Marketing guru Seth Godin offers the following tips in a recent blog post http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2015/09/ad-blocking.html.

  • The best marketing isn’t advertising, it’s a well-designed and remarkable product.
  • The best way to contact your users is by earning the privilege to contact them, over time.
  • Making products for your customers is far more efficient than finding customers for your products.
  • Horizontally spread ideas (person to person) are far more effective than top-down vertical advertising.
  • More data isn’t the point. Data to serve explicit promises is the point.
  • Commodity products can’t expect to easily build a profitable ‘brand’ with nothing but repetitive jingles and noise.
  • Media properties that celebrate their ads (like Vogue) will continue to thrive, because the best advertising is the advertising we would miss if it was gone.

I believe there is some good advice here for churches. Instead of worrying about how to find people to visit your church, work on being remarkable, offering real change to people’s lives, and teach your people to share their faith!


Seth Godin’s: “The Dip” Part Three

In previous posts on Seth Godin’s book “The Dip” I have covered the “Cul-de-sac” and the “Cliff”. When we find ourselves facing either of these situations the right thing to do is to quit. The third situation is different. This one is the “Dip”. The dip comes when you are on the right track but suddenly things get difficult. Instead of coasting along, you are now having to power up hill – and the hill is getting steeper. What do you do?

This is the time to try even harder! Redouble your efforts, lean in, pour all of your energy into it. Why? Because a lot of other people quit when they hit the dip. If you push through, you will be in the rare group who made it. If you are in a competitive field, much of your competition will have dropped off. If you are working on a project, yours will be one of the few that make it to completion. If you are running a marathon… well, you get the idea.

Very few people push through the dip. Those that do are the ones who succeed. Just about anything worth doing will have a dip. If this weren’t the case, the top would be crowded – but it’s not. Most people give up at the first signs of trouble. Many back down to the early resistance. They figure that there must be a smoother road to the top. There isn’t! Stick to the hard road. If it is the right road.

So, to summarize: What is your biggest challenge? Ask yourself three questions:

  • Am I going around in circles, not getting towards the goal? If so, quit now.
  • Am I heading to a crash – like the coyote in the Road Runner cartoons? Is so, stop! Turn around.
  • Am I facing a difficult challenge with a prize on the other side? Keep pushing. Work harder. Get over it.

One of my heroes, the Apostle Paul, wrote:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3.12-14

What has “taken hold” of you? Press on toward the goal!


Seth Godin’s “The Dip” Part Two

This is the second of a three part post on Seth Godin’s short book “The Dip”. Last time we looked at the Cul-de-sac, which has people driving around in circles, getting nowhere. This time I want to talk about The Cliff. You probably see where this is going already. The cliff comes after a slow incline. You get focused on the climb without thinking about where it ends. Then suddenly you are like the coyote in a Road Runner cartoon, in free fall.

The thing about the cliff is that before you reach the end, it feels like you are making progress, a little bit each day. There comes a point where you have invested “too much to quit” so you keep on going. Then the bottom falls out. Why do so many small business people wait to they are bankrupt and in financial ruin to quit? After all we have all heard stories of people who persevered and won. The key is in knowing the difference between a dip and a cliff. (We’ll clear that up in Part 3.)

For now, look ahead! What possible outcomes are there if you stay on your current path? Sometimes it takes an outsider pointed out the obvious to us. We get so wrapped up in climbing this slope; we don’t stop and look up to the end. Or we feel that we have invested too much to turn around now.

Godin’s advice is: Quit! Quit now! Put your energy and resources into something that has a chance of succeeding. We have always heard that quitters never win. That simply isn’t true. A lot of people quit one thing only to succeed in something else.

If you have read these two posts, you are probably thinking, “So Seth Godin wants us all to quit what we are doing.” No! There is a time when we need to do just the opposite of quitting. Stay tuned.