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What Holy Week Teaches Us About Catholic Marketing

Ready or not, Holy Week is here. (Anyone else here in the "not" camp with me?)

As you know by now, I can't look at anything Biblical without seeing some Catholic marketing connection, and so I wanted to share how Catholic marketing is actually helping me enter more deeply into the Paschal Mystery this year in case it does the same for you.

Palm Sunday - Don't chase after applause.

Think about the triumphal entry Jesus has into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The crowds cheering and shouting Hosanna, the palm branches being laid at His feet.

How many of them were supporting Him just five days later on Good Friday?

In marketing, it's easy to chase the vanity metrics - social media post likes and even email open rates.

But what really matters is who will respond when we bring out the tough ask - volunteering, donating, purchasing, taking up the cross. Use your marketing time to chase after those metrics (the both the marketing and spiritual sense).

Holy Thursday - It's all about service.

On Holy Thursday, Jesus does the unthinkable - He gets down on His hands and knees and washes the disciples' feet, the job of a servant. It's a visual reminder to love one another in a way that truly serves the other person.

Our marketing has to do the same.

You've heard me talk before about the importance of knowing your audience's pain point, the problems they have that you can uniquely solve. They can be anything from annoyances to life's biggest questions, but knowing that pain point means you market that solution, NOT the event, volunteer opportunity, service, or product you're trying to sell.

Plus, it's just the Christian thing to do, as Jesus shows us.

Good Friday - Know who you are.

Jesus is asked repeatedly on Good Friday who He is. And in typical Jesus fashion, He doesn't seem to ever give a truly satisfying answer to His questioners.

And yet, any Jewish person reading the Passion narrative would know exactly who He was.

Why? Because in a 24-hour period, Jesus fulfills dozens of prophecies about the Messiah that had been foretold long before His crucifixion.

Jesus knew exactly who He was, but He wasn't speaking for Pilate or the rest of the audience there to mock and betray Him - He was speaking for us, so that we would know who He was.

You need to do the same for your audience. You need to be able to articulate your mission clearly - not in a stiff, written-by-committee, mission statement-y sort of way, but rather in an authentic way that uses your audience's language and allows them to get to know you and how you are there to serve them.

Easter Sunday - Be remarkable.

I'm currently reading Purple Cow by Seth Godin and the overall point is that in marketing, it doesn't matter so much how you market something, but rather that the thing you're marketing is remarkable. You want to be promoting something that literally compels people to tell others about it.

I don't know about you, but I think rising from the dead is pretty much the most remarkable thing ever...and people are still talking about it 2,000+ years later.

Please be assured of my prayers for a blessed Holy Week and Easter for you and your ministry.

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