The Four B’s Of Marketing

So many times we try too hard to bring a product or service to market.  A gazillion books have been written about, Product, Price, Place, Promotion, etc.  Reality is that there has been a dramatic shift since the Internet.  The game has changed and so have the rules to compete.  The instant era has spawned new requirements when delivering products and services to consumers.  Today, instead of the “P’s ” there are actually the “B’s of marketing.  Four B’s to be precise. 

Be BRIEF, Be BRILLIANT, Be FRESH, Be WILLING to reinvent yourself.

Brief: The savvy consumer wants brevity.  They do not have time to search through layers of content to reach the good stuff.

Brilliant: It is important that the message delivered about your product or service is viewed as expert.

Fresh:  A Tired website or dated marketing collateral will put your potential clients to sleep.

Willing To Reinvent Your Self:  The ever changing marketplace requires a constant reboot.  Company’s like Xerox saw this coming and reinvented themselves as “The Document Company.”  No longer just printers, they were delivering a brief, brilliant, offering, they were the expert in documents.

As you review your business for the remainder of 2013, take a moment to perform a quick litmus test, and see how you are doing on your B’s!

Take the “Tithe” challenge

There is a popular detergent brand that asks consumers to take a challenge and use their product to prove its quality and effectiveness.

Different scenarios are set, and in each, the product is reinforced as the clear winner when relied upon for its inherent power.

Yesterday I experienced this same opportunity for codification when challenged to tithe or in this case donate.

Based upon Gods Providence, I received multiple notices of fellow Christians facing crises that required immediate funds. In all cases the funds needed were crucial to provide attention or assistance that was otherwise not available.

I felt lead to embrace the requests, and proceeded with great vigor.

Within a day, God granted favor on our business and the yield was more that 10 fold. Christ truly does own the cattle on a thousand hills, and my meager contribution to these challenges was rewarded from Gods abundance.

Let me emphasize that the Living Triune God is not a vending machine when it comes to tithing and donating. What you put in will not necessarily come back in cash, but it will be returned in blessing. Christ alone knows the appropriate timing and type of blessing that best meets our needs. In some cases its cash, in others its comfort or answered prayer.

Tithes and donations must be a committed part of our budget, but more importantly a resolute commitment of our heart.

Can evryone afford to tithe? The question is rather can anyone afford to not tithe. Take the tithe Challenge and see what God has in store and in the storehouse.

Persevero!

When Work Is A Burden

“Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Mathew 6:24 ESV.

Are you carrying a burden today as you work for your family? Are you casting this burden upon the Lord? Casting our burdens upon the creator of the universe is truly a simple request, but one which often results in more labor to accomplish, than the burden which weighs us down. The key is whether or not one is living a life this day which is “careful for nothing.”

Charles Spurgeon points out in his daily devotional, “Care, even though exercised upon legitimate objects, if carried to excess, has in it the nature of sin.”

He goes on to explain that our anxiety is sinful because we ultimately are perceiving ourselves as “wiser than God.”  As we assess the day before us, we must rest confidently and peacefully that Christ alone has already prepared our day. Gods word assures us of this peace in Isaiah 26:3, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.” Today may look quite different from the business plan that we have designed.  We must hold fast, that Christ is about His business, and He has written the events that will occur.  He has shaped the opportunities, He has opened some doors, and He has closed others.  He has granted favor, and He has withheld the rain  He will mete out the wins and losses of our lives today with His precise balance. Best of all, He has done all of this to bless us, to sanctify us, and to glorify Himself.

What a comfort to know that every burden today has been selected and crafted for us in Gods plan.  Persevero!

Semper idem

Semper idem, always the same.  This is the consistent thread that traces the tapestry of Gods character.  And if this is true, which it is, why do we even consider the fact that the creator of the universe would be anything less than immutable in His essence.  Immutable in His requirements of us as His children.

Deuteronomy 32:4, introduces the term “Rock” to describe God.  What an apropos image for Gods steadfast faithfulness and permanence.  It is upon this rock that the church was built, it is upon this rock that God continues to anchor His children in the midst of a world chasing after change.  Not change for improvement, but change that allows for a continued dilution of Gods requirement for integrity in our lives. It is not always apparent.  It happens through a broadening of definitions.  It happens when there is an unchecked challenge to Judeo Christian basics, so that sin and those who continue to sin, can justify their deliberate rejection of Gods law.  Through this pursuit of justification, our nation has accepted a complete disregard for a fair deal, complete disclosure, and even a job well done.

God does not change, he does not evolve.  He alone is “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17).  It is we who are subject to change, it is man that attempts to redefine good and evil, and man that blurs the boundaries that historically separated right and wrong. The boundaries that established efficacy and quality.

As you operate your business in the marketplace, there will always be opportunities to cut corners, miss commitments, and create reasons to justify why and how things happened or didn’t happen.  Operating with honor and integrity has become “situational” for most businesses. The investment bankers on Wall Street have proved this over and over. Let this not be named amongst us as we stand in the gates as Christian businesses, providing products and services. Let us deliver at a level that is above expectation, and not simply on par. If we make mistakes, let us be quick to make things right, to fix problems. Promise less and deliver more. Let us live out Colossians 3:23 ESV. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

For not only have Gods requirements not changed, His rewards for the faithful are always the same. Persevero!

Same Pants, Different Pocket!

Dr RC Sproul Jr. of Highlands Ministries, www.highlandsministriesonline.org,  says and I agree, that we must strive to live lives which are Simple, Separate and Deliberate.  By definition these tenets cleave us from a world that is bent on complicated, integrated and marginal.

When we decide on which companies we will patronize for the services and products in our business and personal lives, we must weigh whether or not the easy road is the one which will serve the kingdom or our convenience. Knowing that a company supports Planned Parenthood, or a Sodomite agenda should be an immediate “cause for pause.” We must assess these wayward companies and their ability to truly serve our family.  The revenue we pay pagan companies for the products received or the services rendered just may fuel despicable agendas.  Whether funds go directly to aborting babies or paying for Homosexual rallies is not the issue.  Cash paid in to Morally Bankrupt organizations from Christians, equals the ability for these organizations to keep the lights on and the heating bill paid.  It is what I call the “same pants, different pocket” analogy.  Money in = Money out, and the ability to put money out to pay the bills at immoral companies keeps them in business, bottom line.

It is time that we choke off the revenue to companies that stand in opposition to Christ. It is time that we follow Christ Honoring Ecomonics, and support the companies that stand opposed to sin.

Organizations such as Life Decisions International, www.fightpp.org have identified many companies that take your dollars and support agendas that stand contrary to Christ.  It is time to just say no.  It is time to end the passive funding of organizations through the pockets of companies that are happy to take your hard earned money and direct it against the one true God.  As of December 2010, Planned Parenthood had over $900 million in the bank.  This money is allocated to build new clinics in 2011 and beyond. 

I have a new maxim for 2011; Shop simple,  Shop separate, and Shop deliberate.  Be careful which pockets we are lining!

Is Six Days Enough?

The fourth commandment is clear that we must keep the Sabbath Holy.  However, in our culture working six days and observing the seventh day as a day of worship and rest, stands in direct contrast to our society.  The current malaise toward the Sabbath is the out growth of deliberate attacks from a pagan world, but it has been equally buoyed by a church that is soft in the pulpit.

Nothing has changed for the last two thousand years.  We are called to rest and observe the Sabbath.  Industry, entertainment and commerce do not observe the Sabbath, but we must.  Sadly, when it comes to a righteous and appropriate view of the Sabbath, the church has been on a gradual slide toward syncretism with the world.  We look like them, we talk like them and in regard to our view of the Sabbath we have weakened just like them.

I have travelled over 3 million miles in my business career.  I am ashamed to say that many of these trips began on Sundays.  I excused the value of rest on the Lords Day in the interest of economics, convenient travel and a better use of my time as I began a travel week.  What a mistake this was.  Since I have exited corporate America, and committed myself to an entrepreneurial multi generational business model, Sunday work and the associated travel has not been an option for me.  This adherence to a seventh day of rest has been a blessing that I truly relish. 

Admittedly, it was hard to observe a day of rest at first.  I am not genetically predisposed to rest.  I don’t even vacation well.  Quiet Sundays were historically great times to catch up from a busy week, or to make business strides, but at what cost.  The direct challenge to Gods word regarding the Sabbath, is an invitation to the adoption of additional weak theology, and  neutrality toward a man centered world view. 

Honoring Christ with a once a week respite will do you and your family wonders.  There will be no lost business, there will be no reduction of income.  I am resolute that God will faithfully provide all of the business and promotion that He has ordered for you in six days.  Psalm 75:6 is clear that our promotion does not come from the East, or the West, or the South.  But it is God who sets up kings and takes them down.  Six days was enough for the creator of the universe.  So as for me and my house, Six days is enough.  God said, that settles it!

Gods Secret Place

Psalm 91 Outlines wise instruction.
“he that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (KJV)
There is no finer place to be. When we step out from this covering we allow Satan to tempt us, and we allow sin to ensnare us. Trusting in His protection for our lives and our families will allow us to rest and be satisfied. Believing that nothing will happen in our lives, or in our business that is not specifically for our good, and Gods glory provides a peace that non believers will never experience. This week may you understand the comfort of resting under the cover of His wing, and enter the marketplace with Christ as your “shield and buckler.”
Persevero!