Excerpts From our Marketing Workbook
Build it and they will come
Field of Dreams is a 1989 movie in which a farmer hears a voice saying, “Build it and they will come”. So he plows up his field of corn and builds a baseball diamond. Because this is a movie and not reality, a long-dead baseball hero, Shoeless Joe, turns up and everyone comes to play baseball.
That’s how we often look at building a business. If we have a product, surely everyone will see the need for that product. If I build it, they will come and buy it. So we fire off our baseballs assuming we have a hit but find we aren’t even in the ballpark. We are disappointed.
Christians sometimes have a fundamental biblical issue with marketing because much of the marketing in the world’s business system is pure puffery and lies. Will that diet drink really allow me to lose 15 pounds or KGs in 2 weeks? Will that new car really make me so happy that I will never worry about the payments? Marketing often seems like the devil’s lie, but when I build it, they don’t come. So what do I do?
We often hear the question about the rightness of a Christian marketing. A lot of the marketing all around us we know is just puffery – one person saying, “I’m better than anyone else,” wanting to appear as a special celebrity for their product or service. As Christians in business we want our business to be a blessing: to reach out to others with God’s love as an expression of our faith. We wonder: “If I market do I reduce that gospel impact? Will people simply see me as more of the same in the world of business?” They might. It depends on how you do marketing and how you present yourself and your product or service. Do you tell the truth? Do you slam your competitors with your own pride? Or do you look for upright ways to show why you are better than the others and why people should buy from you?
Richard and George Cadbury faced that issue. As God honoring Quakers they didn’t really want to market their chocolate with the puffery they saw in the market. But when they saw the difference between their product and the others, they knew they had to market it. They saw that other chocolate makers laced their products with impure ingredients that were harmful to people. In truth they could say that their chocolate was 100% pure and safe for people to eat or drink. They had to let people know there was something in the market that was better. What did they do? They worked with doctors and the British government on standards of purity and cleaned up the market for safe chocolate. They didn’t slam their competitors, but instead marketed a safe product for people to enjoy.
Basic parts of a marketing plan
Most companies we work with start with a simple marketing idea that is practiced by everyone. They want to “sell” their product or service. They want to know how to make a brochure, or put together a simple website. Of course you can do that. If that is all you want, this workbook isn’t for you. Its relatively easy to go to a Quick Print place and ask them to design and print your brochure or find someone to put up a standard website.
But we recommend that you begin with your passion. Why do you want to do THIS business? What are your Vision, Mission and Values? Next describe your product or service. What makes it different? Every business needs a customer to succeed. Describe your ideal customer? And are there enough of them to make your business successful? Use the workbook to work out your ideas and principles. Make a plan. Figure out what it will cost and how you can implement it. Do the hard work, pray and see what God will do.
To learn more go to: https://b4blessing.com/business-development-workbooks.php to download and print B4Blessing’s newest workbook. Its only $12. You may also find the other workbooks on our website helpful. Take a look and see.