上帝相反的行銷策略

By: Robert J. Tamasy

行銷就是一切。至少人們是這麼告訴我們。你必須創造一個與顧客認同的身份。找到你產品或服務的獨特性。建立一個可辨識的廠牌。當顧客需要你可以提供的產品或服務時,讓他們立刻就看到或想到你。目標就是「市場佔有率」--而且愈多愈快樂。

你要怎麼做呢?我們有許多選擇:召開記者會。印刷色彩鮮艷吸引人目光的目錄。架設領先且有高影響力的網站。安排電視、廣播和報紙的訪談。僱用一個公關公司。訂立一個多媒體的廣告策略。請一位名人替你的產品代言。

當我們為本週末的慶祝聖誕節而準備時,上帝似乎沒有考慮到行銷。很明顯,若行銷有被考慮,嬰孩基督出生的環境應該用非常不一樣的方式處理。請想想以下的觀點:

上帝的兒子耶穌被生在伯利恆一個又小又偏僻的村莊,根本不是當時的經濟中心,也絕不是會吸引大眾注意的地方。 沒有行銷「預算」。事實上,耶穌的年輕父母甚至還缺乏租一個像樣旅館的錢。他們的嬰孩生在卑微的馬廄裡,被農場的動物所包圍,用一個馬槽當搖籃。沒有通知大家這嬰孩的出生,更沒有發佈新聞稿。 當時沒有任何「媒體」可以考慮。1,500年前報紙印刷還沒被發明。甚至還沒有任何人想像到攝影、廣播和電視。生在當時真不是個好時機!
這個清單可以繼續列下去,但你得到這個想法:有名的聖誕歌曲唱到「聽阿,天使高聲唱」,但只有天使們做正式的宣告。第一批在現場的見證人是無名的牧羊人,而他們對當時的羅馬統治文化根本沒有影響力。

然而,再過幾天,世界上成千上萬的信徒會再次慶祝耶穌基督基督誕生這個發生在超過2,000年前的事件。沒有使用前述的那些行銷方法,這是如何發生的呢?不論你是否相信,靠著運用今天工商專業界所相信的普遍原則,這真的就達成了。以下就是一些原則:

滿意的顧客。最好的廣告是顧客使用過產品後,證實它的價值。不需付他們薪水或佣金,他們是「滿意的顧客」。「那攪亂天下的也到這裡來了」(使徒行傳17章6節)。

如星星的見證。當顧客得到好的服務,他們會熱切地告訴別人。「論到從起初原有的生命之道,就是我們所聽見、所看見、親眼看過、親手摸過的。(這生命已經顯現出來,我們也看見過,現在又作見證,將原與父同在、且顯現與我們那永遠的生命、傳給你們。)我們將所看見、所聽見的傳給你們,使你們與我們相交。我們乃是與父並他兒子耶穌基督相交的」(約翰一書1章1-3節)。

實現的應許。人們常會誇大他們的產品功能或服務品質。但你若實現你所承諾的,你就會永遠贏得那個顧客。「但聖靈降臨在你們身上,你們就必得著能力,並要在耶路撒冷、猶太全地,和撒瑪利亞,直到地極,作我的見證」(使徒行傳1章8節)。

聖誕快樂!

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的交通部副部長,這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他也是一個有38年經驗的退休新聞工作者。他寫過一本書「最佳狀態的商業:箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」(Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace)。他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心:啟發人們將其潛能發揮到極至的10個原則」(The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential)。要了解更多資訊, 可上網www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com 。


思想 / 討論題目

今年你計畫如何慶祝聖誕節? 若耶穌基督沒有誕生且我們沒有理由慶祝聖誕節,對你而言會有什麼不同? 當你想到耶穌基督,你認為自己是「滿意的顧客」或是懷疑的顧客? 你認為上帝為何為第一個聖誕節選擇那個時機,而不等到像我們今天這樣一個精明的行銷年代?
註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:馬太福音28章16-20節;路加福音24章45-49節;約翰福音21章24-25節;使徒行傳1章1-11節;加拉太書2章20節

GOD”S REVERSE MARKETING STRATEGY
By: Robert J. Tamasy

Marketing is everything. At least that is what we are told. You have to create an identity with the consumer. Find a niche for your product or service. Work to establish a recognizable brand. Strive to become visible and remain in the forefront of potential customers” and clients” minds for whenever they have a need for what you have to offer. The objective is “market share” – and the more of it, the merrier.

How do you do that? We have many options: Call a press conference. Print colorful, visually engaging brochures. Create a cutting-edge, high-impact website. Schedule TV, radio and newspaper interviews. Hire a public relations firm. Formulate a broad, multi-media advertising strategy. Have a famous person endorse your product.

As we prepare for another celebration of Christmas later this week, it seems God failed to take marketing into account. It seems obvious that if effective marketing had been a consideration, circumstances surrounding the birth of the Christ Child should have been handled much differently. Consider the following:

Jesus, the Son of God, was born in the small, obscure village of Bethlehem, hardly a crossroad of commerce for that time, and definitely not a place to gain a lot of public attention. There was no marketing “budget.” In fact, the young parents of Jesus lacked even the funds to rent a decent hotel room. Their baby was born in a humble stable, surrounded by farm animals and using a feeding trough for a cradle. Forget about sending birth announcements, let alone a news release. There was no “media” to consider. The printing press would not be invented for 1,500 years. Photography, radio and TV were not even figments of anyone”s imagination. Talk about poor timing!
The list could go on, but you get the idea: The famous Christmas hymn says, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” but they were the only ones making a formal declaration. The first human witnesses on the scene were no-name shepherds, and they had no clout in that Roman-dominated culture.

And yet, just a few days from now, countless millions of faithful followers around the world again will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, an event that occurred more than 2,000 years ago. How could this have happened, without the marketing methodology mentioned above? It was accomplished, believe or not, by implementing principles commonly embraced in the business and professional world today. Here are just a few of them:

Satisfied customers. Among the greatest advertisements we can have are individuals who can personally attest to the value of the product they have used or experienced. Without salaries or commissions, they are “satisfied customers.” “…These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also” (Acts 17:6, ESV).

Stellar testimonials. When customers or clients are excited about good service, they are eager to boast about it to others. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life…. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us” (1 John 1:1-3).

Fulfilled promises. It is common to exaggerate the capabilities of products or services. But if you deliver what you promise, you have won a customer for life. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Merry Christmas!

Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit corporation based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran of more than 38 years in professional journalism, he is the author of Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press) and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

How are you planning to observe Christmas this year? What difference would it make for you if Jesus Christ had not been born and there was no reason for celebrating Christmas? When you think about Jesus Christ, do you consider yourself a “satisfied customer” or a skeptical consumer? Why do you think God chose the timing He did for the first Christmas, rather than waiting for a more savvy marketing age such as we have today?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 24:45-49; John 21:24-25; Acts 1:1-11; Galatians 2:20

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