The Greatest Marketer of all time
Let’s play this one out as a riddle…
Who am I?
I am the greatest marketer of all time.
You know who I am, but you know me for my message, and not for my marketing ability. Going forward, you might rethink the distinction you make between the quality of the marketing and the quality of the message.
I’m not the obvious choices that come to mind therefore. I’m not Seth Godin or Ray Croc or Dale Carnegie or Walt Disney or anyone like that.
I never ran a television ad.
I never put a placement in the newspaper. I never had a podcast… I never even wrote a book, but plenty of books have been written about me.
The books they’ve written about me have continuously topped the charts.
I never gathered crowds around me – to be honest with you, I was not in love with the limelight. Normally, others assembled the crowds. I simply told them, just spread the word. I focused on the Minimum Viable Audience.
They’re still spreading the word to this day, long after my death… or rather, they’re trying. Some are doing better than others.
When I spoke I made every attempt to speak clearly.
I tried very much to build and improve upon the progress of those who went before me. I found the messages of the past were too confusing, too convoluted, too contradictory. So I tried to simplify them.
Rather than lectures, I told stories. My colleagues overlooked the importance of this very sacred tradition, the value of stories as a tool for educating cannot be overstated – that lesson is not taught strictly enough to modern marketers, let me assure you.
These stories I told are still told today – they are easy to remember and interpret. Their lessons and language are universal: Stories about mustard seeds, large feasts, talents and the kindness of foreigners.
I may have invented the one-liner
Long before Nike started saying Just Do It, before King had his dream or L’Oreal suggested that it was because you’re worth it. Before political campaigns hinged on one-liners; ‘Make America Great Again’
In my field, there were too many rules, too many contradictions, too much to implement. I introduced one rule, and I called it my golden rule: Love one another, as I have loved you.
But what value was there in announcing this rule if I didn’t live it? So I endeavored to live my message through my actions. I tried to show love to those who didn’t like my message, and they killed me. I was afraid, but my message was more important than my life, and that was the ultimate time to prove it.
I figured, if I could forgive the people who put me through unbelievable torture, and killed me at a young age, then I was really walking the walk. And, people wouldn’t have excuses anymore to mistreat and not forgive one other.
To some people I’m a Saviour, I’m The Son of God.
To others I’m a prophet, and to many I’m a phoney.
Part of being a marketer is that you will always make someone unhappy, and you will never please everyone. Thank God for that (and I do, when I walk past him on the way to the bathroom). To please everyone is to be average… one thing I think I can surely say, with all humility, is that I was not average.
Finally, two numbers.
The first is ‘12’.
My initial gang of misfits were twelve in number. Lord knows what they were doing beforehand – fishing mainly.
They were not always courageous; they often denied knowing me, didn’t believe me, and hid in rooms. They were not perfect, yet they were the rock on which my message was built. It all spread from them.
The second number is ‘a few’.
Because when two or three people gather in my name, my message is there. My ideas are there.
As a marketer, the most powerful thing you can ever have, is an idea so great that it can grow from an initial platform of twelve… and take those twelve from fishing for fish, to fishing for people. An idea so great that it will positively impact two or three people gathered together.
An idea so powerful that you don’t need to actively promote, write books, run ads or complicated campaigns. A message you can just put out into the world, with the fullest sincerity and good intentions: I believe the good ideas will rise to the top if we convey them consistently and clearly.
I told stories, and I condensed them all into a universal one-liner.
This has continually shaped society for two thousand years.
There is so much conjecture and debate around me as a religious figure, but maybe set that aside for a moment.
I am, amongst many things, the greatest marketer of all time. Irrespective of what walk of life you come from, there might be something you can learn from my approach to spreading good ideas.
And I hope that you do, because the clergy who claim to act in my name have not kept in the tradition of these marketing and teaching principles. Boring lectures and sermons are sure to alienate the youth and send them away. I was a door-to-door salesman. I was out there with the lepers, the Samaritans, the tax collectors, the adulterers and every sinner under the sin.
And I broke bread at their tables.
Join the Intentional Sharing Movement, where we change the world by sharing things worth sharing. If this piece would ‘open a door’ for someone you know, please share it.
Don’t just read! Discuss today’s idea so we can benefit off your wisdom. Sign up for conversations that matter below so you can contribute to more conversations and ideas.