Is there a place for God in Marketing?
A “faith forward” approach
I know it’s been a while since last I touched based here. The month of November was especially hectic. Here in the U.S., we have the start of the holiday season with Thanksgiving.
But even before that, the month got off to an unusual start because my wife had some surgery. Nothing to worry about – she was in the hospital one night and she is recovering well. However, that did mean some additional time spent away from the business.
I also took some time away from social media so I could begin the process of the official rebrand. You may have noticed how LDRBRND (Leader brand) plays heavily into my posts these days. Well I am working with an agency to roll this out on a fresh website and with a much more coordinated and cohesive presence across social media.
I will be taking a step back from posting, scheduling, tweeting, creating visuals, etc for social media. While I can do an okay job with these things, it’s not the best use of my time. My particular gifting (or zone of genius) is writing, researching, analyzing, and teaching/coaching. That is where I want to spend the majority of my time in 2020 and beyond.
In the process of focusing my efforts around LDRBRND, I’ve done a lot of serious introspection around how my faith fits into this new paradigm. In the past I’ve mentioned my faith to a select few people that I’ve met in the marketing space. Part of it was I wanted to be a bridge builder – a person who connects to others across faiths, spirituality, beliefs, ideas, etc.
But part of it was simply being afraid of what others think.
Will people hate me?
Will they block me on social?
Will they attack me and my family?
Will I be able to have a viable business with a “faith forward” mentality?
The answers to all these questions are yes.
My faith is fundamental to who I am. So I do believe there is a place for God in marketing. But it doesn’t mean I have to be in people’s faces, argumentative, or spewing hate/vitriol. That is actually the opposite of what I believe Jesus Christ would do in such a situation. He would be trying to reach out to people in love. Not watering down the message of life and hope, but communicating truth when it is needed most.
So what does this look like in practice for me?
I want to lead marketers to a higher standard. That is why I am investing my time to teach people about high ideas like:
Do you want to learn about how you can be a servant leader?
Are you wanting to learn what it takes to lead in today’s day and age? Do you want to gain respect from your employees and team by being a strong leader they look up to? A lot has changed in the last few years with a new generation entering the workforce. Use this guide to learn how to lead properly with servant leadership.
These are not ideas I pulled out of thin air. Rather they are deeply rooted in my faith and in The Bible (The fruits of the Spirit). Many people will say that The Bible and biblical principles have no place in marketing but just look at this list. These are exactly the things we need more of in marketing and social media.
Some people will talk about it from a sense of business ethics or general morality. But I see it from my faith perspective. Is it any wonder that there are so many issues around privacy, security, data, and technology in general? We have a wave of people who are fighting against big tech and the abusive and unethical practices of the last 15 years or so.
There’s a lack of a moral compass within tech, social media, and marketing.
That is where leadership is needed most.
Leadership that is steeped in faith is my proposition.
But I understand not everyone believes exactly what I do. That’s okay. Can we agree that honesty and integrity is still needed in marketing? Can we agree that a focus on serving people and their needs is of foremost importance? Can we agree that while a business needs to make money to be viable long term, it matters how they make the money and where they spend it?
These are hard questions to wrestle with for people who have never had to consider them and their implications deeply before. But deal with them we must. We can’t just push them off. We have to be looking at every element of our business and saying “Are we considering the next step? How does this affect more than just us? Will our actions hold up to public scrutiny?”
There is a biblical principle at play that many may not be aware of. It essentially says that things done in the darkness will eventually be brought to light. Isn’t that so true these days? And these revelations of misdeeds are happening faster and faster with the advent of technology and specifically social media.
We don’t want to get caught up in a tidal wave of bad PR. But we might not understand what it means “to do the right thing.” Especially since so many people have been taught that doing the right thing is subjective. Doing the right thing means doing whatever feels right to a person in that moment. But that is faulty logic and faulty thinking that gets brands in trouble.
It leads to revenue maximization and whatever it takes thinking. That is where we find issues like the ones we have with human trafficking for instance. Obviously, we don’t want our brands to be associated with that type of evil in the world. But when we don’t have people operating with clear standards, it is easy to fall into that way of doing business.
So, my intention is to be the voice of standards, morality, and ethics in marketing. It’s a big idea. I’m sure many people will hate me and disagree with me. That’s okay. I can handle it. It’s taken me many years to get to the point where I am basically impervious to hate from online and offline trolls.
I am not going to live my life in fear of that. My time here on this earth is too precious and I have so much to do. Life goes too quick to play small ball.
Faith forward is my mantra for 2020 and going forward.
I’ve been helping leaders become better marketers for over 21 years and would love to help you take the next step in your spiritual leadership journey.