Victor Edson View Post

    How do you perceive people who mention The Bible, Jesus or God in their marketing or emails? Is it heroic to step out there with your beliefs or does it come across as trying too hard to make a connection with people?
    Since this is an opinion thread, I haven't read any of the other replies yet.

    For me, it depends on how it's done. If someone is obviously trying to use religion because they think it will help sales, it's a huge turn-off.

    In the musical Guys and Dolls, gambler Sky Masterson dazzles the religious Sarah Brown with Bible quotes. When she asks how a sinner like him could quote the Bible so well, he tells her

    "There's two things that have been in almost every hotel in the country - Sky Masterson and the Gideon Bible."

    On the other hand, there are people who invoke God (or other deity) as naturally as they inhale and exhale. In the IM arena, Perry Marshall comes to mind. I've bought a lot of Perry's stuff, and if or when the time is right, I won't hesitate to buy more.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      John,
      On the other hand, there are people who invoke God (or other deity) as naturally as they inhale and exhale. In the IM arena, Perry Marshall comes to mind. I've bought a lot of Perry's stuff, and if or when the time is right, I won't hesitate to buy more.
      Indeed. Jimmy Brown is another who comes to mind who fits that description.

      I think it's that their beliefs are part of their life, not their advertising.


      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Yassine Labouch
    Hi, I Think we need to help people to be Happy in our life, and i think we shouldn't lie when we are selling a product and telling the truth, to earn the money that you deserve,And to be Happy Because you're Helping people.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    I don't mix religion with business.

    There are 22 major religions. These don't include atheists and agnostics.

    Why would I segment my list by that enormous factor when I can simply avoid the discussion of religion and let everyone benefit from my marketing lessons?

    This coming from a guy called Jesus.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
      All of the sudden "Thank Jesus" takes on a whole new dimension. :rolleyes:

      Joe Mobley

      Originally Posted by Jesus Perez View Post

      This coming from a guy called Jesus.
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      • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
        Originally Posted by Joe Mobley View Post

        All of the sudden "Thank Jesus" takes on a whole new dimension. :rolleyes:

        Joe Mobley
        LOL Joe!

        That was pretty funny.

        Terra
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  • Profile picture of the author RoseHunt
    Banned
    More and more people are getting sensitive when it comes to religion nowadays so I think that they wouldn't react too well to something like that. Plus, isn't using God and The Bible for personal wealth against religious beliefs?
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      Originally Posted by RoseHunt View Post

      More and more people are getting sensitive when it comes to religion nowadays so I think that they wouldn't react too well to something like that. Plus, isn't using God and The Bible for personal wealth against religious beliefs?
      I don't think that sharing your faith with people within your career field is considered "using God and the Bible".

      I'm just curious how you think that pastors, priests, nuns, etc. and authors such as Peretti, Arthur, Joyner, LaHay, etc. get paid? Do you think they use God for personal wealth?

      Terra
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    Love of money is the root of all evil mon. Well, that sure is our case. Still, most people on this forum want to make money. Here is a Bible quote for you.

    Luke 16:14
    When the Pharisees heard all this, they made fun of Jesus, because they loved money.

    I will leave you with this reason.
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  • Profile picture of the author Geri Richmond
    Hi,
    There is nothing wrong with saying "Have a blessed day" at the end of a post. As far as, getting into a discussion with someone about religion, unless you are in a religious forum, probably not a good idea.
    It's a sensitive area and even though I believe in God and am religious, everyone has the right to believe what they want.

    Geri Richmond
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    The prejudice against religiosity is big, and our historical time is based on atheism and materialism. Therefore, it has no meaning to use religion to be accepted because the majority will dislike this tactic.

    However, you can also be original, what is extremely powerful online and offline.

    If you will be sincere and you believe you have something meaningful to teach your readers, you can be yourself, without caring about the public opinion. You should care only about those who will agree with you and will follow you.

    You cannot please everyone. Be original, and you will surely be successful. Some people will agree with you. You don't need to please the world to be successful.

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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by clever7 View Post

      If you will be sincere and you believe you have something meaningful to teach your readers, you can be yourself, without caring about the public opinion. You should care only about those who will agree with you and will follow you.

      You cannot please everyone. Be original, and you will surely be successful. Some people will agree with you. You don't need to please the world to be successful.

      This ^^^

      The thing that blows me away about this thread is that people keep throwing around numbers, and others keep saying that your market will be too small if you take this approach.

      One person said that Christians numbered 1 billion world-wide.

      Another said that 77% of Americans identify themselves as Christian. And of those, only 18% attend church regularly.

      I am not even going to discuss the 1 billion number, because I am not sure that is a real number, and a large number of those folks will not speak English as their primary language.

      There are roughly 300 million people in the United States.

      If 77% of those people identify themselves as Christian, that means 231 million Americans identify as Christian.

      If only 18% of those folks attend church regularly, then that leaves a base consumer pool of 41,580,000 people in the United States that might fall within the target market.

      If only 1-in-1000 people, who are practicing Christians, are interested in Internet Marketing, that leaves us with a base target audience of 41,580 people.

      Now, exactly how big of a primary consumer pool do we need before we can count on being successful?

      If 41 thousand people in our potential buying audience is not a big enough consumer pool to be successful, I think we are all going to be screwed. :rolleyes:

      Either that, or we are not worth calling ourselves marketers...
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  • Profile picture of the author Young Financier
    Unless you're catering to a specific religious group, I'd probably stay away from it. You're talking about something that could get people riled up emotionally, so it isn't worth it, IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    If "religion" can be defined by one's core beliefs
    which drive EVERYTHING they do then it's hard
    NOT to use religion in marketing--whether you
    think you are doing so or not.

    Generally speaking, people hate to be moralized.
    They rather see it lived out. And if you love helping
    people more than your pockets customers will
    beat a path to your door.

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Mention religion (any religion/belief) in an email & your history.

    I just dumped a long time email list (3-4 years as a subscriber) because they suddenly started going in a completely unrelated direction that had nothing to do with business.

    Cya...
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Roberts
    Wow! Great thread provoking some interesting responses.
    Just a short thought: what are your TRUE motives in sharing your faith? No, really, be totally honest. Is it to sell more of your stuff by establishing a connection with your buyers? To use the business to reach out and proselytize? Either way your audience will detect it a mile off. I'm sure you will end up doing what you feel is right...
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  • Profile picture of the author joshskyles
    Banned
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  • Profile picture of the author JeanneLynn
    I wouldn't do it. I hate it when I buy a book about something like cooking and there are religious references in it. Many people are religious, but many aren't. If I were religious, I'd talk about God in church and leave him out of my business ventures.

    It's the same with politics. I used to buy from a lady on this forum until the night of the 2012 elections. She carried on and on about the elections and made awful insults towards members of the political party she didn't support, calling them stupid and "rats." It was her right to say what she wanted, but it's my right to keep my hand in my pocket and buy from someone else.

    I guess it depends on whether you are willing to lose the sales if you offend someone.

    I think it's better to keep religion and politics out of your sales copy unless your products are directly related to those topics.
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  • Profile picture of the author GoldTrader
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by GoldTrader View Post

        I mention God & Jesus in everything I do online. I am Christian and is my duty to spread the good news regardless what anyone says or thinks about it! Besides, I don't want to do business with people who don't love Jesus, period, money ain't worth it and I ain't THAT greedy, I'm living well under God's guidance. If I mention God and you're offended then you're of the devil if you don't worship the Good God, end of story, I won't take your dirty money.

        But that's me, I'm not struggling...
        Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

        Holy molly... seriously, holy sweet molly...

        And some people still wonder why religion should be left out in your marketing message...

        Yes, he might be a troll, but he might be honest too.

        Many religious folks only want to buy from other religious folks, who share their views.

        I have met people like that in the real world, who believe that they only want to do business with God's chosen people. It is simply their point of view, one that is right for them.

        Many of these folks live and breathe their religious views day-in and day-out, in everything that they do. It comes across in their daily lives, in their interactions with other people, and even in their marketing.

        It is very similar to the "Made in America" movement, where vendors cater to an audience who only wants to buy products Made in America.

        The whole approach might border on zealotry, but it is not bad that people do it. As a marketer, your job is to identify with that group of folks, IF you are so inclined to do so.

        Just because you are offended by his point of view does not make his point of view wrong.

        His point of view is what it is, and as a marketer, your job is to determine if you want to sell to that audience or not, and if you decide to sell to that audience, you need to decide what language you must use to appeal to that audience.

        Most of us choose to market our goods and services using secular language, and there is nothing wrong with that either. Sure, we can reach larger audiences across the range of different political and religious beliefs, but that is the kind of business WE want to build.

        Similar to religious views and political views in marketing messages is the grocery store in San Francisco's China Town that only advertises itself on American TV with Chinese-language ads.

        Or the Fiesta grocery store chain in southern Texas that markets itself primarily to Mexican immigrants.

        You may not want to do those things in your business, but that is okay, because it is YOUR business.

        And the people who have a different viewpoint are running their businesses the way that they want to run THEIR businesses.

        It is not for you and I to decide that secular marketing is the right way or not. In the Warrior Forum, our role should be to help people learn how to market their stuff, whether they choose a niche that we agree with or not.
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        • Profile picture of the author LarryC
          Originally Posted by tpw View Post

          Yes, he might be a troll, but he might be honest too.

          Many religious folks only want to buy from other religious folks, who share their views.

          I have met people like that in the real world, who believe that they only want to do business with God's chosen people. It is simply their point of view, one that is right for them.

          Many of these folks live and breathe their religious views day-in and day-out, in everything that they do. It comes across in their daily lives, in their interactions with other people, and even in their marketing.

          It is very similar to the "Made in America" movement, where vendors cater to an audience who only wants to buy products Made in America.

          The whole approach might border on zealotry, but it is not bad that people do it. As a marketer, your job is to identify with that group of folks, IF you are so inclined to do so.

          Just because you are offended by his point of view does not make his point of view wrong.

          His point of view is what it is, and as a marketer, your job is to determine if you want to sell to that audience or not, and if you decide to sell to that audience, you need to decide what language you must use to appeal to that audience.

          Most of us choose to market our goods and services using secular language, and there is nothing wrong with that either. Sure, we can reach larger audiences across the range of different political and religious beliefs, but that is the kind of business WE want to build.

          Similar to religious views and political views in marketing messages is the grocery store in San Francisco's China Town that only advertises itself on American TV with Chinese-language ads.

          Or the Fiesta grocery store chain in southern Texas that markets itself primarily to Mexican immigrants.

          You may not want to do those things in your business, but that is okay, because it is YOUR business.

          And the people who have a different viewpoint are running their businesses the way that they want to run THEIR businesses.

          It is not for you and I to decide that secular marketing is the right way or not. In the Warrior Forum, our role should be to help people learn how to market their stuff, whether they choose a niche that we agree with or not.
          From a strictly marketing point of view you are correct. It's similar to someone who would only want to do business within their own race, such as an Aryan Nation or other race-based group. Their are niche markets for all types of beliefs and if you can find your market there, you can say what you want and not worry about who might be offended.

          As for his point of view being wrong, I think it is wrong not because I am offended by it but for a bigger reason. When you say that people who don't agree with you are "of the devil," you are going beyond stating a religious belief. You are playing God and implying you have the right to judge and condemn those who don't agree. It's not that big of a step to go from this to believing such people are less than human and have no rights, including the right to live. Isn't that how many terrorists justify their actions? The victims are considered agents of Satan, so they have no rights.

          I'm not implying that this is something only religious extremists are guilty of.
          Intolerance can be practiced by atheists as well.
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by LarryC View Post

            From a strictly marketing point of view you are correct. It's similar to someone who would only want to do business within their own race, such as an Aryan Nation or other race-based group. Their are niche markets for all types of beliefs and if you can find your market there, you can say what you want and not worry about who might be offended.

            As for his point of view being wrong, I think it is wrong not because I am offended by it but for a bigger reason.

            -snip-

            I'm not implying that this is something only religious extremists are guilty of.
            Intolerance can be practiced by atheists as well.

            Pot, kettle, black.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Just a quick reminder.

    We are supposed to be talking about marketing in this forum, not religious view points.

    We should not be arguing for one religious view or another, period!

    That is why you still know nothing about my religious beliefs.
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    Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
    Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
      Yep. If this thread continues in this direction ...

      Joe Mobley



      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      Just a quick reminder.

      We are supposed to be talking about marketing in this forum, not religious view points.

      We should not be arguing for one religious view or another, period!

      That is why you still know nothing about my religious beliefs.
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      Follow Me on Twitter: @daVinciJoe
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  • Profile picture of the author thedanbrown
    Ya if you voice your religious beliefs and relate your marketing to religion constantly I think you'll be missing out on a lot of business. Personally, I don't consider myself religious and if I was looking to buy a business course the last thing I would want trickled in there all the time is religion.

    People care about getting the cold-hard facts and getting results in the shortest time possible. Whether you choose to voice your religion during that process is up to you. I know that people will probably relate to you better knowing you're a real dude and are a good christian or whatever but at the same time others might be of a different religion and take what you say as an insult...

    Normally when someone lets their personality shine through their marketing they aren't broadcasting anything about religion it's usually about their hobbies or something less personal.

    In my opinion broadcasting your religion would be like telling people about your political beliefs and why they relate to marketing... just not something that fits if you ask me.
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