The ancient Greek philosophers would say “know thyself,” with various interpretations of the phrase. The importance of “knowing oneself” (as well as one’s target market) is evident in the marketing world. The AMA defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” (2013) In order to engage in these activities and processes, it helps to know who you are and why you are doing them.
The Marketing Corner
I had a professor in my undergraduate program whose model I reference over and over in my marketing courses. Dr. Keith Starcher, former President of Zion Industries Inc, refers to the “Marketing Corner” as the foundation for marketing principles. Think of a cornerstone: a three-sided stone that forms the foundation for where two walls of a building meet. The three sides of the “Marketing Corner” are the organization’s mission, vision, and values. Upon this, we can build the 4 Ps (or 4 Cs) of marketing: product, promotion, price, and place; or consumers, communication, costs, and convenience, respectively.
The Lord spoke through Isaiah to tell Israel the importance of remembering our identity:
““Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness
and who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were cut
and to the quarry from which you were hewn;”
-Isaiah 51:1 (NIV)
It is interesting that here Isaiah references a “rock from which you were cut.” Many times through scripture, God is referred to as a rock, and Jesus as a cornerstone. In Isaiah 28:16, for example:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation.”
A marketer sees his/her cornerstone comprising the very identity of his organization. A Christian sees Jesus as his/her cornerstone, with every part of life being built upon that rock. A Christian marketer, then, sees the mission, vision, and values of his/her organization/brand/person as being built upon Jesus. Whether we are setting personal goals or crafting a marketing plan for a corporation, God is calling us to a purpose-driven life that points back to Him and stands as a reminder to others of not only who we are, but whose we are.
If you are re-evaluating your personal brand, starting a business, or just wondering how you fit into your current organization, consider the following questions:
- Mission: what has God called me to do?
- Vision: what are the skills, strategies, tactics that God has given me to achieve my mission?
- Values: what are the things that are most important to me in my journey with God?
- How do I continuously surrender these to God?